Meryl Alper is a Ph.D. student in Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism at the University of Southern California.
Working with my advisor, Professor Henry Jenkins, and with USC Cinema School Professor Ellen Seiter, I study families’ evolving relationships with old and new media and technology from a historical and sociological perspective.
Specific research topics include:
- New media and transmedia studies
- Children’s technological culture
- Digital media and learning among young children
- History of domestic technologies
- Intersections of disability and technology, particularly as they relate to DIY/maker practices of hacking, appropriation, and innovation
Currently, I am doing ethnographic work focusing on how children with developmental disabilities (e.g., autism and cerebral palsy) and their families incorporate high-tech AAC (augmentative and alternative communication) devices such as iPads into their everyday lives. I am also working on an archival project on the social construction of the child as computer “hacker” and “maker.”