Aparajita Bhandari

Assistant Professor

Aparajita Bhandari
PhD, Cornell University 
Bsc., University of Toronto

Extension: 42261
Email: aparajita.bhandari@uwaterloo.ca


I found my way to the Department of English by way of a number of academic disciplines, which have shaped my interdisciplinary approach. I began my academic journey in the sciences, with a BSc. at the University of Toronto majoring in Psychology with minors in Statistics and Buddhism, Psychology and Mental Health. My interest in the impact of technology on society then led me to pursue my MSc. and Ph.D. in Communication at Cornell University before joining the Department of English. 

My work currently sits at the nexus of critical internet studies, feminist media studies, and cultural theory engaging in critical examinations of social media platforms with a focus on understanding instantiations of everyday or mundane online experiences as potential sites of resistance against hegemonic power.

I am very passionate about research ethics and developing community-engaged participatory research that breaks down exclusionary disciplinary boundaries and has an impact beyond the confines of the academy. 

Selected publications

Selected Journal Articles 

Bhandari, A. , Noone, R. (2023) Support local: Google Maps' local guides platform, spatial power and constructions of “the local.” Communication, Culture and Critique

Bhandari, A., Bimo, S. (2022). Why’s Everyone on TikTok Now? The Algorithmized Self and the Future of Sociality on Social Media. Social Media + Society. doi: https://10.1177/2056305122108624

Bhandari, A., Sun, B. (2021). An Online “Home” for the Homeless: Analysing the Subreddit R/homeless. New Media and Society. doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/14614448211048615

Bhandari, A., Ozanne, M., Bazarova, N., DiFranzo, D. (2021). Do You Care Who Flagged This Post? Effects of AI Moderator Visibility on Bystander Behavior. Journal of Computer Mediated Communication. 26(5), 284-300. doi: https://doi.org/10.1093/jcmc/zmab007

Selected Book Chapters and Essays 

Bhandari, A. Humphreys, L. (2023) The Best thing on Twitch Today was a Bike Messenger: Experiencing Metropolis, Mobility and Place through Live-streaming. In The Discursive construction of place in the digital age. Edited by Parini, A & Yus, F. Routledge.   

Bhandari, A. (2022). Time and Temporality. Canadian Journal of Communication, 47(4). doi: https://doi.org/10.3138/cjc.2022-0058

Grants fellowships and awards

  • SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship, 2022
  • Mellon Foundation Urbanism Fellowship + Research Grant, 2021
  • Cornell Digital Humanities Summer Graduate Fellowship, 2020
  • University of Toronto Jackman Humanities Scholar-in-Residence Fellowship, 2017

Current research

My current research examines the role of algorithms and datafication on self-expression and identity formation online. I am working on a monograph with co-author Sara Bimo extending our conception of the “algorithmized self” across social media platforms. A growing focus in my research program is critically examining the impact of data collection and algorithmic decision-making beyond the Global North, particularly in South Asian contexts.

I am also currently working on a series of workshops and papers with collaborators at York University on feminist digital methods including a project examining Twine as a collaborative feminist pedagogical space and a series of location-based Augmented Reality activations around safety and embodiment online. 

Areas of graduate supervision

  • Critical Algorithm/critical data studies
  • Feminist media studies
  • Social media studies
  • Cultural theory
  • Community engaged and participatory research
  • Media and materiality