some of us are brave

BIO and CV

Berkman Talk 2015; Click for playback

Berkman Talk 2015; Click for playback

In Brief:

Tressie McMillan Cottom, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of sociology at Virginia Commonwealth University and faculty associate with Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society. Her research on higher education, work and technological change in the new economy has been supported by the Microsoft Research Network’s Social Media Collective, The Kresge Foundation, the American Educational Research Association and the UC Davis Center for Poverty Research. Millions List, a leader in publishing, named her book “Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy” one of the most anticipated non-fiction books of 2016. She has published on race/class/gender, education, and technology in the new economy. McMillan Cottom is also co-editor of two academic books: “Digital Sociologies” from Policy Press and “For Profit U” from Palgrave MacMillan. She speaks extensively, including recent invitations to The White House, South Africa, New Zealand, and Italy. Her public scholarship has appeared in  The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, and The Atlantic to name a few.


Say More

I am an assistant professor of sociology at Virginia Commonwealth University and a faculty associate at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard.

I am the author of “Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profits in the New Economy”, forthcoming from The New Press in fall 2016.

I am co-editor (with Karen Gregory and Jessie Daniels) of “Digital Sociologies”, forthcoming from UK Policy Press in winter 2016.

I am also co-editor of “For-Profit U”, with Sandy Darity, currently under contract with Palgrave MacMillan.

I have two current projects, in various stages of proposal, data collection, and analysis. First is a project on technological change, classification situations (Fourcade and Healy, 2014), and racialization. A second project examines how vulnerable workers pursue non-traditional credentials like badges and bootcamp certifications.

I serve in various leadership capacities: editorial board of Contexts, the public sociology journal of the American Sociological Association, steering committee of SocArXiv, board member of DocNow (Mellon funded social media archival project focused on examining inequality); co-chair of the Sociologists for Women in Society academic justice committee, contributor at The Society Pages, and co-organizer of the American Sociological Association’s social media preconference.

I am a contributing writer at The Atlantic and contributing editor at Dissent. 

I teach undergraduate and graduate courses in race, and digital sociology.

You can email me at tressiemc at gmail dot com or tmcottom at vcu dot edu.

The latest version of my CV that I can manage to have at any given time can be found here: Tressie McMillan Cottom CV 2016-17


21 comments on “BIO and CV

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  2. talkwithcarolyn
    January 7, 2016

    Dr. Cottom, I love you! Now that I found your blog, I need to read everything you have ever written. Even your grocery list. You blow me away. Thank you for what you do and how you say it. It gives me such pride.

    • tressiemc22
      January 7, 2016

      Thank you, Carolyn. Have to warn you that my grocery list is boring. 🙂

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  7. Peter Freedman-Doan
    September 5, 2014

    I’ve been reading for about 6 months now. I got here by way of Elijah Anderson, Alice Goffman, and trying to think about the hows and whys and consequences of incarceration. I love the blog. I’m an old fella. I don’t Twitter. Sometimes I can follow neither the social science references to authors and ideas nor the social networking twitter stuff. Nevertheless, still love what I read here. Thanks much. I’m an old dog (soon to be 60) who loves to at least see new tricks.

  8. Pingback: Inequality Regimes and Student Experience in Online Learning: Tressie McMillan Cottom at Berkman | Grabber

  9. nikkiskies
    June 8, 2014

    This is my new favorite site! A critical mind, a beautiful mind…and I thank you.

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  12. pennynewell
    February 19, 2014

    Dear Tressie,

    Thanks for these blog posts – I love the stuff about engaging as academics by working in lateral ways and across lots of platforms, and having versatile ideas.

    I am getting in touch with a question. Basically, I am co-creating an event at King’s College London, entitled, ‘Research with Reach: Valuing ideas beyond the academe’. The project has been devised to look at what we think of as a ‘third space’ between academia and mainstream arts writing – that is, exactly the space you examine here.

    Myself and my co-convenor Ella Parry-Davies have just read your blog, and wondered if you might have contacts for the UK who are thinking/blogging/working in similar ways? We unfortunately don’t have a huge budget from our funders, otherwise we’d be contacting you offering to fly you across!

    The conference will be an opportunity for a cohort of some of the brightest emerging arts and humanities thinkers in London to benefit from the perspective and expertise of professionals such as yourself.

    We’d love your input and ideas! And thanks again for this fascinating read! You can find links to me through twitter, wordpress etc etc here:


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  14. lindaleea
    February 9, 2014

    Look at Full Sail… great example of marketing to and accepting students (with loans) .

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  16. Nisha Vida
    November 7, 2013

    you are amazing!!!

  17. Kaethe
    October 30, 2013

    I got here from John Scalzi. I’m just loving all your posts. Thanks for introducing me to “swirling”.

  18. Pingback: Insanely Well-Capitalized Nonprofit Institution Closes Non-Revenue-Generating Core Divisions « Gerry Canavan

  19. Walter Hamilton
    May 1, 2012

    I’m a reporter at the LA Times writing about student loans. I loved your tweet. I want to interview you for my story. Please get in touch at

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