Heather Horst

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Heather Horst

Heather A. Horst is sociocultural anthropologist and author who writes on material culture, mobility, and the mediation of social relations. She is currently the Vice Chancellor's Senior Research Fellow in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia and a Research Fellow in the MA program in digital anthropology at University College London.[1] She has a B. A. from University of Minnesota, an M. A. from University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Ph. D. from University College, London (UCL). Horst served as an Associate Project Scientist for DML Research Hub in the Department of Humanities Research Institute at University of California, Irvine,[2] an Honorary Research Associate in Department of Anthropology and a faculty of Social & Historical Sciences at University College London.[3]

Horst’s research focuses upon the relationship between place, space and new media. Her research has been published in a range of journals, including Social Anthropology, Current Anthropology, Journal of Material Culture,[4] Global Networks, Identities, International Journal of Communication and the Caribbean Review of Gender Studies. She has been a guest editor for special issues of the International Journal of Communication, Journal of Material Culture, International Journal of Cultural Studies and Home Cultures.[5] She is also the co-author of The Cell Phone: An Anthropology of Communication (Horst and Miller, Berg, 2006) and Hanging Out, Messing Around and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with Digital Media (MIT Press, 2009, Ito, et al.).

Research[edit]

Heather Horst’s research focuses on the relationship between material culture and the role of objects and artifacts in mediating social relations, with particular attention to mobility and the global movement of people, objects, goods, media and capital in different national and transnational spaces.

The Materiality of Personhood

The idea of starting this research came from Heather horst’s 'dissertation worked in Mandeville, Jamaica, which explored the imagination, construction and transformation of the meanings of ‘home’ among Jamaicans who migrated to Britain after World War II and returned to Jamaica to retire in the 1990s.'[6] In this research, Heather Horst works on the relationship between material culture, property and personhood by understanding the materiality of the house assert, recognize and negotiate personhood in colonial and postcolonial Jamaica.[7]

New Media, Technology and Society

In order to examine the relationship between new media in this research, Heather Horst began to study on the 'global and transnational processes involved in the construction of the ‘digital divide’ as part of a multi-national comparative study funded by the British Department for International Development (DFID) to examine the implications of new information and communication technologies in Ghana, India, Jamaica and South Africa working with Daniel Miller.'[6] Also, over the past four years, Horst’s study focuses on 'social change and the power dynamics surrounding the provisioning, access to and use of new media and technology by shifting my attention to the heart of the global technology industry.'[6]

Projects[edit]

Information Society: Emergent Technologies and Development in the South[8][edit]

It is a large-scale DFID-funded project which compared the relationship between Information and communications technology (ICTs) and development in Ghana, India, Jamaica and South Africa. As a part of it, Heather Horst was examining development, new information and communication technologies and the 'digital divide'. After completing her dissertation, she began to examine development, new information and communication technologies and the 'digital divide' as part of it.

Digital Youth[9][edit]

During the time at University of California, Berkley prior to joining University of California, Irvine, Heather Horst was holding a position of a research called Digital Youth which is to address the gap between in-school and out-school experience with a targeted set of ethnographic investigations into three emergent modes of informal learning that young people are practicing using new media technologies: communication, learning, and play by exploring how kids use digital media in their everyday lives.

Coming of Age in Silicon Valley
Digital Media in Families[10]

This study aims to understand the role of digital media in children and youths’ communication, learning, knowledge, play and, in turn, how digital media may affect their relationships with their peers, siblings, parents or other household members.

Virtual Playgrounds
An Ethnography of Neopets[11]

Working with Laura Robinson, Heather Horst, Mizuko Ito and Lou-Anthony Limon designed this project to understand practices and participation of young people using the online gaming site, Neopets.com.

