Gabriella Coleman

Gabriella Coleman

Professor of Anthropology
Gabriella Coleman

Research and Teaching Interests

Cultures of Hacking, Science and Technology Studies, Media Anthropology, The Cultures of Liberalism, Digital Activism, Security. 

Gabriella (Biella) Coleman is a full professor in the Department of Anthropology at Harvard University and is a faculty associate at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Trained as an anthropologist, her scholarship covers the politics, cultures, and ethics of hacking. She is the author of two books on computer hackers and the founder and editor of Hack_Curio, a video portal into the cultures of hacking). 

Her first book Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking, was published in 2013 with Princeton University Press. She then published Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous (Verso, 2014), named to Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2014 and awarded the Diana Forsythe Prize by the American Anthropological Association. 

With Matt Goerzen, she is currently completing a multi-year research project on the security field and hacker professionalization during the 1990s and early 2000s and will be publishing two Data and Society Reports based on this research. She is also working on a book of essays about hackers and the state and will deliver material from the book for the 2022 Henry Morgan Lectures. 

Gabriella is a frequent commentator on hacker movements, digital culture, and cyberpolitics. A firm believer in making ethnography publicly accessible and intelligible, she lectures, keynotes, and presents her research to diverse academic and non-academic audiences, including the Brookings Institution, NASA, Twitter, Re:Publica, the Chicago Humanities Festival, and international galleries and law schools. She has written for popular media outlets, including the New York Times, Slate, Wired, MIT Technology Review, Huffington Post, and the Atlantic.

In 2011 she was a Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ. Her research has been supported by the Ford Foundation, the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the National Science Foundation, and the Fonds de Recherche du Québec.  

Before joining the Harvard Anthropology Department in 2021, she held the Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy at McGill University and was an assistant professor in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University. In 2005, she received her Ph.D. in Socio-cultural Anthropology from the University of Chicago.

Contact Information

21 Divinity Avenue
Cambridge MA 02138