Hi, I'm Johanna Brewer.
Technology Design Activist
My research explores how marginalized communities challenge surveillance capitalism and my design practice aims to increase inclusion on media platforms.
A Brief Bio
I am an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Smith College and the Director of Research for AnyKey, a nonprofit that advocates for diversity, inclusion, and equity in gaming and live streaming.

For my work on the aesthetics of urban mobility in the field of ubiquitous computing, I earned a PhD in Informatics from UC Irvine. I've authored a host of articles in leading human-computer interaction, media studies, science & technology studies, and computer supported cooperative work publications.

My ethnographic research explores how marginalized communities challenge surveillance capitalism and my technology design practice aims to increase inclusion on media platforms. By collaborating with grassroots groups who transform our world through new economies, forms of expression, and styles of governance, I seek to develop technologies that benefit our diverse society.

As a design activist, I founded several counterculture tech companies including frestyl for live music discovery, Rhomby for anti-surveillance smart homes, and Neta Snook for diversity-focused R&D. Beyond my startup life, I've also held research positions at MIT, Intel, WBUR, ETH Zürich, and Boston University.

Besides working for fun, I make and collect music, play video games, juggle, weave wampum, hack and repair electronics, walk long distances, travel the world on public transport, befriend animals, talk to plants, swim the oceans, and cook lots of vegetarian food.
Contact Me
Direct message on Twitter/Discord is your best bet to reach me. I am terrible at responding to email. I will read yours, and then either reply right away, or between two days and two years later.

I hold open office hours on a rotating schedule. If you would like to meet, please book an appointment to chat with me.
Bass Hall 106

Mailing Address
Smith College
Northampton, MA 01063 USA

Office Hours
Check times on Calendly


Recent News
  March 2023
Spoke at PAX East on a panel called The Organizations That Help Aspiring Gaming Professionals and Streamers Grow Their Careers with a delegation of a dozen Smithies in the audience.
  December 2022
Tweeted so well Los Angeles Magazine quoted what I had to say in their story about Native appropriation.
  November 2022
Streamed a short CHI PLAY talk called Playing Unbound which serves as my latest call to action for my colleagues to positively transform HCI.
  July 2022
Appeared on KQED's Forum to talk about Logging in to The World of Collegiate Esports with San Francisco's National Public Radio audience.
  July 2022
Gave a talk at DiGRA about queer and trans speedrunners called Coming Out While Going Fast as a part of the Broadcast Bodies: Gender and Sexuality in Video Game Live Streaming panel.
  June 2022
Submitted the final manuscript to MIT Press for the co-edited volume Real Life in Real Time: Live Streaming Culture which will be published in August 2023.
  April 2022
Spoke on panel at PAX East called Collected Company: How Do We Get More People in the Room?
  April 2022
Published a co-edited special issue of Television & New Media about Gender and Sexuality in Live Streaming.