Neal Thomas brings a posthumanities perspective to bear on digital technology, focused mainly on the relationship between social computing technique and political subjectivity. His first book Becoming Social in a Networked Age, was published in Routledge’s Studies in New Media and Cybercultures series in 2018.
Neal completed his PhD study in the Art History and Communication Studies department at McGill University. He received his Master of Fine Arts in communication design from NSCAD University, and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Manitoba.
Neal teaches introductory and advanced-level courses in social media, surveillance society, internet studies, and influencer culture.
He is also is an active member of the Organization Research Group based in the School of Library and Information Studies at UNC Chapel Hill, and regularly reviews books for journals in the discipline.
An ongoing problematic in my research is to determine how software, code, and interface reconcile philosophical accounts of the social with those of the computational. How do the signifying practices of groups—inevitably structured and/or riven by differences of language, embodied experience, socioeconomic status, and strategies of cultural position—get abstracted through technique into public relationships of information exchange? And against a backdrop of social platforms acting as surveillant systems, how might we reimagine these techniques, such that they would come to afford more frankly political modes of existence?