Natasha Schüll Joins MCC

Media scholar and cultural anthropologist Natasha Dow Schüll has been appointed Associate Professor in the NYU Steinhardt Department of Media, Culture, and Communication, effective July 1, 2015.

Schüll joins NYU Steinhardt from MIT's Program in Science, Technology, and Society.

Schüll has distinguished herself as a researcher engaged with questions pertaining to technology and the self, examining topics at the intersection of design and the digital media experience.

"Natasha Schüll is an exceptional scholar whose innovative approach to media and technology studies further enhances the department's intellectual reach and rigor," said Chair Lisa Gitelman. "We are thrilled to welcome her to MCC."

Professor Schüll's first book, Addiction By Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas (Princeton University Press 2012), explores the relationship between technology, design, and addiction, drawing on extended research among compulsive gamblers and slot machine designers.

Reviewing the book for The Atlantic, senior tech editor Alexis Madrigal referred to Addiction By Design as "one of the foundational artifacts for understanding the digital age—a lever, perhaps, to pry ourselves from the grasp of the coercive loops that now surround us."

The proliferation of digital self-tracking and self-modifying technologies is the subject of Schüll's forthcoming work, Keeping Track: Personal Informatics, Self-Regulation, and the Data-Driven Life (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2016). Schüll charts the rise of technological introspection, a practice embraced by the Quantified Self movement ("self knowledge through numbers"), and later popularized by software developers and "quantrepreneurs" eager to capitalize on the trend.

Schüll received her BA, MA, and PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley. She is the recipient of fellowships from the National Science Foundation, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, among others.