Media Scholar, Natasha Dow Schüll, Joins Department of Media, Culture, and Communication

Cultural anthropologist Natasha Dow Schüll has joined Steinhardt’s Department of Media, Culture, and Communication as an associate professor.

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

Alexis Madrigal, senior tech editor for The Atlantic, called  Addiction By Design “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 book, 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”) 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.


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