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Kyle Parry

Associate Professor
digital media and visual culture; art, documentary, and disaster; memory and politics; archival theory and practice; data, technology, and environment; history and theory of photography
Research Interests: 

Kyle Parry researches across digital media, visual culture, critical theory, and the environmental humanities. His book project, A Theory of Assembly: From Museums to Memes (University of Minnesota Press, Jan. 2023) argues for the power and pervasiveness of a transmedia cultural form called assembly. A second book project, Ubiquity: Photography's Multitudesis a co-edited critical anthology on the history and theory (and critique) of photographic ubiquity (Leuven University Press, 2021). Other recent projects concern selfies, digital imaging, and thought; protest, networks, and the concept of aboutness; and performative approaches to digital scholarship and data visualization. His research has been published in Critical InquiryDebates in the Digital Humanities, and Archive Journal. He's working on a new book on generativity.

Porter College D207
Office Hours: 

Spring 2022: Fridays 1–3pm, or by appointment. 

Selected Publications: 


A Theory of Assembly: From Museums to Memes (University of Minnesota Press, 2023)

Ubiquity: Photography’s Multitudes (co-editor Jacob W. Lewis, Leuven University Press, 2021)

Articles / Chapters

"Dispersal and Denial: Photographic Ubiquity and the Microbial Analogy" in Ubiquity: Photography's Multitudes

"How Selfies Think: The Cognitive Dimensions of Digital Photography" (in Visual Culture Approaches to the Selfie)

“Reading for Enactment: A Performative Approach to Digital Scholarship and Data Visualization” (Debates in the Digital Humanities 2019)

“Generative Assembly after Katrina” Critical Inquiry (Spring 2018)

“As We May Now Think: A Note on Vannevar Bush’s Scaffolding Claim” Archive Journal (November 2016)


Assembly, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri in Critical Inquiry (2018)

Selected Presentations: 

"Hashtag Protest and the Question of Aboutness," Visual & Media Cultures Colloquium Series, UC Santa Cruz (April 2019)

"Assembly by Other Means," Aesthetics of Information (Center for Humanistic Inquiry, Amherst College, May 2018)

"Art/Data" (Panel Chair, College Art Association Annual Conference, February 2018)

“Theorizing Metadata,” Society For Cinema and Media Studies Annual Conference (March 2017)

“Performative Data Curation,” Hard Coded Humanities (University of Rochester, 2016)

“The Event Archive as a Genre of Networked Media,” Society For Cinema and Media Studies Annual Conference (March 2016)

“Network Crisis Archiving: From First Response to Remembrance,” Invited Talk, Japan Forum, Harvard University (March 2016)

“3.11 and the Digital Archival Assemblage,” Society For Cinema and Media Studies Annual Conference (March 2015)

“Structuring Collaborative Learning,” Harvard Initiative for Learning and Teaching Annual Conference (Cambridge, MA, September 2014)

“Photographing Things to Come and Making Secret History,” Film and Visual Studies Colloquium (Cambridge, MA, February 2012)

Teaching Interests: 

HAVC 141L: Museums in the Internet Era

HAVC 249: How to Do Things with Pictures: Media, Culture, and Performance

HAVC 191W: Art, Disaster, and Resilience

HAVC 201B: Introduction to Visual Studies

HAVC 49: From Memes to Metadata: An Introduction to Digital Visual Culture

HAVC 141P: Networks and Natures: Art, Technology, and the Nonhuman

HAVC 141N: Data Cultures: Art, Technology, and Politics of Visual Representation

HAVC 141H: Media History and Theory

Honors and Awards: 

Outstanding Teacher Award, Arts Division, UC Santa Cruz (2017)

"Ubiquity: Photography's Multitudes," Humanities Project, University of Rochester (2017)

Mellon/CLIR Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Rochester (2015–2016)

“Experimental Teaching as Design Practice,” Grant, Harvard Initiative for Learning and Teaching, 2014–2015 (co-recipient with metaLAB)

“Digital Archive of Japan’s 2011 Disasters as Teaching Tool and Laboratory Course,” Grant, Harvard Initiative for Learning and Teaching, 2012–2013 (co-recipient with metaLAB and Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies)

Ashford Fellowship in the Humanities and Social Sciences, Harvard University (2009–2015)

Education and Training: 
Ph.D., Visual and Environmental Studies and Critical Media Practice, Harvard University
B.A., Rhetoric and Development Studies, University of California, Berkeley