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Media and Digital Studies

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)

Graduate Faculty

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

Mediations of social change; cultural consequences of technologism; automation; intermediality; accountability; high-tech capitalism

Graduate Students

Social media book cultures, reading & technology, ontologies of the digital

Creepypasta and internet folklore.