Lauren S. Berliner

Lauren Berliner

Associate Professor

B.A., Wesleyan University, English Literature and Anthropology
M.A., Emerson College, Visual & Media Art
Ph.D., University of California, San Diego, Communication

Office:  UW2-322
Email: lsb26@uw.edu
Mailing: Box 358530, 18115 Campus Way NE, Bothell, WA 98011


My primary goal in teaching is to help my students feel energized and equipped to do difficult and important work in the world. And I wish for them to leave my classes with more questions than they started with. I am always pleased when students tell me that my classes have made them consider multiple sides of issues and debates. Is the Internet inherently empowering? How do we learn to see difference?

I am interested in developing new frameworks for critical pedagogy and encourage students to take a praxis-oriented approach to scholarship as well as a scholarly approach to multiple forms of cultural practices. I see pedagogy as a form of critical engagement and community building through collaboration with on-campus and local resources, and believe my role is to enhance these connections for students even after our coursework together has ended. I typically incorporate diverse learning styles and uses of new media forms in the classroom, and enjoy tailoring activities to students’ particular backgrounds, interests, and concerns.

Recent Courses Taught

  • BIS 313: Life Online: Interpreting the Internet
  • BCULST 584:  Media Power and Production
  • BCULST 500: Formations of Cultural Studies
  • BCULST 501: Cultural Studies as Collaboration
  • BIS 233: Participatory Media Culture
  • BIS 300: Interdisciplinary Inquiry
  • BIS 473: Visual Culture Studies in a Digital World 
  • BISMCS 333: Media and Communication Studies


I am interested in ongoing transformations in everyday and amateur media production, intervening in academic, intrapersonal, community, commercial, and activist contexts. I seek to blur distinctions between theory and practice, using collaboration as a way to understand the contemporary use of digital audiovisual technologies. I am particularly interested in studying discourses of media empowerment in relation to the institutional structures and intersubjective dynamics that are shaping the contemporary media production of people at the margins.

My first book, Producing Queer Youth: The Paradox of Digital Media Empowerment combined participatory action research with queer youth media makers along with textual analysis of youth-produced videos to examine how makers negotiate the structural conditions of funding and publicity and incorporate digital self-representations into practices of identity management. I have also co-edited a volume with Ron Krabill called Feminist Interventions in Participatory Media: Pedagogy, Publics, Practice, which provides theoretical, creative, and practical strategies for integrating technology, social change, media activism, and/or praxis into teaching or community work.

An important facet of my public scholarship is my role as a Associate Director of Los Angeles Filmforum's Festival of (In)Appropriation, an international traveling showcase of contemporary, short audiovisual works that appropriate existing film, video, or other media and repurpose it in “inappropriate” and inventive ways.

My current book project focuses on digital (social) media that has been posted online but does not manage to circulate. By studying media that is either filtered out or over, or simply unwatched, I argue that we might learn about what themes, identities, and production practices are escaping (algorithmically-informed) representation. I am also currently co-editing a journal issue with Jonathan Cohn called Genre After Media, which explores transformations in genre among changing media.

Selected Publications



Selected Articles & Chapters