American Studies Welcomes Dr. Jason Farman

Originally hailing from California, Farman received his Ph.D in Performance Studies and Digital Media from the University of California, Los Angeles. Farman‘s research probes mobile technologies, social media, video games, digital storytelling and performance art, surveillance, and embodiment. He has published in New Media & Society, Communication Quarterly, and Contemporary Theatre Review. His most recent project is a book manuscript titled Mobile Interface Theory, which is set to be published by Routledge in 2011. In this work, Farman investigates the changing conceptions of embodiment and space in pervasive computing culture – a shift from an earlier era of personal computing. He focuses on the use of mobile technologies for performance art, site-specific narrative, and gaming.

Dr. Farman is excited by the interdisciplinarity of the department, and his work readily fits our commitment to the two intellectual pillars: the cultures of everyday life and the social construction of identity and difference. As Dr. Farman explains, digital technology is inherently interdisciplinary, particularly as we can see its impact on every aspect of everyday life. Dr. Farman finds it interesting that so many students come to his seminars initially unaware of the influence of digital media in academic inquiry.

Dr. Farman‘s professorship includes an appointment with the University Honors Program in Digital Cultures, an on-campus living and learning program, with Professors Kirschenbaum and Clement and he is presently envisioning Digital Cultures’ objectives and features.

He will be splitting his time between teaching for the American Studies Department and the Digital Cultures program alongside Associate Professor Hasan Elahi and Assistant Professor Tara Rodgers, also a newly-appointed professors in Art and Women’s Studies, respectively.

Dr. Farman‘s speaking engagements this academic year include presenting his research on mapping and spatial representation for the Digital Humanities lecture series, acting as a panel member for the Faculty Tech Talks, and sharing his work with the Critical Theory colloquium.

Outside of his professional life, Dr. Farman is settling into Maryland with his wife, who also teaches on campus. He maintains a research website ( and updates his Twitter account (@Farman) with the latest on current events, media news, and the generally great moments of his everyday life.