Conference Committee

Kimberly Austin
Student Volunteers Chair
Kimberly Austin is a doctoral candidate in the sociology department at the University of Chicago. Her most recent research examines the intersection of classroom practices and reform. Concurrent with her own research, Austin has worked as a researcher at the Urban Education Institute on interdisciplinary projects related to technology and digital media use among teachers and students. Austin has presented at the annual conferences for the American Educational Research Association and the American Sociological Association. The American Educational Research Association and the National Science Foundation have provided support for Austin’s research.
danah boyd
Emerging Platforms and Policies Chair
danah boyd is a social scientist at Microsoft Research and a research associate at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. In her research, she examines everyday practices involving social media, with specific attention to youth participation. Lately, she has been focused on issues related to privacy, publicity, and visibility. She recently co-authored Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media. She is currently co-directing the Youth and Media Policy Working Group, funded by the MacArthur Foundation. She blogs at and tweets at @zephoria. danah also blogs at DML Central.  Watch danah –  danah boyd – discuss what excites her about DML2011.
Sheryl Grant
DML Competition Liason Chair
Sheryl Grant is Director of Social Networking for the national and international HASTAC/MacArthur Foundation Digital Media & Learning Competition, a community partner in the White House’s National Lab Day initiative. HASTAC (pronounced “haystack”; the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory) administers the competition, and is an international network of educators and digital visionaries committed to the creative development and critical understanding of new technologies in life, learning, and society. Follow tweets at @hastac and @dmlcomp. Sheryl is currently a doctoral student at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill’s School of Information and Library Science studying social participation and social media in the public sector. Watch Sheryl – Sheryl Grant – discuss the next conference.
Heather A. Horst
Local Organizing Committee Chair
Heather A. Horst is sociocultural anthropologist at the University of California Humanities Research Institute, University of California, Irvine interested in the relationship between place, space and new media. She is the co-author of The Cell Phone: An Anthropology of Communication (Horst and Miller, Berg, 2006) and Hanging Out, Messing Around and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with Digital Media (Ito, et. al. MIT Press, 2009) and is writing an ethnography that examines youth and family life in Silicon Valley. She is also working on an edited volume on Digital Anthropology. She is currently conducting research on the development of learning networks in New York and Chicago as well as a project, funded by the Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion, exploring the Haitian monetary ecologies and the development of mobile money after the 2010 earthquake.
Trebor Scholz
Social Media Chair
Trebor Scholz teaches in the Department of Culture and Media Studies at Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts in New York City. Over the last two years, Scholz’ work was comprised of writing, teaching, and conference organization. Dr. Trebor Scholz’ research interests focus on social media, especially in education, art, and media activism outside the United States and Europe. His artwork was shown at several Biennials and he has contributed numerous book chapters and articles in the area of Internet Studies. In 2004, he founded the Institute for Distributed Creativity (iDC). Its mailing list, which he moderates, is a leading discussion forum in network culture. Scholz convened several major conferences including Kosova: Carnival in the Eye of the Storm, Free Cooperation (with G. Lovink), Share Widely, and Situated Technologies (with M. Shepard and O. Khan) and The Internet as Playground and Factory (2009). He is currently working on a monograph and an anthology about digital labor. Watch here – Trebor Scholz – for Trebor’s ideas around participation and social media at DML2011.
Mark Surman
New Collectives Chair
Mark Surman is in the business of connecting things: people, ideas, everything. A community technology activist for almost 20 years, Mark is currently the executive director of the Mozilla Foundation, with a focus on inventing new ways to promote openness and opportunity on the Internet. On the side, Mark convenes conversations about ‘open everything‘ in his home town of Toronto and around the world. Before joining Mozilla, Mark was an open philanthropy fellow at the Shuttleworth Foundation in South Africa, he invented new ways to apply open source thinking to social innovation. Earlier, he was the founding director of, a $26 million effort to network community technology activists in countries around the world. Mark has also served as president of the Commons Group, Director of Content and Community at Web Networks and senior advisor to the Volunteer @ction Online grants program team. Mark’s first real job was training social activists to make their own documentaries in the early 1990s. Website: Watch Mark – Mark Surman – discuss the New Collectives track at DML2011.
S. Craig Watkins
Youth, Digital Media and Empowerment Chair
S. Craig Watkins studies young people’s social and digital media behaviors. He teaches in the departments of Radio-Television-Film and Sociology and the Center for African and African American Studies. His latest book, The Young and the Digital: What the Migration to Social Network Sites, Games, and Anytime, Anywhere Media Means for Our Future (Beacon 2009), is based on survey research, in-depth interviews, and fieldwork with teens, young twenty-somethings, teachers, parents, and technology advocates. The Young and the Digital explores young people’s dynamic engagement with social media, games, mobile phones, and communities like Facebook and MySpace. Watkins has participated in the MacArthur Foundation initiative on Youth, Digital Media and Learning a collection of scholars, visionaries, thought leaders, and practitioners from across the world that explores the intersection of digital media, everyday life, and learning. His work on this groundbreaking project has focused on the culture of gaming, the shifting contours of the digital divide, and the social consequences of young people’s innovative uses of new media technologies. Watch Craig – S. Craig Watkins – outline his vision for DML2011.