I'm interested in how people in power (and people who want to have power) use media for strategic sensemaking.
At Data & Society, I research and write about the history, vocabulary and theory we use to make sense of problematic information, from public relations to propaganda.
For the past several years, I have researched 20th-century corporate-sponsored 'economic education' media. More recently, I've been researching advocacy groups and other intermediaries with a stake in defining and shaping the emerging 'sharing economy'; and thinking about what propaganda might mean under 21st-century media conditions.
I take a grounded approach to archival materials. In plain language, that means I read inter-office memos, press releases, websites, press accounts, and other such everyday communications, and then make note of the themes that emerge from my materials. My approach is similar to production studies, which looks not only at the thing produced (say, a film or a comic book), but also at the efforts and struggles that went into its production. I do this in an effort to better understand how (and why, and to what ends) some ideas get legitimized through media, while other ideas are marginalized or ignored.
My research has been published in the IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, Enterprise and Society and The Appendix (details and links here). I have presented at the annual meetings of scholarly societies including the International Communication Association (which I also served as a graduate student representative of the Communication History Division), the Business History Conference, the Association of Internet Researchers, the Society for the History of Technology, and the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S).
My training spans media history, communication studies, and business. I hold a Ph.D. in Communication from Cornell University. I also hold an M.A. in Communication and an M.B.A., both from Saint Louis University, and a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Missouri-Columbia. During my doctoral program, I was honored with the Anson E. Rowe Advanced Graduate Student Award, bestowed by the Department of Communication at Cornell University in recognition of excellence in research, teaching, and service.
During my doctoral studies, I was also an Exchange Scholar in the Comparative Media Studies/Writing Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; a visiting student with the Social Media Collective and, subsequently, a PhD intern with Dr. Mary Gray at Microsoft Research New England; and a Graduate Researcher with the Intel Science & Technology Center for Social Computing. I am also an alumna of the Oxford Internet Institute's Summer Doctoral Programme.