Ali Rachel Pearl earned her PhD from the Department of English (with a certificate in Media Arts + Practice) at the University of Southern California. She is a writer, scholar, and teacher whose work lives at the intersections of race, gender, and digital culture. Her creative work and scholarship appear in Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media, & Technology; Cosmonauts Avenue; Hyperrhiz: New Media Cultures; Hobart; Redivider; DIAGRAM; The New York Times; and elsewhere. Most of the year, she lives and teaches in Los Angeles, where she is currently working on a novel.
Ali’s interdisciplinary research is grounded in critical race studies and feminist methodologies that recognize politics and epistemologies as inextricably linked. Her work considers how digital technology intersects with race, gender, and identity. She specializes in archives, social media, and digital culture, particularly in relationship to social justice activism and cultural memory.
Her dissertation, Archiving Ephemerality: The Politics of Preservation, questions the political implications of archives, taking as its primary focus the archival methodologies involved in documenting ephemeral artworks such as street art, performance art, and electronic literature. Her second project, Counter—: Narrative, Mapping, & Surveillance, attends to works that in some way revise the dominant narratives, maps, and surveillance practices that establish oppressive stereotypes and boundaries around race, indigeneity, immigration, nationalism, and policing.
Ali’s creative work is interested in themes of queerness, love, capitalism, kinship, re-writing history, and the deserts of the American Southwest. She can’t seem to figure out a way to differentiate between her academic bio and her creative writing/artist bio but she doesn’t believe in those kinds of distinctions anyway.