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I’m a professor of Communication at Stanford University, where I study media, technology and American cultural history.


New Book!

Seeing Silicon Valley: Life Inside a Fraying America

Seeing Silicon Valley spotlights people lost in the shadows of the tech capital. . . . Through their collection of around 30 portraits and mini-narratives of everyday people, Meehan and Turner take us through the unique lives of a swath of the region’s residents who each struggle, in their own ways, to feel a sense of stability.”

― San Francisco Chronicle

“[Seeing Silicon Valley] reveal[s], if not the future I thought I would find, a critical part of Silicon Valley that most people never look for or think about, let alone see. . . . Each photograph tells a story, and it’s rarely the one you might imagine. . . . Insistently draw[s] the reader’s focus to how Silicon Valley’s success and image are based on the outright elision of other bodies, often brown or black, or immigrant. . . . The people who cover ‘tech’—whatever that term even means these days—too often portray Silicon Valley as a place apart from America. But, as Seeing Silicon Valley . . . reveal[s], with its racism, casual misogyny, economic inequality, and environmental devastation concentrated among poor communities, Silicon Valley is America. . . . [The book] point[s] to the heart of what makes the region run: people, many of them hidden or invisible. Making them visible is a start to creating a more praiseworthy place.”

― Los Angeles Review of Books

“It is a Silicon Valley rarely described and never shown that photographer Mary Beth Meehan sought to document. . . . Without descending into pathos, she reveals the striking contrasts between the world of start-ups and that in which their employees live. . . . But underneath, Meehan also depicts another, more subtle dissonance—between the way Silicon Valley sees itself, and the way it really is.”

― Le Monde

“Brevity, succinctness, and personal focus are among the key strengths of this powerful and important book, an account that fans out into other developing narratives about the decline of California as America’s paradise, social media’s mendacity and lack of civic responsibility, and the super-charged rise of economic injustice and insecurity. It is likely to attract a lot of attention, discussion, and controversy. . . . The images are saturated in California sunlight and color and classically composed, suggesting the long heritage of Western portraiture. The various poverties they encompass do not immediately strike the eye, as [Walker] Evans’ images do. The pain lurks below. . . . Unflinching.”

― Arts Fuse