Month: January 2022

Carolyn Chernoff

Sociologist. Cultural worker. Educator.

Among other things, I have worked as a professor, a performance artist, and a Daisy Scout leader; as a DJ, a puppeteer, and an editor. I have extensive experience in teaching K-12 as a community partner as well as teaching undergraduate and graduate students. I have trained as a documentarian and ethnographer, with a background in community radio (WAMH 89.3 in Amherst, MA; Radio Educate Chicago; Radio Volta in Philadelphia) as well as experience as an associate specials producer at WBEZ Chicago. I earned a BA at Amherst College with distinction in Religion; an MSEd at the University of Pennsylvania in Education, Culture, and Society; and a joint PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in Sociology and Education. I have worked as a professor at Skidmore and Muhlenberg Colleges as well as Graduate Faculty at Moore College of Art & Design.

My artwork, teaching, and writing all look at everyday culture, especially as seen on the Internet. I am somewhat infamous for teaching a course on Miley Cyrus. Along with Janise Hurtig, I am the co-editor of Contested Spaces of Teaching and Learning: Practitioner Ethnographies of Adult Education in the United States (Lexington Press, 2019; see here for reviews).

My current research agenda looks at Philadelphia Flyers’ mascot Gritty; gender, politics, and Internet culture; and 21st century digital witchcraft. In addition to my training in sociology, I am deeply indebted to the work of the Birmingham Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies for bringing rigor, relevance, and politics to the study of youth culture. Like Raymond Williams, I believe that culture is everyday and ordinary, and yet it also has the potential to reinforce, elide, and transform social inequality. In the words of Stuart Hall,

“Popular culture is one of the sites where this struggle for and against a culture of the powerful is engaged: it is also the stake to be won or lost in that struggle. It is the arena of consent and resistance. It is partly where hegemony arises, and where it is secured.”

I use Twitter for politics, zines, and collective effervescence (CarolynChernoff).

Contact me here: