Day: August 20, 2012

Nathan Carpenter, PhD candidate

Dissertation: Contextualizing and Rearticulating Collective Power in the Digital Era

Today’s technological culture tells us that computer networks and mobile communication technologies are producing powerful new kinds of collective activity, as evidenced through the widespread use of concepts such as “smart mobs,” “crowdsourcing,” and “collective intelligence.”  My work investigates these concepts as sites of cultural and political struggle and asks the following questions: How are these concepts used to reproduce power relationships?  For whom is collective activity powerful?  How can concepts of collective power be reconfigured to enable new forms of political efficacy?

Teaching: As a doctoral student and candidate, I have had the pleasure of teaching a number of introductory and advanced courses, including Perspectives (UN1001, Michigan Tech’s first-year-student seminar), Composition (UN2001), Introduction to Speech Communication (HU2830), Technical and Professional Communication (HU3120), Popular Culture (HU3860), and Media and Communication Theory (HU3871).

Department Activities: In addition to teaching, I have served in the following capacities: as the HDMZ’s Graduate Assistant Director; as the Assistant to the Director of the Communication, Culture, and Media undergraduate degree program; as the Web Coordinator for the Making Our Mark @ MTU diversity project; and as a cohort leader for the Pavlis Institute for Global Technological Leadership.

Student Life: I live with my family in the quiet village of South Range (about 10 minutes south of Houghton).  Besides appreciating having a great place to raise our children (I have a 5-year-old son and a 1-year-old daughter), my wife I and enjoy being able to participate in the thriving local arts community.