University of Southern California
PhD, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, 2018 (expected)
M.A., Communication, 2016
Master in Public Diplomacy, 2013
Dissertation Research Project: Do Ciphers Have Politics?: A Cultural History of Encryption Technologies, 1963-2013.
Dissertation Committee: Mike Ananny, Manuel Castells (Chair), Christina Dunbar-Hester, Chris Kelty
University of Virginia – May 2008
B.A. with distinction in Media Studies, Minor in Foreign Affairs
Institute on Political Journalism, Georgetown University – Summer 2007
History of media and technology, STS, digital activism, technology policy, cultural studies
Grants, Fellowships, and Awards
Top Student Paper Award, Media Industry Studies Interest Group, International Communication Association, 2017
Internet Policy Observatory Grant, University of Pennsylvania (with Nicolas Suzor and Jillian C. York), 2017
Wallis Annenberg Graduate Research Fellowship, 2014 –2017
Cybersecurity Fellow, New America Foundation, 2015 – 2017
Summer Educational Institute Fellowship, Summer 2016
Google Policy Fellow, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Summer 2015
Semester Grant, University of Southern California, Spring 2014
Annenberg Fellowship, 2013-2014
Foreign Language Area Studies Fellowship, 2012 – 2013
Travel Grant, University of Southern California, January 2013
Dean’s List, 2004-2008
Suzor, N., Van Geelen, T., and West, S.M. (forthcoming) Evaluating the Legitimacy of Platform Governance: A Review of Research and A Shared Research Agenda, International Communication Gazette.
West, S.M. (2017). Data Capitalism: Redefining the Logics of Surveillance and Privacy. Business and Society.
West, S.M. (2017). Searching for the Public in Internet Governance: An Examination of Infrastructures of Participation at NETmundial, Policy & Internet.
West, S.M. (2017). Raging Against the Machine: Collective Action on Social Media Platforms, Media and Communication, 5(3).
West, S.M. (2014). Redefining Digital Diplomacy: Modeling Business Diplomacy by Internet Companies in China. Hague Journal of Diplomacy, 9(4): 334-355.
West, S.M. (2017). Survival of the Cryptic, Limn, 8.
Gasser, U., Budish, R. and West, S.M. Multistakeholder as Governance Groups: Observations from Case Studies. Berkman Center Research Publication No. 2015-1.
Book Reviews and Commentary
Forelle, M.C. and West, S.M. (forthcoming). Reaction to Seto, Y. and Lewis, S.P. “We tend to err on the side of caution”: Ethical Challenges facing Canadian Research Ethics Boards When Overseeing Internet Research, in Zimmer, M. & Kinder-Kurlanda, K., (Eds.) Internet Research Ethics in the Social Age. Bern: Peter Lang: Digital Formations.
West, S.M. (2015). Citizen Witnessing: Journalism in Times of Crisis, Media, War & Conflict, 7 (3).
West, S.M. (2013). Black Code: Inside the Battle for Cyberspace, International Journal of Communication.
Conference Papers and Presentations
Do Ciphers Have Politics? Discourses of the Digital Rights Movement in the Crypto Wars 2.0, Association of Internet Researchers Conference, October 2017.
“Cypherpunks Write Code”: Privacy, Crypto-Anarchy and the Interpretative Flexibility of Encryption, Society for the Social Studies of Science, August 2017.
Policing the Digital Semicommons: Researching Content Moderation Practices by Social Media Companies, International Communication Association, May 2017, Top Student Paper: Media Industry Studies Research Group.
What Should I Be Worried About?: Explaining Information Security and Privacy Concerns to Students, Researchers, and University Faculty, Annenberg Symposium, April 2016.
Ambivalence in the (Private) Public Sphere: How Global Digital Activists Navigate Risk, Association of Internet Researchers Conference, October 2016
Censorship Online, and the Challenges of Studying What’s No Longer There (Roundtable), with Tarleton Gillespie, Sarah Roberts, Jose van Dijck and Jillian York, Association of Internet Researchers Conference, October 2016
Data Capitalism: Redefining the Logics of Surveillance and Privacy, International Communication Association, Communication and Technology Doctoral Consortium, June 2016
Searching for the Public in Internet Governance: An Examination of Infrastructures of Participation at NETmundial, Power, Communication and Technology in Internet Governance, ICA Pre-conference, June 2016
Trap Doors and Invisible Shields: Terms of Service as Objects in Cross-Boundary Exchange, by Sarah Myers West, Christina Hagen and Michelle C. Forelle, Annenberg Symposium, April 2016
Building the Islamic State through Twitter: ISIS Themes and Metanarratives, by Patricia Riley, Christina Hagen, Laura Alberti, Theo Mazumdar, Rong Wang, Kristen Guth, Mark Hannah, Nathalie Marechal, Sarah Myers West, Nicholas Busalacchi and Matt Pascarella. National Communication Association, November 2015
Crypto and the Academy (Fishbowl), with Michelle C. Forelle and Nathalie Marechal, Association of Internet Researchers Conference, October 2015
Commerce and Ambivalence at the Digital Protest Line, WUN Global Digital Cultures Conference, April 2015
Breakage and Repair in Internet Governance Institutions: Examining Public Debate at NetMundial, International Studies Association, February 2015
Globalizing Internet Governance: Negotiating Cyberspace Agreements in the Post-Snowden Era, TPRC 42, September 2014
A Narrative, Ecological Approach to International Political Communication Research, by B. Theo Mazumdar, Yasuhito Abe, Sarah Myers and Andrea Wenzel, 2014 International Communication Association Qualitative Political Communication Research Pre-Conference, May 2014
Redefining Digital Diplomacy – Modeling Corporate Diplomacy by Internet Companies in China, presented at Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael November 30, 2012
Mediating the Press in Global Conflicts: A Framing Study of the 2008 Olympic Protests selected for 19th Asian Media Information and Communication Annual Conference
“Surveillance, Censorship & Human Rights Online” – Mar. 2017
Decoding the Digital Debate, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto, March 31, 2017
“Know Your Rights: Government Surveillance and Digital Security 101” – Feb. and Mar. 2017
UCLA Undercommons and RAVE, USC American Studies and Ethnicity Program, USC Student Coalition Against Labor Exploitation, San Bernardino Community College
Plenary Session on the Evolution of Internet Governance – July 2014
Invited Talk, Internet Governance Forum-USA
Communication and Culture, Summer 2017
Teaching Assistant, Contours of Change in Media and Communication
Teaching Assistant, Communication and Culture, Spring 2017
Teaching Assistant, Communication and Technology, Spring 2016
Graduate Student Mentor, International Policy Task Force, Spring 2012
“Data Capitalism” – Media, Money & Society, Oct. 2017
“Privacy and Surveillance” – Communication and Technology, Apr., Jun., Oct. 2017
“Cultures of Surveillance” – Communication and Culture, Apr. 2017
“Hacktivism and Online Resistance: Case Studies of Networked Protest” – Communication and Technology, Apr. 2016
“Legal and Moral Issues Surrounding Digital Diplomacy” – Technology Diplomacy, Apr. 2015
“Disconnecting the Networked Press: Encryption and Online Journalism” – Perspectives on the Networked Press, Mar. 2015
Memberships and Affiliations
Affiliate Researcher, Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society
Cybersecurity Fellow, New America Foundation
Managing Editor, Netizen Report, Global Voices Advocacy
Association of Internet Researchers
Society for Social Studies of Science
International Communication Association
National Communication Association