Digital Studies

Digital systems pervade classic STS sites of interest, from connecting laboratories to mediating lay-expert divides. But STS has so far been reticent to build the theoretical and analytical perspectives necessary for embracing digital systems as an important element of contemporary fieldwork, research, and practice...
Vertesi, 2016

21st-century collaboration technologies are challenging the way we think about work, play and communication, long before Covid-19 forced everyone onto Zoom. I study collaborative teams and digital environments in my work at NASA, and I use these insights to put these insights into practice in publications in Human-Computer Interaction and Computer-Supported Cooperative Work. But I am also passionate about thinking about how we study digital environments, and how we might build different kinds of systems too.

With my colleague David Ribes and an interdisciplinary, transnational team, we assembled the massive and extraordinary digitalSTS project: a collaborative journey that tried to theorize a next generation of approaches to science and technology studies, in the digital era. The edited volume is only one part of this project's culmination.

I am also part of a community of practitioners that tries to put alternative values at the center for designing everyday technologies. Sometimes this means thinking differently about how people keep their archives, or how we build for 'developing economies', or how we study different communities of people responsibly. I co-chaired the alt.CHI track at the ACM's Human Computer Interaction conference for two years. And in Spring 2021 I take this critical perspective to the design of anti-racist technologies in a Grand Challenge class with Princeton students.

Key Publications


digitalSTS: A Fieldguide for Science and Technology Studies, edited with David Ribes, with Steve Jackson, Yanni Loukissas, Laura Forlano, Daniela Rosner, Carl Disalvo, Hanna Rose Shell

Princeton University Press

Handbook Article

Engaging, Designing, and Making Digital Systems, with David Ribes, Laura Forlano, Yanni Loukissas and Marisa Cohn

Handbook of Science and Technology Studies, 4th edition, edited by Ulrike Felt, Rayvon Fouché, Clark Miller and Laurel Smith-Doerr. MIT Press: 169-193.


Seizing the Digital.

Engaging STS 2: 180-192.(Open Access)


Seamful Spaces: Heterogeneous Infrastructures in Interaction

Science, Technology and Human Values, 39.2: 264-284.

Guest Editor

Transnational HCI with Irina Shklovski, Janet Vertesi, Silvia Lindtner, and Lucy Suchman

Journal of Human Computer Interaction.


Postcolonial Computing: A Lens on Design and Development, with Lilly Irani, Paul Dourish, Kavita Phillip, and Rebecca Grinter

ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp.1311-1320.


How HCI Interprets the Probes, with Kirsten Boehner, Phoebe Sengers, and Paul Dourish.

ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp.1077-1086.


To Have and To Hold: Exploring the Personal Archive, with Joseph Kaye et al.

ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp.275-284.