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Berkman Center Announces 2011-2012 Fellows

(updated June 22)

Cambridge, MA - The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University today announced its incoming fellows for the 2011-2012 academic year, continuing a tradition of providing a home to many of the brightest and most creative minds in law, technology, and social science, as well as leading entrepreneurs and activists. Joining the Berkman Center is an opportunity for fellows to further pursue their current work, to incubate new ideas, and to apply their expertise more directly to the Center’s interdisciplinary research agenda.

"The fellowship program is a central element of the Berkman Center's DNA and a constant source of inspiration and innovation. We are very excited that the 2011-12 class of fellows, even more diverse than in previous years, makes this point in such wonderful ways," said Berkman Center Executive Director Urs Gasser. "The appointed fellows come from various disciplinary, professional, and cultural backgrounds and are engaged in a broad range of cutting-edge activities. This outstanding group will help us in deepening our understanding of cyberspace, addressing some of its hardest problems, and ultimately shaping its future in important ways."

New 2011-2012 Berkman fellows:

Dalida Maria Benfield, a Ph.D. candidate in Ethnic Studies at the University of California-Berkeley, will examine the rhetorical uses of race and gender in contemporary discourses of Information and Communication Technology for Development.

Harris Chen, of the Ministry of Justice in Taiwan, handles cases relating to IP crimes, sexual crimes, and drug trafficking and will spend his time developing his research on cyberlaw.

Tyng-Ruey Chuang, an associate research fellow at the Institute of Information Science, Academia Sinica, Taipei will research the architectures and norms of online social networks and organizations.

Beth Coleman, an assistant professor of writing and new media at MIT, will look at the impact of networked social media platforms on collective action.

Juan Carlos De Martin, co-director of the NEXA Center for Internet & Society at Politecnico di Torino, will work on the future of universities in the networked age, with a focus on their role in cyberspace.

Mayo Fuster Morell, who recently concluded her Ph.D. thesis at the European University Institute in Florence, will develop her research on the governance of commons based peer production and on the free culture movement.

Alison Head, of the Information School at the University of Washington, will explore what happens to “Born Digital” students after college.

Jerome Hergueux, a Ph.D. candidate in economics at Sciences Po Paris, will develop new interactive survey methods to uncover the foundations and dynamics of interactions and behavior in online social spaces.

Felipe Heusser, a Ph.D. candidate in government at the London School of Economics, will work on his doctoral thesis, "Freedom of Information (FOI), a closer look from Regulations, Institutions and the Internet."

Benjamin Mako Hill, a Ph.D. candidate in management and media arts and science at MIT, will explore the question, why do some peer production projects successfully attract contributors while most do not?

In addition to carrying out independent research at the Berkman Center, Vivek Kundra will collaborate with the Center in its research activities in the areas of cloud computing, open data, and open government.

Catalina Laserna, a lecturer on anthropology at Harvard, will work on writing a book on her theory of "cybercy" – how the affordances of digital media transform learning and enable deep understanding in preexisting oral and literate traditions.

Kevin Lewis, Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Sociology at Harvard, will examine patterns of mate choice in online dating.

Betsy Masiello, from Google, will research the practical applications of predictive analytics and the ethics surrounding their use.

Giuseppe Mazziotti, an assistant professor in intellectual property law at the University of Copenhagen, will conduct research on intellectual property infringement cases against Google in Europe.

Musician Erin McKeown will work to connect the worlds of policy, art, and technology while considering questions about how to make a creative life a viable vocation.

Andres Monroy-Hernandez, a Ph.D. candidate at the MIT Media Lab and a soon-to-be postdoctoral researcher at Microsoft Research, will study the design of sociotechnical systems that support amateur collaboration in online communities.

Intisar Rabb, an assistant professor at Boston College Law School and faculty affiliate in research at the Islamic Legal Studies Program at Harvard Law School, will work with a team to develop islawmix, a project aimed at connecting news readers, media producers, and legal scholars with credible, authoritative information about trends in Islamic law.

Justin Reich, a doctoral student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, will continue his work with the Distributed Collaborative Learning Communities Project team to develop metrics of quality in wiki learning environments, and then use those metrics to identify teacher practices and school resources that predict high quality learning environments.

Jennifer Shkabatur, an S.J.D. candidate at Harvard Law School, will study online citizen participation in administrative agencies.

Dennis Y. Tenen, who will join the Columbia University English faculty in 2012-2013, will research online communities and the ways in which they create cultural capital.

Zeynep Tufekci, who will be an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, will focus on the relationship between changing means of connectivity and the dynamics of social change, especially in light of the uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa.

Jia Wang, former department director of Open Constitution Initiative in China and current L.L.D. candidate at Stellenbosch University in South Africa, will conduct research on the development of the public sphere in cyberspace and its impact on the political ecology in China.

Fellows returning for 2011-2012 include: David Abrams, Brad Abruzzi, Mike Ananny, Sandra Cortesi, Sasha Costanza-Chock, Judith Donath, Oliver Goodenough, Eszter Hargittai, Jeff Hermes, Catharina Maracke, Maura Marx, Hal Roberts, Jeffrey Schnapp, Aaron Shaw, Hugo Van Vuuren, and Kevin Wallen.

As the Berkman Center’s Fellowship Advisory Board, Wendy Seltzer, Jake Shapiro, David Weinberger, and Ethan Zuckerman will continue their deep involvement in the Center’s activities, fellows program, and growing network of affiliated researchers.

In addition to new and returning fellows and the Fellowship Advisory Board, the Berkman Center also welcomes a group of Faculty Associates for the 2011-2012 academic year, including: David Ardia, Fernando Bermejo, Jim Bessen, Michael Best, Dan Gillmor, Matt Hindman, Jeffrey Huang, Lewis Hyde, Beth Kolko, Karim Lakhani, Harry Lewis, Wayne Marshall, Claire McCarthy, Miriam Meckel, Mica Pollock, Joseph Reagle, Christian Sandvig, Clay Shirky, and Eric Von Hippel.

In the coming year the Berkman Center’s fellowship program will remain linked with that of the Center for Research on Computation and Society, based at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. The joint fellowship program will continue to spark and reinforce collaborations among faculty, fellows, staff members, and students across schools.

Finally, along with the many talented incoming community members mentioned above, others may join the Berkman community in various capacities over the course of the academic year.

About the Berkman Center for Internet and Society
The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University is a research program founded to explore cyberspace, share in its study, and help pioneer its development. Founded in 1997, through a generous gift from Jack N. and Lillian R. Berkman, the Center is home to an ever-growing community of faculty, fellows, staff, and affiliates working on projects that span the broad range of intersections between cyberspace, technology, and society. More information can be found at

Rebecca Tabasky


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