Human-Tech Interaction

I believe it's crucial to understand the ways in which humans interact with technology, as well as with other people online (eg. through virtual communities), in order to create visual designs that make sense. On this page you will find a variety of projects/papers that are focused on people and communities online.

Anonymous hate memes and their positive impact online download file

Project overview: Anonymity and unfettered discussion (called "FFA" or "free-for-alls") online have been source of technopanic to both scholars and lay-people. Using the JE hate meme as a case study, I argue that in fact anonymous hate memes are in fact beneficial to online communities because, like Bakhtin's literary theory of the Carnivalesque, they give participants a place to voice their opinion without restrictions of hierarchy. This provides a sense of catharsis, leading to feelings of renewal for the community as a whole.

Concepts: ethnography, qualitative analysis, anonymity online, hate memes, technopanic, Bakhtin's "Carnivalesque"; PechaKucha PowerPoint presentation

@Celebrity #identities: identity construction through Twitter download file

Project overview: The issue of credibility is important in a digital world where "nobody knows if you're a dog on the Internet." In this paper, I looked at celebrities' use of Twitter to see how the form (built-in elements of Twitter, such as the bio section and Verified Accounts feature) and function (flexibility in allowing users to post text and multimedia with ease, etc.) aid the establishment of credibility and identity.

Concepts: Twitter (social media), identities online, anonymity

International Fandom and Fan Fiction download file

Project overview: In this paper I explored the ways in which English-speaking fans of Japanese pop bands who write fan fiction are doubly immersed in the construction of an ideal fantasy. While there has been plenty of discourse on fans using fan fiction to help establish their own identities, as well as literature on the phenomenon of Japanese pop culture's rising popularity in the West, I was particularly interested in examining a cross-section of both.

Concepts: fan fiction, participatory culture, convergence culture, cultural fragrance, identities of self