My name is Elisabetta Ferrari. I am a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Digital Studies Institute at the University of Michigan.
My research addresses the social and political implications of digital technologies, with an emphasis on activism, social movements, and social justice. In general, my work explores how the ways in which people use and think about digital technologies play a role in their struggles for social justice.
My dissertation examined how contemporary leftist activist groups in Italy, Hungary and the United States constructed their own technological imaginaries to appropriate, negotiate or challenge Silicon Valley’s dominant techno-optimist ideas; my project highlighted the political and contested nature of the ideas we hold about technology, and their connection to social change. My dissertation won the 2020 Dissertation Award from the Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR). I have also developed a drawing-based research method, the visual focus group, through which I seek to facilitate conversations about the politics of technology and encourage civil society actors to imagine better digital technologies. My research been published in peer-reviewed journals, presented at major conferences, and has received awards and competitive funding.
Before joining the Digital Studies Institute, I was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center on Digital Culture and Society at the University of Pennsylvania. I gained my PhD in Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania in 2019. I also hold a B.A. in International Studies from the University of Bologna (Italy) and an M.A. in Political Science, with a specialization in Political Communication, from Central European University (Budapest, Hungary).