Area of Study
Email Address
Kirner-Johnson 106
On Leave/Away
Fall ’24

Ashley Gorham is a political theorist interested in the politics of technology, particularly as it relates to the internet. She has published articles on algorithms, hacktivism, and “big data” in leading journals, including Constellations: An International Journal of  Critical and Democratic Theory, the International Journal of Communication, and PS: Political Science and Politics. Most recently, she published a short entry in the online repository Hack_Curio entitled “Anonymous is ‘Serious Business.’” She is currently working on a book manuscript: EpicFail: How Hacktivists Expose Democratic Vulnerabilities. She earned her Ph.D. in political science at the University of Pennsylvania in 2019. Past appointments and affiliations include Princeton University, New York University, and Harvard University.

Recent Courses Taught

The Politics of AI: Algorithms, “Big Data,” and Humans in the Loop
Who’s Afraid of Democracy?
Democratic Theory
Theory and Internet Policy
Introduction to Political Theory

Research Interests

Hacktivism, the politics of platforms, artificial intelligence


Academic Awards

  • Top Student Paper, “Algorithmic Interpellation,” co-author Rosie DuBrin, Philosophy, Theory & Critique Division, Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (2019)
  • School of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching by a Graduate Student, University of Pennsylvania (2015-2016)
  • John D. Lewis Memorial Prize, Oberlin College (2008)
  • Comfort Starr Prize, Oberlin College (2008)

Fellowships and Other Honors

  • Andrea Mitchell Center for the Study of Democracy Graduate Fellowship, University of Pennsylvania (2017-2018)
  • Klemens von Klemperer Postdoctoral Fellowship, Bard College (Declined)
  • Feirson Family Fellow, University of Pennsylvania (2015-2016)
  • President Gutmann Leadership Award, University of Pennsylvania (2014)

Select Publications


  • Epic Fail: WikiLeaks, Electronic Disturbance Theater, and Anonymous (under contract at MIT Press)



College Service

  • Director, Justice and Security Program, Levitt Center, Hamilton College (2023-2026)
  • Member, Public Policy Committee, Hamilton College (2021-)

Professional Experience

  • Discussant, Panel on “Contrasting Theoretical Perspectives on AI, Enhancement, and Transhumanism,” American Political Science Association Annual Meeting (2022)
  • Discussant, Gabriella Coleman’s Lewis Henry Morgan Lectures, University of Rochester (2022)
  • Discussant, William J. Mea’s “Artificial Intelligence and Hope Amidst Exponential Complexity,” The Levitt Center, Hamilton College (2021)
  • Presenter, Author Meets Critics, Colin Koopman’s How We Became Our Data: A Genealogy of the Informational Person, American Political Science Association Annual Meeting (2020)
  • Member, Media Activism Research Collective (MARC), University of Pennsylvania (2014- 2019)
  • AALAC Workshop on Data Ethics, Pomona College (2017)
  • “Hackademia: Empirical Studies in Computing Cultures,” Leuphana University (2016)
  • “Commerce and Character,” Jack Miller Center Summer Institute (2016)
  • Summer Doctoral Programme at the Oxford Internet Institute, The University of Oxford (2015)

Appointed to the Faculty


Educational Background

Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
M.A., University of Pennsylvania
M.A., University of Maryland
B.A., Oberlin College

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