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Shaka McGlotten

Professor of Media Studies

Shaka McGlotten is a social anthropologist with a background in the fine arts. Their work brings together the theoretical insights of queer studies with the methodological toolkit of anthropology to consider new media technologies in relation to queer cultures. They have published and lectured on public sex, online cultures, pornography, gaming, zombies, human waste, voguing, and more. Their first book, Virtual Intimacies: Media, Affect, and Queer Sociality, was published by SUNY Press in 2013. They are the co-editor of two edited collections, Black Genders and Sexualities (with Dana-ain Davis) and Zombies and Sexuality (with Steve Jones). They have just completed Dragging; or, the Political Aesthetics of Drag (Routledge, forthcoming). Currently they are at work on Black Data: Queer of Color Critique Meets Network Culture Studies. In 2014 they were the recipient of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Award for Experienced Researchers and in 2017-2018 they were a fellow at Akademie Schloss Solitude. They are also a recipient of a 2017 Creative Capital | Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant.

More About Me

You can find me on Instagram and Twitter @shakaz23

Research Interests

  • Queer and Gender Studies
  • African American Studies
  • Virtual Publics
  • Emergent Media
  • Critical Data Studies
  • Feminist Technoscience Studies
  • Pornography

Representative Courses

  • The Drag Class
  • Genres of Affect
  • Queer Cinema and Theory
  • Queer Media Convergence
  • Media Ethnographies
  • Media Institutions and Forms
  • Locative Media
  • Computers and Culture
  • New Black Ethnographies



2019  Dragging, Or in the Drag of Queer Life. New York: Routledge (forthcoming)

2013  Virtual Intimacies: Media, Affect, and Queer Sociality. Albany: SUNY Press


2014  Zombie Sexuality: Essays on Desire and the Living Dead. Co-edited with Steve Jones. Jefferson: McFarland Press

2012  Black Genders and Sexualities. Co-edited with Dana-Ain Davis. New York: Palgrave Macmillan


2019  “Streaking.” TDR: The Drama Review (forthcoming).

2018  “Life in the Network.” Women & Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory 28(2): 161-169.

2018  “Porn Fast” in I Confess, Thomas Waugh and Brandon Arroyo, eds. Montreal: McGill University Press, forthcoming.

2016  ”Poop Worlds: Material Culture and Shit (or, Toward a Shitty Turn)“ with Scott Webel, Scholar and Feminist Online 13:3-14:1.

2015  “The Political Aesthetics of Drag,“ Metropolitics: A Critical Online Journal of Urban Issues, October 13, 2015.  

2015  “The Élan Vital of DIY Porn,Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies 11(1): 1-20.

2014  “Zombie Porn: Necropolitics, Sex, and Queer Sociality,” Porn Studies 1(3): 360-377.

2014  “A Brief and Improper Geography of Queerspaces and Sexpublics in Austin, Texas,” Gender, Place, and Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography 21(4): 471-488.

2013  “Zombie Porn 1.0: Or, Some Queer Things Zombie Sex Can Teach Us.” Co-authored with Sarah VanGundy, Qui Parle 21(2): 101-125.

2013  “Dry and Limp: Aging Queers, Zombies, and Sexual Reanimation.” Co-authored with Lisa Jean Moore, Journal of Medical Humanities 34(2): 261-268.

2012  “Ordinary Intersections: Speculations on Difference, Justice, and Utopia in Black Queer Life,” Transforming Anthropology 20(1): 45-66.

2009  “No Beached Whales” (co-authored with Dana-Ain Davis and Vanessa Agard-Jones), Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society 11(2): 87-93.

2009  “Spatial Articulations” (co-authored with Dana-Ain Davis and Vanessa Agard-Jones), Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society 11(3): 225-229.


2018  “TumPorn is Dead, Long Live TumPorn” in A-Tumblr-Book, Allison McCracken, Louisa Stein, Alexander Cho, eds. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, forthcoming.

2018  “Lessons in Cruising,“ The Avery Review 29 (February 2018).

