Heidi Rae Cooley is an associate professor in the School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication at the University of Texas at Dallas. She investigates what it means to live in an age when mobile devices have become our partners, when our accessories keep track of our steps toward optimal health, when the landscapes around us are ever “smarter” and more responsive to our movements. Instead of interpreting mobile and related media as surveillance apparatuses, freedom machines, or both, she considers the routine practices—that is, habits—they engender and revise. To explore habit-change in the mobile connected present, she has collaborated with interdisciplinary teams to design geo-locative software applications that present unacknowledged histories of place.
Cooley’s first book, Finding Augusta: Habits of Mobility and Governance in the Digital Era (2014), along with its digital supplement Augusta App, received the 2015 Anne Friedberg Innovative Scholarship Award from the Society for Cinema and Media Studies. Recent essays appear in Leonardo Electronic Almanac (2020), Applied Media Studies, ed., Kirsten Ostherr (Routledge 2018) and Making Things and Drawing Boundaries: Experiments in the Digital Humanities, ed. Jentery Sayers (Minnesota 2017). She is currently working on a second book project that inquires into the relation between delight and engagement.
Cooley serves as co-director of the Public Interactives Research Lab at the University of Texas at Dallas.