Bio


Fred Turner’s research and teaching focus on media technology and cultural change. He is especially interested in the ways that emerging media have helped shape American life since World War II.

Turner is the author of three books: The Democratic Surround: Multimedia and American Liberalism from World War II to the Psychedelic Sixties; From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network and the Rise of Digital Utopianism; and Echoes of Combat: The Vietnam War in American Memory. His essays have tackled topics ranging from the rise of reality crime television to the role of the Burning Man festival in contemporary new media industries. They are available here: fredturner.stanford.edu/essays/.

Turner’s research has received a number of academic awards and has been featured in publications ranging from Science and the New York Times to Ten Zen Monkeys. It has also been translated into French, Spanish, German, Polish and Chinese.

Turner is also the Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang University Fellow in Undergraduate Education. Before joining the faculty at Stanford, Turner taught Communication at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also worked as a freelance journalist for ten years, writing for the Boston Sunday Globe Magazine, the Boston Phoenix, and the Pacific News Service.

Turner earned his Ph.D. in Communication from the University of California, San Diego. He has also earned a B.A. in English and American Literature from Brown University and an M.A. in English from Columbia University.

Academic Appointments


  • Professor, Communication
  • Professor (By courtesy), Art & Art History
  • Professor (By courtesy), History

Administrative Appointments


  • Associate Professor, Department of Communication, Stanford University (2010 - Present)
  • Associate Professor (by courtesy), Department of Art and Art History, Stanford University (2010 - Present)
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, Stanford University (2003 - 2009)
  • Lecturer in Communication, Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1992 - 2002)
  • Visiting Instructor in Communication, Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1990 - 1999)
  • Lecturer, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1990 - 1994)
  • Instructor, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University (1989 - 2000)
  • Instructor, Division of Continuing Education, Harvard University (1989 - 1996)
  • Lecturer, College of Communication, Department of Film and Television, Boston University (1995 - 1996)
  • Instructor, Department of English and English Language Center, Northeastern University (1987 - 1992)
  • Fellowship, Columbia University (1984 - 1985)
  • Dissertation Fellowship, Department of Communication, University of California, San Diego (2001 - 2001)
  • Leonore Annenberg and Wallis Annenberg Fellow in Communication, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University (2007 - 2008)
  • Fellow, National Forum on the Future of Liberal Education, The Teagle Foundation (2009 - 2012)
  • Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang University Fellow, Stanford University (2012 - 2017)
  • Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang University Fellow, Stanford University (2012 - 2017)
  • Pre-doctoral Humanities Fellowship, University of California, San Diego (1996 - 2000)
  • Stanford University Fellow, Stanford University (2013 - 2015)

Honors & Awards


  • Katherine Singer Kovács Award, Society for Cinema and Media Studies (2013)
  • Media@McGill Beaverbrook Visiting Scholar, Department of Art History and Communication Studies, McGill University, Montreal, Canada (2013)
  • The CITASA Book Award Special Mention, CITASA (2008)
  • Professional and Scholarly Publishing Award for Excellence, Association of American Publishers (2007)
  • The James W. Carey Media Research Award, Carl Couch Center for Social and Internet Research (2007)
  • The Lewis Mumford Award for Outstanding Scholarship in the Ecology of Technics, Media Ecology Association (2007)
  • Outstanding Paper Award, Communication and Information Technologies Section of the American Sociological Association (2006)
  • Winner, National Student Essay Contest, Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (2001)
  • Nominated for a Faculty Appreciation Award, Sloan School of Management, MIT (2000)
  • The Bennett Cerf Prize, Columbia University (1985)
  • The Kim Ann Arstark Prize in Poetry, Brown University (1984)
  • The Preston Gurney Literary Prize, Brown University (1984)
  • The Ratcliffe Hicks Premium, Brown University (1984)
  • The Kim Ann Arstark Prize in Poetry, Brown University (1983)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations


