Professor, School of Journalism and Media, Moody College of Communication
Founding Director, Institute for Media Innovation
Education: Ph.D., University of Michigan
Research Interests: S. Craig Watkins is the incoming Ernest S. Sharpe Centennial Professor at the University of Texas at Austin. An internationally recognized expert in media, Watkins is the author of five books exploring young people’s engagement with media and technology. His two most recent books—The Digital Edge and Don’t Knock the Hustle—result from his work with the Connected Learning Research Network, a research collaborative funded by the MacArthur Foundation.
The Digital Edge explores the changing contours of Black and Latino teens media behaviors. Don’t Knock the Hustle is Watkins’ follow-up to The Digital Edge and explores how “young creatives” are using tech and social ingenuity to build a new innovation economy that disrupts sectors as varied as design, media and entertainment, education, and civic engagement.
Watkins is the founding director of the Institute for Media Innovation, a new boutique hub for research and design located in the Moody College of Communication. IMI brings together a unique collection of social scientists, media creatives, journalists, and designers to translate research-driven knowledge into critical and creative engagement with a media, tech, and AI-driven world that grows more influential every day.
His work has been profiled in places as varied as the Washington Post, The Atlantic, Newsweek, TIME, ESPN, NPR, and featured at venues like SXSW, The Aspen Institute, and The New York Times Dialogue on Race.