Crystal Lee (she/她)

Readings on media and mediation

Huge thanks to my incredible advisor Graham Jones for putting this list together with me.


What is media? What is mediation?

  1. Hirschkind, Charles. “Media, Mediation, Religion.” Social Anthropology 19, no. 1 (February 2011): 90–97.
  2. Lievrouw, Leah A. “New Media, Mediation, and Communication Study.” Information, Communication & Society 12, no. 3 (April 1, 2009): 303–25.
  3. Meyer, Birgit. “Mediation and Immediacy: Sensational Forms, Semiotic Ideologies and the Question of the Medium.” Social Anthropology 19, no. 1 (February 2011): 23–39.
  4. Stasch, Rupert. Society of Others: Kinship and Mourning in a West Papuan Place. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2009. [read chapter 1]
  5. Becker, Howard S. “Becoming a Marihuana User.” American Journal of Sociology 59, no. 3 (1953): 235–42.

Tools, technology, and distributed cognition

  1. I’m also think of Vygotsky’s work on mediation and tools, which connects directly with the distributed cognition stuff you’ve already read. I’m interested in thinking about tools more generally as a form of mediation—I’m not sure where else to look besides Vygotsky and the distributed cognition folks, without getting into philosophy or archeology.
  2. Philippe Sormani, Morana Alač, Alain Bovet & Christian Greiffenhagen (2016): “Ethnomethodology, Video Analysis and STS: Interaction, Respecification, and Practice”, In Felt, U., Miller, C., Smith-Doerr, L and R. Fouché (eds) _Handbook of Science and Technology Studies, _Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 113-137.
  3. Alač, Morana. “We like to Talk about Smell: A Worldly Take on Language, Sensory Experience, and the Internet.” Semiotica 2017, no. 215 (January 1, 2017).
  4. ———. “Working with Brain Scans: Digital Images and Gestural Interaction in FMRI Laboratory.” Social Studies of Science 38, no. 4 (August 2008): 483–508.
  5. Alač, Morana, Javier R. Movellan, and Fumihide Tanaka. “When a Robot Is Social: Spatial Arrangements and Multimodal Semiotic Engagement in the Practice of Social Robotics.” Social Studies of Science 41, no. 6 (2011): 893–926.
  6. Hollan, James, Edwin Hutchins, and David Kirsh. “Distributed Cognition: Toward a New Foundation for Human-Computer Interaction Research.” ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction 7, no. 2 (June 1, 2000): 174–96.
  7. Hutchins, Edwin. “The Distributed Cognition Perspective on Human Interaction.” In Roots of Human Sociality: Culture, Cognition and Interaction, edited by Nicholas J. Enfield and Stephen C. Levinson, 375–98. New York, NY: Berg, 2006.

Personhood and embodiment

  1. Bryant, Rebecca. “The Soul Danced into the Body: Nation and Improvisation in Istanbul.” American Ethnologist 32, no. 2 (2005): 222–38.
  2. Goodwin, Charles. “Action and Embodiment within Situated Human Interaction.” Journal of Pragmatics 32, no. 10 (September 1, 2000): 1489–1522.
  3. ———. “A Competent Speaker Who Can’t Speak: The Social Life of Aphasia.” Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 14, no. 2 (2004): 151–70.
  4. Mauss, Marcel. “Techniques of the Body.” Translated by Ben Brewster. Economy and Society 2, no. 1 (February 1973): 70–88.
  5. Myers, Natasha. “Molecular Embodiments and the Body-Work of Modeling in Protein Crystallography.” Social Studies of Science 38, no. 2 (April 1, 2008): 163–99.
  6. Schüll, Natasha Dow. “Digital Containment and Its Discontents.” History and Anthropology 29, no. 1 (January 2018): 42–48.
  7. ———. “LoseIt! Calorie Tracking and the Discipline of Consumption.” In Appified: Culture in the Age of Apps, edited by Jeremy Morris and Sarah Murray, 103–14. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2018.
  8. ———. “Self in the Loop: Bits, Patterns, and Pathways in the Quantified Self.” In A Networked Self and Human Augmentics, Artificial Intelligence, Sentience, edited by Zizi Papacharissi, 1st ed., 25–38. New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2018. |: Routledge, 2018.
  9. ———. “Tracking.” In Experience: Culture, Cognition, and the Common Sense, edited by Caroline A. Jones, David Mather, and Rebecca Uchill, 195–203. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Distributed by the MIT Press, 2016.
  10. Streeck, Jürgen. “Embodiment in Human Communication.” Annual Review of Anthropology 44, no. 1 (2015): 419–38.
  11. Vertesi, Janet. “Seeing like a Rover: Visualization, Embodiment, and Interaction on the Mars Exploration Rover Mission.” Social Studies of Science 42, no. 3 (June 1, 2012): 393–414.

