Aaron Shapiro, Ph.D.

Shapiro's research is located at the intersection of critical media studies, science and technology studies, and urban studies. He studies the cultural politics of smart cities, new media, and urban space. Some research interests include urban design and planning, labor, policing, collective action, mobs, publics, urban informatics, and visual and cartographic media. His dissertation project, titled Design, Control, Predict: Cultural Politics in the Actually Existing Smart City, examines the logistical side of new media and their role in facilitating control over urban spaces. 

Prior to beginning the doctoral program, Shapiro received an M.A. in Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania and worked as a researcher and field supervisor on the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance project at the NO/AIDS Task Force in New Orleans.


Invited commentary: 

Shapiro is also a producer for the student-run 3620 Podcast: 

Select Conference Presentations:

  • "Interface, infrastructure, and urban data imaginaries." Society for the Social Study of Science (4S), Boston, September, 2017.
  • "Predictive policing and the performativity of data." Data Power 2017. Carleton University, Ottawa, ON.
  • "Crime as data: Prescriptive policing and police reform." Society for the Social Study of Science (4S), Barcelona, September, 2016. 
  • "The medium is the mob" and "Mobs and media." International Communications Association, Fukuoka, June, 2016. 
  • "Red lines on the digital map." American Association of Geographers, panel on "Towards a Geographical Software Studies." San Francisco, March, 2016.
  • "The medium is the mob." International Association of Mass Communication Researchers. Montréal, June, 2015. 
  • "The surface of things." Geomedia: Spaces and Mobilities in a Mediatized World. Karlstad, Sweden. May, 2015. 
  • "The mezzanine." Critical Geography, Temple University. Philadelphia. November, 2014. 
  • "The user-generated city." Social Media and the Transformation of Public Space. University of Amsterdam. June, 2014. 
  • "Urban politics beyond livability." Social Entrepreneurialism: Generating Hope Anew? Graduate student workshop, Princeton University. November, 2013. 
  • "Urban strategizing in Dublin City: A document-centric approach." Annenberg School, University of Pennsylvania. November, 2013. 

Featured writing: 

Aaron Shapiro recently defended his dissertation at the Annenberg School for Communication. View his academia.edu page.

Office Number: 
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Shapiro's Network

  • Jessa Lingel, Ph.D.
  • John L. Jackson, Jr., Ph.D.
  • Marwan M. Kraidy, Ph.D.
  • Carolyn Marvin, Ph.D.
  • Culture and Communication
  • Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication
  • Center for Media at Risk
  • Scholars Program in Culture and Communication