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I am a Professor in the Department of Communication at Cornell University. I study the social uses and perceived effects of communication technology. My research has explored mobile phone use in public spaces, emerging norms on mobile social networks, and the privacy and surveillance implications of location-based services. My recent scholarship tries to historicize social media into a broader context of communication practices. Often using qualitative field methods, I focus on how people integrate communication technology in their everyday lives in order to facilitate identity management and social interaction. My book, The Qualified Self: Social media and the accounting of everyday life, historicizes contemporary social media to help us reveal what’s really new about social media. I argue that social media users are not as narcissistic as some would suggest, but the commodification of people’s everyday media accounting raises new and significant challenges to a long-standing media practice.

I also collaborated with the late Paul Messaris on the second edition of our book, Digital Media: Transformations in human communication. It’s a great collection by authors who help us to understand how digital media are changing the ways we process and experience information, persuasion, community, gender and sexuality, communication across cultures, as well as privacy and surveillance.

I co-edited with Jeff Boase a special issue on mobile methods for the journal Mobile Media and Communication. It’s a great collection of articles which really articulate key issues as mobiles move from just being the subject of research to becoming new tools through which social scientists and humanists can collect data about people and their worlds.

In Fall 2020, I am teaching Comm 2200: Media Communication. In Spring 2021, I will be on sabbatical. You can find the course descriptions on my Teaching page. Email me to inquire about enrollment.

Lastly, I am excited to be the Director of Cornell’s new Qualitative and Interpretive Research Institute (QuIRI- pronounced like query). I really am excited about supporting and strengthening qualitative social research at Cornell and beyond.


Contact info:

483 Mann Library Building (currently working from home)

Dept. of Communication

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY 14853

lmh13 [at]

607 255 2599 (office)