Gabriella Coleman

Biography

Short Bio:

Gabriella (Biella) Coleman holds the Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy at McGill University. Trained as an anthropologist, her scholarship explores the intersection of the cultures of hacking and politics, with a focus on the sociopolitical implications of the free software movement and the digital protest ensemble Anonymous.

She has authored two books, Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking (Princeton University Press, 2012) and Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous (Verso, 2014), which was named to Kirkus Reviews’Best Books of 2014 and was awarded the Diana Forsythe Prize by the American Anthropological Association. Her work has been featured in numerous scholarly journals and edited volumes. Committed to public ethnography, she routinely presents her work to diverse audiences, teaches undergraduate and graduate courses, and has written for popular media outlets, including the New York Times, Slate, Wired, MIT Technology Review, Huffington Post, and the Atlantic. She sits on the board of Equalitie, The Tor Project, and the Social Science Advisory Board of the National Center for Women and Information Technology.

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Long Bio:

Gabriella (Biella) Coleman is the Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy at McGill University. Trained as an anthropologist, her scholarship explores the intersection of hacker culture and politics, with a focus on the sociopolitical implications of the free software movement and the digital protest ensemble Anonymous.

In recent years, she authored Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking (Princeton University Press, 2012) and Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous (Verso, 2014). Both books explore the new forms of resistance employed by hacker publics in response to mounting government and corporate control of the internet. Her research in this area has been featured in numerous scholarly journals and edited volumes.

Gabriella Coleman is a frequent commentator on hacker movements, digital culture and cyberpolitics. A firm believer in making ethnography publicly accessible and intelligible, she lectures, keynotes, and presents her research to diverse academic and non-academic audiences, including the Brookings Institution, NASA, Twitter, Re:Publica, the Chicago Humanities Festival, and international galleries and law schools. She has written for popular media outlets, including the New York Times, Slate, Wired, MIT Technology Review, Huffington Post, and the Atlantic.

In 2011 she was a Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ and has been a Faculty Associate at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University since 2013. Her research has been supported by the Ford Foundation, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the National Science Foundation, and the Fonds de Recherche du Québec. Her most recent book was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2014, and was awarded the 2015 Diana Forsythe Prize by the American Anthropological Association.

Before joining the McGill faculty in 2014, she was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University. In 2005, she received her Ph.D. in Socio-cultural Anthropology from the University of Chicago.