About Christina

Professor of Anthropology | (940) 565-2752 | christina.wasson@unt.edu

Download Christina Wasson's CV

Christina Wasson’s work is motivated by a passion for three Cs: communication, collaboration, and community-building.  Her research investigates how technology can bring together people who are geographically separated.  She applies her findings to the design of technologies and organizational change processes.  She also actively participates in virtual collaborations and community-building herself.

Christina’s current research projects include:

Christina was trained as a linguistic anthropologist.  After finishing her Ph.D., she worked for E-Lab, a design firm that used anthropological research to develop new product ideas. Here she developed an interest in the emergent field of design anthropology. She is a founding member of the Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference (EPIC) steering committee.

Christina led the development of UNT's online master's program in anthropology, as its director from 2003 to 2007. The program went live in 2006; it is the first of its kind in the United States.

Selected Consulting Projects

Project: The Social Life of the Car
Nissan Research Center - Silicon Valley
News Release: http://news.unt.edu/news-releases/how-would-drivers-habits-change-self-driving-cars
UNT In-House Story: http://inhouse.unt.edu/how-would-drivers%E2%80%99-habits-change-self-driving-cars
EPIC Blog Post: https://www.epicpeople.org/ethnographic-study-lifts-the-hood/

Project: Developing Leading Practices for Virtual Collaboration on a Large-Scale Science Project
Client: Regional Approaches to Climate Change (REACCH)
Date: 2014

Project: Exploratory Kitchen Media Research (Class Project)
Client: Motorola
Date: 2011

Project: EcoMoto: Exploratory Research on Environmentally Friendly Design for Motorola (Class Project)
Client: Motorola
Date: 2005

Project: Making Mobile Experiences Meaningful (Class Project)
Client: Microsoft
Date: 2004

Project: Design of COPAA Website
Client: Consortium of Applied and Practicing Anthropology Programs (COPAA)
Date: 2004

Project: Travelers' Experiences with Concessions at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (Class Project)
Client: Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
Date: 2003


1996 Ph.D., Anthropology, Yale University
1989 M.Phil., Anthropology, Yale University
1987 B.A., Linguistics and Anthropology, University of California at Berkeley

Selected Publications

Wasson, C., T. Brickle, C. Ferman, C. Ferrell, S. Gonzalez, M. Halwani, H. Hasan, A. Hartt, A. Hickling, J. Kim, L. Machado, L. McLaughlin, A. Pottkotter, H. S. Roth, M Shade, T. Smith, and A. Whatley. 2015. The Social Life of the Car. Report Prepared for Nissan Research Center – Silicon Valley. December 10, 2014.

Aiken, Jo, Victoria Schlieder and Christina Wasson. 2014. “No More Cakes and Ale?”: Discovering Ethical Gray Areas in a Design Anthropology Class. Journal of Business Anthropology Special Issue 1:38-61.

Wasson, Christina. 2013. “It was Like a Little Community”: An Ethnographic Study of Online Learning and its Implications for MOOCs. Proceedings of the Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference, 161-174.

Blog post: http://ethnographymatters.net/blog/2014/02/18/demystifying-moocs-an-eye-opening-ethnographic-study-of-online-education/

Squires, Susan, Christina Wasson, and Ann Jordan. 2014. Training the Next Generation: Business Anthropology at the University of North Texas. In Handbook of Anthropology in Business, ed. Rita Denny and Patricia Sunderland. Walnut Creek: Left Coast Press, 346-361.

Wasson, Christina and Crysta Metcalf. 2013. Teaching Design Anthropology through University-Industry Partnerships. In Design Anthropology: Between Theory and Practice, ed. Wendy Gunn, Ton Otto and Rachel Charlotte Smith. London: Berg, 216-231.

Wasson, Christina. 2013. Virtual Organizations. In A Companion to Organizational Anthropology, ed. D. Douglas Caulkins and Ann T. Jordan. Hoboken: Blackwell Publishing, 346-361.

Wasson, Christina, Mary Odell Butler, and Jacqueline Copeland-Carson, eds. 2012. Applying Anthropology in the Global Village. Walnut Creek: Left Coast Press.

Review on Kiwanja.net: http://www.kiwanja.net/blog/2011/08/anthropologists-in-a-global-village/

Wasson, Christina. 2009. Linguistic Anthropology. In The Handbook of Business Discourse, ed. Francesca Bargiela-Chiappini.  Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 194-212.

Wasson, Christina, ed. 2006. Making History at the Frontier: Women Creating Careers as Practicing Anthropologists. NAPA Bulletin 26.

Wasson, Christina. 2006. Being in Two Spaces at Once: Virtual Meetings and Their Representation. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 16(1):103-130.

Wasson, Christina. 2004. Multitasking in Virtual Meetings. Human Resource Planning 27(4):47-60.

Wasson, Christina. 2004. The Paradoxical Language of Enterprise. Critical Discourse Studies 1(2):175-199.

Wasson, Christina. 2002. Collaborative Work: Integrating the Roles of Ethnographers and Designers. In Creating Breakthrough Ideas: the Collaboration of Anthropologists and Designers in the Product Development Industry, ed. Susan Squires and Bryan Byrne. Westport: Bergin & Garvey, 71-90.

Wasson, Christina. 2000. Caution and Consensus in American Business Meetings. Pragmatics 10(4):457-481.

Wasson, Christina. 2000. Ethnography in the Field of Design. Human Organization 59(4):377-388.

Selected Presentations

Wasson, Christina. 2014. Communication, Collaboration and Community-Building When People Are Far Apart. Invited presentation, University of Idaho. June, Moscow, ID.

Wasson, Christina. 2011. Design Anthropology at the Global-Local Interface. Invited presentation, University of Copenhagen and the Danish Design School. August, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Wasson, Christina. 2009. When Design Met Anthropology. Closing plenary, Big D(esign) Conference. May, Dallas, TX. (See here on Slideshare)

Wasson, Christina. 2009. Interdisciplinary Collaboration in the World of Practice: The Rapprochement of Anthropology and Design. Invited presentation, Wayne State University. March, Detroit, MI.

Wasson, Christina. 2008. Designing with Users: From Objects to Experience Models to Business Models. Invited presentation, University of Southern Denmark. October, Sønderborg, Denmark.

Wasson, Christina. 2006. User-Driven Innovation as Competitive Advantage: The Value of Ethnography. Keynote speech, Conference on User-Driven Innovation (organized by the Danish Ministry of Economic and Business Affairs). June, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Wasson, Christina. 2004. Virtual Teams: Best Practices and Next Practices. Invited presentation, Human Resources Institute Annual Meeting. February, St. Petersburg, FL.

Wasson, Christina. 2001. The Janus-Faced Power of Language in Organizations. Keynote speech, First International and Interdisciplinary Symposium on Communication within Organizations. March, Mannheim, Germany.

Wasson, Christina. 2001. The Spread of English in Corporate Europe. Paper presented at the Critical Management Studies Conference. July, Manchester, Great Britain. Also presented at the University of Mannheim Business School, July 2002, Mannheim, Germany.

Wasson, Christina. 1999. The Paradoxical Discourse of "Ownership." Invited paper, International Conference on Language in Organizational Change and Transformation. May. Columbus, OH.

Travel Narratives (Non-Academic)

Japan 2010

India 2010-11