I study media, technology, law, and culture. You might say that I study the soft side of hard issues, that is, the role of cultural beliefs in shaping things like institutions, property, legal regulation, and technology. From radio broadcasting to the internet, the adoption, use, and even the constitution of new technological systems are often influenced, not just by economic and structural factors, but by cultural trends and habits of belief. And because of that, I believe, they can be changed.
For a quick taste of my work, here are a few short pieces available online:
- The Habitus of the New,” a dialog with Prof. Zizi Papacharissi on culturedigitally.org, posted Oct. 16, 2012.
- Why, Really, Do We Love Steve Jobs? In These Times, Oct. 13, 2011
- What is Commercialism? posted July 8, 2005 on FlowTV.org
- Desperately Seeking Bandwidth, posted November 5, 2004 on FlowTV.org
More of my writing can be found here.
My Vita; my Homepage
Thomas Streeter joined the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at Western University in January of 2019. Before that he had been a member of the Sociology Department of the University of Vermont since 1989. He has an undergraduate degree in Semiotics from Brown University and a PhD in Communication from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has also taught for the School of Cinema-Television at the University of Southern California, and for the Department of Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was a Member at the Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science, Princeton, NJ, in 2000-2001. He has been a UVM University Scholar for 2014-15, a Faculty Associate with the Berkman Center for Internet and Society (2015-16), and a Faculty Resource Network Scholar in Residence, New York University (Fall 2015). He received the C. Edwin Baker Award for the Advancement of Scholarship on Media, Markets and Democracy, at the International Communications Association in 2017.
The Net Effect: Romanticism, Capitalism, and the Internet (NYU Press, 2011) is a study of the role of culture in the social construction of internet technology. Selling the Air , a study of the cultural underpinnings of the creation of the US broadcast industry and its regulatory apparatus, was published in 1996. He edited, with Zephyr Teachout, a volume about the use of the internet in Howard Dean's run for President, called Mousepads, Shoe Leather, and Hope, published in 2007. He is currently working on a project about the effects of the shift from printed to digital documentation in routine legal practices from 1980 to the present.
I am interested in working with intellectually committed graduate students in a wide variety of areas, including media industries, media law and policy, media and politics, and materialist approaches to culture.
Special Topic: Culture, Technology, Information
2021 Winter , 2020 Winter , 2019 Winter
The Meaning of Technology: Exploring the Relationship Between Technology & Society
2021 Winter , 2020 Winter
Special Topics in MIT: Media and Information Technology Policy
2020 Fall , 2019 Fall
Interdisciplinary Foundations of Media Theory