Meryl Alper is a Ph.D. Candidate in Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California. She graduated magna cum laude from Northwestern University, double majoring in Communication Studies and History. She also holds a certificate in Early Childhood Education from UCLA.
Alper’s research explores networked immobility: the negotiation of immobility in public and private space through the use of information and communication technologies. She focuses on what networked immobilities and mobilities mean for various populations, with a current emphasis on individuals with disabilities, children, and families. In order to answer these questions, she integrates theoretical, empirical, and archival methods from a historical, sociological, and critical/cultural perspective.
Alper has worked for over a decade in the children’s media industry. As an undergraduate at Northwestern, she was Lab Assistant Manager in the NSF-funded Children’s Digital Media Center/Digital-Kids Lab and interned in the Education & Research Department at Sesame Workshop in New York. Post graduation, she worked in Los Angeles as a Research Manager for Nick Jr., conducting formative research for the Emmy-nominated educational preschool television series Ni Hao, Kai-lan and The Fresh Beat Band. She is also a Research Associate with The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop.
Alper is the author of Digital Youth with Disabilities (2014, MIT Press). Her work has been published in New Media & Society, International Journal of Communication, Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, and Digital Culture & Education.
Her research has been featured in The Atlantic, The Verge, Gizmodo, and Wired. She is also the recipient of the Top Student Paper Award (2011) in the Children, Adolescents and Media Division of the International Communication Association (ICA).
Meryl Alper can be reached via email at malper [at] usc [dot] edu, and on Twitter @merylalper.