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Kyle Parry

Associate Professor
art, digital media, and visual culture; data, technology, and environment; critical theory; history and theory of photography
Research Interests: 

Kyle Parry researches across art, digital media, visual culture, critical theory, and the environmental humanities. His first book, A Theory of Assembly: From Museums to Memes, argues for the power and pervasiveness of a transmedia cultural form called assembly. He is the coeditor of Ubiquity: Photography's Multitudes, a book of new essays on the history and theory (and critique) of photographic ubiquity. Other recent projects concern critical and visual cultural conceptions of metadata and performative approaches to digital scholarship and data visualization. His research has been published in Critical InquiryDebates in the Digital Humanities, and Archive Journal.

Porter College D207
Office Hours: 

Fall 2023: Wednesdays 3–5pm, or by appointment, typically via Zoom. Please sign up in advance for a 15-minute slot using this link. If you are unable to attend any of the open slots, please send me an email with stretches of time that you are available, and I will reply with a time we can meet.

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

"Metadata Is Not Data About Data" (in Decolonizing Data, 2023)

"Dispersal and Denial: Photographic Ubiquity and the Microbial Analogy" (in Ubiquity: Photography's Multitudes, 2021)

"How Selfies Think: The Cognitive Dimensions of Digital Photography" (in Visual Culture Approaches to the Selfie, 2021)

"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: 

"@dayanitasingh and the New Arts of Reconfiguration," College Art Association Annual Conference (February 2023)

"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., Film and Visual Studies and Critical Media Practice, Harvard University
B.A., Rhetoric and Development Studies, University of California, Berkeley