Part 1: Theory and Methods in Anthropology

Unit 1: History and Anthropology as Method

  1. Fabian, Johannes. 2008. Ethnography as Commentary: Writing from the Virtual Archive. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
  2. Mueggler, Erik. 2011. The Paper Road: Archive and Experience in the Botanical Exploration of West China and Tibet. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
  3. Stoler, Ann Laura. 2009. Along the Archival Grain: Epistemic Anxieties and Colonial Common Sense. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
  4. Taussig, Michael. 1989. “History as Commodity: In Some Recent American (Anthropological) Literature.” Critique of Anthropology 9 (1): 7–23.
  5. Trouillot, Michel-Rolph. 2015. Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.
  6. Cohn, Bernard S. 1980. “History and Anthropology: The State of Play.” Comparative Studies in Society and History 22 (2): 198–221. Bernard S. Cohn, “History and Anthropology: The State of Play,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 22, no. 2 (April 1, 1980): 198–221.
  7. Zeitlyn, David. 2012. “Anthropology in and of the Archives: Possible Futures and Contingent Pasts. Archives as Anthropological Surrogates.” Annual Review of Anthropology 41 (1): 461–80.
  8. Comaroff, John L., and Jean Comaroff. 2010. Ethnography and the Historical Imagination. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. [introduction, pp. 3–46]

Unit 2: From Visual Anthropology to Sensory Ethnography

  1. Banks, Marcus, and Howard Morphy, eds. 1999. _Rethinking Visual Anthropology. _New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
  2. Classen, Constance, David Howes, and Anthony Synnott. 1994. _Aroma: The Cultural History of Smell. _London; New York: Routledge.
  3. Lassiter, Luke Eric. 2005. The Chicago Guide to Collaborative Ethnography. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
  4. Taussig, Michael. 2011. _I Swear I Saw This: Drawings in Fieldwork Notebooks, Namely My Own. _Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
  5. Ingold, Tim. 2011. “Culture, Perception, and Cognition.” In The Perception of the Environment: Essays on Livelihood, Dwelling and Skill, 157–171. London; New York: Routledge.
  6. Ingold, Tim. 2011. “Worlds of Sense and Sensing the World: A Response to Sarah Pink and David Howes.” _Social Anthropology _19 (3): 313–317.
  7. Pink, Sarah, and David Howes. 2010. “The Future of Sensory Anthropology/the Anthropology of the Senses.” Social Anthropology 18 (3): 331–33.
  8. Zeamer, Emily, Heather Paxson, and Stefan Helmreich. 2012. “Sensing the Unseen 2.0: An Infraduction.” _Sensate _2. [edited section in journal]

Unit 3: Towards an Anthropology of the Senses

  1. Corbin, Alain. The Foul and the Fragrant: Odor and the French Social Imagination. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1986.
  2. Bourdieu, Pierre. Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1984.
  3. Howes, David. Sensual Relations: Engaging the Senses in Culture and Social Theory. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2003.
  4. Helmreich, Stefan. Alien Ocean: Anthropological Voyages in Microbial Seas. First edition. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2009.
  5. Classen, Constance. The Museum of the Senses: Experiencing Art and Collections. New York, NY: Bloomsbury Press, 2017.
  6. Bull, Michael, Paul Gilroy, David Howes, and Douglas Kahn. “Introducing Sensory Studies.” The Senses and Society 1, no. 1 (March 1, 2006): 5–7.
  7. Sutton, David E. “Food and the Senses.” Annual Review of Anthropology 39, no. 1 (October 2010): 209–223.
  8. Drobnick, Jim, and Jennifer Fisher. “Introduction to Sensory Aesthetics.” The Senses and Society 7, no. 2 (July 1, 2012): 133–34.
  9. Howes, David. “Introduction to Sensory Museology.” The Senses and Society 9, no. 3 (November 1, 2014): 259–67.
  10. Howes, David. “The Aesthetics of Mixing the Senses.” Cross Modal Aesthetics, n.d., 75–81.

