Research

My research interests are located at the intersection of science and technology studies (STS), communication and media research, and cultural studies. I study the life cycle of media technologies in comparative perspective and the sociocultural implications of how these technologies are built and appropriated.  I am currently working on several projects:

First, I am beginning an investigation on the political and social implications of the circulation of and engagement with news content on Facebook. Along with the Laboratorio de Investigación e Innovación Tecnológica (LIIT) at UNED, we employ a mixed-methods approach to further understand why the circulation of news content on Facebook matters for the formation of the public sphere in Costa Rica. This project just received the 2017 Fondo de Estímulo a la Investigación grant from UCR’s Vicerrectoría de Investigación.

Second, I am conducting an investigation of the dynamics that have shaped the production of media technologies in Costa Rica. Often called the “Latin American Silicon Valley,” Costa Rica typically ranks first in the region in the share of high-tech products. In this project, I seek to better understand how this country came to rely so significantly on technology production, how an institutional field has developed in this country over the past decades around the production of technological artifacts and services, and how these technologies circulate in different parts of the world. The project draws mainly on interviews with key actors (software developers, users, intermediaries, entrepreneurs, investors, and commentators, among others), ethnographic observation, and archival research.

Third, I am editing a book that brings together various scholars in Costa Rica interested in understanding how the development of media technologies in this country matters in theory and in practice. The book analyzes pioneering and innovative projects that involved the design, development, implementation, and use of media technologies in Costa Rica. More broadly, we use these different projects to rethink key concepts, theories, methods, and practices in the study of Communication. The book is currently under review. We expect it to be published in 2018.

Finally, I am finishing a book that analyzes the emergence, development, and transformation of blogging in the United States and France from the mid-1990s to the present day, so as to examine how the Web has evolved as a technology of subjectivity. I focus on three particular processes in the trajectory of the Web: the emergence of the blog in the mid- to late 1990s; the rise of the blog as a means to intervene in the public sphere and as commodity in the early years of the new millennium; and the invention of “microblogging” technologies in the mid- to late 2010s decade. I build on this comparative analysis to further understanding of practices of subjectivity in the context of neoliberalization. My study draws on interviews with relevant actors (both software developers and users), content and artifact analyses of a sample of websites, Web archival techniques, and traditional archival research.

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