Kayla Keener

Kayla Keener

Kayla Keener

Graduate Research Assistant

Affect theory, digital media, political economy, labor, critical theory, popular culture

Kayla received her doctorate in Cultural Studies with designated fields of expertise in Affect & Media and Gender & Neoliberal Political Economy from George Mason University. She received her MA in Women’s Studies, with an emphasis in Culture, Globalization and Development, from The George Washington University, and a BA from the Johnston Center for Integrative Studies at the University of Redlands, with an emphasis in Analyzing Cross-Cultural Perceptions of Gender through Religion, Literature and Activism.

Her research is situated at the intersection of affect theory, digital media and various forms of labor. Her past research examined the role of negative affects in facilitating the spread of fake news digitally, while a current project considers the changing role of (travel) influencers amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the illumination of their activity as work. Her dissertation research examines the imbrication of affects with digital labor, and situates neoliberal affects such as authenticity, passion, and pity within the context of income-generating and entrepreneurial platforms, such as Etsy, Kiva and Twitch.




Selected Publications

Keener, K. (Forthcoming). Influencing a pandemic: The unmasking and reimagining of digital labor in precarious times.

Keener, K. (2018). Alternative facts and fake news: Digital mediation and the affective spread of hate in the era of Trump. The Journal of Hate Studies, 14(1), 137-151.

Keener, K. (2018). Affect, aesthetics and attention: The digital spread of fake news across the political spectrum. In L. Zhang & C. Clark (Eds.), Affect, Emotion, and Rhetorical Persuasion in Mass Communication, New York: Routledge.

Courses Taught

EDCI 597: LGBTQ Issues in Education

COMM 302: Media Theory

COMM 101: Fundamentals of Communication

CULT 320: Globalization and Culture

INTS 312: Images and Experiences of Childhood: Social Construction, Literature, and Film