Elisabetta Ferrari, Ph.D.
Elisabetta Ferrari’s research addresses the social and political implications of digital technologies, with an emphasis on activism, social movements, and social justice. In general, her work explores how the ways in which people use and think about digital technologies play a role in their struggles for social justice.
Her dissertation examined how contemporary leftist activist groups in Italy, Hungary, and the United States constructed their own “technological imaginaries” to appropriate, negotiate, or challenge Silicon Valley’s dominant techno-optimist ideas; her project highlighted the political and contested nature of the ideas we hold about technology, and their connection to social change. A drawing-based research method that she developed for her dissertation, the visual focus group, seeks to facilitate conversations about the politics of technology; Ferrari aims to employ this method to encourage civil society actors to imagine better digital technologies. Ferrari’s research been published in peer-reviewed journals, presented at major conferences in the field of Communication, and awarded competitive funding.
Ferrari received her Ph.D. from the Annenberg School for Communication in 2019. She also holds a B.A. in International Studies from the University of Bologna (Italy) and an M.A. in Political Science, with a specialization in Political Communication, from Central European University (Budapest, Hungary). In Fall 2017, Ferrari was a visiting Doctoral Candidate at OssCom, a research center based at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, in Milan, Italy. Prior to joining the Doctoral Program at Annenberg, she worked as a researcher and assistant at the Center for Media, Data and Society at Central European University (Budapest, Hungary) and was part of the international project Ranking Digital Rights.