Marcella Szablewicz holds a Ph.D. (2012) in Communication and Rhetoric from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an MA in East Asian Studies (2004) from Duke University. Her primary research interests include contemporary Chinese youth culture, digital media culture, and the discursive constructions of so-called "deviant" behaviors occurring therein. She employs a multidisciplinary approach that engages ethnographic methods, situational analysis, and critical cultural theory. Her work has been published in the Chinese Journal of Communication and in the volume Online Society in China (Routledge, 2009).
During her time at MIT as a Mellon postdoctoral fellow, Marcella will be working on a book manuscript entitled From Addicts to Athletes: Youth Mobilities and the Politics of Digital Gaming in Urban China. Based on extended ethnographic fieldwork supported by the Fulbright Program and National Science Foundation, the book will examine the precarious socio-economic futures of urban Chinese youth through the lens of digital gaming culture, while also considering how dominant discourse about digital leisure practices is shaped by larger cultural debates about patriotism and productivity, class and the crafting of the “ideal citizen”.