Morgan G. Ames

Interim Associate Director of Research

Lecturer and Postdoctoral Researcher, School of Information
Lecturer, Department of History
Chair of the Designated Emphasis in STS,
University of California, Berkeley
CSTMS Research Unit: Berkeley Program in Science and Technology Studies, Office for the History of Science and Technology, CSTMS
Affiliation period: January 2016 -
Degrees Ph.D. Communication; Minor in Anthropology :: Stanford University (2013)
M.S. Information Management and Systems :: University of California, Berkeley (2006)
B.A. Computer Science :: University of California, Berkeley (2004)

Research Areas

Morgan researches how the ideologies of computing cultures lead to specific design choices, policies, usage patterns, and other cultural and material articulations.

Morgan's research explores the cultural politics of technology, the ideologies behind high-tech innovation, and the role of utopianism in the technology world. Her current projects focus on the imaginary of the "technical child" as fertile ground for this utopianism.

Morgan is wrapping up a book on the One Laptop per Child project, under contract with MIT Press, as a particularly rich example of technological utopianism. Drawing on archival research and a seven-month ethnography in Paraguay, the book explores the cultural history, results, and legacy of the project - including what the project tells us about the many other technology projects that draw on similar ideals.

Her next project explores the role that utopianism plays in discourses around childhood, education, and 'development' in two geographically overlapping but culturally divided worlds: developer culture of Silicon Valley and the working-class and immigrant communities in the San Francisco Bay Area.

See other publications on her website,

Morgan previously spent two years as a postdoctoral researcher at the Intel Science and Technology Center for Social Computing at UC Irvine, where she worked with Paul Dourish in the Department of Informatics. Morgan's PhD is in communication (with a minor in anthropology) from Stanford, where her dissertation won the Nathan Maccoby Outstanding Dissertation Award in 2013. She also has a B.A. in computer science and M.S. in information science, both from the University of California, Berkeley.

last updated: October 3rd, 2018