Canada 150 Research Chair / Professor

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Room: TASC II 7812

Wendy Chun

Wendy Hui Kyong Chun is Simon Fraser University’s Canada 150 Research Chair in New Media, Professor in the School of Communication, and Director of the Digital Democracies Institute. At the Institute, she leads the Mellon-funded Data Fluencies Project, which combines the interpretative traditions of the arts and humanities with critical work in the data sciences to express, imagine, and create innovative engagements with (and resistances to) our data-filled world.

She has studied both Systems Design Engineering and English Literature, which she combines and mutates in her research on digital media. She is author many books, including: Control and Freedom: Power and Paranoia in the Age of Fiber Optics (MIT, 2006), Programmed Visions: Software and Memory (MIT 2011), Updating to Remain the Same: Habitual New Media (MIT 2016), and Discriminating Data: Correlation, Neighborhoods, and the New Politics of Recognition (2021, MIT Press). She has been Professor and Chair of the Department of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University, where she worked for almost two decades and is currently a Visiting Professor. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and has also held fellowships from: the Guggenheim, ACLS, American Academy of Berlin, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard.

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Currently Teaching


Future courses may be subject to change.

SFu digital democracies INSTITUTE

The Digital Democracies Institute at Simon Fraser University is a group of diverse scholars and stakeholders from around the world who collaborate across disciplines, schools, industry, and public sectors to research and create vibrant democratic technologies and cultures. We are led by Canada 150 Research Chair in New Media, Wendy Hui Kyong Chun. Institute researchers come from the humanities, social sciences, computer and data sciences to address questions of equality and social justice. Overall, our work aims to combat issues such as online “echo chambers,” abusive language, discriminatory algorithms and mis/disinformation. Learn more about the Institute's research projects.

A range of disciplines provides rich perspectives on democracy’s ideals and practices in the Internet age. Yet, despite the best efforts of specialists in various disciplines and sectors, the problems of misinformation, radicalization, echo chambers, and abusive language persist. A lack of communication across disciplinary and sectoral boundaries means that insights into these problems may be replicated and not shared, and solutions that may depend on insights from another discipline may not be considered. In addition, the lack of a common vocabulary inhibits the development of shared theoretical frameworks and solutions. The Digital Democracies Institute aims to bridge this gap through interdisciplinary collaboration and knowledge mobilization.





Book Chapters

  • “Collaborative Filtering,” Oxford Handbook of Media, Technology, and Organization (forthcoming, Oxford University Press, 2019).
  • “New Media and Digital Culture,” Blackwell Companion to Critical and Cultural Theory (Blackwell, 2017).
  • Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, Richard Grusin, Patrick Jagoda and Rita Raley, “Dark Side of the Digital Humanities,” Debates in the Digital Humanities, Eds. Matthew Gold and Lauren Klein (University of Minnesota Press, 2016), 493-509. 
  • “Somebody Said New Media,” New Media, Old Media: A History and Theory Reader, second edition, Eds. Wendy Hui Kyong Chun and Anna Fisher, with Thomas W. Keenan (Routledge 2015): 1-16.
  • “Ubiquitous Memory: I do not Remember, We do not Forget,” Ubiquitous Computing,Complexity and Culture. Eds. Ulrik Ekman, Jay David Bolter, Lily Diaz, Morten Søndergaard, and Maria Engberg. (Routledge, 2015), 161-174
  • “The Dangers of Transparent Friends: Crossing the Public and Intimate Spheres,” From Voice to Influence: Understanding Citizenship in a Digital Age, Eds. Danielle Allen and Jennifer Light (University of Chicago Press, 2015), 105-130.
  • “Fun is a Battlefield,” with Andrew Lison. Fun and Software. Exploring pleasure, paradox and pain in computing . Ed. Olga Goriunova (Bloomsbury, 2014).
  • “Imaginando nómadas.” Nomadismos Tecnológicos. In English, Portuguese, and Spanish. Eds, Jorge La Ferla and Giselle Beiguelman (Espacio Fundación Telefónica/Instituto Sergio Motta, Buenos Aires, 2011).
  • "Control y libertad," "La renovación de los nuevos medios," and "Medios demoníacos." Arte, ciencia y tecnología. Un panorama crítico. Ed. Jorge La Ferla (Espacio Fundación Telefónica 2010).
  • “Imagined Networks: Race, Digital Media and the University.” In English, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Traces 5: Universities in Translation: The Mental Labor of Globalization.
  • Traces: A Multilingual Series of Translation and Cultural Theory (Hong Kong University Press, 2010).
  • “Digital Media, History of” International Encyclopedia of Communication (Blackwell, 2008).
  • “Programmability.” Software Studies. Ed. Matthew Fuller (MIT Press, 2008).
  • “Did Someone Say New Media?” New Media, Old Media. (New York: Routledge, 2006), 1-10.
  • “Control and Freedom: On Interactivity as a Software.” 2004 Proceedings of the InternationalSociety of Electronic Art. Reprinted as “Control and Freedom: Software and Causal Pleasure / Contrôle et liberté: logiciel et plaisir causal.” Art++. in French and English. Ed. David-Olivier Lartigaud (Editions HYX, 2011).
  • “Human-Mediated-Communications.” Reality/Simulacra/Artificial: Ontologies of Postmodernity. in English and Portuguese. Ed. Enrique Larreta (Rio de Janeiro: Universidade Candido Mendes, 2003).
  • “Orienting Orientalism, or How to Map Cyberspace.” Asian Eds. Rachel Lee and Sau-ling Wong (New York: Routledge 2003), 3-36.
  • An abridged version reprinted in Zoya Koyur, Global Visual Cultures: Representation, Place, Power (Blackwell 2011).
  • “Othering Space.” Visual Culture Reader 2.0. ed. Nick Mirzoeff (New York: Routledge 2003), 241-254.