2018  “The Most Hated Woman in Israel’”: Natali Cohen Vaxberg” in Digital Cities, Deborah Cowen, ed., 2017, forthcoming.

2018  “I Just Can’t Even,” GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 24(1): 39-42.

2018  “What’s Love Got to Do with It?” in The Networked Self: Love, Zizi Papacharissi, ed. New York: Routledge, 230-252.

2018 . “Intimate Immanence: A Conversation between Shaka McGlotten and Katherine Sender,” First Monday 24:7 (July).

2018  “Smartphone Apps,” Global Encyclopedia of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer History, Howard Chiang (editor in chief), Anjali Arondekar, Marc Epprecht, Jennifer Evans, Ross Forman, Hanadi al-Samman, Emily Skidmore, and Zeb Tortorici, eds. New York: Palgrave, 1228-1233.

2017  “Unlearning/Ethnography, QED: A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking 4(1): 180-188. 

2015  “Remote” in Abseitiges: An den Rändern der Kulturanthropologie, Katrin Amelang and Silvy Chakkalakal, eds. Berlin: Berliner Blätter, 126-128.

2012  “Always Toward a Black Queer Anthropology” (guest editor’s introduction), Transforming Anthropology: The Journal for the Association of Black Anthropologists 20(1): 3-4.

2012  “Pornography: Gay and Lesbian” in Encyclopedia of Gender in Media, Mary Kosut and Geoffrey J. Golson, eds. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2012: 275-276.

2012  “Breaching Barriers Between Work and Play” in Fantasy Media in the Classroom: Essays on Teaching with Film, Television, Literature, and Video Games, Emily Dial-Driver, Sally Emmons, and Jim Ford, eds. Jefferson, NC: McFarland Press, 123-137.

2011  “Dead and Live Life: Zombies, Queers, and Online Sociality” in Generation Zombie: Essays on the Living Dead in Modern Culture, Stephanie Boluk and Wylie Lenz, eds. Jefferson, NC: McFarland Press, 182-193. 

2007  “Virtual Intimacies” in Queer Online: Media Technology and Sexuality, David Phillips and Kate O’Riordan, eds. New York: Peter Lang, 123-137.


2018  “Sometime Last Summer,” Schloss Post. Akademie Schloss Solitude, January 10.

2017  “Knitting and Knotting Love in the Network,” Studio Visit. Schloss Post. Akademie Schloss Solitude.

2016  “Orlando,” American Anthropological Association Blog, July 7.

2015  “We are Not a Family,” Anthropology News 56(11-12): 32-33.

2013  “Queer Media Convergence” in Queer Zines, Vol. 2, ed. AA Bronson (Shapco: Minneapolis): 252.


2017  Simone Browne’s Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness in The American Journal of Sociology 122(4): 1305-1307.

2017  Jeffrey McCune’s Sexual Discretion, C. Riley Snorton’s Nobody is Supposed to Know, and Jane Ward’s Not Gay, “On Glass Closets and Not-Gay Gay Sex”  in GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 23(4): 589-597.

2013  Jamie Heckert’s and Richard Cleminson’s (eds.) Anarchism & Sexuality: Ethics, Relationships, and Power in Cultural Studies 27(4) (2013): 653-656.

2012  Daniel Miller’s Tales from Facebook in Journal of Anthropological Research 68:2 (2012): 298-299.


2018  “AnthroBites: Affect,” AnthroPod: The Society for Cultural Anthropology Podcast (forthcoming).

2018  “Imagine Otherwise: Shaka McGlotten on the Passion of Inquiry,” Imagining Otherwise, Ideas on Fire.


Black Data: Queer of Color Critique Meets Network Culture Studies 

Presentations / Conferences


2019  “Knitting and Knotting Love in the Network; Or, What’s Love Got to Do With It?” Transmediale. January 31-February 3. Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin.

2018  “Streaking.” Digital Intimacies 4: Porousness and Permutations. Curtin University Perth. December 5-7.

2018   “Pleasuremore.” Pleasureless. Yale University. March 30-31.

