Rae Jereza '14

Sociocultural Anthropologist

I am a sociocultural anthropologist working as a postdoctoral researcher in the Informatics department of the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). I obtained my PhD in Anthropology and MA in Sociology from Binghamton University - SUNY. My research agenda concerns how white supremacy and neoliberal economics shape the governance of major social media platforms in North America. My book project examines commercial content moderation (Roberts 2019) - the task of reviewing user-generated content on social media platforms - as a site to explore how North American digital workers become ambivalently complicit in the metapolitical projects of white supremacists. I am also the co-host of a podcast called The Reboot by Tech For the People, where we discuss how tech developments might affect ordinary people from a leftist perspective.

Muhlenberg’s history professors inspired my research interests and thus my academic trajectory. They trained me to think about social realities, both past and present, as historically contingent and subject to interpretations that have political and material consequences. Such insights laid the foundation for my research on the political nature of meaning-making in online spaces. The department’s emphasis on critical reading, analyzing, and writing skills also prepared me for graduate school, where I arrived comfortable with working through and thinking about difficult academic texts. Finally, my professors challenged and inspired me to find new ways of thinking about the world, which sparked my desire to become a researcher. I work toward approaching my own students with the same level of enthusiasm and quality of instruction I received as a history major at Muhlenberg.