Kiran Samuel is a PhD student in the Department of Sociology at Columbia University. Her research draws from critical race theory, cultural studies, media studies, and digital sociology. She is particularly interested in understanding how technology shapes material conditions for marginalized communities, as well as how those communities might use new media to achieve alternative futures. Currently, she is working on a project understanding the impact of police rhetoric on public perceptions of state force against the Black community, and a project studying Kindle's 'Popular Highlights' among best-sellers in the self-help category to understand this form of crowdsourcing.
Along with Drs. Desmond Patton and Alondra Nelson, she started an interdisciplinary workshop across the university called “Critical Media and Digital Studies,” which aims to bring together scholars interested in interrogating the sociocultural and political implications of digital technologies’ growing scope and indelibility upon the public sphere, in particular, its impact upon marginalized communities. Before coming to Columbia University, Kiran enjoyed a career as a creative strategist in the advertising industry, with clients including Google, YouTube, and other companies turned subjects of her research. She received her MA in Media, Culture, and Communication from NYU, and her BA in Philosophy and Journalism from Rutgers University.