Researchers

Enda Brophy is an Associate Professor in the School of Communication and an Associate in the Labour Studies Program at Simon Fraser University. His research investigates collective organization at the intersection of digital technology and emergent forms of work in the media, telecommunications, and high-tech industries. His monograph on collective organization among call centre workers in Italy, Ireland, Atlantic Canada and New Zealand in the 1990s and 2000s—Language Put to Work: The Making of the Global Call Centre Workforce—won book of the year awards from the Canadian Association of Work and Labour Studies and the Canadian Communication Association in 2018. He is the co-founder of Justice for Contract Workers @SFU, an organization of workers, students, and faculty fighting to end the outsourcing of food and cleaning services at SFU.

Alessandro Delfanti is associate professor at the University of Toronto. He is the author of The Warehouse. Workers and Robots at Amazon (Pluto 2021), Biohackers. The Politics of Open Science (Pluto 2013), and Introduction to Digital Media (Wiley 2019).

Brian Dolber is Associate Professor of Communication at California State University San Marcos. His current research is with Rideshare Drivers United, an emerging, independent union of app-based drivers in California. A former app-based driver and experienced organizer, Dr. Dolber is particularly interested in how platform organizing can be used to challenge dominant media narratives about technology and labor. He holds a Ph.D. in Communication from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. 

Mark James Dunn is an MA student at SFU’s School of Communication studying prison labour in North America. Combining his two main fields of interest, the labour movement and criminal “justice” reform, his research aims to explore how the phenomenon is changing, or perhaps more importantly how it isn’t changing, in the face of an increasingly (and perhaps inescapably) digital and networked world.

Seamus Bright Grayer is a former graduate student and current research assistant at Simon Fraser University’s School for Communication. He currently works as one of the Chief Stewards for the Teaching Support Staff Union (TSSU).

Lilly Irani is Associate Professor of Communication and Science Studies at University of California, San Diego. As an ethnographer and former technology worker, her research examines the cultural politics of high-tech work and the counter-practices they generate. Dr. Irani is a co-founder and, for a decade, a co-maintainer of the digital labor activism tool Turkopticon used by thousands of Amazon Mechanical Turk (AMT) online workers each month. In a project funded by the Open Society Foundation, she was also on a team that built Dynamo, a social media safe space allowing AMT workers to raise and organize around contentious issues. She is author of Chasing Innovation: Making Entrepreneurial Citizens in Modern India (Princeton University Press, 2019), winner of the 2020 Diana Forsythe Award for Feminist Anthropology of Science, Technology, and Medicine.

Catherine Jeffery is an MA student at Simon Fraser University’s School of Communication whose research focuses on the intersections of financialization, everyday technologies, and critical data studies. Her main project investigates the ways that robo-advising mobile apps integrate people into financial markets and promote specific understandings of finance.

Tamara Kneese is Assistant Professor of Media Studies and Director of Gender and Sexualities Studies at the University of San Francisco. She is currently serving as the Director of Developer Engagement at Intel as part of a sustainability research and design initiative led by Melissa Gregg. Her first book on digital death care practices, Death Glitch, is forthcoming with Yale University Press. She is also the co-editor of The New Death (forthcoming Spring 2022, School for Advanced Research/University of New Mexico Press). Her next major project looks at histories of Bay Area tech industry labor organizing and worker resistance, from subcontracted workers at tech campuses to the gig economy and platformized retail and service labor. Her work has been published in academic journals such as Social Media + SocietyCultural Studies, and Social Text and in popular outlets including The New InquiryLos Angeles Review of BooksLogicReal LifeSlate, and The Atlantic.

Danny Spitzberg is a user researcher for a cooperative economy. He facilitates worker-led research with Turning Basin Labs, a staffing and training co-op based in Oakland, California. Previously he worked with a variety of member-led, community-oriented digital products ranging from Up & Go and Rideshare Drivers United to the Lean Startup Co. and the Harvard Berkman Center. With Start.coop, Danny co-created the Ownership Model Canvas, a tool for designing effective member-ownership, and he also organizes with Exit to Community e2c.how, enabling cooperative ownership for startups. Say hi at @daspitzberg.

Prem Sylvester is an MA student in the School of Communication and holds a B.Tech in Information Technology from College of Engineering Guindy, India. Prem’s interests lie in interdisciplinary work on the production of (cyber)space, networked politics, the materiality of new media, and infrastructures of counterpower. He’s worked in the past in digital journalism and marketing, as well as on media and technology policy research.

Jamie Woodcock is a senior lecturer at the Open University and a researcher based in London. His research is inspired by workers’ inquiry and focuses on labour, work, the gig economy, platforms, resistance, organising, and videogames. Jamie is on the editorial board of Notes from Below and Historical Materialism.