Siva Vaidhyanathan headshot
SV

Siva Vaidhyanathan

Professor
Unit: College of Arts and Sciences
Department: Department of Media Studies
Office location and address
209 Wilson Hall
50 Rotunda Dr
Charlottesville, Virginia 22904
Biography

Siva Vaidhyanathan is the Robertson Professor of Media Studies and director of the Center for Media and Citizenship at the University of Virginia.

He is the author of Intellectual Property: A Very Short Introduction from Oxford University Press, published in 2017, and The Googlization of Everything -- and Why We Should Worry from the University of California Press, published in 2011. He has written two previous books: Copyrights and Copywrongs: The Rise of Intellectual Property and How it Threatens Creativity (New York University Press, 2001) and The Anarchist in the Library: How the Clash between Freedom and Control is Hacking the Real World and Crashing the System (Basic Books, 2004). He also co-edited (with Carolyn Thomas) the collection, Rewiring the Nation: The Place of Technology in American Studies (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007).

Vaidhyanathan directs the Center for Media and Citizenship at the University of Virginia, which produces a television show, a radio program, several podcasts, and the Virginia Quarterly Review magazine. He has appeared in an episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart to discuss early social network services. Vaidhyanathan has appeared in several documentary films, including Terms and Conditions May Apply (2013), Inside the Mind of Google (2009), and Freedom of Expression (2007). In 2016 Vaidhyanathan played a prominent role in the higher-education documentary, Starving the Beast. Vaidhyanathan was portrayed as a character on stage at the Public Theater in New York City in a play called Privacy (2016). Vaidhyanathan serves on the board of the Digital Public Library of America.

Vaidhyanathan has written for many periodicals, including The New York Times, Bloomberg View, American Scholar, Dissent, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The New York Times Magazine, Slate.com, BookForum, Columbia Journalism Review, Washington Post, The Guardian, Esquire.com, The Virginia Quarterly Review, The New York Times Book Review, and The Nation. He is a frequent contributor to public radio programs. And he has appeared on news programs on BBC, CNN, NBC, CNBC, MSNBC, and ABC.

After five years as a professional journalist, he earned a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. Vaidhyanathan has also taught at Wesleyan University, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Columbia University, New York University, McMaster University, and the University of Amsterdam. He is a fellow at the New York Institute for the Humanities and a Faculty Associate of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. He was born and raised in Buffalo, New York and resides in Charlottesville, Virginia.

FORU 1500: Introduction to the Forums
Credits: 3
This course will introduce first-year students to their forum topic. Students should enroll in the section associated with the forum to which they were accepted. (See http://college.as.virginia.edu/forums for information on the forums.)
FORU 1510: Continuing the Forum
Credits: 1
This course follows the first-semester introductory forum class and keeps students engaged in the content of their forum. Students should enroll in the section associated with the forum to which they were accepted. (See http://college.as.virginia.edu/forums for information on the forums.)
EGMT 1520: Empirical & Scientific Engagement
Credits: 2
In this class students will learn to analyze claims about the material and social worlds through formulation and testing of new questions and hypotheses based on observation and experience.
EGMT 1540: Ethical Engagement
Credits: 2
In this class students will learn to reflect upon and evaluate human conduct and character, consider the ethical components of individual and collective behaviors, and engage in the articulation of ethical questions and moral deliberation.
MDST 2559: New Course in Media Studies
Credits: 3
This course provides the opportunity to offer a new course in the subject of Media Studies.
MDST 3410: Media Ethics
Credits: 3
This course provides students a familiarity with the terrain of moral philosophy, improves students' awareness of the complex ethical issues and dilemmas in journalism and other areas of mass media, and engages students in the process of critical thinking, moral reasoning and problem solving in media communications. Prerequisite: MDST 2000 or instructor permission.
MDST 3559: New Course in Media Studies
Credits: 1–4
This course provides the opportunity to offer a new course in the subject of Media Studies.
MDST 3755: Social Media and Society
Credits: 3
This class examines computer-mediated communication forms known as "social media." What makes these technologies "social" or "media"? From algorithms to selfies, most aspects of social media have been met with both moral panics and utopian pronouncements. Students will develop a set of critical frames and analytical methods for understanding the role of social media in society.
MDST 3809: New Media in New York
Credits: 3
Examines why New York City remains the center of global journalism.
MDST 4010: Distinguished Majors Thesis Writing or Research Project
Credits: 3
Writing of a thesis or production or a project with appropriately researched documentation, under the supervision of the faculty DMP thesis readers or project supervisor.
MDST 4101: Privacy & Surveillance
Credits: 3
Can we preserve dignity and privacy in the age of Facebook? This seminar will consider the history and current applications of technologies & cultures of surveillance. How & why did we get to the point where almost all of our activities leave a trace? What sorts of laws and policies do we need to protect our sense of personal integrity? Students will conduct two brief oral presentations (accompanied by a video) & produce a 20-page research paper.
MDST 4559: New Course in Media Studies
Credits: 1–4
This course provides the opportunity to offer a new course in the subject of Media Studies.
MDST 4960: Advanced Independent Projects in Media Studies
Credits: 3
This course is designed to allow students to pursue independent research and study of a topic that is not contained within the course offerings of Media Studies. Restricted to Media Studies majors.
IMP 4970: Interdisciplinary Thesis
Credits: 3
Required Thesis for Interdisciplinary majors.
IMP 4971: Interdisciplinary Thesis
Credits: 3
Required Thesis for Interdisciplinary majors.