Commencement Speaker 2022

Lisa A. Nakamura ’87

Lisa Nakamura

Lisa Nakamura has helped to define scholarly discourse about the operation of gender, race, and power in cyberspace since the early 1990s. Her prolific body of work follows identity tourism during the rise of the internet as we know it, misogyny in the burgeoning era of social media, and racially motivated attacks on virtual events during the COVID-19 pandemic, a phenomenon she examines in her most recent book, Racist Zoombombing (Routledge, 2021).

Lisa has written several other books on race, gender, and technology, including Technoprecarious (Goldsmiths Press, 2020) and Cybertypes: Race, Ethnicity and Identity on the Internet (Routledge, 2002). In 2010, her book Digitizing Race: Visual Cultures of the Internet (University of Minnesota Press, 2008) won the Asian American Studies Association book award in cultural studies for shattering the myth that users of color and women passively consume internet culture rather than actively create it.

In addition to a variety of teaching appointments across the country, Lisa has served as a consulting researcher for Microsoft Labs, visiting research professor in the People and Products Research Lab at Intel Corporation, and on the editorial boards of almost a dozen academic journals. She is also currently the Principal Investigator for a $4.8 million dollar grant from the Mellon Foundation for the DISCO (Digital Inquiry, Speculation, Collaboration, and Optimism) Network, a consortium of humanistic scholars focusing on race, disability, and digital technology.

Lisa currently serves as Gwendolyn Calvert Baker Collegiate Professor of American Culture at the University of Michigan, where she is also the inaugural Director of the Digital Studies Program. She graduated from Reed with a BA in English and earned her PhD in English from the City University of New York Graduate Center.