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Area of Study: Media and Technology Studies

Office: 127 Bynum Hall
Office Hours: By appointment
Curriculum Vitae




PhD, MS, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

BA, MA, California State University, Northridge

Torin Monahan is a Professor of Communication at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and co-Editor-in-Chief of Surveillance & Society, the leading academic journal on surveillance. He is an internationally recognized researcher who studies the social and cultural dimensions of surveillance systems, with a specific focus on gender and racial inequalities. He has given expert testimony to the European Commission and has been an invited discussant to the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence. He has published over sixty articles or book chapters and seven books, including Surveillance Studies: A Reader (with David Murakami Wood) and Surveillance in the Time of Insecurity, which won the Surveillance Studies Book Prize of the Surveillance Studies Network. His latest book, Crisis Vision: Race and the Cultural Production of Surveillance (Duke University Press), investigates the racializing effects of contemporary surveillance through the lens of visual and performance art.


Research Interests

Dr. Monahan is an interdisciplinary scholar who critically interrogates the role of technological systems in reproducing or aggravating social inequalities, as well as their less-realized capacity to foster forms of empowerment. Drawing upon media and technology studies, science and technology studies (STS), and surveillance studies, much of this work focuses on how organizations mediate relations among groups and encode political orders through technological means. He has conducted research on digital platforms, art-based activism, national security, hospitals, and public education. His latest research project (The Dual Careers Project) is a nationwide study, funded by the National Science Foundation, on the challenges faced by academic couples.

Other areas of expertise include ethnography, urban studies, platform studies, visual culture, and design studies.


Recent Publications

Monahan, T. 2022. Crisis Vision: Race and the Cultural Production of Surveillance. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Monahan, T., & Fisher, J.A. 2023. Partnering Through It: Confronting the Institutional Challenges Facing Dual-Career Academic Couples. Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering 29 (3): 87-101.

Monahan, T., & Lamb, C.G. 2022. Transit’s Downward Spiral: Assessing the Social-justice Implications of Ridehailing Platforms and COVID-19 for Public Transportation in the US. Cities 120: 103438 [1-11].

Monahan, T. 2021. Recoding the City: Cultural Mediation of Short-term Rental Platforms in the US. Cultural Studies 35 (4/5): 946-967.

Fisher, J.A., Wood, M.M., & Monahan, T. 2021. Speculating on Precarious Income: Finance Cultures and the Risky Strategies of Healthy Volunteers in Clinical Drug Trials. Journal of Cultural Economy 14 (4): 464-484.

Monahan, T. 2021. Reckoning with COVID, Racial Violence, and the Perilous Pursuit of Transparency. Surveillance & Society 19 (1): 1-10.