Part 2: Tangible Media and Expertise

Unit 4: Interfaces

  1. Plotnick, Rachel. Power Button: A History of Pleasure, Panic, and the Politics of Pushing (MIT Press, 2018).
  2. –––––––. “Force, Flatness, and Touch Without Feeling: Thinking Historically About Haptics and Buttons,” New Media and Society 19:10 (2017): 1632-52
  3. Dow-Schüll, Natasha. Addiction by Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas (Princeton, 2012).
  4. Norman, Don. The Design of Everyday Things (Basic Books, 2013).
  5. Galloway, Alexander R. The Interface Effect (Polity, 2013).
  6. Drucker, Johanna. “Performative Materiality and Theoretical Approaches to Interface,” Digital Humanities Quarterly 7:1 (2013).
  7. Mattern, Shannon. “Mission Control: A History of the Urban Dashboard,” Places Journal (March 2015).

Unit 5: Expertise, Perception, Vision

  1. Goodwin, Charles. “Professional Vision.” American Anthropologist, vol. 96, no. 3, 1994, pp. 606–633. JSTOR,
  2. Grasseni, C. Skilled Visions: Between Apprenticeship and Standards (Berghahn Books, 2007).
  3. ———. (2007). “Skilled vision. An apprenticeship in breeding aesthetics.” Social Anthropology, 12(1), 41–55. doi:10.1111/j.1469-8676.2004.tb00089.x
  4. Grasseni, C. and Gieser, T. (2019), Introduction: Skilled mediations. Soc Anthropol, 27: 6-16.
  5. Mirzoeff, Nicholas. The Right to Look: A Counterhistory of Visuality (Duke 2011).
  6. Barthes, Roland. “Rhetoric of the Image,” in Heath (ed), Image, Music, Text (Fontana 1977): 32–52.
  7. Carr, E. Summerson. “Enactments of Expertise,” Annual Review of Anthropology 39, no. 1 (0, 2010): 17–32,
  8. Boyer, Dominic. The Life Informatic, Newsmaking in the Digital Era (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press 2013).
  9. ———. “Digital Expertise in Online Journalism (And Anthropology).” Anthropological Quarterly, vol. 83, no. 1, 2010, pp. 73–95. JSTOR,

Unit 6: Documents and Writing

  1. Lisa Gitelman, Paper Knowledge: Toward a Media History of Documents (Duke 2014).
  2. Geoffrey Bowker, Memory Practices in the Sciences (MIT 2007).
  3. Steven Feld and Bambi B. Schieffelin, “Hard Words: A Functional Basis for Kaluli Discourse,” in Analyzing Discourse: Text and Talk, ed. Deborah Tannen (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 1981).
  4. Kathryn A. Woolard and Bambi B. Schieffelin, “Language Ideology,” Annual Review of Anthropology 23, no. 1 (1994): 55–82,
  5. Schieffelin, B. (2000). Introducing Kaluli literacy: A chronology of influences. In P. Kroskrity (Ed.), Regimes of Language (pp. 293-327). Santa Fe, NM: School of American Research.
  6. Matthew S. Hull, “Documents and Bureaucracy,” Annual Review of Anthropology 41, no. 1 (0, 2012): 251–67,

Part 3: Anthropology of Digital Media

Unit 7: Media and Communications

  1. Coleman, E. Gabriella. Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous. London; New York: Verso, 2014.
  2. Gershon, Ilana. “Language and the Newness of Media.” Annual Review of Anthropology 46, no. 1 (October 23, 2017): 15–31.
  3. Archambault, Julie Soleil. Mobile Secrets: Youth, Intimacy, and the Politics of Pretense in Mozambique. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 2017.
  4. Keating, Elizabeth. “Homo Prostheticus: Problematizing the Notions of Activity and Computer- Mediated Interaction.” Discourse Studies 7, no. 4–5 (2005): 527–545.
  5. Keating, Elizabeth, Terra Edwards, and Gene Mirus. “Cybersign and New Proximities: Impacts of New Communication Technologies on Space and Language.” Journal of Pragmatics 40, no. 6 (June 2008): 1067–81.
  6. Keating, Elizabeth, and R. Neill Hadder. “Sensory Impairment.” Annual Review of Anthropology 39, no. 1 (2010): 115–29.
  7. Keating, Elizabeth, and Gene Mirus. “American Sign Language in Virtual Space: Interactions between Deaf Users of Computer-Mediated Video Communication and the Impact of Technology on Language Practices.” Language in Society 32, no. 5 (2003): 693–714.
  8. Keating, Elizabeth, and Gene Mirus. “Examining Interactions across Language Modalities: Deaf Children and Hearing Peers at School.” Anthropology & Education Quarterly 34, no. 2 (2003): 115–35.
  9. Keating, Elizabeth, and Gene Mirus. “The Eyes Have It: Technologies of Automobility in Sign Language.” Semiotica 191 (2012): 287–308.
  10. Keating, Elizabeth, Emi Nagai, Neill Hadder, and Jilly Kowalsky. “The Role of the Mobile Phone in the Welfare of Aged and Disabled People.” University of Texas at Austin and NTT DoCoMo, Inc., 2007.

