Natalia Smirnov is a human, writer, scholar, educator and media and experience maker. Born and raised in Russia and molded in the suburbs of New Jersey and art colonies of Philadelphia, Natalia carries the grit and glory of each of her homes as part of her deeply nomadic identity. Natalia’s current home is Chicago, where she is completing a PhD in Learning Sciences at Northwestern University. Her dissertation is an ethnographic study of two technology-mediated civic learning contexts. Natalia holds a B.A. in American Culture & Media Arts and a graduate certificate in Diversity Leadership (with training in Transformational Social Therapy) from Temple University. She has taught video production, civic journalism, media literacy, web development, human-centered design and multidisciplinary art-making in Philadelphia and Chicago. In addition to research and teaching, Natalia designs and facilitates immersive game experiences to engage participants in critically examining issues of social inequality and cultural difference; organizes nurturing gatherings and writing retreats; and collaborates with educators and organizations to help them analyze and improve their pedagogy and assessment practices.
Email: nsmirnov [at] u.northwestern.edu