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Media and Digital Studies

Faculty in Media and Digital Studies teach graduate seminars on topics in the cultural history and theory of computation; digital writing; media theory; platform, software, and code studies; rhetorics and technologies; and technoculture studies, among other areas.

The Department of English is home to the Digital Culture and Media Initiative, which since 2014 has sponsored a series of presentations, conversations, and interviews with critics and scholars invited to visit Penn State. Recent visitors have presented research on the cultural dimensions of cyberwarfare; race, robotics, and labor; feminist ethics in the digital age; the history and politics of computational formalism in cultural analysis; race, gender, sexuality, and labor in games and gamer culture; the role of open standards in the history of the internet; and the ethnographic origins of modern media.

The Department of English is also home to the Penn State Digital English Studio, which helps teachers, researchers, and academic programs realize a variety of digital media projects.

Recent Graduate Courses

  • Digital Writing (Stuart Selber)
  • Historicizing "Digital Humanities" (Brian Lennon)
  • Media Theory and Modernity (Brian Lennon)
  • Race, Gender, Medium (Matt Tierney)
  • Rhetorics and Technologies (Stuart Selber)
  • Platform, Software, and Code Studies (Brian Lennon)
  • Technoculture and Literary Politics (Matt Tierney)

People specializing in this area

Tenure-Line Faculty

Ana Cooke

Specifically, networked discourse, online communities, open collaborations

Brian Lennon

Cultural history and political economy of computing; platform, software, and code studies; programming languages and cultures of software development

Stuart A. Selber

Technical Communication, computers and composition, human-computer interaction

Matt Tierney

Medium theory, noncontemporary accounts of technological change, political critiques of computation and automation, intermediality, race and gender in technoculture

Graduate Students

Justus Berman

Cultures of Computation, Algorithmic Society, Intersectional Identity and Technology