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Speaker Series: Pablo J. Boczkowski, Northwestern University

  • When: February 14, 2018, 12–1:30 pm
  • Where: ABF Woods Conference Room, 750 N. Lake Shore Drive, 4th Floor, Lakeside, Chicago IL 60611

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Prosthetics, tools, and companions: The cultural lives of personal screens

Have we become a society of personal screens? Mobile phones, desktop computers, laptop computers, LCD monitors, television sets, tablets, electronic readers, smartwatches, and other personal screens have become ubiquitous in the contemporary landscape. Not only there has been a proliferation of personal screens in recent years, but also an exponential growth in their availability—for instance, 1.5 billion mobile phones were sold worldwide just in 2016. How do people deal with this proliferation and growth of personal screens? In this seminar I will aim to answer this question through an analysis of 158 in-depth interviews conducted in Argentina between March 2016 and December 2017. In particular, I will focus on people’s use of three defining types of personal screens: mobile phones, computers, and television sets. I will center on the role that divergent constellations of meaning play in dealing with these screens, and the performative implications that these constellations have in communication practice, affect, and experience.

Courtesy of Northwestern University

Pablo J. Boczkowski (Ph.D., Cornell University, 2001) is Professor in the Department of Communication Studies, and Co-Director of the Center for the Study of Media and Society in Argentina — a joint initiative between Northwestern University and Universidad de San Andrés ( His research program examines the transition from print to digital culture. He has written three books, three edited volumes, and over thirty journal articles and twenty book chapters. He is an avid soccer fan and, like his compatriot Francisco, never loses faith in his beloved San Lorenzo de Almagro. 

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