Sarah Edwards

Media and Cultural Studies

Teaching Assistant



2151 Vilas Hall

Expertise and Activities

Sarah is a PhD candidate in Media and Cultural Studies whose research focuses on the social media entertainment industry, branding, platforms, and globalization. Her dissertation examines the technologies of production and imagination of the nation-state in the era of social media entertainment to consider how practices like influencer marketing, industrial actors like intermediaries and infomediaries, and platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok have been leveraged not only as tools used to shape nation brands and consumer-citizens’ subjectivities, but also as technologies used to construct broader national and transnational formations.


  • M.A. Cultural Anthropology, North Carolina State University, 2019
  • B.A. Sociology and Anthropology, Warren Wilson College, 2016

Research Positions

  • Sociotechnical Systems PhD Intern, Social Media Collective, Microsoft Research-New England, Summer 2023


  • Forthcoming, 2024. “Creator Economies and Labor Precarity.” In The Handbook of Technology, Media, and Democracy, edited by Robyn Caplan, Philip Napoli, and Ken Rogerson.
  • 2022. “Branded Dreams, Boss Babes: Influencer Retreats and the Cultural Logics of the Influencer Para-Industry.” Social Media+Society,
  • 2018. With Ben Feinberg. “Are We (Still) the World? Service Learning and the Weird Slot in Student Narratives of Study Abroad.” In Cosmopolitanism and Tourism: Rethinking Theory and Practice, edited by Robert Shepherd.


  • CA 100–Introduction to Speech Composition
  • CA 250–Survey of Contemporary Media
  • CA 346–Critical Internet Studies
  • CA 359–Sports Media (Grader)


  • Managing Editor, The Velvet Light Trap, 2023-24
  • Media and Cultural Studies Representative, Graduate Student Organization, 2021-22
  • Coordinating Editor, University of Texas Press Liaison, The Velvet Light Trap, 2020-21
  • Editorial Board Member, The Velvet Light Trap, 2019-Present