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I am an Anthropologist and Assistant Professor of Critical Studies at California College of the Arts. I study how people use media to express technical identities, share aspects of the self, and accomplish civic engagement.

I also served as the Inaugural Editor-in-Chief (2012-2014) of
The CASTAC Blog, which is the official blog of the Committee on the Anthropology of Science, Technology, and Computing, a subdivision of the American Anthropological Association.

Contact Information:


Mailing Address:
California College of the Arts
1111 Eighth Street
San Francisco, CA 94107-2247

New Book!
Find reviews and information on the
Facebook Page!

Research Interests:
Anthropological, visual, and linguistic studies of digital media; technical identity; online competencies; emotions; place; pragmatics; marginal words; anthropology of art; interactional reciprocity

Current Research Project:
Video rants as civic engagement

Past Research Projects:
Video Bloggers

Digital Youth and Informal Learning
Online Text Gaming (MUDs, MUSHes)
Computer use in Celebration, Florida
Virtual Reality equipment study at CyberMind Entertainment Facility, San Francisco

Video Blogs:
AnthroVlog on YouTube

Ph.D. Anthropology
M.A. Anthropology
University of Michigan

A.M. International Policy Studies
A.B. History
Stanford University

News and Upcoming Events
November 20, 2015
I look forward to being a discussant at this year's AAA Meeting for the panel, "Ethnographic Engagements with Digital Alterity II." See you there!

May 23, 2015
I will be presenting my paper, "Video Rants: Anatomy of a Genre," at the International Communication Association Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

October 22, 2014 - New Paper!

“Commenting on YouTube Rants: Perceptions of Inappropriateness or Civic Engagement?” Journal of Pragmatics, 73: 53-65. The article is part of a special issue on The Pragmatics of Textual Participation in Social Media.

April 20, 2014
My film, Hey Watch This! Sharing the Self Through Media, was internationally debuted at Ethnografilm! This is an exciting new international film festival that showcases ethnographic and academic films that visually depict social worlds.
See the trailer on
YouTube or Vimeo!

March 17, 2014
Henry Jenkins has published an interview with me on his blog. I discuss my new book, Kids on YouTube: Technical Identities and Digital Literacies. For more information see:

Part I: Categorizing digital media
Part II: Exploring what kids learn
Part III: Discussing risk and self-promotion
Part IV: Analyzing being self taught

October 9, 2014
I presented at talk, "Evaluating Techno-Aesthetics in Video: Demystifying the Aesthetic Gap Between Amateurs and Professionals," LASER series, Stanford University. See
this link for a video of my talk.

June 21, 2014
Invited panelist for the panel "Self(ies) and Surveillance: Performing, Displaying, and Documenting Bodies," presented at the symposium,
Face It: Photography, Ethics, and Identity in the Age of the Selfie, which was held at the San Francisco Art Institute. A video of my remarks is available here.

October 12, 2013
I'm excited to be screening my ethnographic film, Hey Watch This: Sharing the Self Through Media at the Society for the Social Studies of Science in San Diego!

May 14-June 8, 2012
My paper was selected for the Virtual Conference at the International Communication Association meeting. Can't come to Phoenix? Check out the online conference papers, including mine entitled, "Rhetoricizing Visual Literacies." This paper received a "Top 6 Paper" award from the Language and Social Interaction Division of ICA.

Selected List - For full list of books and articles see the Publications tab


Kids on YouTube: Technical Identities and Digital Literacies. Walnut Creek, CA: Routledge/Left Coast Press, 2014.

Articles and Book Chapters

Commenting on YouTube Rants: Perceptions of Inappropriateness or Civic Engagement?” Journal of Pragmatics, 73: 53-65, 2014. The article is part of a special issue on The Pragmatics of Textual Participation in Social Media.

“Learning Real Life Lessons from Online Games,”
Games and Culture, 6(1), 2011.

“Achieving Creative Integrity on YouTube: Reciprocities and Tensions," Enculturation 8, September 2010.

“Creative Production,” Lange, Patricia G. and Mizuko Ito, in Hanging Out, Messing Around, Geeking Out: Living and Learning with New Media (Ito et al.). Cambridge: MIT Press, 2010.

“Videos of Affinity on YouTube,” in
The YouTube Reader, Patrick Vonderau and Pelle Snickars, Eds. Pp. 228-247. Swedish National Library Press, Distributed by Wallflower Press, 2009.

“Conversational Morality and Information Circulation: How Tacit Notions about Good and Evil Influence Knowledge Exchange” Human Organization, 68(2): 218-229, Summer 2009.

“(Mis)Conceptions about YouTube,”
Video Vortex Reader: Responses to YouTube, Geert Lovink and Sabine Niederer, Eds. Pp. 87-100. Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures, 2008

“Publicly Private and Privately Public: Social Networking on YouTube,” Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13(1), 2007.