Grant Bollmer

is a theorist and historian of digital culture.


I am an Associate Professor of Media Studies at NC State University, where I teach in the Department of Communication and the Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media Ph.D. program. My research investigates a wide range of topics related to digital media, including emotion recognition, selfies, memes, influencers, terrible videogames, motion capture, virtual reality and empathy, among many other topics. 

I am the author of three books. The first, Inhuman Networks: Social Media and the Archaeology of Connection (2016),  examines the history of connectivity in Western culture as it crosses the development of technological, biological, financial, and social networks. The second, Theorizing Digital Cultures (2018),  provides a model for the study of digital media that synthesizes British and German approaches to media and culture. And the third, Materialist Media Theory: An Introduction (2019), attempts to update and revise the claims of Marshall McLuhan and Harold Innis in relation to a variety of recent theoretical innovations, especially New and Feminist Materialisms.

Among other awards, I’ve been the recipient of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, a residency at the Media Archaeology Lab at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and was a contributor to an issue of the magazine esse: Arts + Opinions on “Empathy,” which received an honorable mention for “Best Editorial Package” from the Canadian National Magazine Awards/Les Prix du Magazine Canadien. I was the 2019 recipient of the NC State CHASS Outstanding Junior Faculty Award in the Humanities and the Robert M. Entman Award for Excellence in Communication Research.


This, however, is perhaps my proudest achievement. The above image is a meme by @cyborg.asm on Instagram, referencing the article “Do You Really Want to Live Forever,” which I coauthored with Katherine Guinness. The original meme can be found here and the article can be found here.

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