Neta Alexander is an Assistant Professor of Film and Media at Colgate University and the Assistant Editor of Journal of Cinema and Media Studies (JCMS). She earned a PhD from NYU and a M.A from Columbia University. Her work focuses on digital culture, film and media, and Science and Technology Studies (STS). Her award-winning analysis of buffering revealed the understudied ways in which latency and delay are inherent to digital systems and infrastructures. Her recent book, Failure (co-authored with Arjun Appadurai; Polity, 2020) studies how Silicon Valley and Wall Street monetize failure and forgetfulness. Her articles have appeared in Journal of Visual Culture (JVC), Cinema Journal, Cinergie, Film Quarterly, Media Fields Journal, and Flow Journal, among other publications. She also contributed chapters to the anthologies The Netflix Effect (Bloomsbury, 2016), Compact Cinematics (Bloomsbury, 2017) and Pandemic Media (Mason Press, 2021). Her public scholarship, encompassing topics such as the Internet of Medical Things, predictive personalization, and the limitations of technology, has been published in The Atlantic, Public Books, Real Life Magazine, The Brooklyn Rail, and Haaretz.
Neta Alexander co-authored the groundbreaking Failure (Wiley, 2019) with Arjun Appadurai:
Wall Street and Silicon Valley – the two worlds this book examines – promote the illusion that scarcity can and should be eliminated in the age of seamless “flow.” Instead, Appadurai and Alexander propose a theory of habitual and strategic failure by exploring debt, crisis, digital divides, and (dis)connectivity. Moving between the planned obsolescence and deliberate precariousness of digital technologies and the “too big to fail” logic of the Great Recession, they argue that the sense of failure is real in that it produces disappointment and pain. Yet, failure is not a self-evident quality of projects, institutions, technologies, or lives. It requires a new and urgent understanding of the conditions under which repeated breakdowns and collapses are quickly forgotten. By looking at such moments of forgetfulness, this highly original book offers a multilayered account of failure and a general theory of denial, memory, and nascent systems of control.
The book was published in Italy by Raffaello Cortina Editore as Fallimento (2020).