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Malcolm Ogden

Graduate Student

Ph.D. in Communication, Rhetoric and Digital Media


Research Interests

My research focuses on the relationship between labor, digital media, bodily sensations, and capitalist political economy. My dissertation project, entitled “Surrounding Bodies: Ambient Form on YouTube and TikTok,” looks at a range of different formal categories which have emerged online in recent years, such as ASMR, white noise, ambience, and sploshing fetish videos, tying each of them, respectively, to changes in labor and the mode of production which have taken place in the United States and in various other capitalist nations over approximately the last 75 years. Ultimately, this project points to interfaces, and their unique correspondences with the sensory and corporeal dimensions of daily life, as key to what some scholars have described as “the production of subjectivity” under late capitalism, and as therefore crucial sites for continued critical investigation and intervention.

Other recent and ongoing projects of mine look at: the labor of “fragrance influencers” and the mediation of olfaction; the role of linguistic suggestion in self-hypnosis and ASMR videos; and, the various forms of military/media escalation seen surrounding remote-work during and following the COVID-19 global pandemic. My work frequently draws on Marxist and feminist theories of labor; materialist media theory; literary and philosophical work on aesthetics; and cultural historical work on media and technology. 


Courses taught

Public Speaking (COM 110)

Media History and Theory (COM 257)

Electronic Media Writing: Theory and Practice (COM 267)

Critical Analysis of Communication Media (COM 327)

Game Studies (COM 427)

Academic Writing and Research (ENG 101)

Designing Networked Communication (ENG 317)

Communication for Engineering and Technology (ENG 331)



Ogden, Malcolm. (2023). “LEGOfied Sound: On the Labor and Leisure of LEGO White Noise,” Resonance: The Journal of Sound and Culture 4(2): 158-175. DOI:

Ogden, Malcolm. (2023). “Book Review: Prison House of the Circuit: Politics of Control from Analog to Digital,” Book Review, New Media & Society. DOI:

Ogden, Malcolm. (2020). “Killer apps: war, media, machine,” Book Review, Critical Studies in Media Communication 37(5): 514-518. DOI:

Ogden, Malcolm. (2017). “The “necessity for exertion:” Protestantism, Ideology, and Expendability in Charlotte Bronte’s Villette,” Master’s Thesis, North Carolina State University.



“”You’re going to have to buy into this a little:” On Suggestion and Sensation in ASMR and Self-Hypnosis Videos on YouTube and TikTok,” Literature/Film Association Conference, University of Montana, September 2023.

“Monstrous Toys and Sensory Play on TikTok,” Conference Presentation, Association of Internet Researchers (AOIR) Conference, Dublin, November 2022. DOI:

“LEGOfied Sound,” Conference Presentation, Society for the Social Studies of Sciences (4S) Conference, University of Toronto, October 2021.

“”Relaxing Sounds of An Oil Platform:” On the Eerie Pleasures of Networked Video,” Conference Presentation, Popular/American Culture Association Conference, June 2021.

“The Platformization of Fragrance,” Conference Presentation, Making Sense: A Humanities Symposium, Rice University, March 2021.

“”I’ll drive you home, you just sleep by the side:” Ambience, Infrastructure, and Networked Video,” Conference Presentation, Southwest Popular/American Culture (SWPACA) Conference, February 2021.

“Encountering the Alien Subject of AI: Instagram Stories and Algorithmic Recommendation,” Conference Presentation, CRDM Symposium, March 2020. [Event cancelled due to COVID-19]

“The Literacy Myth and Corporate Colonialism: An Analysis of Mark Zuckerberg’s “Is Connectivity a Human Right?,”” Conference Presentation, AEGS @ NCSU Symposium, March 2016.


B.A. English; Minor in Religious Studies University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 2014

M.A. American and British Literature North Carolina State University 2017

Area(s) of Expertise

Internet Studies
Platform Studies
Computational Culture
Affect Theory
Critical Posthumanism
Aesthetic Theory
Critical and Cultural Theory
Materiality and Infrastructure
Continental Philosophy