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Photograph of Adrienne Massanari

Adrienne Massanari Associate Professor Communication Studies

PhD, University of Washington
MA, University of Washington
BA, Guilford College

Dr. Adrienne L. Massanari is an Associate Professor in the School of Communication at American University. Prior to joining AU she was Associate Professor in the Department of Communication and affiliate faculty in Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research interests include digital culture, online communities, platform politics, game studies, pop culture, and gender and race online.

Her forthcoming book for MIT Press (Fall 2024), Gaming Democracy: How Silicon Valley Leveled Up the Far-Right, discusses how Silicon Valley’s culture and politics contributed to the rise of the far-right. Her 2015 book, Participatory Culture, Community, and Play: Learning from Reddit (Peter Lang), explored the unique culture of Massanari’s work has appeared in New Media & Society, Feminist Media Studies, Social Media + Society, Journal of Communication, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Journal of Information Technology & Politics, and First Monday. She serves on the editorial boards for the Journal of Sociotechnical Critique (open-access) and New Review of Hypermedia & Multimedia.

Before joining AU and UIC, she was a faculty member in the School of Communication at Loyola University-Chicago, where she also served as the Director for the Center for Digital Ethics and Policy. She also has over ten years of experience working as a user-interface designer, usability consultant, and information architect in corporate and educational settings.

Selected publications
Fox, J., Pearce, K. E., Massanari, A. L., Riles, J. M., Szulc, Ł., Ranjit, Y. S., Trevisan, F., Soriano, C. R. R., Vitak, J., Arora, P., Ahn, S. J., Alper, M., Gambino, A., Gonzalez, C., Lynch, T., Williamson, L. D., & L. Gonzales, A. (2021). Open Science, Closed Doors? Countering Marginalization through an Agenda for Ethical, Inclusive Research in Communication. Journal of Communication, 71(5), 764-784.

Massanari, A. L. (2020). Reddit’s Alt-Right: Toxic Masculinity, Free Speech, and/r/The_Donald. In M. Zimdars & K. McLeod (Eds.) Fake News: Understanding media and misinformation in the digital age (pp. 179-190).

Massanari, A. L. (2018). Rethinking research ethics, power, and the risk of visibility in the era of the “alt-right” gaze. Ethic as method in the era of Big Data (A. Markham & A. Herman, Eds). Special issue of Social Media + Society. Available online:

Massanari, A. L. & Chess, S. (2018). Attack of the 50-Foot Social Justice Warrior: The discursive construction of SJWs in “alt-right” media. Online Misogyny (D. Ging & E. Siapera, Eds). Special issue of Feminist Media Studies. Available online:

Massanari, A. L. (2017). “Come for the period comics. Stay for the cultural awareness.”: Reclaiming the troll identity through feminist humor on Reddit’s /r/TrollXChromosomes. Feminist Media Studies. Available online:

Massanari, A. L. (2016). Contested play: The culture and politics of Reddit bots. In R. Gehl and M. Bakardjieva’s (Eds.) Socialbots and their friends: Digital media and the automation of sociality (pp. 110-127). New York: Routledge.

Massanari, A. L. (2015). #Gamergate and The Fappening: How Reddit’s algorithm, community, and culture support toxic technocultures. New Media & Society. Available online:

Massanari, A. L. (2015). Never Alone (Kisima Inŋitchuŋa): Possibilities for participatory game design. Well-Played, 4(3). Available online:
See Also
Google Scholar profile
For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.


Spring 2024

  • COMM-420 Topics in Mass Media: Pop Culture & Communication

Fall 2024

  • COMM-365 Digital Media and Culture

  • COMM-420 Topics in Mass Media: Pop Culture & Communication