Christian Sandvig Appointed to the Recently Announced H. Marshall McLuhan Collegiate Professorship in Digital Media at the University of Michigan


Dr. Christian Sandvig

The H. Marshall McLuhan Collegiate Professorship in Digital Media, School of Information

Christian Sandvig is the H. Marshall McLuhan Collegiate Professor of Digital Media at the University of Michigan, where he teaches in both Information and Communication Studies. He is a researcher specializing in studying the consequences of algorithmic systems that curate and organize culture. He has written about social media, wireless systems, broadband Internet, online video, domain names, and Internet policy. His group blog was named one of the “Must-Follow Feeds” in science, culture, and design by Wired.

Before moving to Michigan, Sandvig was a faculty member at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (where he founded the Center for People & Infrastructures) and Oxford University. Sandvig has also been a visiting scholar at McGill University, the Oxford Internet Institute, the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies at Oxford, Intel Research, Microsoft Research, the Sloan School of Management at MIT, and the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard.

Sandvig was named a “next-generation leader in science and technology policy” by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He received the Faculty Early Career Development Award from the US National Science Foundation (NSF CAREER) in Human-Centered Computing.

He has published over 50 scholarly journal articles, book chapters, and papers in conference proceedings, receiving “best paper,” “first prize” and other awards from these venues (including ACM CHI, ICA, AEJMC, ICWSM, SCMS, and TPRC). His work has been translated into French, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, and Hungarian.

The US National Science Foundation, the Social Science Research Council of New York, the MacArthur Foundation, the Economic and Social Research Council of the United Kingdom, and the Internet Society have funded Sandvig’s research.

Sandvig is also a computer programmer with industry experience consulting for a Fortune 500 company, a regional government, and a San Francisco Bay Area software start-up.

Quotations, interviews, and articles about Sandvig’s research have appeared in stories in/on The EconomistThe New York TimesLe MondeNPRthe BBCThe AtlanticThe New Yorker, and other media outlets. Sandvig’s own writing has appeared in The Huffington PostThe Guardian, and Wired.

Sandvig received the Ph.D. in Communication from Stanford University in 2002.

Sometimes Sandvig writes about himself in the third person.

Marshall McLuhan in Michigan 

(This is not that much compared to McLuhan’s 33-year career at the University of Toronto (1946-1979), but they named a funded professorship for him at Michigan. And U of Toronto? There’s a room bearing his name at the iSchool.)

H. Marshall McLuhan periodically visited the University of Michigan from 1944 to 1978. He used the University of Michigan Library for his research, attended university events, met colleagues, and gave occasional lectures. These included a university lecture, A College of Engineering lecture, and a broadcast on WUOM. His book, Understanding Media, was excerpted in the Michigan Daily in 1965, and in 1966, the Michigan Daily published a guide to “McLuhanism.” His work inspired a column (“Medium”) in the counterculture Ann Arbor Sun in 1968 and he was placed on the reading list of the Ann Arbor-based Rainbow People’s Party. Mr. McLuhan’s mother, Elsie, lived in Detroit, where Mr. McLuhann also regularly spoke at the Ford Auditorium from 1959 to 1971. Mr. McLuhan himself lived in nearby Windsor, Ontario for two years [while teaching at Assumption College, now Assumption University, part of the University of Windsor].

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