Who are these geeks?

Marie-Pierre Renaud – Founding Editor

As a graduate student of sociocultural anthropology  in Laval University (Quebec city), Marie-Pierre specializes in native studies and has written her master’s memoir on Healing Our Spirit Worldwide, an international indigenous healing movement. Her fields of interest include reconciliation processes, contemporary indigenous art, healing and decolonization movements, and popular culture, particularly geek culture. She has spent the last two years investigating the fake geek girl debate and the participation of women in geek culture. Her current projects include the Geek Girl Survey and closer examinations of science-fiction. To learn more, see her About.me page or read From Science-Fiction to Anthropology: There and Back Again. Contact Marie-Pierre on Twitter @KawaiMarie or by email at thegeekanthropologist@gmail.com. Find her on Linkedin and Academia.edu.

Emma Louise Backe – Managing Editor

Emma Louis Backe

Emma is a Master’s student in Medical Anthropology at George Washington University, where she is also pursuing a certificate in Global Gender Policy. She is interested in the ways that gender constructions and norms inform public health initiatives and international development, particularly in regards to women and girls’ reproductive and sexual health. She is currently conducting fieldwork in Washington D.C., but after graduating from Vassar College with a degree in Anthropology and English, she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the community health sector of Fiji. Her scholarship is also dedicated to making anthropology public and using geeky mediums like science fiction to demonstrate the continued salience of cultural sensitivity and reflexivity in popular culture and political contexts. She can be reached via Twitter @EmmaLouiseBacke or by email at emma.backe@gmail.com.

 Nicholas J. Mizer – Editor

NickBioPicDr. Nicholas Mizer is a multi-classed anthropologist / folklorist / performance studies scholar. Although much of his work focuses on tabletop role-playing games, he thinks that studying geek culture in general has a lot to offer to human understanding, from thinking about modernity and consumerism to the importance of imagination and wonder for what it means to be human.  He has some manuscripts and talks posted at his academia.edu page, and can be contacted at nick@thegeekanthropologist.com. To learn more, read Nicholas’ introductory TGA piece, “Just to Vex and Be Vexed in Return.

Rayna Elizabeth – Contributor

ray astronautRayna was named after the android from the original Star Trek series. She is currently an undergrad student at York University in Toronto, focusing on degrees in both anthropology and psychology. The human story has always fascinated her, especially when it comes to exploring life through imagination. Her anthropological interests include death studies, human factors in space, classism, ethics, and science and technology studies. As a singer-songwriter, she tries to incorporate her ideas in order to express them through a musical medium. She is also a gamer and loves everything sci-fi and fantasy. Feel free to contact her anytime @raynaelizabeth or by email at rayna.ca@gmail.com. You can also visit her personal website and tumblr. Read her introductory piece, Bones, Betazoids and Battleaxes: Life and Times of an Anthrogeek to learn more about her.

 James Moar – Reviewer, Contributor and Community Manager

James MoarJames holds a BA in Philosophy & Politics, and an interdisciplinary Master of Letters in Terrorism Studies. Since graduating, he has developed a strong curiosity about narratives, their context, symbolism and meaning. This occasionally overlaps into examining the social context in which these stories are prodouced. When he has time he blogs and moots opinions on the meaning and implications of narratives and worldbuilding, particularly with regard to science fiction and fantasy. When he had more time, he wrote the Method in the Mythos blog, and can be contacted at james.moar@gmail.com.

Nicolas Lalone – Contributor

Nick LaloneNicolas LaLone (the other Nick) is a PhD Candidate in Information Science and Technology at Penn State University. Additionally, Nick earned a Masters Degree in Sociology from Texas State University. While Nick is not an Anthropologist, his work on the impact of culture on the entertainment media is highly relevant to the area of Geek Anthropology. His primary topics of inquiry are multi-disciplinary and intersectional. This is a fancy way of saying that he tries to encapsulate as many different perspectives into his work as possible. At the moment, Nick is involved with a citizen science project called Aurorasaurus, a study of differing strategies in Online and In-Person Settlers of Catan, and the changes in rhetoric around the concept of whiteness in video games from the perspective of white nationalism. Finally, Nick is working with a company named Nerd Kingdom on a project “titled” The Untitled Game. This project is an attempt to create a voxel-based game that researchers, fans, modders, modelers, and programmers can all engage as equals. Nick believes that Geek Culture is primarily a study of consumptive patterns and technological literacy. Most of his work will reflect those beliefs. Nick’s work can be found at a number of places including: BeforeGameDesign, Google Scholar, and his web portfolio. Nick can be contacted through a variety of means but almost always around a Twitter Client of some kind or another @Nick_Lalone. He can be reached by email at nick.lalone@gmail.com.


There are 42 comments

  1. Benny North

    Hello from England!

    Just wandered over here and read the ‘Living in Video Games’ article; needless to say I’ll be hanging around and reading some more!

    Keep up the good work,

    Benny North


  2. Nando

    Great blog here! Very positive role-model for young, geek girls like my daughter. Love the navigation bar pics. Money well spent. Also, thanks for the Vizify link. After seeing yours, I’ve spent hours creating mine!


  3. Vincent Willcox

    Hello from a fellow fan of all things above (Star Trek fan, Stargate, Stargate SG1, Geek etc). I just stumbled upon your blog from merry old England. I have personally meet Data (or Brent Spinner). Also – go team Picard – anybody that could go Borg and return semi-sane wins in my book!


  4. Barbara

    I love lots of the same shows & Films; Fringe, Batman, Star Trek, The Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy (books), Dr Who, Dune…. Etc :). I think we are nowadays known as neeks


    1. thegeekanthropologist

      “Neeks” is a word that is often used in parallel to hip-hop culture and the notion of street cred or street wisdom. It’s not necessarily simply as assembly of “nerd” and “geek”, although it is sometimes used this way. I had read some definitions on the urban dictionary that led me to discard the term for the time being, but it’s true that it would be interesting to explore it. Thanks for bringing that back to mind! That said, I simply wouldn’t want to call myself that, it sounds off.

      Check out the urban dictionary for some interesting and very different definitions of “neek”. http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=neek


      1. Barbara

        Lol, I’m a secondary school teacher so survive by urban dictionary 🙂 Normally I discard anything except the top 2 or 3 definitions, as ‘this is now’, teenagers have no memory of 2 or 3 years ago!!


  5. Maneeya Ray Saributr

    Salut Marrie – Pierre !
    I enjoyed reading your blog and love your writing styles loads.
    I am a junior year,majoring in Sociology and Anthropology from Thailand and I must say you made Anthropology much more fascinating already 🙂


    1. thegeekanthropologist

      I’m so happy to know you enjoy reading my blog! It’s always great to know you’re not the only one who thinks what you write is interesting! I find that so far, I’m not writing content so intricately linked with anthropology, and I’m aiming at analysing more specialised literature in coming weeks and months. What topics are you interested in as far as sociology and anthropology? 🙂


  6. Le Clown

    My apologies. I thought I was following your blog already. I think part of my brain was eaten by bed bugs and bot flies.
    Le Clown


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