Kirsten Foot

Ph.D., University of California, San Diego, 1999

Office: CMU 351
E-Mail: kfoot (at)

Kirsten Foot, Dart Endowed Professor in Trauma, Journalism, and Communication and adjunct faculty in the Information School, is interested in several aspects of the relationship between information and communication technologies, organizing processes, and society. Prior to joining the faculty at the U. of Washington, she held a postdoctoral research appointment at the U. of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center, and a Fulbright fellowship at the U. of Helsinki’s Center for Research on Activity, Development, and Learning. She has researched the production of electoral web spheres in the U.S. and around the world, the development of a conflict monitoring network in the Commonwealth of Independent States, and online networks in the fair trade movements in the U.S. and the UK. A member of the Global Association of Human Trafficking Scholars, she leverages her expertise on organizing processes in research on multi-sector collaboration in the anti-human trafficking movement, and trauma-informed and hope-based journalism on human trafficking.

She is also interested in cultural-historical activity theory and other practice-based theories of technology, and in this vein she co-edits the Acting With Technology Series at the MIT Press.

Dr. Foot is the lead author of the award-winning book Web Campaigning (MIT Press, 2006), and coeditor of The Internet and National Elections: A Comparative Study of Web Campaigning (Routledge, 2007), and Media Technologies: Essays on Communication, Media, and Society (MIT Press, 2014). An overview and the intro chapter for Media Technologies can be found here. Her work has been published in a wide array of journals within the field of communication and beyond. She teaches courses on topics such as theories of technology and society, ICTs and politics, digital media concepts, internet research methods, and human trafficking.

Dr. Foot’s most recent book, Collaborating Against Human Trafficking: Cross-Sector Challenges and Practices (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015), suggests constructive paths through common tensions between organizations– to build more robust and sustainable collaborative efforts.  Learn more about that book and her public scholarship on anti-trafficking efforts here.

Selected Publications

Publication topics include:

Fair Trade & Human Trafficking | Cultural-Historical Activity Theory | Web Research Methods | Politics & the Internet | the Post-911 Web

Fair Trade & Human Trafficking

Kirsten Foot, 2020, Toward Trauma-Informed Professional Practices: What Legal Advocates and Journalists Can Learn from Each Other and Survivors of Human Trafficking“, Georgia  State University Law Review, 36(4), Article 10, 1129.

Kirsten Foot, Helen Sworn, and AnnJanette Alejano-Steele, 2019, “Structures and Practices of Cross-Sector Engagement in Counter-Human Trafficking Coalitions in the Global South“, Cosmopolitan Civil Societies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 11(1): 27-45.

Kirsten Foot, 2019, “Multisector Collaboration Against Human Trafficking,” in The Palgrave International Handbook on Human Trafficking, John Winterdyk and Jackie Jones (Eds.), Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 1-14.

Elizabeth Parks and Kirsten Foot, 2019, “Conceptualizing Listening as Voice and its Affordances for Collaboration Scholarship”in P. Moy and D. Matheson (Eds.) Voices: ICA International Communication Association Annual Conference Theme Book Series, Vol. 6., Peter Lang, pp. 13-34.

Kirsten Foot, Amoshaun Toft, and Nina Cesare, 2015, “Developments in Anti-Trafficking Efforts: 2008–2011,”  Journal of Human Trafficking, 1(2):136-155.

Kirsten Foot & John Vanek, “Toward Constructive Engagement Between Local Law Enforcement and Mobilization and Advocacy Nongovernmental Organizations About Human Trafficking: Recommendations for Law Enforcement Executives,” Law Enforcement Executive Forum, March 2012, 12(1):1-11.

Jennifer Stoll, Kirsten A. Foot, W. Keith Edwards, 2012, “Between Us and Them: Building Connectedness within Civic Networks,” CSCW ’12 Proceedings of the ACM 2012 Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, Bellevue, WA, February, pp. 237-240.

Kirsten Foot & Amoshaun Toft, “Collaborating Against Human Trafficking,” Proceedings of the Second Annual Interdisciplinary Conference on Human Trafficking, University of Nebraska – Lincoln, October 2010.

Kirsten Foot, 2011, “Actors and Activities in the Anti-Human Trafficking Movement,” in Ramesh Thakur and Jorge Heine (Eds.) The Dark Side of Globalization, United Nations Press, pp. 249-265.

W. Lance Bennett, Kirsten A. Foot, Michael Xenos, 2011, “Narratives and Network Organizations: A Comparison of Fair Trade Systems in Two Nations,” Journal of Communication, 61:219-245.

Cultural-Historical Activity Theory

Kirsten Foot, 2015, “Using Cultural-Historical Activity Theory to Analyze Social Service Practices Evolving from the Norwegian HUSK Projects,” the Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work, 12(1):112-123.

Kirsten Foot 2014, “Cultural-Historical Activity Theory: Exploring a Theory to Inform Practice and Research,” Journal of Human Behavior in Social Environments, 12(3): 329-347.

Kirsten Foot and Carole Groleau, 2011, “Contradictions, Transitions, and Materiality in Organizing Processes: An Activity Theory Perspective,” First Monday, V.16, N.6, June.

