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Irina Kalinka

Fellow, Society of Fellows, SOF/Heyman, Columbia University (2023–

Lecturer, Institute for Comparative Literature and Society, Columbia University

Lecturer, English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University

email address [email protected]
Headshot of Irina Kalinka

A scholar of political theory and digital media with a global purview, Irina centers her research around platform studies, democracy, and digital publics. She completed her dissertation, "The Political Imaginary of User Democracy," in Modern Culture and Media at Brown University in 2023. In this project, Irina argues that tech-corporations promote and engender their own normative conceptualization of democracy through the services they oversee.

Irina's scholarship broadly explores the ramifications of tech-corporate power over public-political life. She has published on the power of personalization algorithms to partition the sensible and on how platform discourse shapes our understanding of community by mischaracterizing it as an operational project to be completed through technology. Her research has been supported by the Cogut Institute Graduate Fellowship and the Mellon Graduate Fellowship in Collaborative Humanities.

Irina also holds a B.A. in Politics and Human Rights from Bard College, and an M.A. in English Literatures from Humboldt University. She was inspired to pursue a Ph.D. by her experiences as an elected representative in German local politics, where she learned to put her commitment to democratic collaboration, plurality, and collective organizing into practice.