Amy Johnson F'16

Amy  Johnson
Postdoctoral Fellow
Center for Humanistic Inquiry
Amherst College

Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships 2016
Doctoral Candidate
History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology, and Society
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Twitter and the Body Parodic: Creating and Regulating a Global Speech Genre

This project investigates the global creation and regulation of Twitter parody as a genre of social critique, asking how parody and the parodic voice are collaboratively created by the users and architects of Twitter. The analysis draws on 18 months of multilingual fieldwork situated online and physically in San Francisco, Tokyo, and Dubai. The project integrates evidence from interviews, participant observation, media discourse, and legal research to analyze the genre’s verbal artistry in English, Japanese, and Arabic, and examine intersections with legal regimes and corporate policy. Ultimately, the dissertation illuminates how parody—a dominant form of communication online—functions; how the concept of person is changing online; and how the quasi-governmental structures of social media platforms regulate growing notions of usership.