Muira McCammon is an organizational, institutional, and socio-legal researcher and Ph.D. candidate (ABD), who studies how government data, information, and communication flow through the U.S. administrative state. Her present research draws on archival data, digital ethnography, and other qualitative methods to understand, document, and reimagine government communication practices. In her dissertation, she leverages Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, semi-structured interviews, and content analysis to consider ways in which Twitter alters, complicates, and challenges practices of information-sharing by state actors. This qualitative work builds on her recent publications in New Media & Society and Information, Communication, & Society.
Her research focuses on three key areas: (1) secrecy, transparency, and investigations of how people unearth, reckon with, and amplify contested knowledge about the U.S. national security state; (2) deletion as a way of exploring how socio-technical practices can disrupt political systems; (3) dead and dying digital platforms.
Prior to beginning the doctoral program and under the auspices of the Beinecke Scholarship, McCammon received an M.A. in Translation Studies/Comparative Literature from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she wrote her thesis on the Guantánamo Bay Detainee Library. Additionally, she holds a B.A. in French/Francophone Studies and a B.A. in Political Science/International Relations from Carleton College.
A former investigative reporter and podcast critic, McCammon’s writings have appeared in Playboy, Atlas Obscura, Slate, The Massachusetts Review, How We Get to Next, Waypoint by VICE, Paste Magazine, and a number of other publications. She has previously held fellowships at the Sitka Fellows Program, the Harvard Law Library Innovation Lab, and the Turkish Fulbright Commission. She is a proud 2017 recipient of a Rhizome microgrant.
This year, McCammon is co-editing a special issue on dead and dying digital platforms for Internet Histories with Annenberg Professor Jessa Lingel. She will also intern in summer 2021 with danah boyd at Microsoft.
Muira McCammon researches deletion practices and controversies surrounding information infrastructures that support long-term cultural memory. She is especially interested in how knowledge about defense, detention, and death is constructed, amplified, contested, regurgitated, forgotten, and erased.