Gotkin's research interest lies at the intersection of disability studies, history of science/technology, and communication. He thinks a lot about amateurs, brilliance, technical expertise, the history of personal computing, the body, the mind, and mediation. He's interested in the geniuses behind our gadgetry. His research investigates the culture and politics of hacking through rubrics of creativity, beauty, and pleasure in the history of technical expertise. How, for example, can we define hacking in terms of obsessive tinkering and ludic ritual as a break from the tabloid sense of the lone wolf and asocial teenager? What does the seemingly high prevalence of autism spectrum disorders in hacking communities explain about the relationship between disability and technical brilliance? Does hacking, as a historical subject, demand that we rethink methodological and disciplinary imperatives? In broad strokes, his research pairs communication with science/technology studies, but he also works in disability studies, history of science/technology/computing, and visual culture.
Kevin Gotkin is a doctoral student at the Annenberg School for Communication.