  • Affiliated Faculty Member, Program in Symbolic Systems, Stanford University
  • Affiliated Faculty Member, Program in Modern Thought and Literature, Stanford University
  • Affiliated Faculty Member, Program in Urban Studies, Stanford University
  • Affiliated Faculty Member, Program in Science, Technology and Society, Stanford University
  • Affiliated Faculty Member, Program in American Studies, Stanford University
  • Member, Society for Social Studies of Science
  • Member, Society for Cinema and Media Studies
  • Member, Society for the History of Technology
  • Member, IT History Society
  • Member, International Communication Association
  • Member, American Sociological Association
  • Member, Organization of American Historians
  • Award Judge, CITASA Student Paper Award Committee (2013 - 2013)
  • Publication Reviewer, Political Studies (2013 - 2013)
  • Publication Reviewer, International Journal of Communication (2013 - 2013)
  • Member, External Advisory Board, Science & Justice Research Center, University of California, Santa Cruz (2012 - Present)
  • Grant and Fellowship Reviewer, Dutch Council on the Humanities (2012 - 2012)
  • Contributing Editor, Technology and Culture, Johns Hopkins University Press (2011 - Present)
  • Director, Program in Science, Program in Science, Technology and Society, Stanford University (2011 - Present)
  • Member, Editorial Board, Information and Culture: A Journal of History, University of Texas Press (2011 - Present)
  • Senior Editor, Public Culture, Duke University Press (2011 - Present)
  • Member, Curriculum Review Committee, School of Humanities and Sciences, Stanford University (2011 - 2012)
  • Publication Reviewer, BOOM (2011 - 2011)
  • Publication Reviewer, International Journal of Communication (2011 - 2011)
  • Publication Reviewer, Television and New Media (2011 - 2011)
  • Publication Reviewer, Transformative Works and Cultures (2011 - 2011)
  • Publication Reviewer, American Behavioral Scientist (2011 - 2011)
  • Member, Journalism Advisory Committee, Department of Communication, Stanford University (2010 - Present)
  • Frontiers of New Media Advisory Council, University of Utah (2010 - 2012)
  • Book Manuscript and Proposal Reviewer, MIT Press (2010 - 2010)
  • Book Manuscript and Proposal Reviewer, Polity Press (2010 - 2010)
  • Grant and Fellowship Reviewer, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (2010 - 2010)
  • Grant and Fellowship Reviewer, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (2010 - 2010)
  • Member, Faculty Search Committees, Department of Communication, Stanford University (2010 - 2010)
  • Publication Reviewer, Journal of American History (2010 - 2010)
  • Publication Reviewer, American Behavioral Scientist (2010 - 2010)
  • Grant and Fellowship Reviewer, European Research Council (2009 - 2013)
  • Member, Advisory Board, The Web History Center, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Terre Haute, Indiana (2009 - 2012)
  • Book Manuscript and Proposal Reviewer, Duke University Press (2009 - 2009)
  • Member, Juror, Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, Stanford University (2009 - 2009)
  • Publication Reviewer, Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies (2009 - 2009)
  • Director, Undergraduate Studies, Department of Communication, Stanford University (2008 - Present)
  • Grant and Fellowship Reviewer, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (2008 - 2012)
  • Member, Governance Board, Program in Modern Thought and Literature, Stanford University (2008 - 2011)
  • Member, Governance Board, Program in Writing and Rhetoric, Stanford University (2008 - 2010)
  • Publication Reviewer, Political Communication (2008 - 2010)
  • Award Judge, CITASA Student Paper Award Committee (2008 - 2008)
  • Book Manuscript and Proposal Reviewer, Duke University Press (2008 - 2008)
  • Manuscript and Proposal Reviewer, Routledge (2008 - 2008)
  • Publication Reviewer, Media History (2008 - 2008)
  • Publication Reviewer, Television and New Media (2008 - 2008)
  • Member, Advisory Board, Buckminster Fuller Exhibition, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York (2007 - 2008)
  • Book Manuscript and Proposal Review, Harvard University Press (2007 - 2007)
  • Book Manuscript and Proposal Reviewer, Palgrave Macmillan (2007 - 2007)
  • Book Manuscript and Proposal Reviewer, MIT Press (2007 - 2007)
  • Book Manuscript and Proposal Reviewer, Princeton University Press (2007 - 2007)
  • Member, Editorial Review Board, Journal of the Association for Information Systems, special issue on e-infrastructure (2007 - 2007)
  • Publication Reviewer, The Communication Review (2007 - 2007)
  • Publication Reviewer, Theory and Society (2007 - 2007)
  • Publication Reviewer, Technology and Culture (2006 - 2010)
  • Member, Faculty Advisory Board, Stanford Digital Repository, Stanford University Libraries (2006 - 2007)
  • Book Manuscript and Proposal Reviewer, University Press of Kansas (2006 - 2006)
  • Member, Faculty Search Committees, Department of Communication, Stanford University (2006 - 2006)
  • Publication Reviewer, Social Forces (2006 - 2006)
  • Member, Editorial Board, Games and Culture: A Journal of Interactive Media (2005 - Present)
  • Book Manuscript and Proposal Reviewer, University of Chicago Press (2005 - 2009)
  • Publication Reviewer, Games and Culture (2005 - 2008)
  • Grant and Fellowship Reviewer, National Science Foundation, Program in History and Philosophy of Science, Engineering and Technology (2005 - 2005)
  • Member, Faculty Search Committees, Department of Communication, Stanford University (2005 - 2005)
  • Publication Reviewer, Current Anthropology (2005 - 2005)
  • Publication Reviewer, Communication Theory (2005 - 2005)
  • Publication Reviewer, The Handbook of Science and Technology Studies, MIT Press (2005 - 2005)
  • Publication Reviewer, Social Studies of Science (2005 - 2005)
  • Member, Graduate Studies Curriculum Committee, Department of Communication, Stanford University (2004 - Present)
  • Member, Undergraduate Studies Curriculum Committee, Department of Communication, Stanford University (2004 - Present)
  • Member of the Faculty, Digital Humanities Concentration, Inter-Departmental Humanities Major, Stanford University (2004 - 2008)
  • Director, Undergraduate Studies, Department of Communication, Stanford University (2004 - 2007)
  • Member, Dean’s Committee to Review the Master’s Program in Journalism, Stanford University (2004 - 2005)
  • Book Manuscript and Proposal Reviewer, Oxford University Press (2004 - 2004)
  • Book Manuscript and Proposal Reviewer, University Press of Kansas (2004 - 2004)
  • Grant and Fellowship Reviewer, National Science Foundation, Science, Technology, and Society Program (2004 - 2004)
  • Grant and Fellowship Reviewer, Florida State University (2004 - 2004)
  • Publication Reviewer, Social Studies of Science (2004 - 2004)
  • Publication Reviewer, The Information Society (2004 - 2004)
  • Member, Admissions Committee, Ph.D. Program, Department of Communication, Stanford University (2003 - Present)
  • Member, Governance Board, Program in Science, Technology and Society, Stanford University (2003 - Present)
  • Member, Admissions Committee, Journalism Master’s Program, Department of Communication, Stanford University (2003 - Present)
  • Member, Governance Board, American Studies Program, Stanford University (2003 - Present)
  • Publication Reviewer, New Media and Society (2003 - 2012)
  • Member, Governance Board, Program in Writing and Rhetoric, Stanford University (2003 - 2007)
  • Member, Faculty Board, Stanford Humanities Lab, Stanford University (2003 - 2005)
  • Member, Departmental Committee on Computing, Department of Communication, Stanford University (2003 - 2005)
  • Director, Co-Terminal Master’s Degree Program in Media Studies, Department of Communication, Stanford University (2003 - 2004)
  • Grant and Fellowship Reviewer, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (2003 - 2003)
  • Grant and Fellowship Reviewer, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (2003 - 2003)
  • Member, Rebele Fellowship Committee, Department of Communication, Stanford University (2003 - 2003)
  • Member, Faculty Search Committees, Department of Communication, Stanford University (2003 - 2003)
  • Book Manuscript and Proposal Reviewer, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. (2002 - 2002)
  • Grant and Fellowship Reviewer, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (2002 - 2002)
  • Master’s Thesis advisor, Comparative Media Studies Program, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2001 - 2003)
  • MBA Student Cohort Advisor, Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2001 - 2001)
  • Member, Faculty Representative, Merit Scholarship Committee, Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2001 - 2001)
  • Member, Graduate Representative, search committees, Department of Communication, University of California, San Diego (1998 - 1999)
  • Member, Graduate Representative, Graduate Affairs Committee, Department of Communication, University of California, San Diego (1997 - 1998)
  • Assistant Editor, The Communication Review. New York and Amsterdam (1996 - 1997)
  • Chair, Communication Department, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University (1996 - 1996)
  • Research Affiliate, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1994 - 1996)

