Anna Watkins Fisher is Assistant Professor in the Department of American Culture at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She also holds faculty and affiliate faculty appointments in the Digital Studies Institute (DSI) and Center for Ethics, Computing, and Society (ESC).
Her research and teaching span the fields of digital studies, performance studies, feminist visual culture, and critical theory. She is the author of The Play in the System: The Art of Parasitical Resistance (Duke University Press, October 2020 [open access version]). The book explores what artistic resistance looks like in the 21st century, when disruption and dissent are easily co-opted and commodified. She has published or forthcoming articles in Journal of Visual Culture, Media-N, Discourse, WSQ (Women's Studies Quarterly), Art&Education, and TDR/The Drama Review and is the co-editor with Wendy Hui Kyong Chun of the 2nd edition of New Media, Old Media: A History and Theory Reader (Routledge, 2015).
She is currently working on two book-length projects. The first, Resistance in an Age of Inevitability, examines how the rise of self-regulating, automated, and predictive technologies has undermined conventional cultural studies conceptions of resistance and critique—and how these concepts are being reimagined by users. The second, Safety Orange, is an experimental book that uses the color standard “Safety Orange” as an interpretive key for theorizing the uneven distribution of safety and attention in a 21st-century American landscape of mass privatization, securitization, and incarceration.
She is a founding member of Precarity Lab, a research collective that focuses on the various forms of insecurity, vulnerability, and social and cultural exclusion that digital platforms produce and mediate. The collective's book, Technoprecarious, is forthcoming from Goldsmiths/The MIT Press in November 2020.
Previously, she was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Society for the Humanities at Cornell University. She holds a Ph.D. in Modern Culture and Media from Brown University, an MA in Performance Studies from NYU, and a BA from Duke University.