The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Sociology BA, summa cum laude, June 2021
Digital Studies in Language, Culture, and History MA, June 2021
Awards: Dean’s List 2017-2021, Gary Becker Scholar Social Sciences Collegiate Divisional Honors
- Specialization in Cultural and Hermeneutical Sociology
- Minor in Media Arts and Design
- BA/MA student
# Research Assistant at the Chicago Center for HIV Elimination
Spring 2021 to Present
On an interdisciplinary public health team, I work directly with a lead PI to conduct background research on upcoming papers and grants. My current work is focused on (1) developing resources to understand the traumatic effects of transmisogynoir, the triple marginalization of Black transgender women; (2) researching the roots of vaccine mis/distrust in Black communities; and (3) summarizing strategies for including marginalized populations in community-driven HIV research.
# Research Assistant at the University of Chicago Parrhesia Program
Spring 2020 to Summer 2021
Working under Professor Leila Brammer, I conduct literature reviews and research on freedom of expression and academic freedom as part of the university’s newest program on free speech. Moving beyond theory, we aim to develop robust, pedagogical frameworks for making constructive discourse a practice, not just an ideal. Currently, we’re teaching a course centered around the politics of freedom of expression online.
# Ethnographer at the University of Chicago
Autumn 2019 to Spring 2021
As part of my BA thesis, I conducted mixed-methods research on QAnon, the online conspiracy theory. My work involved an in-depth, multi-sited virtual ethnography, semi-structured in-person and virtual interviews, and quantitative/qualitative content analysis, resulting in a multi-year project that tracked the development of the conspiracy theory. An interactive version of my thesis is available here.
# Research Assistant at the University of Chicago Department of Sociology
Autumn 2019 to December 2020
Working closely with a small team of sociology researchers, I scheduled, conducted, and analyzed focus groups and interviews with over 50 first-year undergraduate students from underrepresented backgrounds. As part of a larger, longitudinal project, we are investigating how student backgrounds, university resources and programming, social networks, and the COVID-19 pandemic affect student success in college.
# Game Designer and Research Assistant at the Ci3
Spring 2018 to Winter 2020
At an interdisciplinary design lab, I worked with psychologists, game designers, and public health researchers to develop sexual health interventions in the form of games and applications. My tasks included researching sexual health deficits (and their related interventions) in order to incorporate them into game design, prototyping game ideas and playtesting them with community members, and analyzing qualitative data. (By the way, Ci3 stands for The Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry and Innovation in Sexual and Reproductive Health: say that ten times fast.)
# Library Assistant at the Media, Arts, Data and Design Center
Autumn 2019 to Present
At the University of Chicago MADD Center, I work with digital fabrication tools such as LASER cutters, 3D printers, embroidery machines, and CNC routers to help students, faculty, and community members with a variety of projects. My tasks also include developing tutorials, managing equipment, and experimenting with tools in order to help the nascent center grow.
# Game Designer and Communications Intern at Fourcast Lab
Spring 2019 to Autumn 2020
With a group of artists, actors, professors, game designers, and other students, I helped develop award-winning alternate reality games for social change. As an intern, my responsibilities included prototyping and playtesting new forms of live, interactive gameplay, managing the games’ social media presence and communication with players via social media and chatrooms such as Slack or Discord, and researching topics related to the games’ themes.
# New Works Development Intern at The House Theatre of Chicago
At the House Theatre of Chicago, I worked with the authors of newly-written plays to develop their work. My primary responsibilities included scheduling and managing workshops and read-throughs of new work, reading through submissions to the theatre, and organizing a showcase of the summer’s progress for friends of the House.
# College Research Fellow
This grant was used to fund my research on academic freedom and freedom of expression on college campuses.
# Seidel Scholars PRISM Grant
$5000, Summer 2020
This grant was used to fund my research on the far-right conspiracy theory QAnon in preparation for my undergraduate thesis.
# Summer Institute in Social Research Methods Research Assistantship
$4000, Summer 2020
This grant allowed me to continue conducting research on college integration for first-generation, low-income, racial and sexual minority, and international students.
# Jeff Metcalf Internship Award
$4000, Summer 2019
This grant was used to fund my employment at Fourcast Lab where I assisted in the development, deployment, and analysis of an ARG for incoming freshmen.
# Micro-Metcalf Internship Award
$350, Autumn 2020
This grant was used to fund my employment at Fourcast Lab where I assisted in the administration of a new ARG.
Talks and Presentations
Motley, Darnell N. and Peter Forberg. 2019. “Developing a Game-Based Intervention to Facilitate Parent-Child Communication about Sexual Health.” Poster presented at The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality Spring Symposium, Bloomington, IN.
Forberg, Peter. 2021. “‘We Are the News Now’: QAnon and the Replacement of Epistemic Authorities with Personalized Online Political Communities.” Paper presented at The Great Mediation: Perspectives on Politics and the New Media, University of Chicago: Chicago, IL.
Fogarty-Valenzuela, Benjamin and Peter Forberg. 2021. “Virtual Ethnography: Ethnographic Methods for a Pandemic.” Presentation at Cinema Media Studies’s Digital Media Workshop, University of Chicago: Chicago, IL.
Forberg, Peter. 2021. “My Time with the Anons: Making My Digital Self with Conspiracy Theorists.” Ethnographic Marginalia: Methodological Appendix.
Forberg, Peter L. 2021. “From the Fringe to the Fore: An Algorithmic Ethnography of the Far-Right Conspiracy Theory Group QAnon.” Journal of Contemporary Ethnography. doi:10.1177/08912416211040560
Guest Lecturer for SOCI 20516 Digital Lives, Virtual Societies: Rethinking Qualitative Methodology. Winter 2021.
Guest Lecturer for SOSC 20224/30224 Virtual Ethnographic Field Research Methods. Summer 2021.
Teaching Assistant for PARR 11600 Freedom of Expression and the Politics of Social Media. Summer 2021.
Office Suites: LibreOffice, Google Drive, Microsoft Office
Geographic Information Science: GeoDa, QGIS, R packages
Language: French, some Wolof
Various Tools: Qualtrics, Dedoose, GitHub, MySQL, RegEx, Protégé, Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere)