Siva Vaidhyanathan headshot

Siva Vaidhyanathan

Robertson Professor of Modern Media Studies

My scholarly work on digital media informs everything I teach in the Department of Media Studies. I could not write about copyright, privacy, security, and how we discover information if I stayed in one area of study. I have to deploy tools and knowledge from history, economics, law, sociology, anthropology, literature, music, computer science, statistics, linguistics, and the visual arts. I teach the same way, leading my students to deeper veins of knowledge within the disciplines. I find deep joy in learning from others, making connections across fields of ideas, and communicating clearly with broad audiences. If I succeed in the classroom, it’s because I show students that they can experience that joy as well. 

I chose to teach an Engagements course because I am deeply committed to promoting the vast opportunities, resources, and conversations that exist only in America’s great public research universities. I reject the idea that small, liberal arts colleges provide better educational environments. I champion the idea that research university faculty must cross intellectual boundaries and invite students of all levels into their paths of discovery.

For a decade, I have been teaching in the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, and I have taught also at the University of Virginia School of Law. I have written five books on internet culture or intellectual property and have edited one more. Every January, I lead a course called “New Media in NYC” that introduces students to the teeming world of Manhattan’s media industries. Before coming to UVA, I taught courses at Wesleyan University, New York University, the University of Amsterdam, and Columbia University.