My name is Elisabetta Ferrari. I’m a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center on Digital Culture and Society at the University of Pennsylvania. From September 2020, I will be 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, titled “The technological imaginaries of social movements: The discursive dimension of communication technology and the fight for social justice”, 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. With a drawing-based research method that I developed for my dissertation, the visual focus group, 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 in the field of Communication, and awarded competitive funding.
I received my PhD in Communication from the Annenberg School for Communication 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).