Mobiles, Migrants and Money: A Study of Mobility at the Haitian-Dominican Republic Border[12][edit]

Heather was working with Erin Taylor, and Espelencia Baptiste on this project which investigates the role of mobile phones in the economic and social wellbeing among some of the world's poorest people living at and moving across the border of Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Publications[13][edit]

New Media and Society
  • Free, Social, and Inclusive: Appropriation and Resistance of New Media Technologies in Brazil. International Journal of Communication 5: 437–462, 2011
  • New Media in International Contexts: Introduction (with Cara Wallis). International Journal of Communication 5: 463–470, 2011
Kids Living and Learning with New Media
  • Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media. Cambridge: MIT Press. (with Mizuko Ito, Sonja Baumer, Matteo Bittanti, danah boyd, Rachel Cody, Rebecca Herr-Stephenson, Patricia G. Lange, Dilan Mahendran, Katynka Z. Martinez, CJ Pascoe, Dan Perkel, Laura Robinson, Christo Sims and Lisa Tripp), 2009[14][15]
  • The Cell Phone: An Anthropology of Communication. New York: Berg Publications (Heather A. Horst and Daniel Miller), 2006
  • The Blessings and Burdens of Communication: The Cell Phone in Jamaican Transnational Social Fields. Global Networks: A Journal of Transnational Affairs 6(2): 143-159, 2006
  • From Kinship to Link-up: Cell Phones and Social Networking in Jamaica. Current Anthropology 46(5): 755-778 (Heather A. Horst and Daniel Miller), 2005
  • ‘Cell Phone Come Like a Blessing’: Religion and the Cell Phone in a Rural Jamaican Town. Jamaica Journal 29(1&2): 12-17 (Daniel Miller and Heather A. Horst), 2005
Mobility and Transnationalism
  • Jamaican Americans. New Immigrants Series. New York: Chelsea House (Heather A. Horst and Andrew Garner), 2006
  • Landscaping Englishness: Respectability and Returnees in Mandeville, Jamaica. Caribbean Review of Gender Studies 2(2), 2008
  • Planning to Forget: Mobility and Violence in Urban Jamaica. Social Anthropology 16 (1): 51-62, 2008
  • ‘You can’t be two places at once’: Rethinking Transnationalism through Return Migration in Jamaica. Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power 14 (1): 63-83, 2007
  • The Most English Town in Jamaica: Myths, Memories and Other Returning Resident Dilemmas. Jamaica Journal 31(1 & 2): 56-61, 2007
Materiality of Home and Domestic Space
  • Landscaping Englishness: Respectability and Returnees in Mandeville, Jamaica. Caribbean Review of Gender Studies 2(2), 2008
  • Planning to Forget: Mobility and Violence in Urban Jamaica. Social Anthropology 16(1): 51-62, 2008
  • The Most English Town in Jamaica: Myths, Memories and Other Returning Resident Dilemmas. Jamaica Journal 31 (1 & 2): 56-61, 2007
  • A Pilgrimage Home: Tombs, Burial and Belonging in Jamaica. Journal of Material Culture 9(1): 11-26, 2004

References[edit]

  1. ^ Top researchers win VC Fellowships. RMIT News [1], July 15, 2011.
  2. ^ “Heather Horst” on University of California-Irvine website Accessed: 24 September 2011
  3. ^ “Heather Horst” on University College London website Accessed: 24 September 2011
  4. ^ Tiziano Bonini (2011). The media as ‘home-making’ tools: life story of a Filipino migrant in Milan. Media, Culture&Society, 33(6), 869-883.
  5. ^ about-Heather Horst Accessed: 22 September 2011
  6. ^ a b c "About Heather Horst". 
  7. ^ research-Heather Horst Accessed: 24 September 2011
  8. ^ Information Society: Emergent Technologies and Development in the South Accessed: 24 September 2011
  9. ^ Final Report Accessed: 24 September 2011
  10. ^ Coming of Age in Silicon Valley: Digital Media in Families Accessed: 24 September 2011
  11. ^ Virtual Playgrounds:An Ethnography of Neopets Accessed: 24 September 2011
  12. ^ Mobiles, Migrants and Money: A Study of Mobility at the Haitian-Dominican Republic Border Accessed: 24 September 2011
  13. ^ publications-Heather Horst Accessed: 22 September 2011
  14. ^ "Heather Horst" Christo Sim page at ischool.berkeley.edu Accessed: 27 September 2011
  15. ^ Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out Kids Living and Learning with New Media on The MIT Press Accessed: 22 September 2011

External links[edit]