Menu Close

Whitney Phillips

Communication Lecturer, Humboldt State University

Whitney Phillips holds a Ph.D. in English (Digital Culture focus/Folklore structured emphasis) from the University of Oregon and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Emerson College. She's conducted research on memes, constitutive online humor, so-bad-it's-good media engagement, online vigilantism, and online antagonisms. Her book on trolls, which pulls from media and cultural studies, folklore studies, feminist theory, and critical race theory, as well as thousands of hours of participant observation, will be published by The MIT Press in early 2015. During the 2015-2016 academic year, Dr. Phillips will be a Lecturer at Humboldt State University.


  • 2014–present
    Lecturer, Communication Department , Humboldt State University


  • 2012 
    University of Oregon, English PhD (Digital Culture/Folklore Structured Emphasis)
  • 2007 
    Emerson College, Master of Fine Arts, Creative Writing (fiction)


  • 2015
    This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things: Mapping the Relationship between Online Trolling and Mainstream Culture, MIT Press
  • 2013
    So Bad It's Good: The Kuso Aesthetic in Troll 2, Transformative Works and Cultures
  • 2013
    "In Defense of Memes," in Jenkins, Ford, and Green's Spreadable Media: Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked Culture , NYU Press
  • 2012
    The House That Fox Built: Anonymous, Spectacle, and Cycles of Amplification, Television and New Media
  • 2011
    LOLing at Tragedy: Facebook Trolls, Memorial Pages, and Resistance to Grief Online, First Monday