Chasing Something Beautiful: The Construction of Innovation In and Beyond Silicon Valley
My dissertation research looks at the development of the concept of the “innovation economy,” specifically venture capital and elite conferences, and how these ideas unspool when cities outside California try to jumpstart a local tech sector on the “innovation economy” model. It is supported by a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship and a Richard Thomlinson Fellowship from McGill University.
You can read my comprehensive exam text on the historical politics of disruptive action here.
Civic Fiction and Misrepresentation in Public Life
I define “civic fiction” as the construction of complex counterfactuals that enable a person or an event to take a role in a public dialogue that they feel they wouldn’t be able to otherwise. This project examines this phenomenon, which goes beyond the familiar “lying in politics,” as a manifestation of a certain type of “outsider” political action with implications for cosmopolitanism, sympathy, the role of false witnessing in politics, and the potential for unwilling audience collusion with the fictive act. An early paper on this theory, focused on the Gay Girl In Damascus case study, was presented at Theorizing the Web 2014.