2017   “Porn Fast.” Ordinary Media Conference. Northwestern University. May 18.

2017   Keynote: Dialogue with Shaka McGlotten.” Queer Internet Symposium. University of Pennsylvania. February 17.

2016   “On Play and Failure.” Extending Play. Rutgers University. September 29-October 1.

2015   “Sensate.” WTF Affect. Lancaster, PA. October 14-17.

2015   “Black Data: Against the Hegemony of the Transparent.” III European Geographies of Sexuality Conference. Rome, Italy. September 16-18.

2015   “Black Data.” Ethnic and Third World Literatures Conference. University of Texas-Austin. April 9.


2018   “Streaking.” Mediated Masculinities: Sex and Intimacy Conference. City University London. April 27.

2018   “Hard Feelings.” Transmediale. Berlin. February 3.

2017   “Black Data.” Parr Center for Ethics. University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. October 26.

2017   “Black Data: Vogue Time Down.” Reed College. March 30.

2016   “Porn Fast.” Paper presentation. Affect Project. University of Toronto. October 21.

2015   “Black Data.” LGBTQ Studies. University of Chicago. March 5.

2014   “The Political Aesthetics of Drag.” Centre for the Study of Sexuality and Culture and Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology. Manchester University. November 17; University of Sussex. Sussex Centre for the Study of Sexual Dissidence and Sussex Center for Cultural Studies. November 19; Institute for Cultural Inquiry, Berlin. October 15.

2014   “Black Data.” Wandering Scholars Conference. Chinese University of Hong Kong. May 28-30; iSchool, University of Toronto. February 13.

2014   “Zombie Porn: Necropolitics, Sex, and Queer Socialities.” Transmediale, Berlin. January 30.

2014   “Intimacy as Method.” Institute for European Ethnology. Humboldt University, Berlin. January 23.

2013   “On Not Hooking Up.” Grinnell College. Grinnell, IA. February 6.

2013   “Hacking Homonationalism in Michael Lucas’ Men of Israel.” With Amit Gilutz. Abriendo Brecha: Activist Scholarship. University of Texas at Austin. February 15.


2019 “Capitalist Casualties: Gender, Technology, and the Virtual Body.” Queens Museum. New York. February 10.

2018  “Streaking.” Society for Cinema and Media Studies. Toronto. March 14-18.

2017  “Black Data: Against the Hegemony of the Transparent.” American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting. Washington D.C. November 29.

2016 “Black Data: Against the Hegemony of the Transparent.” Queer Circuits in Archival Times: Experimentation and Critique of Networked Data. May 20.

2016   “Porn Fast.” Society for Cinema and Media Studies. Atlanta, GA. March 30-April 2.

2015   “Queer(y)ing Palestine.” American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting. Denver, CO. November 21.

2015   “Roundtable.” Queering Anthropology. Yale University. February 13.

2013   “Hacking Homonationalism in Michael Lucas’ Men of Israel” with Amit Gilutz. Homonationalism and Pinkwashing Conference. Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies, CUNY. April 10-12.

2012   “So Close, So Far: On Gay Men, Social Media, and Not Hooking Up” American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA. November 14-18.

2012   “Zombie Porn: Necropolitics, Sex, and Queer Socialities.” Sexual Cultures-Onscenity Conference. Brunel University, London. April 20-22; The Affect Factory Conference, NYU. February 10-11; Lavender Languages. American University, Washington, D.C. February 10-12.

2011   “How is a Queer Body Like a Zombie Body?” American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, Montreal, Canada. November 16-20, 2011; International Body Image Conference. CUNY Graduate Center. April 8-9.

2010   “Feeling Black and Blue: Virtual Gay Sex Publics and Black Affects.” Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference. New Orleans, LA. March 10-March 13.


2017   “Digital Deception and the Queer Life of Data.” American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting. November 29-December 3.

2012   “Queering the Social: Internet as a Technology of Stranger Sociality.” American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA. November 14-18.

2008   “The Movement of Queer Affect” American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting. San Francisco, CA. November 19-21.