Social Media Theorist Nathan Jurgenson Visiting Stevenson as Art/Visual Communication Design Artist-in-Residence

March 24, 2015 7 AM

Stevenson University’s Department of Art and Visual Communication Design will host social media theorist Nathan Jurgenson as its artist-in-residence. Jurgenson is also a contributing editor for The New Inquiry and a researcher for Snapchat.

Jurgenson will deliver his talk, entitled, “Visibility is a Trap,” Thursday, March 26 at 6 p.m. in the Rockland Hall Banquet Room located on the University’s Owings Mills campus, 100 Campus Circle, Owings Mills, MD 21117. The event—preceded by a reception at 5 p.m.—is free and the public is invited to attend.

“Nathan is different from many of our previous artists-in-residence,” said Amanda Hostalka, Interim Dean of the School of Design. “While his expertise clearly intersects with art and design, he is not a design practitioner. Rather, it is Nathan’s valuable perspective as a social media theorist that will benefit our students. As makers of artifacts, culture, and experiences, design students—especially those involved in interactive media and marketing—will be inspired and challenged by his critical analyses and unique insights.”

Jurgenson’s talk will be based on his ideas on the short-lived nature of social media and that being visible on something like social media networks is a trap. While on campus, he will also spend time in classes to discuss the future of social media and the concerns about living in a world of increased visibility online.

“I’d love for the students to think critically, conceptually, and historically about the digital, social technologies that are reshaping so much of our collective realities,” Jurgenson said. “There are decades of social theoretical literature that go a long way to help us frame these new technologies, yet we too often act as if history began when Mark Zuckerberg was born. I don’t want to inform the students with true facts about social media but instead present a way of thinking about it, and ask how these technologies might be designed to be less trapping.”

For more information about Stevenson’s arts and cultural events, visit or contact Matt Laumann, Manager of Cultural Programs. Email or call 443-352-4491 to request a copy of Art Effects, the biannual guide to arts and culture at Stevenson.

Stevenson University, known for its distinctive career focus, is the third-largest independent undergraduate university in Maryland with more than 4,400 students pursuing bachelor’s, master’s, and adult bachelor’s programs at locations in Stevenson and Owings Mills.