Researcher brings expertise on social and cultural implications of digital technologies

Burcu Baykurt

Burcu Baykurt, Ph.D., assistant professor of urban futures and communication, joins the UMass Department Communication in fall 2019. Baykurt’s work focuses on infrastructures, governance and inequalities. Her current book project is an ethnographic account of test-bed urbanism, in which residents and public officials partner with technology companies to build the “smart city” in urban centers long plagued by divides.

Baykurt says her work also takes on a global dimension. Her forthcoming co-edited book offers a cross-national historical review of soft power internationalism between 1990 and 2015. Other projects include research into how economic reporters and experts interact on Twitter, and the role of media and democratic communication (or lack thereof) in popular constitution-making in Turkey.

Baykurt received her Ph.D. from Columbia University. Her teaching courses include Sidewalks and Screens, which will examine the ways media technologies shape, and are shaped by, the built environment; and The Social Life of Algorithms, which unpacks the social, political, economic, cultural, and ethical dynamics that shape the construction and uses of algorithms in social life.