11 Feb 2005 - 17 Nov 2022
Michael WeschAssistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology
SASW, 206 Waters Hall
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506
Michael Wesch is a cultural anthropologist and media ecologist exploring the impacts of new media on human interaction. He graduated summa cum laude from the Kansas State University Anthropology Program in 1997 and returned as a faculty member in 2004 after receiving his PhD in Anthropology at the University of Virginia. There he pursued research on social and cultural change in Melanesia, focusing on the introduction of print and print-based practices like mapping and census-taking in the Mountain Ok region of Papua New Guinea where he lived for a total of 18 months from 1999-2003. This work inspired Wesch to examine the impacts of new media more broadly, especially digital media.
Wesch's videos are part of his broader efforts to pursue the possibilities of digital media to extend and transform the way ethnographies are presented. His first experiment with digital ethnography, Nekalimin.net
, began in 1999 and was recently listed by the Cardiff School of Social Sciences Hypermedia and Qualitative Research Project
as "by far and away the most interesting web-mounted hypermedia ethnography to date
." In 2002, Wesch created "Virtual Snow
," an on-line resource on the life and work of Edmund Snow Carpenter, an anthropologist who was instrumental in developing the foundational ideas of media ecology which inspire much of Wesch's work with digital ethnography.