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Shaka McGlotten

Professor of Media Studies

Juanita and Joseph Leff Distinguished Professor 2023-2024

Shaka McGlotten is Professor of Media Studies and Anthropology at Purchase College-SUNY, where they also serve as Chair of the Gender Studies program. Their work stages encounters between black study, queer theory, media, and art. They have written and lectured widely on networked intimacies and messy computational entanglements as they interface with QTPOC lifeworlds.

They are the author of Virtual Intimacies: Media, Affect, and Queer Sociality, published by SUNY Press in 2013. They are also the co-editor of two edited collections, Black Genders and Sexualities (with Dana-ain Davis) and Zombies and Sexuality (with Steve Jones). Their 2021 book Dragging: Or, in the Drag of a Queer Life and their current project, Black Data, have been supported by Data & Society, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Akademie Schloss Solitude, and Creative Capital | The Andy Warhol Foundation.

With Helen V. Pritchard they co-edit the MIT/Goldsmiths Future Media book series, and with Sareeta Amrute, Alex Cho, and Rachel Kuo, the Critical Race and Digital Studies book series with New York University Press.

Dragging: Or, in the Drag of a Queer Life. Dragging: Or, in the Drag of a Queer Life.
Credit: Cover concept and image by Raafat Hattab. Drawing by Jakob Lorenzo.

More About Me

You can find me on Instagram and Twitter @shakaz23 and @shaka_laka_zulu on TikTok (although it’s best to email me if it’s about work;).

Research Interests

  • Queer and Gender Studies
  • Black Studies
  • Media Studies
    • Art and Technology
    • Virtual Publics
    • Emergent Media
    • Critical Data Studies
    • Pornography
  • Affect

Representative Courses

  • Introduction to Media Studies
  • Research Methods in Media Studies
  • Media Institutions and Forms
  • Critical Perspectives in Media Studies
  • The Image: Between Queer Theory and Black Study
  • Drag Theory and Practice
  • Genres of Affect
  • Queer Cinema and Theory
  • Queer Media Convergence
  • New Black Ethnographies
  • Surveillance, Technology, Society
  • Space, Place, and Belonging

Publications

BOOKS

2021 Dragging, Or in the Drag of Queer Life. New York: Routledge.

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

EDITED VOLUMES

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

REFEREED WRITING

2019 “Streaking.” TDR: The Journal of Performance Studies 63:4 (Winter), 152-171.

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

2016 “Poop Worlds: Material Culture and Shit (or, Toward a Shitty Turn).” Co-authored with Scott Webel, Scholar and Feminist Online 13:3-14:1., http://sfonline.barnard.edu/traversing-technologies/

“Black Data” in No Tea, No Shade: New Queer of Color Critique, E. Patrick Johnson, ed. Durham: Duke University Press, 262-286.

2015 “The Political Aesthetics of Drag,” Metropolitics: A Critical Online Journal of Urban Issues, October 13. https://www.metropolitiques.eu/The-Political-Aesthetics-of-Drag.html

“The Élan Vital of DIY Porn,” Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies 11:1, 1-20. http://liminalities.net/11-1/elanvital.pdf

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

“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.

“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.

“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.

CHAPTERS AND ARTICLES

2022 “Racial Chain of Being” in Cookie Jar 1. New York: The Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant, 1-52.

“Digital Ethnography (1-4): Social Media, Gaming, Online Meetings, HCI.” Contributing author to Doing Fieldwork. New York: Wiley Blackwell.

2020 “’The Most Hated Woman in Israel’: Natali Cohen Vaxberg” in Digital Lives in the Global City: Contesting Infrastructures. Deborah Cowen, Alexis Mitchell, Emily Paradis, and Brett Story, eds. Toronto: University of British Columbia Press, 186-193.

“TumPorn is Dead, Long Live TumPorn” in A-Tumblr-Book, Allison McCracken, Louisa Stein, Alexander Cho, eds. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 158-163.

“The Deep Realness of Deepfake Pornography: A Conversation” (with Susanna Paasonen and John Paul Stadler) in Deep Mediations: Thinking Space in Cinema and Digital Cultures, Karen Redrobe and Jeff Scheible, eds. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 351-360.

2019 “Porn Fast” in I Confess, Thomas Waugh and Brandon Arroyo, eds. Montreal: McGill University Press, 353-369.

2018 “Intimate Immanence: A Conversation between Shaka McGlotten and Katherine Sender,” First Monday 24:7 (July). http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/9257/7460

“Lessons in Cruising,” The Avery Review 29 (February). http://averyreview.com/issues/29/lessons-in-cruising

“I Just Can’t Even,” GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 24:1, 38-41.

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

“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 (Spring), 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.

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

“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. Reprinted in Zombie Theory: A Reader, Sarah Juliet Lauro, ed. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press (2017), 223-236.

2007 “Virtual Intimacies” in Queer Online: Media Technology and Sexuality, David

Phillips and Kate O’Riordan, eds. New York: Peter Lang, 2007, 123-137.

SELECTED OTHER WRITING

2022 “Pavo Marinović: Marble Ass.” Foam: International Photography Magazine (The Talent Issue) 56:101-102.

“Ima Put a Computational Hex on You 1-3” in Conflict in my Outlook, Brisbane: Queensland Art Museum, 66-69; and in Sustaining Futures. The Center for Afrofuturist Studies and Common Field. Brooklyn: Radix Media, 10-17.

2021 “Ima Put a Computational Hex on You 1-3,” futurefeed, July-August, https://future-feed.net/ima-put-a-computational-hex-on-you

2020 Guanyu Xu: Temporarily Censored Home,” Foam: International Photography Magazine (The Talent Issue) 55:247-248.

2018 “What About Loving and Not Feeling Right?” (with Alkisti Efthymiou), Schloss Post no. 7 (Gemini). Akademie Schloss Solitude. September 24. https://schloss-post.com/loving-not-feeling-right/

Sometime Last Summer,” Schloss Post. Akademie Schloss Solitude, January 10. https://schloss-post.com/sometime-last-summer/

2017 “Knitting and Knotting Love in the Network,” Studio Visit. Schloss Post. Akademie Schloss Solitude. https://schloss-post.com/knitting-knotting-love-network/

2016 “Orlando,” American Anthropological Association Blog, July 7 (blog link no longer available)

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

Designing Compulsion,” discussant in -empyre-soft_skinned_space (October). http://empyre.library.cornell.edu/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=992&highlight=mcglotten

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

Kill with Power,” The Feminist Wire, March 15. http://thefeministwire.com/2013/03/awaiting-title/

SELECTED REVIEWS

2018 Esther Newton’s Mother Camp: Female Impersonators in America in American Anthropologist 120:4, 854-856.

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

“On Glass Closets and Not-Gay Gay Sex.” A three-book review of 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, 653-656.

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

MEDIA

2021 “Moving Through Molasses: On Intellectual Labor, Productivity, and Belonging” (with Meredith Clark), Data & Society, Databite No. 146., https://datasociety.net/library/moving-through-molasses-on-intellectual-labor-productivity-and-belonging/

Data and Labor,” Public Books, https://www.publicbooks.org/episode-2-data-labor/

Glued to Your Phone? Here’s How to Rethink Your Relationship with Social Media,” NPR’s LifeKit, https://www.npr.org/2021/07/16/1016854764/social-media-balance-relationship-boundaries

2018 “Imagine Otherwise: Shaka McGlotten on the Passion of Inquiry,” Imagining Otherwise, Ideas on Fire, https://ideasonfire.net/podcast/55-shaka-mcglotten/

IN PREPARATION

Black Data: Queer of Color Critique Meets Network Culture Studies (book manuscript in preparation).

“Racial Chain of Being” in Informatics of Domination, Zach Blas, Melody Jue, and Jenny Rhee, eds.

“Black Queer Anthropology Roundtable: Speculations on Activating Ethnographic Practice in and for Community” in Queer Anthropology, Margot Weiss, ed. Duke University Press (forthcoming 2023).

“I Confess, I Hardly Know What to Say,” American Anthropologist (forthcoming 2023).

Presentations / Conferences

KEYNOTES

2023 “Ima Put a Computational Hex on You Too.” Real Time: A Symposium on the Architecture of Packets, Pixels, and Neurons. Architecture, Art, and Planning. Cornell University. April 14.

2022 “Ima Put a Computational Hex on You.” Post-digital Intimacies and the Networked Public-Private. Coventry University. November 25.

2021 “Queer Witcheries: Ima Put a Computational Hex on You.” Following the Affective Turn. Royal Holloway University of London and University of Brighton. August 25.

2019 “Black Data” Fuchsbau Festival. Hannover. August 10.

