My research has long focused on the social currents and cultural imaginations of data and digital media, highlighting shifts in how we understand and engage with identity, embodiment and the contemporary politics of life and death. My work in this area began to take shape when as a co-chair of “The Life of Things” seminar at The Center for the Humanities, CUNY, my colleagues and I wrote of “The Datalogical Turn,” where large-scale databases and adaptive algorithms reconfigure the relationship between politics and economy and pose challenges to sociological methods by privatizing the collection of social data. I expand upon these challenges in a review of of the book Uncharted: Big Data as a Lens on Human Culture.
“The Datalogical Turn” (2014) With Patricia Clough, Karen Gregory and R. Joshua Scannell. Nonrepresentational Methodologies: Re-Envisioning Research
“Data and Desire in Academic Life” (2015) a review of Uncharted for boundary 2
My work has been particularly engaged in exploring the intersections of the digital with queer theory and sociality. While the contemporary digital is frequently understood as being categorizing, binary, determining and normalizing—in other words, antagonistic to queerness— my research shows how emergent styles of identity, habituation, and relational form suggest a surprising and complex resonance between digital social life and queerness, particularly in orientations towards novelty, motion, and complexity.
“The Queer Ontology of Digital Method” (2016) WSQ
“Introduction to Queer Circuits: Critical Performance and Digital Praxis” (2018) With Daniel Sander Women & Performance
This research has been particularly engaged with the temporalities of digital media, focusing on emergent patterns of remembering and forgetting in an archival age. My research on digital ephemeral media highlights how privacy discourses are underpinned by gendered and sexual norms and I express concern that companies are utilizing the ephemeral to erase inconvenient and non-normative expression.
“For the moment” (2017) Real Life Mag
“The digital ephemeral turn: queer theory, privacy, and the temporality of risk“ (2019) Media, Culture & Society
My latest writing continues to engage with queer theorization and social history, with new attention to death and dying: attending to the cultural politics of boredom and the apocalyptic imagination, emergent forms of memorialization, and a hallucinogenic revival focused on dying, dissociation and depression.
“What Do We Talk About When We Talk About Queer Death?/New Perspectives in Queer Death Studies” (2021) With Daniel Sander Whatever. A Transdisciplinary Journal of Queer Theories and Studies
“All the Gay People Will Disappear” (2022) With Daniel Sander InVisible Culture: Dialogues
“A Review of Capitalisms and Gay Identities” (2022) Contemporary Sociology: A Journal of Reviews
I am currently working on my first manuscript, focused on queer theory after the digital.