Ming Curran — “Ethnic Supply and Cosmopolitan Demand: italki and the Online Gig Economy for Language” — March 7

Thursday, March 7th, 2019

12:30 pm - 2:00 pm, ASC 236

Ming Currant_2017 profile pic

Join us on March 7 at 12:30 in ASC 236 for Ming Curran’s discussion, “Ethnic Supply and Cosmopolitan Demand: italki and the Online Gig Economy for Language.” 

Curran’s talk discusses research Ming has previously conducted on italki, focusing on the intersection of nation, race, and language in teachers’ profiles and marketing strategies. It also introduces ongoing research on italki, conducted in collaboration with Annenberg’s own Yiqi Li and Hernan Galperin, along with Shanghai Jiaotong’s Sunghan Ryu.

Italki is an online platform that connects individual language learners and language teachers. Emblematic of the online gig-economy, Italki currently has more than 5 million members and 10,000 teachers. In addition to its primary goal of matching individual teachers and students, italki also supports no-fee language exchange between members.

A 3rd year PhD student at USC Annenberg, Curran’s dissertation considers notions of globalization, cosmopolitanism, and neoliberalism in the digital age. Focusing on the online language learning platform italki, he situates his research at the intersection of Communication, Cultural Studies, and Applied Linguistics. His research appears/is forthcoming in Media, Culture & Society, English Today, Media, War & Conflict, and the International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism