Gabriella Coleman

Biography

Short Bio:

Gabriella (Biella) Coleman is a full professor in the Department of Anthropology at Harvard University and is a faculty associate at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Trained as an anthropologist, her scholarship covers the politics, cultures, and ethics of hacking. She is the author of two books on computer hackers and the founder and editor of Hack_Curio, a video portal into the cultures of hacking (you can learn more about the project here). She formerly held the Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy at McGill University and was an assistant professor in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University.

She is currently completing a multi-year research project with Matt Goerzen on the security field and hacker professionalization during the 1990s and early 2000s and will be releasing a Data and Society report with their findings during the fall of 2021. She is also working on a book of essays about hackers and the state and will deliver material from the book for the 2022 Henry Morgan Lectures.

Her first book Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking was published in 2013 with Princeton University Press. She then published 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.

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 The Tor Project.

Cv, contact information, including PGP key, and high res photos can be found here.

Long Bio:

Gabriella (Biella) Coleman is a full professor in the Department of Anthropology at Harvard University and is a faculty associate at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Trained as an anthropologist, her scholarship covers the politics, cultures, and ethics of hacking. She is the author of two books on computer hackers and the founder and editor of Hack_Curio, a video portal into the cultures of hacking (you can learn more about the project here).

She is currently completing a multi-year research project with Matt Goerzen on the security field and hacker professionalization during the 1990s and early 2000s and will be releasing a Data and Society report with their findings during the fall of 2021. She is also working on a book of essays about hackers and the state and will deliver material from the book for the 2022 Henry Morgan Lectures.

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 Harvard Anthropology Department in 2021, she held the Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy at McGill University and 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.