Meryl Alper is an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at Northeastern University. She studies the social and cultural aspects of communication technologies in everyday life, with a particular focus on disability and digital media, children and families’ technology use, and mobile communication.
Her first book, Digital Youth with Disabilities (MIT Press, 2014), examines how school-aged children with disabilities use new media for social and recreational purposes. Her second, Giving Voice: Mobile Communication, Disability, and Inequality (MIT Press 2017), centers on the sociocultural implications of communication technologies that purport to “give voice to the voiceless” and explores the varied meanings of this phrase through the critical lens of disability.
Alper’s work has appeared in such journals as New Media & Society, International Journal of Communication, and IEEE Annals of the History of Computing. Her research has also been featured in The Atlantic, Wired, The Verge, and Gizmodo.
Additionally, she has worked for over a decade as a researcher, strategist, and consultant in the children’s media and technology industry with companies including Sesame Workshop, Nickelodeon, and Disney. Alper earned her doctoral and master’s degrees from the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies and History from Northwestern University.