Jennifer Hessler

CFD Postdoctoral Fellow in English
Specialization: television studies, media industries, surveillance, cultural representation

Jennifer Hessler is the Consortium for Diversity Postdoctoral Fellow in Film/Media Studies, where she teaches classes in television studies; media industries; race, gender, and cultural identity; and surveillance. Jennifer has a PhD in Film and Media Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is currently working on a book titled, Television Ratings: From the Audimeter to Big Data, which examines television ratings technologies and methods as precursory models of data-driven consumer surveillance. Jennifer has published/forthcoming work in Media Fields, The Velvet Light Trap, and Television and New Media. She has served as an editorial assistant for the journal Camera Obscura: Feminism, Media, and Culture. She has also contributed to numerous research collaborations, including the Connected Viewing Initiative, a Warner Brothers funded/collaborated project that examined at how consumers engage with media content across digital platforms, and WhatEvery1Says, a Mellon funded project that uses digital humanities methods to research public discourse about the humanities at large data scales.

Educational Background

  • Ph.D. Film and Media Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • M.A. Film and Media Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • B.A. Film, Television, and Media, University of California, Santa Barbara

Research Interests

  • US Television History
  • Media Industries
  • Digital Media Theory
  • Technology Studies
  • Critical Data Studies & Consumer Surveillance
  • Gender, Race, and Identity

Current Book Project

The Television Ratings: From Audimeter to Big Data a recuperative history of the television ratings that looks at ratings technologies and methods as precursory models of data-driven consumer surveillance

Selected Publications

“The Portable Peoplemeter Initiative: Wearable Ratings Technologies and Embodied Labor,” in Laboring Bodies & the Quantified Self, ed. Ulf Reichardt and Regina Schober, Columbia University Press (Forthcoming)

“Peoplemeter Technologies and the Biometric Turn in Audience Measurement,” Television and New Media (Forthcoming)

“Quality You Can’t Touch: Mubi Social, Platform Politics, and the Online Distribution of Art Cinema” The Velvet Light Trap, Issue 82 (September 2018), 3-17.

“Introduction: Digital Distribution and Cultural Power,” co-authored with Juan Llamas-Rodriguez. Media Fields Journal: Digital Distribution. Issue 10. (November 2015). mediafieldsjournal.squarespace.com/digital-distribution-intro/