about:

Hi! My name is Josef Nguyen (he/him/his), and I am an assistant professor of critical media studies in the School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication at The University of Texas at Dallas.

I received my Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Davis (2016) and my M.S. in Information and Computer Science with concentration in Arts Computation Engineering from the University of California, Irvine (2009).

My areas of research and teaching interest include but are not limited to:

  • creative labor and the creative economy
  • digital technologies and the politics of consent
  • feminist and queer game studies
  • experimental game design
  • fan media and fandom practices
  • DIY, craft, and maker cultures

My forthcoming book The Digital Is Kid Stuff: Making Creative Laborers for a Precarious Economy (Fall 2021 from University of Minnesota Press) examines how debates over creative digital youth mediate the ambivalences and contradictions of a precarious creative labor economy. Focusing on the constructions and valorizations of creativity, entrepreneurialism, and technological-savvy in relation to creative digital youth, I argue that contemporary culture operates to assuage profound anxieties about—and to defuse valid critiques of—both emerging digital technologies and the precarity of employment for “creative laborers” in twenty-first-century neoliberal America.

Additionally, I co-direct The Studio for Mediating Play with my UTD colleague Dr. Hong-An Wu. The Studio for Mediating Play integrates critical research and creative practices with intersectional feminist theory to address pressing social and material issues through engagements with and about play, investigating how play both mediates and is mediated by cultural and material forces.