David J. Phillips holds a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School of Communication, an MSE in Computer Science from Penn, and a BFA in Acting from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. His brings this interdisciplinarity to his study of surveillance, queer theory, and infrastructure studies. He is the author of many works exploring the relations among information, economics, ideology, policy, culture, identity, and technology. His most recent work employs theatre performance as both pedagogy and research method.
Professor Phillips investigates the political, economic, social, and technical configuration of surveillance and ubiquitous computing. He questions how we are human within a world structured and organized by surveillance practice, and whether and how infrastructures of data exchange and knowledge production can be made amenable to democratic action, non-normative identities and ideals, and queer world-making.
Dr. Phillips is a co-creator of “Work and Play at the Thresholds of Legibility.” The collaborative theatre piece explores two themes: the ways life is contorted to become legible to surveillance systems, and the pains and pleasures of those remaining illegible.
“Work and Play at the Threshold of Legibility.” Collaboratively created devised theatre piece. Co-produced and co-directed by David J. Phillips and Michael Reinhart. Co-created by David J. Phillips, Michael Reinhart, Stephanie Berntson, Montgomery Martin, Neta Rice, Justin Scherer, and Elyse Waugh. Toronto: Studio Theatre, 2013.
O’Riordan, K. and D.J. Phillips, eds. Queer Online: Media Technology and Sexuality. New York: Peter Lang, 2007.
Phillips, D.J. “Work and Play at the Threshold of Legibility: Theatre as Method and Pedagogy in Surveillance Research.” Surveillance and Society 13.1 (2015): 57-77.
—. “Texas 9-1-1: Emergency Telecommunications, Deregulation, and the Genesis of Surveillance Infrastructure.” Telecommunication Policy 29.11 (2015): 843–856.
—. “From Privacy to Visibility: Context, Identity, and Power in Ubiquitous Computing Environments.” Social Text 23.2 (2005): 95-108.
—. “Negotiating the Digital Closet: Online Pseudonyms and the Politics of Sexual Identity.” Information, Communication, and Society 5.3 (2002): 406-424.
—. “The Social Construction of a Secure, Anonymous Electronic Payment System: Frame Alignment and Mobilization around Ecash.” Journal of Information Technology 13.4 (1998): 273-283.
—. “Defending the Boundaries: Identifying and Countering Threats in a Usenet Newsgroup.” The Information Society 12.1 (1996): 39-62.
Political Economy and Cultural Studies of Information
Critical Histories of Information Technologies
Surveillance, Representation & Identity
Introduction to Surveillance
Surveillance; Theatre as pedagogy and research; Queer identity