Faculty: O

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Jonathan Ong, Associate Professor
Associate Professor, Global Digital Media
Prior to joining the faculty at UMass Amherst, I was Associate Professor in Media and Communication at the University of Leicester and Assistant Professor in Sociology at Hong Kong Baptist University. I am Co-Editor-in-Chief (with Diane Negra) of the journal Television & New Media, housed in the Department of Communication at UMass Amherst from January 2018.
N354 Integrative Learning Center
Fall 2017 office hours: T 2:30-4:30 & by appt.
413 545-1311 (leave message)

The central concern of my work is the ethics of media, which I approach as the moral and social consequences of media and communication technologies in the everyday lives of minority groups and vulnerable communities, especially those in the global South. Two interrelated strands of research extend from this concern: 1) the first is on media witnessing and the moral responsibilities of media institutions, media workers, and media audiences to vulnerable others; 2) the second is on vulnerable communities and their uses of digital media for voice and participation, everyday sociality, and coping or healing. My research develops an ethnographic and decolonial approach that sensitively embeds media practice within rich local histories and ordinary motivations while engaging with normative debates about media justice and cosmopolitan ethics in complex multicultural societies.

I have published extensively in the areas of global media; disasters, development and humanitarian communication; ethnography of social media; creative and digital labor; mediated protest, witnessing and solidarities; and ethics of communication. I have supervised PhD students working in the areas of media in everyday life among Nigerian migrants in London, digital protest in class-divided Thailand, and Belgian audiences of distant suffering. I welcome grad students working in these research areas.