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Hi there, I'm Andy.

I'm an Assistant Professor of Communication & Media at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and I received my Ph.D. in Communication from Stanford University in June of 2022. My research and teaching expertise include critical communication and cultural studies, technology and audience studies, media theory, and global media ethics. I'm currently starting a lab at RPI to use the "Screenomics" screen-capture research framework to conduct critical digital audience and mobile user studies, so if you're considering graduate studies in this area or in digital politics and ethics, interested in collaborating, or just want to chat please reach out!

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About me

I'm an Assistant Professor of Communication & Media at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. I received my Ph.D. from the Department of Communication at Stanford University, where I was a graduate student affiliate with the Stanford Screenomics Lab. I was also a 2018-2019 fellow with the Center for Arabic Study Abroad in Amman, Jordan.

I am currently focused on a book manuscript and journal articles drawing on my dissertation research, and starting up a lab at RPI conducting critical audience and user studies utilizing a data collection framework called screenomics that collects screenshots from consenting participants’ devices every few seconds for longitudinal studies.

 

My dissertation, Mediatizing Terrorism: A Study of Audiences' Construction of Violent Events Under Datafied Capitalism, studied the circulation of transnational mobile media accounts of terror attacks in order to examine the intersection of violence, liberalism, and authoritarianism as it is transformed in the data-driven political economy of communication. The dissertation’s central question asks: how is mediatized terrorism encountered, made sense of, and responded to by audiences in datafied media systems?

 

To answer, I used a new digital method to observe U.S. mobile media users’ responses to a wave of ISIS terror attacks in Europe in the spring of 2017. These responses were captured unobtrusively using screenomics data captured every five seconds, affording examination of transnationally mediated accounts of terrorist attacks viewed on users’ mobile devices across platforms and contexts using coterminous observation, revealing in fine detail how audiences truly use their mobile devices, platforms, and how they respond to attacks as they unfold.

 

Based on this observation, I identified four mediatized rituals in response to terrorist attacks as they occur: one, a contingent of responses to terrorism in far-right ecosystems, assimilates attacks and unrelated social conflict into an imagined future of what liberal multiculturalism portends, creating the possibility for offline action stoking and reinforcing cycles of violence; the other three micro rituals comprise a limited suite of individualized responses to distant crises that are habituated by the data-driven political economy. My analysis stands in contrast to the dominant critiques of data-driven social media such as the de-ritualization of media and political polarization by highlighting both the persistence of media rituals as well as the distinct threat posed by ritual action in far-right mobile media specifically.

My academic research has been published in Communication Theory, Journal of Media Ethics, Journal of Communication Inquiry, and Human-Computer Interaction, and presented at conferences including the International Communication Association (ICA), Society for the Social Studies of Science (4S), and the Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR). Four of my papers have received student paper awards from the Philosophy, Theory & Critique division of ICA (PTC) in 2016, 2017, 2020 and 2021. My 2020 paper, “The Eclipse of Ideology: Nonconscious Cognition, Neurodiversity, and Datafied Media Systems as Tools for ‘Self-Regulation,’” was awarded Top Student Paper. I was also elected and served as the Student and Early Career Representative for PTC from 2019-2021.

In my spare time, I enjoy riding and working on my motorcycle and bicycle, exploring new places locally and internationally, and repairing furniture and electronics.
 Before Stanford, I lived in New York City and worked in PR at BerlinRosen Public Affairs, and journalism as a freelancer and on the opinion desk at The Guardian US. My op-eds and popular essays have appeared in The Guardian, The Christian Science Monitor, and Al Jazeera America among other outlets. I received my BA in Politics from Bates College in Lewiston, ME in 2012. I was born and raised in the South Coast of Massachusetts, in the Town of Freetown, and I just relocated to the Upper Hudson River Valley region of NY with my wife Sandra and our cat Pirate.

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Contact

Feel free to get in touch if you're interested in my work, or think I might be interested in yours!