Kirsten A. Foot, “Pursuing an Evolving Object: Object Formation and Identification in a Conflict Monitoring Network,” Mind, Culture and Activity, Summer, 2002, V.9, N. 2, pp.132-149

Kirsten A. Foot, “Cultural-Historical Activity Theory as Practical Theory: Illuminating the Development of a Conflict Monitoring Network,” Communication Theory, Spring, 2001, Vol. 11, N.1, pp. 56-83.

Web Research Methods

Kirsten A. Foot and Steven M. Schneider, 2010, “Object-Oriented Web Historiography,” in Web History, Niels Brugger (Ed.), Peter Lang, pp. 61-82.

Steven M. Schneider, Kirsten A. Foot, and Paul Wouters, 2009, “Web Archiving as E-Research,” in e-Research: Transformation in Scholarly Practice, Nicholas Jankowski (Ed.), Routledge, pp. 205-221.

Steven M. Schneider and Kirsten A. Foot, Archiving Internet Content, in W. Donsbach (Ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Communication, Blackwell, (2008).

Kirsten A. Foot, “Web Sphere Analysis and Cybercultural Studies,” in D. Silver & A. Massanari (Eds.), Critical Cyberculture Studies: Current Terrains, Future Directions, New York: New York University (2006).

Steven M. Schneider & Kirsten Foot, “Web Sphere Analysis: An Approach to Studying Online Action,” In C. Hine (Ed.), Virtual Methods: Issues in Social Research on the Internet. Oxford: Berg Publishers, pp. 157-170, 2005.

Steven M. Schneider & Kirsten A. Foot, “The Web as an Object of Study,” New Media and Society, V. 6, N.1, 114-122, 2004.

Steven M. Schneider, Kirsten A. Foot, Michele Kimpton & Gina Jones, “Building Thematic Web Collections: Challenges and Experiences from the September 11 Web Archive and the Election 2002 Web Archive,” Paper presented at the European Conference on Digital Libraries Workshop on Web Archives, Trondheim, Norway, August 21, 2003.

Politics & the Internet

Kirsten Foot, 2014, “The Online Emergence of Pushback on Social Media in the U.S.: An Historical Discourse Analysis,” the International Journal of Communication, 8:1313-1342.

Kirsten Foot, Michael Xenos, Steven Schneider, Randolph Kluver, and Nicholas Jankowski, 2008, “The Influences of Transnational Technology Diffusion and National Political Culture on Web Production Practices Across Electoral Web Spheres,” the The Handbook of Internet and Politics, Andrew Chadwick and Phil Howard (Eds.), Routledge, pp. 40-55.

Michael Xenos and Kirsten Foot, Not Your Father’s Internet: The Generation Gap in Online Politics, in L. Bennett (Ed.), Civic Life Online: Learning How Digital Media Can Engage Youth, The John D. and Katherine T. MacArthur Series on Digital Media and Learning, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press (2008), pp. 51-70.

Kirsten Foot & Steven Schneider, Web Campaigning, MIT Press, 2006.
Web Campaigning Digital Supplement

Michael Xenos & Kirsten A. Foot, “Politics as Usual, or Politics Unusual: Position-Taking and Dialogue on Campaign Web Sites in the 2002 U.S. Elections,” Journal of Communication, Vol. 55, No. 1, pp. 169-185, March, 2005.

Kirsten A. Foot, Steven M. Schneider, Meghan Dougherty, Michael Xenos, & Elena Larsen, “Analyzing linking practices: Candidate sites in the 2002 US electoral Web sphere,” Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Vol. 8, No. 4, 2003.

Jennifer Stromer-Galley and Kirsten A. Foot, “Citizen Perceptions of Online Interactivity and Implications for Political Campaign Communication,” Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Vol. 8, N. 1, October, 2002.

Kirsten A. Foot and Steven M. Schneider, “Online Action in Campaign 2000: An Exploratory Analysis of the U.S. Political Web Sphere,” Journal of Broadcast and Electronic Media, June 2002, Vol. 46, N. 2, pp. 222-244.

Steven M. Schneider and Kirsten A. Foot, “Online Structure for Political Action,” Javnost (The Public), Vol. 9, N. 2, pp. 43-60, June, 2002.

The Post-9/11 Web

Kirsten A. Foot, Barbara Warnick & Steven M. Schneider, “Web-Based Memorializing After September 11: Toward a Conceptual Framework,” Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Vol. 11, No. 1, 2005.

Kirsten A. Foot and Steven M. Schneider, “Online Structures for Citizen Engagement in the September 11th Web Sphere,” Electronic Journal of Communication, Vol. 14, N. 3 & 4, 2004.

Erica Siegl and Kirsten A. Foot, “Expression in the Post-September 11th Web Sphere,” Electronic Journal of Communication, V. 14, N. 1 & 2, 2004.

Steven M. Schneider and Kirsten A. Foot, “The Web After September 11,” in Lee Rainie, Steven M. Schneider and Kirsten A. Foot, (Eds.), One Year Later, September 11 and the Internet, Pew Internet & American Life Project Report, September, 2002.