Whitney Phillips

Whitney Phillips

Whitney M. Phillips

Assistant Professor of Literary Studies and Writing
Department of Liberal Studies

Contact Information


B.A., Humboldt State University
M.F.A., Emerson College
Ph.D., University of Oregon


Dr. Whitney Phillips holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Humboldt State University (2004), an M.F.A. in Creative Writing (fiction emphasis) from Emerson College (2007), and a Ph.D. in English with a Folklore Structured Emphasis (digital culture focus) from the University of Oregon (2012). Her book on Internet trolls, This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things: Mapping the Relationship between Online Trolling and Mainstream Culture (MIT Press 2015) examines the emergence and evolution of subcultural trolling, an online behavioral practice predicated on mischief, meme creation, and anonymity. In addition to her first monograph, Dr. Phillips has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed academic journals, has contributed several chapters to edited media studies volumes, and is frequently interviewed by national news outlets on stories about online aggression, comment moderation, and other ambivalent online behaviors. Her second book, co-authored with Ryan Milner of the College of Charleston, is titled Between Play and Hate: Antagonism, Humor, and Mischief Online, and is forthcoming with Polity Press (2017). She is also in the process of finishing her first novel, which focuses on three generations of unruly Southern women.

Teaching & Research Interests

Dr. Phillips' teaching and research interests--both academic and creative--engage with the intersection(s) of digital media and technology studies, communication studies, cultural studies, folklore studies, literary studies, and critical race, gender, and sexuality studies. She is particularly interested in creative approaches to non-fiction (including academic writing), participatory cultures, ambivalent online behavior, television, "so-bad-it's-good" fandoms, computer mediated communication, transgressive humor, and the myriad infrastructures (interpersonal, political, and technological) undergirding the culture industries.