Curriculum Vitae

ROBERT W. GEHL portrait
  • Affiliated Faculty, Writing and Rhetoric Studies
  • Associate Professor, Communication


Research Summary

My main objects of study include social media, network culture, the history of computing, and software studies. I mix cultural studies, science and technology studies, and political economy in my analysis.

Research Statement

In a nutshell, I study social media software. Specifically, I look at how the software that underpins social media shapes and is shaped by culture. To do this, I draw on interdisciplinary fields such as science and technology studies, political economy, software studies, and critical/cultural studies. I've published research that critiques the architecture, code, culture, and design of social media sites such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and blogs in Social Text, Lateral, The International Journal of Cultural Studies, New Media and Society, Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, Television and New Media, and First Monday.My book, Reverse Engineering Social Media (Temple U P), explores the architecture and political economy of social media. I teach courses in communication technology, composition in new media, and political economy of communication. I've talked to journalists about friendship in social media, anonymity on the Internet and political discourse, and privacy and surveillance.

Research Keywords

  • digital media, Interest Level: 5
  • Web 2.0, Interest Level: 5
  • Technology and culture, Interest Level: 5
  • Software Studies, Interest Level: 5
  • Social Media, Interest Level: 5
  • Political Economy, Interest Level: 5
  • Intellectual Property, Interest Level: 2
  • History of computers, Interest Level: 4
  • History of Science and Technology, Interest Level: 3
  • Cyberwar, Interest Level: 3
  • Cultural Studies, Interest Level: 5
  • Computer Applications, Interest Level: 3

Grants, Contracts & Research Gifts

  • Cyberwar Discourse Project. PI: Sean Lawson. Co-PI(s): Robert W. Gehl. College of Humanities, 08/01/2010 - 05/30/2011. Total project budget to date: $19,800.00

Research Equipment and Testing Expertise

  • Ubuntu Linux Server.


  • All of my work. Robert W. Gehl, 01/2015. Unless otherwise noted, all my work is licensed Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International.