Earlier in the spring semester of 2015, Crystal visited the centre for three months on the MMTC Visiting Doctoral Fellowship Program. She completed her PhD in Social Sciences in February 2016 at the Departments of Anthropology & Sociology, and Communication & Media Studies at the University of Western Australia (UWA). Currently, she is a Research Assistant at Curtin University (Australia).
Crystal's research looks at "Influencers", a multimedia form of microcelebrity popular on social media, also commonly known as commercial/professional bloggers, Tweeters, Instagrammers, YouTubers, and similar. She investigates how Influencers posture their personal lives and depiction of lifestyles in digital and physical spaces to be relatable, accumulate followers, and become commodifiable canvases for advertorials.
In March 2016, Crystal was named "The 30 Top Thinkers Under 30: The top young thinkers in economics, education, political science, and more" by the Pacific Standard magazine. Headquartered in California in the U.S., the magazine is published by the Miller-McCune Center for Research, Media and Public Policy, and focuses on the society's biggest problems and forward-looking changes to private behavior and public policy. Weblink for the nomination: http://www.psmag.com/books-and-culture/the-30-top-thinkers-under-30-crystal-abidin