Benjamin PetersMedia 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. My work tends to gravitate around new media history, critical information studies, and global media studies with emphases in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, where I lived during the Arab Spring.

My first book asks why, despite 30 years of attempts, was there no Soviet internet? (Tl;dr: Network talk gets the cold war wrong.) 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. Other projects in the works are critical of intelligent mind discourse, the history of computing and small groups, and global computing. Other publication topics to date include new media in history, comparative network analysis and history, search engine politics, early Soviet information science, religion and record-keeping, and pre-cybernetic literature in interwar Europe; working paper topics on the theory in conspiracy theories, the metaphors for copyright, property and transgression, the digital commons, and piracy cultures, among others. 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 high school 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.