Zizi Papacharissi

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Zizi Papacharissi
Zizi Papacharissi.png
Papacharissi via Nieman Journalism Lab
NationalityGreek and American
Alma materMount Holyoke College (undergraduate)
Kent State (graduate)
University of Texas-Austin (graduate)
OccupationCommunication studies

Zizi Papacharissi is a communication scholar whose work has helped define the field of political communication in the contemporary digital media era. She is currently Professor and Head of the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Editor of the journals Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media and Social Media and Society.


Papacharissi was born and raised in Thessaloniki, Greece and graduated from Anatolia College in 1991. She earned a double BA in Economics and Media Studies from Mount Holyoke College in 1995; an MA in Communication Studies from to Kent State University in 1997; and a Ph.D. in New Media and Political Communication from University of Texas at Austin in 2000. She was recently recognized by her alma mater, UT-Austin, as a high-impact scholar, an honor bestowed to a handful of the School's most productive and impactful doctoral graduates.


Papacharissi's work focuses on the social and political consequences of new media technologies. She has published four books and over 50 journal articles, book chapters and reviews. In A Private Sphere (Polity 2010) she argues that digital technologies are shifting the site of civic engagement to the private realm and hence changing the practices of public participation. She further develops this thesis in her latest book, Affective Publics: Sentiment, Technology and Politics (Oxford University 2014), arguing that social movements sustained by digital media should not be defined by their political efficacy but rather by their affective intensities or how they help publics "feel their way into" an event or issue. Affective Publics won Best Book award for the Human Communication and Technology Division of the National Communication Association in 2015 and was widely praised by critics. In a review of the book for Journal of Communication, Lilie Chouliaraki writes that Affective Publics is "a significant statement in its own right about the ontology of digital communication. The ways we think about digitality, affect, and politics in the early 21st century cannot from now on be divorced from the conceptual language introduced in the field by this groundbreaking work." She has also edited two collections, A Networked Self: Identity, Community and Culture on Social Network Sites (Routledge, 2011) and Journalism and Citizenship: New Agendas (Routledge, 2009).

Papacharissi has been a consultant for Apple, Microsoft, and the Obama 2012 election campaign. She sits on the Committee on the Health and Well-Being of Young Adults, funded by the National Academies of Science, the National Research Council, and the Institute of Medicine. She is also frequently invited to lecture about her work on social media at Universities and Research Institutes in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the US. Her work has been translated from English into Greek, German, Korean, Chinese, Hungarian, Italian, Turkish, and Persian.

In 2015, Glow Magazine named her "Queen of the Internet."

Recent Publications[edit]

Papacharissi, Z. (2015). Affective Publics and Structure of Storytelling: Sentiment, Events and Mediality. Information, Communication and Society, 19 (3), 307-324.

Papacharissi, Z. (2014). Toward New Journalism(s): Affective News, Hybridity, and Liminal Spaces.Journalism Studies, published online March 2014.

Papacharissi, Z. (2015). The unbearable lightness of information and the impossible gravitas of knowledge: Big Data and the makings of a Digital Orality. 'Debating Big Data' in Media, Culture and Society, 37 (7).

Papacharissi, Z., Streeter, T., Gillespie, T. (2013). Culture Digitally: Habitus of the New. Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, 57 (4), 596-607.

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