Unit 8: Politics of Platforms

  1. Gillespie, Tarleton. Custodians of the Internet: Platforms, Content Moderation, and the Hidden Decisions That Shape Social Media. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2018.
  2. Gray, Mary L, and Siddharth Suri. Ghost Work: How to Stop Silicon Valley from Building a New Global Underclass. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019.
  3. Howard, Dorothy, and Lilly Irani. “Ways of Knowing When Research Subjects Care.” In Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - CHI ’19, 1–16. Glasgow, Scotland: ACM Press, 2019.
  4. Irani, Lilly. “Difference and Dependence among Digital Workers: The Case of Amazon Mechanical Turk.” South Atlantic Quarterly 114, no. 1 (2015): 225–34.
  5. Irani, Lilly, and M. Six Silberman. “Turkopticon: Interrupting Worker Invisibility in Amazon Mechanical Turk.” In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - CHI ’13, 611–620. Paris, France: ACM Press, 2013.
  6. Mailland, Julien, and Kevin Driscoll. Minitel: Welcome to the Internet. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2017.
  7. Roberts, Sarah T. Behind the Screen: Content Moderation in the Shadows of Social Media. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2019.

Unit 9: Publics

  1. Fish, Adam, Luis F.R. Murillo, Lilly Nguyen, Aaron Panofsky, and Christopher M. Kelty. “Birds of the Internet: Towards a Field Guide to the Organization and Governance of Participation.” Journal of Cultural Economy 4, no. 2 (May 2011): 157–87.
  2. Haring, Kristen. Ham Radio’s Technical Culture. Inside Technology. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007.
  3. Boellstorff, Tom. Coming of Age in Second Life: An Anthropologist Explores the Virtually Human. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2008.
  4. ———. “For Whom the Ontology Turns: Theorizing the Digital Real.” Current Anthropology 57, no. 4 (August 2016): 387–407.
  5. ———. “Making Big Data, in Theory.” First Monday 18, no. 10 (September 21, 2013).
  6. ———. “The Opportunity to Contribute: Disability and the Digital Entrepreneur.” Information, Communication & Society 22, no. 4 (March 21, 2019): 474–90.
  7. Davis, Donna Z., and Tom Boellstorff. “Compulsive Creativity: Virtual Worlds, Disability, and Digital Capital.” International Journal of Communication 10, no. 0 (April 15, 2016): 23.
  8. Thomas, Heather, and Tom Boellstorff. “Beyond the Spectrum: Rethinking Autism.” Disability Studies Quarterly 37, no. 1 (March 7, 2017).
  9. Vries McClintock, Heather F. de, Frances K. Barg, Sam P. Katz, Margaret G. Stineman, Alice Krueger, Patrice M. Colletti, Tom Boellstorff, and Hillary R. Bogner. “Health Care Experiences and Perceptions Among People with and Without Disabilities.” Disability and Health Journal 9, no. 1 (January 1, 2016): 74–82.
  10. Tufekci, Zeynep. Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2017.

**Hodgepodge **

  1. Daniel Miller, How the World Changed Social Media (platforms)
  2. Shreeharsh Kelkar on MOOCs (platforms)
  3. Miyako Inoue, “Stenography and Ventriloquism in Late Nineteenth Century Japan.” _Language and Communication _31(3):181-190.
  4. Adelheid Voskuhl, “Humans, Machines, and Conversations: An Ethnographic Study of the Making of Automatic Speech Recognition Technologies,” Social Studies of Science 34:3 (2004).
  5. Asif Agha, ed. “Mediatized Communication in Complex Societies.” Language and Communication 31.3 (July 2011): 163-274. (ties in with the stuff on publics)