Announcing the Institute for Rebooting Social Media's 2023-24 Visiting Scholars
The Berkman Klein Center’s Institute for Rebooting Social Media is thrilled to announce its cohort of Visiting Scholars for the upcoming 2023-2024 academic year. With backgrounds in communications studies, law, engineering, media studies, and political science, these seven visiting faculty members will use their time with the Institute to investigate urgent social media problems and propose mitigations for harmful online phenomena.
“While it's hard to find anyone willing to go to bat for online discourse’s status quo, it's also hard to flesh out self-sustaining, genuine alternatives,” said Jonathan Zittrain, co-director of the Institute for Rebooting Social Media. “But it's so important to do so, and these scholars have been creatively and diligently painting bright, more humane futures for online connection.”
The past work of Lisa Austin, Anupam Chander, Meredith D. Clark, David Craig, Jeffrey Hall, Swati Srivastava, and Joe Walther has contributed to deeper theoretical and empirical understandings of online behaviors and the development of smarter regulatory interventions. With the Institute, these scholars will focus on topics such as the legal and geopolitical implications of platform regulation, the challenges of global-scale content governance, and the design mechanisms that encourage prosocial interactions or contribute to hate online.
“These scholars build on traditional focus areas of the Institute like regulation design and social graph analysis, but also bring new expertise in areas like the relationships between feminism and Black identity online,” said James Mickens, co-director of the Institute for Rebooting Social Media. “Over the next year, I think that these scholars will generate some amazing work at the intersection of social science, legal analysis, and computer science.”
The Visiting Scholars will spend a portion of the academic year in residence at the Berkman Klein Center’s home in the Reginald F. Lewis Law Center at Harvard Law School. In addition to their own projects, scholars will work with Harvard students, staff, and affiliates, and the broader Berkman Klein community, with the goal of producing research that is both academically rigorous and accessible to diverse audiences.
The Visiting Scholars Program is part of the Institute for Rebooting Social Media’s larger portfolio of programming, research, and educational opportunities. The Program will run annually throughout the three-year duration of the Institute. The selection committee for this year’s Visiting Scholar cohort included a combination of Harvard faculty and BKC staff: Gabriella (Biella) Coleman, James Mickens, Jonathan Zittrain, Rebecca Rinkevich, Jordi Weinstock, Sarah Newman, Rebecca Tabasky, Toni Gardner, and Nicholas Lindseth. The Institute and its programs are supported by generous contributions from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Reid Hoffman, Craig Newmark Philanthropies, and Archewell Foundation.