Research

RESEARCH AND METHODOLOGICAL

Interests

Intersectional Feminist Media Studies Critical Computational Digital Media & Cultures
White & Male Supremacy Far-Right Politics Mis/Disinformation & Conspiracy Thinking
Visual Communication De-colonialism & Indigenous Studies Mixed-Methods & Cross-Disciplinary Projects

RESEARCH STATEMENT

In Brief (Full Statement Available Upon Request)

My interdisciplinary, mixed-method research is rooted in intersectional feminist media studies with specific attention to the ways in which individuals, groups and organizations develop and maintain identity-based digital cultures and share related information. My work attends to how the online spaces used by these communities contribute to the recruitment, radicalization and real-world mobilization of illiberal groups and movements and, more importantly, cause harm to already marginalized groups. It uses a combination of quantitative computational and qualitative techniques to explore and critique white and male supremacy, violent misogyny, far-right politics and extremisms, including the mis/disinformation and conspiracy thinking that is often circulated by and through these groups.

This research already has resulted in two refereed journal articles, two peer reviewed chapters in edited volumes, two additional chapters in edited volumes, and a handful of smaller publications. I currently have three co-authored articles under review at high impact communication journals and a number of single and co-authored works in progress. Three of the single-authored studies stem from my dissertation research, which explored media coverage and online activity of a community of men— incels (short for involuntary celibates)— surrounding an inability to find sexual partners. The three studies include: a hyperlink network analysis to map incel geographies online and their connections with other extremist groups; a computational and discourse analysis (that includes topic modeling, network analysis and community detection) to identify discursive frames used by incels on the largest online incel forum; and, a computational framing analysis of incels in U.S. mainstream news media coverage. Taken together, these studies shed light on the discourse by and around the movement, its social network structure, and its deployment of masculinity and racialized/gendered discourses and violence for political ends. Since July, I have been working as a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life (CITAP) at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

My broader research agenda for the coming years is multi-faceted and incorporates social justice elements. First, I will continue mining the big data corpus from my dissertation, as well as other datasets in my possession. Second, I intend to work on securing a grant to conduct a large-scale, two-part survey exploring the pervasiveness of male and white supremacist ideologies in North America. Third, I plan to map the impact of men’s rights activism on public policy using data collected from the major men’s rights associations— which are disproportionately white and, thus, often do material harms to both women and people of color— and proposed/approved legislation. I envision this as a long-term, comparative project. Fourth, a European colleague and I have already begun discussions to recruit other international scholars to work on a collaborative project that will use the blueprint from the media representation chapter of my dissertation to conduct a comparative examination of incel news coverage around the world and across cultures. As I hope is evident from this research mix and from the publications and research projects outlined in my CV, I am comfortable working solo and collaboratively with interdisciplinary teams. Additionally, I am excited by the opportunity to integrate students into these projects and mentor them in their own scholarly projects.

You can see a full list of publications here and conference presentations here. If you'd like my full research statement, please drop me a line on the Contact page.

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