Personal pages

Payal Arora PhD

Assistant Professor


Biographical Note

I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Media and Communication. My expertise lies in social informatics, digital leisure, new media spaces/cultures, edutainment and IT for international development. I have research experience in both the private and public sector on award-winning and grant-funded projects including the Kellogg sponsored speech-recognition literacy software for Hispanic immigrant youth in New York, the World Bank Development MarketPlace and HP funded project on karaoke edutainment television content in rural India and the National Health Foundation grant on the impact of technologically-mediated arts experiences on mental health post 9/11. I earned my doctorate in Language, Literacy and Technology from Columbia University, Teachers College in New York, a Master’s degree in International Policy from Harvard University, and a Teaching Certificate from the University of Cambridge.

My work has been published in several scholarly journals including Current Sociology, Media Culture & Society, British Journal of Educational Technology, The Information Society, Information Communication and Society and the like. My paper on digitalization of medical information in rural India won the 2010 Best Paper Award in Social Informatics by the American Society for Information Science and Technology. My first book, Dot Com Mantra: Social Computing in the Central Himalayas (Ashgate, UK, 2010) entails an exploration of how people in remote Himalayas learn to use computers and the Internet and construct knowledge through interfacing with new media spaces. My second and upcoming book, Leisure Geographies of Web 2.0: A Historical and Comparative Analysis (Science, Technology & Society Series, Routledge, UK), investigates social network sites from a transnational perspective and compares it to comparable material public space. It makes the case of how online/offline contemporary public and leisure space are becoming more commercialized, privatized and globalized. This book project has won the EUR fellowship grant for 2012-2014. I am currently a full member of The Netherlands School of Communication Research (NeSCOR) and am on several boards including the Global Media Journal, The South Asian Media, Arts & Culture Research Center in University of North Texas, Global Education Greenhouse Inc. and The World Women Global Council in New York.


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Full CV