Tarleton Gillespie

Tarleton Gillespie

Associate Professor

315 Kennedy Hall
(607) 255-8403

Tarleton Gillespie is currently an associate professor in the Communication Department here at Cornell, with graduate field appointments in Information Science and Science & Technology Studies. He received his Ph.D. in Communication from the University of California at San Diego in 2002, his M.A. from the same in 1997. His first book, Wired Shut: Copyright and the Shape of Digital Culture, was published in June of 2007 by MIT Press.

Research Focus

Prof. Gillespie`s research focuses on the ongoing controversies surrounding digital media and commercial providers. His past work examined the move to technical solutions to copyright, their political and cultural implications, and how this move reveals underlying tensions between law, technology, and culture. His new research examines the implications of online media platforms as the new distributors of cultural and political discourse, and the mediating role played by algorithms for public knowledge and discourse.

Outreach and Extension Focus

Prof. Gillespie aims for his research to speak beyond his academic discipline, contributing to policy debates about copyright, new technology, and digital culture as well as offering resources for citizens of that culture to understand and intervene in the complex debates going on around them. Recently this has included giving talks to local PTAs and schools with Profs Sahara Byrne and Jeffrey Hancock on the contemporary relationship between teens and digital information.

Teaching Focus

Prof. Gillespie's courses examine the intersection between media, new technologies, and public life, from an historical and sociological perspective. He aims to spur students to be critical thinkers about the mediascape that surrounds them and the technologies they interact with everyday, urging them to be media-savvy citizens in an information-saturated environment.

Awards and Honors

  • Residential Research Fellow (2012) European Institutes for Advanced Study (EURIAS)

Selected Publications

Journal Publications

  • Gillespie, T. L. (2012). Can an Algorithm Be Wrong?. Limn. 2.
  • Epstein, D., Nisbet, E., & Gillespie, T. L. (2011). Who’s Responsible for the Digital Divide? Public Perceptions and Policy Implications. The Information Society. 27:92-104.
  • Braun, J., & Gillespie, T. L. (2011). Hosting the Public Discourse, Hosting the Public: When Online News and Social Media Converge. Journalism Practice. 5:383-398.
  • Gillespie, T. L. (2010). The Politics of ‘Platforms’. New Media Society. 12:347-364.
  • Gillespie, T. L. (2009). Characterizing Copyright in the Classroom: The Cultural Work of Anti-Piracy Campaigns. Communication, Culture, and Critique. 2:274-318.
  • Gillespie, T. L. (2006). Designed to ‘Effectively Frustrate’: Copyright, Technology, and the Agency of Users. New Media Society. 8:651-669.
  • Gillespie, T. L. (2006). Engineering a Principle: 'End-to-End' in the Design of the Internet. Social Studies of Science. 36:427-457.
  • Gillespie, T. L. (2004). Copyright and Commerce: The DMCA, Trusted Systems, and the Stabilization of Distribution. The Information Society. 20:239-54.

Book

  • Gillespie, T. L. (2007). Wired Shut: Copyright and the Shape of Digital Culture. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA

Presentations and Activities

  • Toward a Sociology of Algorithms. March 2012. Complex Systems Institute (IXXI), Ecole Normale Superiere de Lyon. Lyon, France.