About Me

Chelsea Butkowski
Post-Doctoral Fellow
University of Pennsylvania

Media & identity
Digital storytelling
Political communication
Visual cultures
Feminist media studies
Digital and mixed methods

Ph.D., Communication
Cornell University, 2022
M.A., Communication
University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, 2018
B.A., Communication

& Art History
SUNY Geneseo, 2015

Hi there!

My name is Chelsea Butkowski, and I am a post-doctoral fellow at the Center on Digital Culture & Society at University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication. I recently finished my PhD in Communication at Cornell University. I research how people use media technologies to represent, visualize, and understand themselves.

My research and teaching examine practices, experiences, and effects of digital media technologies and representation across contexts. I draw on a feminist approach, and my research questions call for a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods, including in-depth interviews, focus groups, content analysis, and discourse analysis.

My dissertation applied my interest in digital identity to the realm of political communication as I set out to explore the intersections of everyday politics and identity on social media during historic events. A bottom-up approach to political self-expression and participation forms the core of my project, studying how the 2020 U.S. election and the COVID-19 pandemic differently inform and disrupt the ways that “ordinary” U.S. American citizens share their lives online.

I am proud to have research support from the P.E.O. Scholar Award and the Einaudi-Social Science Research Council Dissertation Proposal Development Program. I am also an affiliate of the Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life at UNC Chapel Hill. You can find my research published in a number of leading academic journals, including New Media & Society, Social Media + Society, Feminist Media Studies, Visual Communication, Sex Roles, and Communication, Culture & Critique, among others.