Media @ McGill

Coleman, Gabriella


Associate Professor, Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy

Interest and Bio: 


Gabriella (Biella) Coleman holds the Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy at McGill University. Trained as a cultural anthropologist, she researches, writes, and teaches on computer hackers and digital activism. Her first book on Free Software, Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking has been published with Princeton University Press.

Her new book, Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous, published by Verso, has been named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2014. You can read about the book and the research behind it in this Walrus Magazine profile.

She has given numerous talks on hackers, digital activism,open source production and intellectual property law. Her publications are available here and a partial list of talks, podcasts, interviews and other media appearances are available here. A complete list of talks and publications are available on her CV. You can follow her on Twitter


Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking - Princeton University Press. Forthcoming, November 2012)

Am I Anonymous? - Limn, Forthcoming, May 2012

- The Johns Hopkins Encyclopedia of Digital Textuality. Forthcoming, 2012

Anonymous - Glossary of Network Ecologies, Forthcoming, May 2012

Our Weirdness is Free, The logic of Anonymous—online army, agent of chaos, and seeker of justice. - Triple Canopy, January 2012

Hacker Politics and Publics - Public Culture, November 2011
Another tech pioneer, Dennis Ritchie, passes - Aljazeera English, October 2011 (with Chris Kelty)

Is it a Crime? The Trangressive Politics of Hacking in Anonymous -, News, Augmented, October 2011 (with Micahel Ralph)
The Ethics of Digital Direct Action - Aljazeera English, September 2011

Is Anonymous Anarchy? -, News, Augmented, August 2011

"Anonymous: From the Lulz to Collective Action."
Part of the "Politics in the Age of Secrecy and Transparency" Cluster (edited by Gabriella Coleman). The New Everyday
Phreaks, Hackers, and Trolls and the Politics of Transgression and Spectacle. In The Social Media Reader, ed. Michael Mandiberg. New York: NYU Press (forthcoming)

Ethnographic Approaches to Digital Media.
Annual Review of Anthropology. 39: 1-16, (2010)

Hacking In-Person: The Ritual Character of Conferences and the Distillation of a Life-World.
Anthropological Quarterly, Winter (2010)

Code is Speech: Legal Tinkering, Expertise, and Protest among Free and Open Source Software Developers.
Cultural Anthropology. 24(3): 420-454 (2009)

Hacker Practice: Moral Genres and the Cultural Articulation of Liberalism.
Anthropological Theory, Vol. 8, No. 3, 255-277 (2008) (with Alex Golub)

The Politics of Rationality: Psychiatric Survivor's Challenge to Psychiatry.
In Tactical Biopolitics. Kavita Phillip and Beatriz de Costa (editors). Cambridge: MIT Press (2008)

Los Temps d'Indymedia.
Multitudes. (21): 41-N48, May (2005)
Indymedia's Independence: From Activist Media to Free Software (English Version of Los Temps d'Indymedia). Multitudes. (21): 41-N48, May (2005)

The Social Production of Ethics in Debian and Free Software Communities.
In Free and Open Source Software Development. Stefan Koch (ed.). Idea group, (2004) (with Mako Hill)

The Political Agnosticism of Free and Open Source Software and the Inadvertent Politics of Contrast.
Anthropology Quarterly. 77(03): 507-519, Summer (2004)

How Free Became Open and Everything Else Under the Sun.
M/C Journal: A Journal of Media and Culture, July (2004) (with Mako Hill)

Faculty page: 

Visit Professor Coleman's faculty page here.

Personal website: 


Professor Coleman teaches two courses within the department of Art History and Communication Studies: * Hacker Culture and Politics * Scientific and Technological Controversies


Computer hacking; digital activism; online collaboration.