honours and awards

  • Visiting Scholar, Annenberg School of Communications, University of Pennsylvania, Fall 2018
  • Fellow, American Academy of Berlin, Spring 2017
  • Guggenheim Fellow, 2016
  • ACLS Fellow, 2016
  • Velux Visiting Professor of Management, Politics and Philosophy, Copenhagen Business School (2015-6).
  • Wayne Morse Chair for Law and Politics, University of Oregon (2014-5)
  • Visiting Professor, Leuphana University (2013-4).
  • Faculty Fellow, Digital Cultures Research Lab, Leuphana University, (2013-4_
  • Member, School of Social Sciences, Institute for Advanced Study, (Princeton), AY2011-12
  • Teaching with Technology Award, May 2011
  • NEH/UCHRI Fellow, University of Southern California, July-August, 2010
  • Edwin and Shirley Seave Faculty Fellow, Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women, AY 2008-2009
  • Fellow, Vectors Summer Fellowship Program, July 2006
  • Fellow, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, 2002-2003.
  • Henry Merritt Wriston Fellowship, Brown University, 2002-3 (deferred to spring 2004).
    Mellon Minority Undergraduate Fellowship Outstanding Mentor Book/Research Award, 2002.
  • Doctoral Fellowship, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Canada, 1995-1997.


Wendy Hui Kyong Chun is author of Updating to Remain the Same: Habitual New Media (MIT 2016), Programmed Visions: Software and Memory (MIT 2011), and Control and Freedom: Power and Paranoia in the Age of Fiber Optics (MIT, 2006). Most generally, her scholarly work investigates the relationship between cultural formations and technological artifacts, between theoretical concepts in the humanistic and technological disciplines, and between popular perceptions of technology and technological protocols. Situated mainly in the field of new media studies, her larger projects have been driven by questions such as: What is the impact of control technologies on mass media? What made the Internet, a communications network that had existed for years, a "new" or "exceptional" medium in the mid-1990s? How does the concept of "memory" cut across computational, biological and humanistic fields? She is currently completing a manuscript entitled Discriminating Data: Individuals, Proxies, Neighborhoods.

Funded Research

  • Co-Organizer, 1st Workshop on Abusive Language Online, 2017Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Vancouver (August 2017; Malcolm S. Forbes Center for Culture and Media Studies; StrainTek; Google ; Amazon ; New York Times.
  • PI with Timon Beyes, Leuphana University, Terms of Media (Center for Digital Cultures EU Gran; Malcolm S. Forbes Center for Culture and Media Studies
  • University Humanities Initiative and Center; Brown University Creative Arts; Council;  Brown University Lectureships Fund
  • PI, Habits of Living, January 2012-January 2014. (Malcolm S. Forbes Center for Culture and Media Studies; Brown University Humanities Initiative; Brown University;Creative Arts Council; Brown University Cogut Center for the Humanities; Brown University Office of International Affairs; Brown University
  • Lectureships Fund
  • Pembroke Center Seed Grant for Collaborative and Interdisciplinary Research, Feminist Dialogues on Technology, 2013-4.
  • Co-PI (PI: Tara McPherson; co-PIs: Brian Goldfarb, Nicholas Mirzeoff, and Joan Saab), The Alliance for Networking Visual Culture, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, June 2009-July 2012. 
  • Co-PI (PI: Tara McPherson; co-PIs: Brian Goldfarb, Nicholas Mirzeoff, and Joan Saab), Planning Grant for “Transforming Visual Culture Project, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (December 2007-May 2009) 

Digital Democracies Institute

The Digital Democracies Institute at Simon Fraser University (SFU) integrates research in the humanities and data sciences to address questions of equality and social justice. It will combat the proliferation of online “echo chambers” and discriminatory algorithms by creating alternative data literacies and paradigms for connection: from applications and methods to transforming hostile social media exchanges into productive dialogues, to critical analyses of fake news and its historical evolution.

Faculty: Wendy Chun