Congratulations to Vivian Lu who has been awarded a Mary Gates Research Scholarship for her project with CLCM's Professor Stephen Groening.
After completing her research on the mobile financial and social platform Venmo, Vivian Lu will be researching the image-sharing platform Instagram. Instagram gives its users new opportunities to perform their identities to others, play with boundaries between private and public, adjust their conceptions of space and time, and new methods of bonding and interacting with one another. In addition, the popularity of Instagram among popular public figures introduces new questions regarding the role and impact of the celebrity on our understanding of social media. Instagram is thus both personal and intimate as well as a form of publicity, marketing, and advertising. The combination of these two roles, often considered separate, via the image is what drives her research.