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Juniata Hosts Author of Acclaimed Book on Social Media

(Posted September 2, 2014)

danah boyd, author of "It's Complicated"

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- danah boyd, author of "It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens," will speak at Juniata College on how teenagers use social media and how youth culture interacts with technology at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 9, in Rosenberger Auditorium in the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts on the Juniata campus.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Boyd, who prefers to spell her name without capitalization, is talking about her latest book, which was chosen as Juniata's freshman summer reading assignment. The lecture is funded by the Calvert N. Ellis Memorial Lectureship.

A native Pennsylvanian, boyd grew up in Altoona, Pa. and Lancaster, Pa. and has been fascinated by the interactions between human beings and computers since starting her undergraduate studies in computer science at Brown University. She went on to earn a master's degree in sociable media at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and earned a doctoral degree in 2008 from the University of California, Berkeley.

Her academic work for her graduate degrees focused on how U.S. teenagers used such social media sites as Facebook and MySpace.
Since 2009, boyd has been a social media researcher at Microsoft Research and also has helped lead a study on how youth uses technology -- funded by the MacArthur Foundation.

Her work often centers on how the lives of teenagers have been steered away from roaming the outdoors to wandering through online gathering places.

Her work often centers on how the lives of teenagers have been steered away from roaming the outdoors to wandering through online gathering places.


In addition to many scholarly articles and opinion pieces for national media, boyd is the author of two books. "Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media." Her latest book, "It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens," was published in 2014.

In 2010, she received the Award for Public Sociology from the American Sociological Association. Fortune magazine termed her "the reigning expert on how young people use the Internet."

She also works at New York University as a research assistant professor in media, culture and communication and is currently a research fellow at Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, where she was hired to run Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation.

She was quoted in the New York Times, saying , "Teenagers aren't some alien population. When we see new technologies, we think they make everything different for young people. But they really don't. Teenagers are the same as they always were."

A prolific blogger, boyd currently blogs at the site "Apophenia" at www.zephoria.org/thoughts/. She also tweets under the name Zephoria.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.