This is my last week as a postdoc with the SMC, so I thought I’d write a little something to mark the occasion. It’s been a brilliant two years since completing my PhD, I’ve met some wonderful people and have managed to consolidate my research agenda into something vaguely coherent.

During my time here, I have written about the political aspects of digital well-being from a conceptual and practical standpoint and have explored these ideas in a couple of posts on this very blog. I also signed a book contract with the University of California press to develop this work in the future, tentatively titled Healthy Users. The book will examine how discourses and designs of living well on social media respond to and entrench contemporary apparatuses of individualized neuroliberal governance, sociotechnical power, and, of course, capitalism. All being well, it will be out in the next few years or so…

Over the summer, I will be wrapping up a couple of collaborations. The first explores the discursive work of health and toxicity in relation to content moderation, with Anna Gibson and Tarleton Gillespie and the second presents non-standard epistemology as a generative framework for transdisciplinary collaboration, with Magdalena Krysztoforska and Asia Biega.

In September 2022, I will be joining the faculty of the Information School at the University of Sheffield, as a Lecturer in Data, AI, and Society. I cannot wait to contribute to the continued success of the department and to get back to the Steel City, where I was born and raised.

If you’d like to contact me in the interim before this appointment, please use my Max Planck email address: niall dot docherty at mpi-sp dot org

Thank you!