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Professor Emeritus

Media and Technology



Masters of Environmental Studies, York University; Ph.D., Media and Technology Studies. University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Hillis’ research focuses on: the politics of information technologies, with an emphasis on electronically mediated communication; the technologization of the “public sphere”; the relationships among identity, information, and the form a technology takes; and minority body politics and social change.

Current Research: I am Professor of Media and Technology Studies in the Department of Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  My first book, Digital Sensations: Space, Identity and Embodiment in Virtual Reality (1999) was published by University of Minnesota Press and in 2004 was translated into Portuguese (Sensações Digitais: Espaço, Identidade e Corporificações. Unisinos, Brazil).  In 2003 Digital Sensations won UNC’s Hettleman Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Achievement by a Young Faculty member. I am also the principal editor of Everyday eBay: Culture, Collecting and Desire (Routledge 2006) and in 2009 published Online a Lot of the Time: Ritual, Fetish, Sign (Duke). In 2012 I published Google and the Culture of Search (Routledge).

My current book project is a co-edited anthology, Networked Affect, M.I.T Press (2015).  I am also conducting research for a monograph, Making Enlightenment Reel, which will assess linkages among: the ideal of the modern, alienated and mobile subject; the built form and social geographies of the greater Los Angeles area; and the role of films set in Los Angeles, and in which the city and spatial isolation constitute “supporting characters.”