About

I am an Assistant Professor of Communication and the Coordinator of the Communication Program at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia. I also Co-Coordinate the Women’s Studies program for the college.

I have a PhD in Communication, Culture & Media from Drexel University, Philadelphia, and more than fifteen years professional experience as a qualitative researcher, digital ethnographer, and consultant grant writer.

My research focuses on the role of digital technology in social and political activism. The groups I study partake in acts of activism without necessarily defining themselves as activists. I frame this work as everyday activism, focusing on the mundane acts of users endeavoring to create social awareness or change through often seemingly inconsequential, unorganized participation. The affordances – and restraints – of digital platforms embedded in surveillance capitalism structure users to behave in ways that are vital precursors for social change without necessarily being disobedient per se. Their online activities are not necessarily civil disobedience in the traditional sense, but may include the flouting of social rules and norms that remains permissible in the scope of the privately owned public spaces that make up our political sphere.

My most recent projects and publications highlight the importance of digital technologies for bisexual visibility, explorations into digital activism and its discontents, a rebuttal of slacktivism, the social disobedience practiced by mammary activists on digital platforms, and the role of technology in the “meme-ification” of activism. In addition to traditional academic publications, the outcomes of this research are presented in activist workshops, academic conferences, and incorporated into the classroom.

I have presented my findings around the world, including an invited talk at Sweden’s International Science Festival (Vetenskapsfestivalen). In 2015 I was invited to the White House to participate in a policy briefing focused on the cultural and material needs of the American bisexual community as a part of the White House’s LGBT initiative under the Obama administration.

Feel free to reach out to me at noramadison@gmail.com

 

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