In her new book, The Digital City: Media and the Social Production of Place (NYU Press, 2019), Germaine R. Halegoua rethinks everyday interactions that humans have with digital infrastructures, navigation technologies, and social media as we move through the world. Dr. Halegoua draws from five case studies from global and mid-sized cities to illustrate the concept of “re-placing." In this book, Dr. Halegoua shows have different populations employ urban broadband networks, social and locative media platforms, digital navigation, smart cities, and creative placemaking initiatives to create built environment into places with deep meaning and emotional attachments. She argues that people use digital media to create a unique sense of place within rapidly changing urban environments and that a sense of place is integral in understanding the complex relationships humans have with digital media.
In this interview, Dr. Halegoua talks about the multidisciplinary nature of her work as well as the distinct contribution she sees film and media studies providing her in studying the digital, place, place making, and the concept of “re-placing”. Dr. Halegoua shares that her research could be considered multidisciplinary and we agreed that value is added to the body of research when a topic is studies across multiple disciplines. She also shared that film and media studies contributes some unique aspects that other disciplines do not provide.
Michael O. Johnston, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at William Penn University. He earned his doctoral degree in Public Policy and Public Administration from Walden University. He researches placeand the process of place making as it is presented in everyday social interactions. You can find more about him on his website, follow him on Twitter @ProfessorJohnst or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.