Program Affiliations


  • Science, Technology and Society

Professional Education


  • Ph.D., University of California, San Diego, Communication (2002)
  • M.A., Columbia University, English and American Literature (1985)
  • B.A, Brown University, Magna Cum Laude, in English and American Literature (1984)

2017-18 Courses


Stanford Advisees


All Publications


  • Network Celebrity: Entrepreneurship and the New Public Intellectuals PUBLIC CULTURE Turner, F., Larson, C. 2015; 27 (1): 53-84
  • De contre-culture à la cyberculture : Stewart Brand , le Réseau Whole Earth , et la montée du numérique utopisme Turner, F. C&F Editions, Paris, France. 2013
  • Bohemian Technocracy and the Countercultural Press Power to the People Turner, F. edited by Kaplan, G. University of Chicago Press, Chicago. 2013: 132–59
  • Die amerikanische Gegenkultur und die Politik der Gestaltung/The American Counterculture and the Politics of Design Zeitschrift für Design Turner, F. 2013; 249: 84-87
  • Cóng fǎn chuántǒng dào wǎngluò wénhuà: Sītú'ěrtè·bù lán dé, zhěnggè dìqiú wǎngluò hé shùzì de xīngqǐ wūtuōbāng Turner, F. Yeeyan & Dongxi, Beijing, China. 2013
  • The Politics of the Whole circa 1968 – and Now The Whole Earth: California and the Disappearance of the Outside Turner, F. edited by Diederichsen, D., Franke, A. Haus der Kulturen der Welt and Sternberg Press, Berlin, Germany. 2013: 43–48
  • A Conversation with danah boyd, Microsoft Research TELEVISION & NEW MEDIA Turner, F. 2012; 13 (2): 177-185
  • The Family of Man and the Politics of Attention in Cold War America PUBLIC CULTURE Turner, F. 2012; 24 (1): 55-84
  • This is for Fighting, This is for Fun: Camerawork and Gunplay in Reality Based Crime Shows Popping Culture Turner, F. edited by Pomerance, M., Sakeris, J. Pearson Education, Boston. 2012; 7th
  • Computational Journalism COMMUNICATIONS OF THE ACM Cohen, S., Hamilton, J. T., Turner, F. 2011; 54 (10): 66-71
  • The limits of peer production: Some reminders from Max Weber for the network society NEW MEDIA & SOCIETY Kreiss, D., Finn, M., Turner, F. 2011; 13 (2): 243-259
  • Gegenkulturelle Ästhetik? Sozialtechnologien und die Expo ‘70 Macht und Geist im Kalten Kreig Turner, F. edited by Greiner, B., Müller, T., Weber, C. Hamburger Editions, HIS Verlagsges. mbH., Hamburg, Germany. 2011: 437–57
  • Computational Journalism: How Computer Scientists Can Empower Democracy’s Watchdogs Communications of the ACM Cohen, S., Hamilton, J. T., Turner, F. 2011; 54 (10): 66-71
  • Review of The Social Network (Columbia Pictures) TeachingHistory.Org, National Education Clearinghouse, United States Department of Education Turner, F. 2011
  • Burning Man at Google: A Cultural Infrastructure for New Media Production World Making: Media, Art and the Politics of the Global Turner, F. edited by Petro, P., Hall, L., Aneesh, A. Rutgers University Press. 2011: 30–48
  • Review of The Social Network (Columbia Pictures) Journal of American History Turner, F. 2011; 98 (1): 294-95
  • The Iron Cage in the Network Society: Some Reminders from Max Weber for Web 2.0. New Media and Society Kreiss, D., Finn, M., Turner, F. 2011; 13 (2): 243-259
  • Enabling Creative Chaos: The Organization Behind the Burning Man Event (Book Review) CONTEMPORARY SOCIOLOGY-A JOURNAL OF REVIEWS Book Review Authored by: Turner, F. 2010; 39 (3): 289-?
  • The Pygmy Gamelan as Technology of Consciousness Paul DeMarinis: Buried in Noise Turner, F. edited by Beirer, I., Himmelsbach, S., Seiffarth, C. Berliner Künstlerprogramm des DAAD, Singuhr – Hoergalerie (Berlin, Germany) and Kehrer-Verlag (Heidelberg, Germany). 2010: 22–31
  • Un tecnócrata para la contracultura Buckminster Fuller, 1895-1983, Arquitectura Viva Monographs Turner, F. edited by Foster, N., Luis, F. Arquitectura Viva SL, Madrid, Spain. 2010: 102–115