Knitting and Knotting Love in the Network.” Transmediale. HKW, Berlin. January 31-February 3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wzeo6ndPGxc&t=3208s

2018 “Streaking.” Digital Intimacies 4: Porousness and Permutations. Curtin University, Perth. December 6.

“Pleasureless/Pleasuremore.” Queer Theorizing in Anhedonic Times. Yale University. March 30.

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

“Keynote: Dialogue with Shaka McGlotten.” Queer Internet Symposium. University of Pennsylvania. February 17. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jirwbdQMP0

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

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

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

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

INVITED LECTURES

2022 “Ima Put a Computational Hex on You?” Art, Architecture, and Planning. Cornell University. September 2.

“Racial Chain of Being.” Department of Cultural Anthropology. Duke University. February 7.

2021 “Ima Put a Computational Hex on You.” Visual Ethics, Networked Selves. Post Digital Intimacies Research and the Networked Public-Private Research Network. June 29. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzbyuOeozMA

FemmeUnbound,” Feminisms Unbound-Going Viral. MIT. April 15

2020 “Racial Chain of Being.” Digital Aesthetics: Critical Approaches to Computational Culture. Stanford Humanities Center. December 8.

“Racial Chain of Being.” Northumbria University. Newcastle. Postponed due to COVID-19.

2019 “Streaking.” Revi(ualis)ing Intersectionality. DeZim. Berlin. December 18.

Black Data.” Afrotectopia. Google. New York. September 23. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxuDiCzhywI

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

“Hard Feelings.” Transmediale. HKW, Berlin. February 3.

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

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

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

2015 “The Political Aesthetics of Drag.” Central Washington University. Ellensburg, WA. May 27.

“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. https://www.ici-berlin.org/event/624/

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

“Zombie Porn: Necropolitics, Sex, and Queer Socialities.” Transmediale, Berlin. January 30. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySe0qjh4en8

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

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

“On Not Hooking Up.” Grinnell College. February 6.

PRESENTATIONS

2022 Discussant. The Digital Closet: LGBTQIA+ Censorship Online.” Alexander Monea and Shaka McGlotten: In Conversation. Bureau of General Services—Queer Division. Online. April 28.

Roundtable presenter. “Black Joy by Any Means Necessary: Deviance, Pleasure and Critical Media.” Annenberg School for Communication. Center for Media at Risk. University of Pennsylvania. April 7.

2021 Panelist. “Racial Chain of Being” Opaque Anthropologies: Confession, Transparency, Refusal, and Recognition. American Anthropological Association. Baltimore. November 18.

Roundtable participant. “Artificial Ignorance Roundtable.” Society for Literature, Society, and the Arts. Virtual conference. October 2.

Chair. “Digital Spaces Queer Feminist Perspectives on Political Homophobia and Anti-Feminism in the Middle East and Europe.” Humboldt University Berlin, Brown University Center for Middle East Studies, and Heinrich Böll Stiftung. Virtual conference. September 25.

Roundtable presenter. “Queer Witcheries: Sex Magicks and Networked Hexes.” The Witch Institute. August 17.

Discussant. “Pride, the Internet, and the Pandemic.” The Mozilla Foundation. June 22.

Roundtable presenter: “Queer Histories of Computing.” Society for Cinema and Media Studies. March 17-20.

Discussant. “Durst Distinguished Lecture Series: Fred Moten in Conversation with Professor Mariel Rodney and Professor Shaka McGlotten.” Purchase College-SUNY. February 25.

2019 Roundtable presenter. “Data as Terror, Data as Transformation.” American Studies Association. Honolulu. November 6-10.

2018 Panelist. “Streaking.” Society for Cinema and Media Studies. Toronto. March 17.

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

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

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

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

Roundtable participant. “Queering Anthropology.” Yale University. New Haven. February 13.

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

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

Panelist. “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 Panelist. “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. New York. April 8-9.

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

PANELS ORGANIZED

2021 “Pedagogies of Unlearning: Remembering Lauren Berlant.” CLAGS (The Center for LGBTQ Studies). December 15.

“Queer Witcheries: Sex Magicks and Networked Hexes.” The Witch Institute. August 17.

2018 “Pose for Me: Performative Dialogue.” Akademie Schloss Solitude. Stuttgart. June 25

2017 “Digital Deception and the Queer Life of Data.” American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting. Washington, DC. November 29.

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.