Brooke Erin Duffy

Brooke Erin Duffy, Ph.D., is currently an Assistant Professor in the School of Media and Communication at Temple University. In July 2016, she’ll be joining the Department of Communication at Cornell University.  Her research interests include digital and social media production, culture industries/creative labor, feminist media studies, and critical perspectives on consumer culture.

Her current book project, Aspirational Labor: Women and Creative Work in an Age of Social Media (Yale University Press, forthcoming), brings issues of gender and class to the fore of recent debates about digital labor  and internet entrepreneurship. Drawing upon in-depth interviews with fashion/beauty bloggers, online stylists, and DIY designers; participant observation at fashion and technology conferences; and an analysis of professionalization resources, the book chronicles the experiences and aspirations of a new class of creative workers. Duffy examines their activities through the lens of “aspirational labor,” a critical concept that highlights the gendered nature of social media production through a series of patterned contradictions: between labor and leisure; between amateurism and expertise; and between authenticity and self-promotion.

Her first monograph, Remake, Remodel: Women’s Magazines in the Digital Age (University of Illinois Press, 2013), explored the rapidly changing technologies and political economies of cultural production through an analysis of the women’s magazine industry. She is also co-editor of Key Readings in Media Today: Mass Communication in Contexts with Joseph Turow (Routledge, 2009).

Duffy’s research has been published in such journals as Critical Studies in Media Communication, Communication, Culture & Critique, the International Journal of Cultural Studies, Feminist Media Studies, Social Media + Society, and The Communication Review.  In addition to her academic work, Duffy has written for or provided commentary to The Atlantic (with Emily Hund), The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and Poynter, among others. For more information about her publications, visit her profile on

She has taught undergraduate and graduate courses on media and society, advertising and consumer culture, media theory, and qualitative research methods. In Spring 2016, she is teaching a new special topics seminar on “Media and Cultural Production in the Digital Age.”

Duffy completed her Ph.D. at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania in 2011. She holds an M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and B.A. from The Pennsylvania State University, where she was the student marshal for the College of Communications. She is a member of the Annenberg School Alumni Advisory Board and is the research chair for the AEJMC magazine division.

You can reach her by email at bduffy[at] or follow her on Twitter: @brookeerinduffy.