Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, University of Southern California
Doctoral Candidate and Wallis Annenberg Graduate Research Fellow (estimated date of graduation May 2018)
Dissertation Research Project: Cypherpunks Write Code: A Cultural and Political History of Encryption, 1992-2016.
Dissertation Committee: Mike Ananny, Manuel Castells (Chair), Christina Dunbar-Hester, Chris Kelty
Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, University of Southern California – May 2013
Master of Public Diplomacy
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
Summer Educational Institute Fellowship, Summer 2016
Wallis Annenberg Graduate Research Fellowship, 2014 –
Cybersecurity Fellow, New America Foundation, 2015 –
Affiliate Researcher, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, 2015 –
Google Policy Fellow, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Summer 2015
Semester Grant, University of Southern California, Spring 2014
- Funded by Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism to research Internet governance in Brazil
Annenberg Fellowship, 2013-2014
Foreign Language Area Studies Fellowship, 2012 – 2013
Travel Grant, University of Southern California, January 2013
- Funded by Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism to lead bi-national research team of 9 students to Beijing
Dean’s List, 2004-2008
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. (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.
Ambivalence in the (Private) Public Sphere: How Global Digital Activists Navigate Risk (under review)
Raging Against the Machine: Collective Action on Social Media Platforms (under review)
“Cypherpunks Write Code”: Privacy, Crypto-Anarchy, and the Interpretative Flexibility of Encryption (in progress)
Policing the Digital Semicommons: Researching Content Moderation Practices by Social Media Companies (in progress)
Conference Papers and Presentations
“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
“Privacy and Surveillance” – Jun. 2017
Guest Lecture, Communication and Technology
“Cultures of Surveillance” – Apr. 2017
Guest Lecture, Communication and Culture
“Privacy and Surveillance” – Apr. 2017
Guest Lecture, Communication and Technology
“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
“Privacy and Surveillance” – Oct. 2015
Guest Lecture, Clicking, Liking, Sharing: Debating Social Media and Social Change
“Hacktivism and Online Resistance: Case Studies of Networked Protest” – Apr. 2016
Guest Lecture, Communication and Technology
“Legal and Moral Issues Surrounding Digital Diplomacy” – Apr. 2015
Guest Lecture, Technology Diplomacy
“Disconnecting the Networked Press: Encryption and Online Journalism” – Mar. 2015
Guest Lecture, Perspectives on the Networked Press
Plenary Session on the Evolution of Internet Governance – July 2014
Invited Talk, Internet Governance Forum-USA
Teaching Assistant Contours of Change in Media and Communication
Taught discussion section for course on theories of change and media and communication technologies.
Communication and Culture, Summer 2017
Taught introductory course on cultural studies and communication.
Teaching Assistant, Communication and Culture, Spring 2017
Taught discussion section for introductory course on cultural studies and communication. Guest lectured on cultures of surveillance.
Teaching Assistant, Communication and Technology, Spring 2016
Taught two discussion sections for introductory course on communication technology. Guest lectured on hacktivism and networked forms of protest.
Graduate Student Mentor, IR 404 Policy Task Force
Teaching assistant for senior-level international relations class focusing on the United Nations. Led students in writing a policy paper and advised them on academic and career goals. Graded midterm essay exams.
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