  • Earthrise: How Man First Saw the Earth (Book Review) TECHNOLOGY AND CULTURE Book Review Authored by: Turner, F. 2010; 51 (1): 273-275
  • Zero Comments: Blogging and Critical Internet Culture (Book Review) TECHNOLOGY AND CULTURE Book Review Authored by: Turner, F. 2009; 50 (2): 508-509
  • Burning Man at Google: a cultural infrastructure for new media production NEW MEDIA & SOCIETY Turner, F. 2009; 11 (1-2): 73-94
  • Buckminster Fuller: A Technocrat for the Counterculture New Views on R. Buckminster Fuller Turner, F. edited by Chu, H., Trujillo, R. Stanford University Press. 2009: 146–59
  • Review of Total Recall: How the EMemory Revolution Will Change Everything, and Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in a Digital Age Nature Turner, F. 2009; 461 (7268): 1206-1207
  • Burning Man at Google: A Cultural Infrastructure for New Media Production Everything’s An Argument Turner, F., Lunsford, A., Ruszkiewicz, J., Walters, K. Bedford/St. Martin’s. 2009; 5
  • The Future of Computational Journalism Working Paper of the DeWitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy Hamilton, J., Turner, F. Duke University. 2009
  • Developing the Field of Computational Journalism Hamilton, J., Turner, F. Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. 2009
  • Romantic automatism: Art, technology, and collaborative Labor in Cold War America JOURNAL OF VISUAL CULTURE Turner, F. 2008; 7 (1): 5-26
  • Marshall McLuhan, Stewart Brand, und die kybernetische Gegenkultur McLuhan neu lesen: Kritische Analysen zu Medien und Kultur im 21. Jahrhundert Turner, F. edited by de Kerckhove, D., Leeker, M., Schmidt,, K. Transcript Verlag, Bielefeld, Germany. 2008: 105–66
  • Shots of Silicon Valley Nature Turner, F. 2008; 451 (7182): 1054
  • Who controls the internet? Illusions of a borderless world (Book Review) TECHNOLOGY AND CULTURE Book Review Authored by: Turner, F. 2008; 49 (1): 296-297
  • Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq (HBO Documentary Films, 2007) Journal of American History Turner, F. 2008; 95 (1): 288-90
  • Code: Collaborative ownership and the digital economy. (Book Review) TECHNOLOGY AND CULTURE Book Review Authored by: Turner, F. 2006; 47 (3): 685-686
  • How Digital Media Found Utopian Ideology: Lessons from the First Hackers Critical Cyberculture Studies: Current Terrains, Future Directions Turner, F. edited by Silver, D., Massanari, A. New York University Press. 2006: 257–69
  • From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism Turner, F. University of Chicago Press. 2006
  • Why Study New Games? Games and Culture Turner, F. 2006; 1 (1): 107-10
  • Where the counterculture met the new economy - The WELL and the origins of virtual community Annual Meeting of the Society-for-the-History-of-Technology Turner, F. JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV PRESS. 2005: 485–512
  • Actor-Networking the News Social Epistemology Turner, F. 2005; 19 (4): 321-24
  • Prefiguring Cyberculture: An Intellectual History Space and Culture Turner, F. 2004; 7 (1): 124-27
  • ¿Es El Ciberspacio La Nueva Frontera? Rebelión Turner, F. 2003
  • This is for Fighting, This is for Fun: Camerawork and Gunplay in Reality Based Crime Shows Gender, Race and Class in Media Turner, F. edited by Dines, G. 2002
  • Echoes of Combat: Trauma, Memory and The Vietnam War Turner, F. University of Minnesota Press. 2001
  • El ciberespacio: ¿una nueva frontera en.red.ando Turner, F. 2000
  • Cyberspace as the New Frontier?: Mapping the Shifting Boundaries of the Network Society Red Rock Eater News Service Turner, F. 1999
  • This is for Fighting, This is for Fun: Camerawork and Gunplay in Reality Based Crime Shows Bang, Bang, Shoot, Shoot!: Essays on Guns and Popular Culture Turner, F. edited by Pomerance, M., Sakeris, J. Simon & Schuster, New York and Toronto. 1999: 175–85
  • Echoes of Combat: The Vietnam War In American Memory Turner, F. Anchor/Doubleday. 1996