What insights reveal themselves if we take apps seriously, as key vectors of digital culture?
Snapchat. WhatsApp. Ashley Madison. Fitbit. Tinder. Periscope. How do we make sense of how apps like these-and thousands of others-have embedded themselves into our daily routines, permeating the background of ordinary life and standing at-the-ready to be used on our smartphones and tablets? When we look at any single app, it's hard to imagine how such a small piece of software could be particularly notable. But if we look at a collection of them, we see a bigger picture that reveals how the quotidian activities apps encompass are far from banal: connecting with friends (and strangers and enemies), sharing memories (and personally identifying information), making art (and trash), navigating spaces (and reshaping places in the process). While the sheer number of apps is overwhelming, as are the range of activities they address, each one offers an opportunity for us to seek out meaning in the mundane. Appified is the first scholarly volume to examine individual apps within the wider historical and cultural context of media and cultural studies scholarship, attuned to issues of politics and power, identity and the everyday.
Jeremy Wade Morris is Associate Professor of Media and Cultural Studies, University of Wisconsin Madison
Sarah Murray is Assistant Professor of Screen Arts & Cultures, University of Michigan
“The theoretical and methodological breadth is impressive. From the popular to the forgotten, from casual games to rape reporting, these chapters weave a rich tapestry of the multiple meanings of apps for politics, society, and everyday life.”
—Amelia Arsenault, Georgia State University
“Morris and Murray have assembled an all-star cast to reveal the spectacular power of the software in all of our pockets. Appified is an essential collection for students and scholars of digital media culture, and all who seek to understand the indelible imprint of apps on our daily lives.”
—Jennifer Holt, University of California, Santa Barbara