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Photograph of Chelsea Butkowski

Chelsea Butkowski Assistant Professor Communication Studies

Ph.D. Communication, Cornell University
M.A. Communication, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
B.A. Communication & Art History, SUNY Geneseo

Dr. Chelsea Butkowski is an Assistant Professor of Data, Media & Identity in American University's School of Communication. Their research examines the relationship between media technologies and identity, including the social practices and effects of everyday social media use. Butkowski's research interests include feminist and queer media studies, platforms and algorithms, visual cultures, and political communication.

Recent work has involved analyses of digital popular culture during U.S. elections and legacies of gender stereotyping in selfies. They are currently undertaking a multi-year study of social media and identity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Butkowski draws from a background in art history, material culture, and museum studies to situate contemporary digital and visual media within wider historical contexts of communication practice. They also specialize in social scientific media research methods, including content analysis and in-depth interviewing.

Butkowski's research has been recognized with support from major funding organizations and awards at national and international conferences. Their work can also be found in a number of leading communication journals, including New Media & Society; Social Media + Society; Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication; Communication, Culture & Critique; and Feminist Media Studies. Butkowski is also affiliated with the UNC Center on Information Technology and Public Life (CITAP) and the UPenn Center on Digital Culture & Society (CDCS).
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-365 Digital Media and Culture

  • COMM-378 Intro to Comm Research Methods

Fall 2024

  • COMM-378 Intro to Comm Research Methods

  • COMM-751 Adv Media Research Methods