Brooke Erin Duffy

Brooke Erin Duffy, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication at Cornell University. Her research interests include digital and social media industries; creative labor, gender and feminist media studies, and critical perspectives on consumer culture.

Her latest book project, (Not) Getting Paid to Do What You Love: Gender, Social Media, and Aspirational Work (Yale University Press, forthcoming), brings issues of gender and class to the fore of debates about digital labor and internet entrepreneurship. Drawing upon in-depth interviews with fashion bloggers, beauty vloggers, Instagram influencers, and designers, the book chronicles the experiences and aspirations of a new class of digitally networked 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 cultural production in the digital age, media and society, advertising and consumer culture, media theory, and qualitative research methods. During the 2016-2017 academic year, she will teach “Gender and Media” and “New Media & Society.”

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.

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