Michelle Morgenstern

Elis Olsson Memorial Foundation Fellow
Simsbury, Connecticut
B.A. Franklin & Marshall College (2009)
M.S. University of Pennsylvania (2010)
M.A. University of Virginia (2018)
Graduate School of Arts & Sciences


Michelle Morgenstern is a Ph.D. candidate in linguistic anthropology in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Virginia. Prior to this, she received a MS.Ed from the University of Pennsylvania and taught in the School District of Philadelphia. Through her work as a classroom teacher, Michelle developed an interest in the literacy practices in which young people engage in online space. This became the focus of her graduate level work here at the University of Virginia. Her current research focuses on how young Americans form political and ethical stances through their engagement with social media platforms. She is conducting ethnographic fieldwork until the spring of 2019 among youth who credit the social media platform Tumblr.com with being instrumental in the formation of their beliefs about what in means to be and do good in the world. She is specifically investigating the relationship between linguistic play, ethical life, and the technological infrastructure of the platform itself.

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