Tisha Hooks is a doctoral student at Yale University in the American Studies Program. Her dissertation is entitled, "Duct Tape and the U.S. Social Imagination." It is both a cultural history of duct tape and an interdisciplinary study of the work of repair on local, national, and global scales.
Tisha Hooks is a doctoral student at Yale University in the American Studies Department. Her dissertation is entitled, "Duct Tape and the U.S. Social Imagination." It is both a cultural history of duct tape and an interdisciplinary study of the work of repair on local, national, and global scales.
She graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a degree in comparative literature, and later became an editor for Beacon Press in Boston. She eventually returned to graduate school, where she discovered the fields of material culture and the history of technology and developed an interest in duct tape. Moreover, she discovered that this quotidian technology, with user instructions as basic as pull, tear, and apply, had a significant digital presence and millions of fans connecting through social media, video games, websites, and the like. For a scholar of objects and technologies, this intersection of the haptic/material and the digital/de-material is rich with possibilities in reconfiguring how one approaches both archival history, and the history of the interactions between technologies and their users.
Her current work incorporates histories of technology, anthropology of the Internet, material culture, and methodologies drawn from African American studies to consider the ways in which duct tape has developed and come to be used by individuals, industries, and governments to repair everything from burst pipes to national wounds. Her work explores the connections between violence and power, and decline and disorder and the everyday in the American Century and the global age.
Tisha Hooks received the Philadelphia Area Center for the History of Science (PACHS) Dissertation Research Fellowship in 2013, and the H.B. Dupont Fellowship and an Exploratory Grant from the Hagley Museum and Library in 2012 and 2011, respectively. She is the former co-chair of the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT) ad-hoc Committee on Diversity. In 2012, she was elected scribe of the newly formed SHOT Special Interest Group, EDITH (Exploring Diversity in Technology’s History).