Lana Swartz

Associate Professor

219 Wilson

Class Schedule:

MDST 3750: Money, Media, and Technology - Tues/Thurs 11:00am - 12:15pm

MDST 8000: Media, Culture & Technology - Wednesday 2:00pm - 4:30pm 

Lana Swartz is an Assistant Professor in Department of Media Studies. Most of her work is on money and other media technologies. Her research on topics like bitcoin, mobile wallets, and historical money technologies like the Diners' Club Card has been published in leading journals, including Information, Communication and SocietyTheory, Culture and Society; and Women’s Studies Quarterly.

She is the co-editor of Paid: Tales of Dongles, Checks, and Other Money Stuff, which was published by MIT Press in 2017. It is a collection of essays on money objects and other "transactional things." Paid has been reviewed positively, including in Financial TimesNew Media and Society, . It was recently optioned for translation and publication in Chinese.

Lana’s book, New Money: Community, Currency, and the Future of Payment, is forthcoming Spring 2020 from Yale University Press. It is based on years of research: interviewing people about how they do money in everyday life, surfacing the largely forgotten history of payment technologies and industries, and participating as a critical expert in the emergence of the Fin-Tech sector.

She has been featured on the Today ShowAll Things ConsideredExplained, and BBC Newshour. She particularly loves the short animated video UVA Today made about her work. She has been an invited speaker at many academic and public events in the United States and abroad, including at the Filene Institute, University of Toronto, Money Lab in Amsterdam, Border Sessions in The Hague, Aarhus University, Trinity College Dublin, the Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme in Paris, Open University of Catalonia, and University of Sydney.

Before joining the faculty, Lana was a post-doctoral researcher in the Social Media Collective of Microsoft Research New England in Cambridge, MA and a fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. Lana earned a Ph.D. at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California, where she was the Wallis Annenberg Chair in Communication, Technology, and Society Fellow. She earned an S.M. in Comparative Media Studies at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology. She also attend the Summer Doctoral Programme at the Oxford Internet Institute. 

Lana Swartz is a member of the Graduate Faculty.