NetGov Lab Doctoral Researcher Dr. Fernanda Rosa Successfully Defends Dissertation

Dr. Fernanda Rosa with Dr Levinson and Dr. DeNardis; Dr. Almeida and Dr. Sinnreich on screen.

Dr. Fernanda Rosa with Dr Levinson and Dr. DeNardis; Dr. Almeida and Dr. Sinnreich on screen.

Dr. Fernanda Rosa, doctoral researcher at the Internet Governance Lab and former PhD candidate at the American University School of Communication, successfully defended her dissertation on Wednesday, July 3, 2019. Dr. Rosa’s dissertation, titled “Global Internet Interconnection Infrastructure: Materiality, Concealment, and Surveillance in Contemporary Communication,” was passed with distinction by the committee. 

One of the first in internet governance scholarship to do so, the dissertation focuses on the governance and design of internet exchange points (IXPs), their socio-technical aspects, and the social, political, and public values at stake. Dr. Rosa studies these critical components of the internet’s infrastructure through the lens of science and technology studies (STS) and Actor Network Theory (ANT), feminism, and decolonial studies. To do this, Dr. Rosa conducted field research in Germany, Brazil, and Mexico, employing qualitative methods such as ethnography of infrastructure and code ethnography and quantitative methods to investigate primary and secondary data respectively. 

This dissertation moves the needle for representation of issues from the global south and brings valuable theoretical and methodological contributions to the field of internet governance and communication studies. The dissertation committee was chaired by NetGov Lab faculty director Dr. Laura DeNardis, and comprised of co-director Dr. Nanette Levinson, faculty fellow Dr. Aram Sinnreich, and Dr. Virgilio Almeida, professor at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) and faculty associate at the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard University. 

Dr. Rosa is set to begin a prestigious, highly competitive two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania in the Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication.