Theresa M. Senft

Dr. , Ms, Senior Lecturer

1993 …2019
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Personal profile


Theresa (Terri) Senft has a BA (Hons) in Political Science (SUNY Albany USA 1983) and a PhD in Performance Studies (New York University  2004). Her research centers on the performance of self via digital media, with a focus on the visual display of identity via photo, video, and streaming technologies.

Terri began publishing on internet culture in 1997, and is a founding member of the Association of Internet Researchers. In the mid-2000s, she studied the 24/7 webcamming movement , using an auto-ethnographic approach that involved becoming an "ersatz camgirl" herself for a year. Terri then turned her attention to social media, tracing how the new technolgical ease of embedding visual material led first to online self-branding practice known as  "microcelebrity,"  and later, to the global phenomenon known as "selfie culture."  In 2013, Terri founded the international Selfie Researcher Network, now at more than 3,000 members. In 2015, she co-edited a special issue of on Global Selfie Culture for the International Journal of Communication.

Terri's most recent work involves tracing how the technological affordances and corporate constraints of social media have yielded a new category of identity-the platform user--that maps to, and deviates from  'older'   categories such as gender, race, nation, age, and ability.  Her forthcoming monograph on these issues is titled SELFIE: Drone Scholarship on Visibility Politics, will be published by Polity Press in 2020. There, she argues social media viewership operates less like cinematic gaze (or televisual glance) than like a  'grab': a word associated with tactility, partiality, and indeterminate political status, as in the saying, "up for grabs."

Terri's other books include Camgirls: Celebrity and Community in the Age of Social Networks (Peter Lang: 2008) the co-edited Routledge Handbook of Social Media (Taylor & Francis: 2015); and the co-authored History of the Internet: A chronology, 1843 to the present (ABC-Clio: 1999).

Terri's personal website is

Education/Academic qualification

Performance Studies, PhD, New York University

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Research Outputs 1993 2019

Fame, shame, remorse, authenticity: a prologue

Senft, T. M., 2019, Microcelebrity around the globe: approaches to cultures of internet fame. Abidin, C. & Brown, M. L. (eds.). Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing, p. xiii-xxii 10 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

Hating Habermas: on exhibitionism, shame and life on the actually existing internet

Senft, T. M., 2018, Photography reframed: new visions in contemporary photographic culture. Burbridge, B. & Pollen, A. (eds.). London ; New York: I. B. Tauris, p. 108-115 8 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

From media abstinence to media production: sexting, young people and education

Albury, K., Hassinoff, A. A. & Senft, T., 2017, The Palgrave handbook of sexuality education. Allen, L. & Ramussen, M. L. (eds.). London: Palgrave Macmillan, p. 527-545 19 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

The selfie course: more than a MOOC

Albury, K., Leaver, T., Marwick, A., Walker Rettberg, J. & Senft, T., 2017, Massive Open Online Courses and higher education: what went right, what went wrong and where to next?. Bennett, R. & Kent, M. (eds.). London ; New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, p. 168-182 15 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

La Pelle del Selfie

Senft, T. M. & Baranzoni, S. (Translator), 2015, In : La Deleuziana. 2, p. 93-108 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access

Activities 1996 2017

  • 2 Editorial work
  • 2 Invited talk

Ways of Seeing Social Media: The Grab

Terri Senft (Keynote speaker)
16 Oct 2017

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

Strange Intimacy and Social Media

Terri Senft (Keynote speaker)
15 Nov 2017

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

International Journal of Communication (Journal)

Theresa Senft (Editor), Nancy Baym (Editor)

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial work

Women & Performance: a journal of feminist theory (Journal)

Theresa M. Senft (Editor), Stacy Horn (Editor)

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial work