Fred Turner is Harry and Norman Chandler Professor of Communication at Stanford University. He is also Professor by courtesy appointment in the Departments of History and Art & Art History. In 2012, he was appointed the Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang University Fellow in Undergraduate Education in honor of his commitment to undergraduate teaching.
Turner’s research and writing explore media, technology and American cultural history. He is especially interested in how emerging media have shaped American life since World War II. He is the author of three books: The Democratic Surround: Multimedia and American Liberalism from World War II to the Psychedelic Sixties (Chicago, 2013); From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism (Chicago, 2006); and Echoes of Combat: The Vietnam War in American Memory (Anchor/Doubleday, 1996; 2nd ed., Minnesota, 2001). His essays have tackled topics ranging from the rise of reality crime television to the role of the Burning Man festival in contemporary new media industries. They are available here: fredturner.stanford.edu/essays/.
Turner’s writings have won a range of awards, including the PSP Award for the best book in Communication and Cultural Studies from the Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division of the Association of American Publishers and the Katherine Singer Kovács Essay Award from the Society for Cinema and Media Studies. They have also been widely translated.
Turner is a 2022-2023 Guggenheim Fellow. He has also been a Beaverbrook Fellow at McGill University, a visiting scholar at Leuphana University, and twice a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford. He has consulted on exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the New York Historical Society, the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. His research has also informed a number of documentaries, including Cybertopia – Dreams of Silicon Valley for Dutch public television (2014) and All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace for the BBC (2011).
Before joining the faculty at Stanford, Turner taught Communication at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also worked as a freelance journalist for ten years. His writing has appeared in venues ranging from the Boston Sunday Globe Magazine to Nature. He continues to write for newspapers and magazines in the United States and Europe.
Turner earned his Ph.D. in Communication from the University of California, San Diego. He has also earned a B.A. in English and American Literature from Brown University and an M.A. in English from Columbia University.