Professor Dunbar-Hester conducts interpretive research into the politics of technology. She is the author of two award-winning monographs on activism in technical communities: most recently, Hacking Diversity: The Politics of Inclusion in Open Technology Cultures (Princeton U. Press, 2020); and Low Power to the People: Pirates, Protest, and Politics in FM Radio Activism (MIT Press, 2014).
Professor Dunbar-Hester’s current research directions include nature-culture, environmental studies, and lively and deadly envirotechnical systems. She is currently writing a book on multispecies life and death in the Ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach, under contract with University of Chicago Press.
She is interested in supervising research on social and cultural aspects of science and technology. She worked to establish the PhD certificate in science and technology studies at USC and is a faculty affiliate with the Center on Science, Technology & Public Life, where she convenes a research group on urban ecosystems with researchers across southern California.
Dunbar-Hester holds a PhD in Science & Technology Studies from Cornell University. Prior to joining USC Annenberg, she taught in journalism and media studies at Rutgers University, where she was also affiliated faculty in Women’s and Gender Studies. Her research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Berggruen Institute, the Andrew J. Mellon Humanities Project, the Virtual Knowledge Studio for the Humanities and Social Sciences, and the Institute for Advanced Studies on Science, Technology and Society.
Many of her publications can be found as PDFs here.
A write-up of her doctoral course on science and technology studies for communication and media studies can be viewed online at The Atlantic’s Technology Channel. An updated version of this course is offered regularly. She also teaches a doctoral course on ethnographic research.
Awards and honors:
Information Science Book of the Year Award from Association for Information Science and Technology (2021)
McGannon Award for Social and Ethical Relevance in Communications Technology Research (2014)
COMM 309: Communication and Technology
COMM 399: Communication Technology and Culture