My work in cultural analytics / folklore studies is focused on understanding the role that narrative plays in the nature and spread of online and offline texts. My principal interest is in understanding how stories are constructed, deployed, and received both because of the ways narrative activates our imaginations and the ways that narrative as one of many modes of discourse seems able to make words stick together as they travel across social networks. My focus on the somewhat larger horizon of discourse, as opposed to strictly narrative, is the outcome of years of close examination of actual vernacular texts as they passed between individuals both in face-to-face interaction and online.
While I began this work in folklore studies, I have over the past few years sought to expand the scope of my engagement in order to find those areas of overlap that exist between the humanities, the social sciences, and data and information science in the belief that there is not only strength in diverse perspectives and collaborations but also real opportunity to find tractable insights into larger questions and problems facing the world in which we live and work.
In addition to the usual places to publish, indexed in the vita, I maintain a number of repositories on GitHub, including the current collaboration with Katherine M. Kinnaird of Smith College on TED Talks, whose current state can be glimpsed by anyone curious. (I’m also working on updating my ORCiD.)