Benjamin PetersA media scholar and author, I write and teach on how media change over regimes of time, space, technology, and power. My work takes critical, historical, and global approaches to that basic puzzle of why media in general, and digital media in particular, take hold differently in different contexts. I am particularly concerned with how and why media technologies distribute and concentrate power and knowledge unevenly–and what to do about it.

My first book asks why, despite 30 years of attempts, was there no Soviet internet? (Tl;dr: The cold war got network talk backward.) My first edited volume gathers leading voices on the role language plays in the age of search on the 40th anniversary of Raymond Williams’ classic Keywords. I am currently at work on a number of other book projects critical of “smart tech,” computing history, and global new media. Other publication topics to date include new media history, comparative network analysis and history, conspiracy theory, privacy discourse, search engine politics, cold war information science, Soviet science fiction, religion and record-keeping, and interwar Europe literature. I’m always looking for the next idea, so please be in touch.

On a more personal note, I have developed these interests over the last decade and a half alongside Kourtney Lambert, who is, in addition to so much else, an incandescent math teacher and alumna of Columbia’s Teachers College. Together we luxuriate in learning languages, sampling cuisines, and geeking out. Kourtney chronicles the occasional antic on her blog.