Meryl Alper is a Ph.D. Candidate in Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California. Starting in Fall 2015, she will be an Assistant Professor at Northeastern University in the Department of Communication Studies. 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 the negotiation of mobility and immobility in public and private space through the use of communication technologies. Her work specifically focuses on the implications of new media for individuals with disabilities, children, and families. She integrates theoretical, empirical, and archival methods and employs 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.
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, IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, and Digital Culture & Education. Her research has been featured in The Atlantic, The Verge, Gizmodo, and Wired.
Meryl Alper can be reached via email at malper [at] usc [dot] edu, and on Twitter @merylalper.