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Jennifer Cool

Lecturer

Contact Information
E-mail: cool@usc.edu
Phone: (310) 498-2470
Office: GFS 120

LINKS
Curriculum Vitae
Personal Website
 

Biographical Sketch


I am a social anthropologist and ethnographic filmmaker whose work focuses on cultural production and reproduction in the U.S. and on dominant social imaginaries, such as the American dream of homeownership and the narrative of social revolution through technology. The first is the subject of my film Home Economics: a documentary of suburbia, which premiered nationally on the PBS Television series POV in 1995. The second is the focus of my current work on the ethnography and cultural history of networked social media.

Born in the Philippines and raised in South and Southeast Asia, I have worked in new media since 1992 when I wrote and produced chapters for Evolution/Revolution, part of the Columbus Project, a milestone multimedia title now on permanent display at the Library of Congress. From 1993 to 2003, I lived and worked as a participant-observer in Cyborganic, an intentional community of web geeks whose members brought Wired magazine online, launched Hotwired, the first ad-supported online magazine, led the open source Apache project, and staffed and started dozens of Internet enterprises, such as Craig's List, during the first phase of the Web's development as a popular platform. I have produced web media for Simon and Schuster and Institute for the Future, was a senior producer at Netscape, and was Director of New Media at Disney/ABC Cable Networks from 1999-2001.
 

Education

Ph.D. Anthropology, University of Southern California, 12/2008
M.A. Visual Anthropology, University of Southern California, 8/1993
A.B. Anthropology, magna cum laude, Harvard University, 5/1987
 

Academic Appointment, Affiliation, and Employment History

Non-Tenure Track Appointments

Lecturer, Applied Theatre Arts Program, University of Southern California, 2014-2015   
Lecturer, Studio Art, University of California, Irvine, 2009-2012  
Lecturer, Information & Computer Science, University of California, Irvine, 2002-2008  
Lecturer, Cinema , San Francisco State University, 1994-1996  
 

Other Employment

Programmer/Analyst III, University of California, Irvine, 2002-2003  
Media Ethnographer, Institute for the Future, Menlo Park, CA, 1997  
Research Analyst, Institute for the Future, Menlo Park, CA, 1996-1997  
 

Description of Research

Summary Statement of Research Interests

My research of digital media and is motivated by what I see as a critical need for grounded, humanistic study of the discourses and practices of technopower. I study the social construction of new media and dominant cultural imaginaries and narratives of technology.
 

Research Keywords

Internet Culture and History, Computer-mediated Communication, Ethnographic Film, Critical Theories of Representation, Science and Technology Studies, Feminist Social Theory
 

Conferences and Other Presentations

Conference Presentations

"Up Yours: Critical Intimacy, Decentered Subjectivity, and Methodological Relativism", American Anthropological Association, Annual Meeting, Talk/Oral Presentation, Paper, Washington, DC, American Anthropological Association, Invited, 2014-2015   
"Holistic Pedagogy, Invisible Labor", Interdisciplinary collaborations and creative connections: An Experiential Learning conference, Talk/Oral Presentation, Abstract, University of California, San Diego , Sixth College, UCSD, Invited, 2013-2014   
"Paradigms Remembered: Back to the Future of Ethnographic Film", Visible Evidence XX, International Conference on Documentary Film and Media, Talk/Oral Presentation, Paper, Stockholm, Sweden, Stockholm University, Swedish Film Institute, Invited, 2013-2014   
"Speaking History to Technopower: Founding Narratives, Origin Stories and Twitter", Society for the Social Studies of Science, Annual Meeting, Talk/Oral Presentation, Paper, San Diego, Society for the Social Studies of Science, Invited, 2013-2014   
"What’s at Stake? A Discussion of Transparency, Authenticity, Application, Theory, and Accessibility in Public Anthropology", American Anthropological Association Annual Meetings, Roundtable/Panel, Abstract, Chicago, IL, American Anthropological Association, Invited, 2013-2014   
"SENSORY BODIES AND CULTURAL PERFORMANCES: RECONFIGURING ILLNESS/DISABILITY/HEALING AT THE INTERSECTION OF VISUAL AND MEDICAL ANTHROPOLOGY", American Anthropological Association Annual Meetings, Discussant, San Francisco, CA, American Anthropological Association, Invited, 2012-2013   
"VISUAL ANTHROPOLOGY PROGRAMS ALONG THE PACIFIC RIM", American Anthropological Association Annual Meetings, Roundtable/Panel, Abstract, San Francisco, CA, American Anthropological Association, Invited, 2012-2013   
"Cyborganic Chronicles: Temporal Orders In the Cultural Construction of Networked Life", American Anthropological Association Annual Meetings, Talk/Oral Presentation, Paper, Montreal, Canada, American Anthropological Association, Invited, 2011-2012   
"Co-location: Reconfigurations of Place and Embodiment from Cyborganic to Facebook", American Anthropological Association Annual Meetings, Talk/Oral Presentation, Paper, Philadelphia, PA, American Anthropological Association, Invited, 2009-2010   
"Walking the River: Fieldwork in the Information Age", Society for the Social Studies of Science, Annual Meeting, Talk/Oral Presentation, Paper, Montreal, Canada, Society for the Social Studies of Science, Invited, 2007-2008   
"Place, Community, and Innovation in the Growth of San Francisco’s Internet Industry in the 1990s: The Case of Cyborganic", Governance, Place and Community in a Globalizing World, Doctoral Student Conference,, Talk/Oral Presentation, Paper, University of Southern California, School of Policy, Planning and Development, Invited, 2005-2006   
"Utopian Socialities in an Entrepreneurial World: Cyborganic 1994-2003", American Anthropological Association, Annual Meeting, Talk/Oral Presentation, Paper, Washington, DC, American Anthropological Association, Invited, 2005-2006   
"Social Code: View Source as a Cultural Strategy", Society for the Social Studies of Science, Annual Meeting, Talk/Oral Presentation, Paper, Atlanta, GA, Society for the Social Studies of Science, Invited, 2003-2004   
 

