Julia Sonnevend is Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Michigan. She was a Lady Davis Postdoctoral Fellow at the Smart Family Institute of Communications at the Hebrew University and an Associate Postdoctoral Fellow at the Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace in 2014. She was named a Leibniz Summer Fellow at the Centre for Contemporary History in Potsdam (Germany) in 2015.
Sonnevend’s interdisciplinary research examines the cultural aspects of international media, with a special focus on media events, rituals, performances, and icons. She is interested in the “re-enchantment” of society, in the magical moments, qualities, technologies and artifacts of contemporary social life worldwide. Her current book project, Stories Without Borders: The Making of a Global Iconic Event (Oxford University Press in 2016), explores practices of transnational storytelling and the making of global iconic events. Focusing on journalists covering the fall of the Berlin Wall and on subsequent retellings of the event (from Legoland reenactments to segments of the Berlin Wall installed in shopping malls), her book discusses how storytellers build up events so that people in many parts of the world remember them for long periods of time. Her book also considers how the mythological story of the fall of the Berlin Wall shapes our debates about separation fences and walls worldwide today, from the United States to Israel to Hungary.
Sonnevend is co-editor of Education and Social Media: Toward a Digital Future (MIT Press, 2016). She is author and co-author of articles published in journals including Journalism Studies, Columbia Journalism Review and The New Everyday. Her work also appears in edited collections including Digital Keywords: A Vocabulary of Information Society and Culture (Ed. Benjamin Peters, Princeton University Press, forthcoming in 2016), Iconic Power: Materiality and Meaning in Social Life (Eds. Jeffrey C. Alexander et al, Palgrave Macmillan, 2012) and Theorizing Visual Studies: Writing Through the Discipline (Eds. James Elkins et al, Routledge, 2012).
Sonnevend received her PhD in Communications from Columbia University, her Master of Laws degree from Yale Law School, and her Juris Doctorate and Master of Arts degrees in German Studies and Aesthetics from Eötvös Loránd University Budapest.
More extensive profile here. She tweets from: @juliasonnevend