In 2016 as a Duke University Continuing Studies graduate student I embarked on a research project on #GeekGirls that charted the transformative history and varied uses of the hashtag across social platforms from 2009 to present day. Duke Story Lab awarded me a graduate fellowship for my work in fandom and supported my travel to continue the research project. My #GeekGirls project spanned several semesters and eventually led me to Seattle for GeekGirlCon 2017, where I participated as a fan, spread the word about the community-based project, and was asked (on site!) to join a panel about Geek Mythology and talk about West African trickster figure, Eshu. I’m always ready to share what I’ve learned!

In February 0f 2018, Duke Story Lab and the Duke University Franklin Humanities Institute (FHI) ater invited me to give a talk about my project. Check it out here!

Check out a couple of Tweets about this work below. I tagged many of the key women influencers in the history of female fandom and #GeekGirls and they helped spread the word about the project! You may recognize Jill Pantozzi, former editor of The Mary Sue and current managing editor at i09/Gizmodo.


The Duke Story Lab/FHI invitation to my talk in February read as follows:

Tracy Walker will discuss the history of the #geekgirls hashtag and broader social movement. The hashtag was first used on Twitter in 2009 and has since operated as a ping in networked fandom, a call to action for engagement, and a connector between digital communities and material spaces. Tracy’s research began in 2016 and included a trip to Seattle for GeekGirlCon 2017, a convention born from the digital movement. Her talk will draw on her background in communication studies, new media, and performance studies as she examines the #geekgirls hashtag as a digital anthropologist, considering selfies as rituals and hashtag campaigns as artifacts of this new, digital identity group.