Other Research

Research Fellow (summer), Doing Digital History, Center for History and New Media, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA. http://chnm.gmu.edu, 2005-2006   
 

Publications

Book Chapter

Cool, J. (2012). Co-location: Reconfigurations of Place and Embodiment from Cyborganic to Facebook. Human No More pp. 264. Boulder, CO: University of Colorado Press.
Lutkehaus, N., Cool, J. (2004). Paradigms Lost and Found: The "Crisis of Representation" and Visual Anthropology, in Visual Rhetoric in a Digital World. pp. 116-139. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin’s.
Lutkehaus, N., Cool, J. (1999). Paradigms Lost and Found: The 'Crisis of Representation' and Visual Anthropology, in Collecting Visible Evidence. pp. 116-139. Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press.
 

Book Review

Cool, J. (2012). Book review: Localizing the Internet. American Anthropological Association. pp. 838-639.
 

Essay

Cool, J. (2013). The Dark Side of DIY in Photojournalism and Photographic Ethnography. (Maria D. Vesperi, Ed.). Anthropology Now. The Dark Side of DIY in Photojournalism and Photographic Ethnography
 

Journal Article

Cool, J. (2014). Gardening Metadata in the New Media Ecology: a Manifesto (of sorts) for Ethnographic Film. American Anthropologist. Vol. 116 (1), pp. 14.
Cool, J. (2001). Strange Distance: Reading Walden in Suburbia. Ethnofoor. Vol. 14 (1), pp. 61-74.
 

Other

Cool, J. (2013). Film review, In the Wilderness of a Troubled Genre. General Anthropology Bulletin.
Cool, J. (2012). Film review, Roots of Love. American Anthropologist.
 

Working Paper

Cool, J. (1991). "Defamiliarizing Non-Mastery: Interpreting Men's and Women's Academic Histories at the Juncture of French and American Feminism.". The Institute for the Study of Women and Men in Society, University of Southern California.
 

Multimedia Scholarship and Creative Works

Online Essay, "Knowledge Transfer, Transparency, IT: An Infrastructure Report from Co-Chairland," The CASTAC Blog, blog.castac.org, August 31, 2014, 2014-2015   
Online Essay, Cool, Jennifer. "#ALSIceBucketChallenge: Templatized Self-Expression & Costless Communitas," The CASTAC Blog, blog.castac.org, August 21, 2014, 2014-2015   
Documentary film, Home Economics: a documentary of suburbia, broadcast nationally on the P.B.S. Television Network POV series., 1994-1995   
 

Teaching Innovations and Multimedia Teaching

Created 2014 MVA Thesis Website: http://cool939.wix.com/mva2014, 2013-2014   
 

Honors and Awards

Final Year Dissertation Fellowship, College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, USC, 2007-2008   
USC or School/Dept Award for Teaching, Award for Excellence in Teaching, Center for Excellence in Teaching, USC, 2006-2007   
 

Service to the Profession

Committees

Co-Chair, Committee on the Anthropology of Science, Technology & Computing (CASTAC), General Anthropology Division, American Anthropological Association, 11/2009-12/2014  
 

Conferences Organized

Organizer, presenter, Interdisciplinary collaborations and creative connections: An Experiential Learning conference, Sixth College, University of California, San Diego., Organized the panel "Ethnographic Film Production as Experiential Learning" with five graduates of the USC Masters in Visual Anthropology Program., 2013-2014   
Organizer, presenter, Society for the Social Studies of Science, Annual Meeting, Montreal, Canada, 2007-2008   
Organizer, presenter, American Anthropological Association, Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, Co-Organizer - Utopian Visions and their Technicalities: Social Change and the Internet, Invited Session, 2005-2006   
 

Editorships and Editorial Boards

Media Editor, Anthropology Now, 2014-2015   
 

Professional Offices

Executive Producer, The CASTAC Blog, Committee for the Anthropology of Science, Technology, and Computing, 2012-  
Co-Chair, Committee on the Anthropology of Science, Technology and Computing, 11/2009-11/2014  
 
 

Reviewer for Publication

American Anthropologist, American Anthropological Association, Film review, Roots of Love, by Harjant Gill. American Anthropologist. Volume 114, Number 4, December 2012, pp. 687-688., 2013-2014   
American Ethnologist, American Anthropological Association, Book review, Localizing the Internet, by John Postill. American Ethnologist, Volume 39, Number 4, November 2012, pp. 838-839, 2012-2013   
General Anthropology Bulletin, American Anthropological Association, Film review, In the Wilderness of a Troubled Genre, by John Bishop, General Anthropology Bulletin. Volume 20. Issue 1., 2012-2013   
 
 
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