I teach courses in digital & design anthropology and feminist & queer STS, including the anthropology of emerging and digital media, critical approaches to design, queer media, queer STS, and new materialisms.
I currently teach as an adjunct instructor at NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering in Technology, Culture, and Society. I have also taught at Wesleyan University, the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research, and UC Davis.
courses & syllabi
STS Queer Values, Queer Futures (NYU, Spring 2019)
New technologies, from social media and smart homes to gene editing and AI, shape our lives in new and often unpredictable ways. Although technology may seem to develop apart from society, social and cultural studies of science and technology (science and technology studies or STS), demonstrate that technology is shaped by history, social conditions, and cultural context such as dominant norms and values. Since the first factories of the 18th century, modern technologies have been designed with particular users and bodies in mind. Feminist theories of science and technology find that understandings of gender and sex affect—and often determine—technology design and use. Queer theory pushes further these questions to ask how sexuality, identity, personhood, emotions, and materiality help us understand technology and its implications for society and the future.
This course introduces students to the intersection of feminist STS and queer studies, to examine how cultural norms around bodies, identity, selfhood, gender, and sexuality shape the production of knowledge and expertise. We will engage with foundational theories and concepts, including heteronormativity, the social construction of technology, the production of space and place, and the relationship between power, knowledge, and subjectivity. We will explore these themes through case studies and topics such as cyborgs, monsters, and other nonhumans, queer time and space, digital media, public health, trans studies, embodiment, queer futurity, and more. The course is based around reading, writing, and discussion.
Anthropology of Digital Media & Cultures (Wesleyan, Spring 2016)
Networked media technologies, from the Internet to mobile phones, are reshaping many aspects of daily life, selfhood, and society. While digital and electronic media seem to make the world smaller, ostensibly facilitating global flows of capital, people, goods, and ideas, this course examines how these technologies co-constitute particular kinds of subjects, accommodating some uses and modes of living more than others. Digital platforms and services, for example, are often designed with elite, technically savvy users in mind, yet are taken up transnationally in diverse and unexpected ways. Media, like other technologies, never exist separately from social life as independent agents of change, but instead emerge through contingent histories, material realities, constellations of discourse, and unequal distributions of power. This course introduces students to the anthropology of digital media and culture, drawing on empirical, ethnographic accounts from a variety of theoretical perspectives, including feminist technology studies, actor-network theory, queer theory critiques, new materialisms, postcolonial studies, and social informatics. Topics include space and place online, media publics, new transnationalisms, design anthropology, big data, social networks, virtuality and embodiment, the social construction of users, mobility, disability, and locatability, and telecommunication infrastructures.
We will consider emerging media practices in cross-cultural and transnational settings, to examine the situated contexts of design and use, while asking broadly what consequences these technologies have for our social worlds. This course requires intensive reading and writing, including a final project that can be undertaken in a variety of ways, such as an original ethnographic or creative project exploring an emerging media practice.