Social Media in Theory and Praxis: Alife Tiefentale

In anticipation of our upcoming panel discussion Social Media in Theory and Praxis: What is at Stake Now?, we wanted to highlight panel member Alise Tifentale, who will be giving her paper, “The Networked Camera: Mapping the Universe of Instagram Photography.”

An art and photography historian, Alise is a PhD candidate in Art History at the Graduate Center and a research fellow at the Cultural Analytics Lab, which uses data science to analyze patterns in big cultural data. The Lab’s key research projects co-authored by Tifentale include Selfiecity (2014) and The Exceptional and the Everyday: 144 Hours in Kyiv (2014). Her academic interests include Instagram and identity, networked cameras, visual culture, and data science+big cultural data.

For our upcoming panel, Alise will explore the visual culture of Instagram and the function of the “networked camera”: a “hybrid tool that seamlessly merges image-making, editing, sharing, and viewing functions.” The networked camera, Tifentale argues, isn’t “just a new kind of camera,” but a “hybrid tool that seamlessly merges image-making, editing, sharing, and viewing functions.” It has created “new conditions for photography,” obliging historians to developing new critical and research methods. 

In addition to exploring photography in today’s social media, Tifentale has written extensively on global issues in postwar photography, the history of art and photography in Latvia, as well as selected topics in Soviet and Eastern European art history. She was the co-curator of the Pavilion of Latvia at the 55th Venice Art Biennale (2013), the author of The Photograph as Art in Latvia, 1960–1969 (2011), and founder and editor-in-chief of photography magazine Foto Kvartals (2005–2010). Her articles have appeared in journals such as CAA.Reviews, PhotoResearcher, Networking Knowledge, ARTMargins, Russian Art & Culture, and others. Her doctoral dissertation, The “Olympiad of Photography”: The International Federation of Photographic Art, 1950–1965, deals with the “international style” of photography of the 1950s and the shifting social status of photographers.

Beyond her scholarly research, Alise has written three fiction books published in Latvian and German.

We look forward to hearing her insights during our panel discussion and hope you will join us! To learn more about Alise, check out the following resources:



Social Media in Theory and Praxis: Chris Caruso

In preparation for our upcoming panel discussion “Social Media in Theory and Praxis: What is at Stake Now?” we wanted to highlight panel member Chris Caruso (@chriscaruso718).  He has been recognized as a pioneer in the grassroots use of the Internet and has received numerous grants and fellowships for his work combining technology, education, and anti-poverty organizing.  Chris Caruso was the coordinator of the Program Social Media Fellows (and the Videography Fellows) at the Graduate Center from 2012-2016.  Furthermore, Chris developed Professor David Harvey’s social media presence.  David Harvey now has more than 87 thousand followers on twitter. Chris is responsible for the foundation and model by which the Program Social Media Fellows operate today.  We owe him a huge debt of gratitude for his work in Digital Initiatives at CUNY in general.

Chris received his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, M.Phil. from The Graduate Center, City University of New York and is currently finishing his Doctorate in Cultural Anthropology at The Graduate Center, City University of New York. He now works at as a research analyst at Thoughtworks which is a company of over 4500 people spread across 42 offices in 15 countries whose purpose is to revolutionize software design, creation and delivery, while advocating for positive social change.  It provides software design and delivery, and pioneering tools and consulting services.

Chris’s scholarly and professional interests including leveraging information technology to assist and encourage grassroots anti-poverty initiatives by training organizations to use the Internet to build capacity, create networks of support and broadcast the voices of poor people.  In doing so he has trained dozens of community organizations, social movements, NGOs, trade unions, and foundations across the United States, as well as in Brazil, Canada, Germany, Mexico, South Africa, and Thailand.

We look forward to hearing his insights during the panel discussion and hope you will join us!

Want more Chris!? Check out these Chris Caruso resources:




Social Media…What’s at Stake Now?

You are invited to attend a very special event organized by us, GC’s Program Social Media Fellows!

Social Media in Theory & Praxis: What’s at Stake Now?

Use of digital platforms and tools like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Google has indelibly altered cultural production, political processes, economic activity, and individual habits. This event is a presentation and panel discussion on several pressing issues in social media and digital literacy featuring five invited scholars, organized and moderated by the Graduate Center Program Social Media Fellows. The speakers bring expertise in a range of timely topics including: grassroots use of the Internet, feminism, open source project development, labor, appropriation, peer production, virtuality, networked cameras, and big cultural data analysis.
Invited speakers include:
Chris Caruso, PhD candidate in Anthropology (GC, CUNY)
Sumana Harihareswara, Founder and Principal of Changeset Consulting
Michael Mandiberg, Professor of Media Culture (CSI, CUNY) & Coordinator of the ITP Certificate Program (GC, CUNY)
Laura Pavón, PhD candidate in Latin American, Iberian and Latino Cultures (GC, CUNY)
Alise Tifentale, PhD candidate in Art History (GC, CUNY)
Moderated by:
Naomi Barrettara, PSMF Coordinator & Fellow for Music
Jennifer Stoops, Fellow for Urban Education
All are welcome to attend! #digitalGC #SMcrit
The Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue
April 18, 2018: 6:30 PM
Digital Initiatives at GC, CUNY
The Interactive Technology and Pedagogy Certificate Program, GC, CUNY
The Center for the Humanities, GC, CUNY
The Futures Initiative, GC, CUNY
Cross listed:

Tweet your Conference: Live Tweeting Workshop (3/1/2017)

When: 1 March 2017, 6:30-7:30pm
Where: Room 5414, CUNY Graduate Center

Light refreshments will be served. 

Live tweeting encourages the conversations that occur at a conference to have a life outside it. If you are running a conference this semester, or attending one, and want to learn more about how to integrate live tweeting into your conference experience, then this is the workshop for you!

Learn strategies for prepping content and building a plan of action for the conference itself, and discuss various challenges, pros and cons of live tweeting with the GC Social Media Fellows.  Light refreshments provided. Participants are encouraged to bring a device (computer, smart phone, tablet, etc.) that connects to the internet.

This event is free and open to the public, but registration is encouraged. You can register using this online form:

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