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Indiana University Bloomington
  • People

Department of Anthropology College of Arts and Sciences
One Discipline, Four Fields

Ilana Gershon


Associate Professor, Anthropology Department


(812) 856-3728 | Email | Office Hours

  • Ph.D., University of Chicago, 2001

Geographical Areas of Specialization: United States, Oceania - Samoa

Topical Interests: employment, new media, work, breakups, neoliberalism


Ilana Gershon is interested in how new media affects highly charged social tasks, such as breaking up or hiring in the United States. She has written about how people use new media to end romantic relationships in her book The Breakup 2.0: Disconnecting over New Media. Her current research addresses how new media affects hiring in the contemporary US workplace.

She has a new edited volume, A World of Work: Imagined Manuals for Real Jobs, a collection of imagined job manuals for real jobs around the world, written for people who want to know how to be a professional wrestler in Mexico or a professional magician in Paris. She has also published No Family Is an Island: Cultural Expertise among Samoans in Diaspora, and edited special issues on topics ranging from ignorance, reflexivity, media ideologies, to the “newness” of new media. Her intellectual interests range from linguistic anthropology, science studies, media studies, legal anthropology, anthropology of democracy, and anthropology of work.

check out her group's blog:


  • C314 Mass Media in Other Cultures
  • C412 Ethnicity, Class, and the Model U.S. Citizen
  • C446 Cultures of Democracy
  • C627 Networks, Systems, and Flows: Theories of Circulation

Selected Publications

2015 A World of Work: Imagined Manuals for Real Jobs. editor (Cornell University Press).

2012 No Family is an Island: Cultural Expertise among Samoans in Diaspora (Cornell University Press)

2011 "Un-Friend My Heart: Facebook, Promiscuity, and Heartbreak in a Neoliberal Age" Anthropological Quarterly 84(4): 967-896

2011 "Neoliberal Agency" Current Anthropology 52(4): 537-555.

2010 The Break-Up 2.0: Disconnecting Over New Media (Cornell University Press)