" PhD in Communication, Sapienza University of Rome, Department of Communication (2001-2004)
" Degree, Laurea (110/110, cum laude), Sapienza University of Rome, Department of Communication (1997-2001)
September 2019 -: Associate Professor, Sapienza University of Rome, Department of Communication
2017 - today: member of the Teaching College Board for the PhD "Lo sviluppo e il benessere dell’individuo e delle organizzazioni" (Lumsa University)
October 2014 – August 2019: Associate Professor, Lumsa University (Rome, Italy). She is currently responsible for teaching Internet studies (both in Italian and in English), Online journalism, and Globalization and new media.
2007 - 2014: Dr. Comunello has been an Assistant Professor of Sociology of Culture and Communication in the Department of Communication and Social Research (CORIS), Sapienza University of Rome.
2008 - 2017: she has been a member of the Teaching College Board for the PhD in Communication at the Sapienza University of Rome, CORIS Department.
She has been the scientific coordinator of the master's degree programs (“Master Universitari”) at CORIS Department, Sapienza University of Rome.
Dr. Comunello has taught Internet studies and social media management, online journalism, interactive system design, fundraising, computer-mediated communication and sociology of communication.
Research and young scholars supervision
Dr. Comunello's research and publications focus on the intersections between digital technology and society. This includes research on network theories, digitally-mediated social relations, social media, emergency communication, social network sites, mobile communication, digital communication and natural disasters, gender and digital media, digital inequalities, and health-related controversies on social media. In recent years, her research has mainly focused on:
- Digital media and emergency communication
- Mobile media, ageism and older people
- Social media in everyday life
She is involved in several research projects and research networks, at an international level, and is experienced in working in multidisciplinary teams, with a focus on emergency and science communication. She has been the principal investigator of an interdisciplinary PRIN project involving social scientists and seismologists (see below).
Her work is published in Journals such asMedia Culture and Society, The Sociological Review, Games and Culture, Semiotica, and Annals of Geophysics.
Her most cited article, focusing on the role of social media during the “Arab springs”, was cited more than 100 times (source: Google Scholar, August 2018), and was ranked #203 out of 15.876 articles for its category, based on bibliometric parameters (WoS, 2010-2014).
She is experienced in supervising younger scholars. Namely:
- she has supervised 10 PhD thesis (Department of Communication and Social Research, Sapienza University of Rome);
- she has supervised or co-supervised PhD thesis at an international level, being a member of international PhD committees, including Paris 13 University (France), Murcia University (Spain), St. Gallen University (Switzerland), and supervising a Brasilian PhD student in the context of the Programa Institucional de Bolsas de Doutorado Sanduíche no Exterior, PDSE – CAPES;
- she has supervised post-doc scholars, assistant professors, and researchers in several projects she has coordinated, since 2008 (namely, see the projects “Prin – ShakeNetworks”, “Emergenze social”, “Ageism e social media, etc”)
Research activities and research networks (selection)
April 2018-June 2018: she was awarded a 5-week "Media and Communication Fellowship" by the School of Languages, Social and Political Sciences (LSAP), College of Arts, University of Canterbury, New Zealand (the fellowship was awarded following a call).
2018 - She is a member of the "Center of Excellence" in Research on Ageing and Care (CoE AgeCare), funded by the Academy of Finland, with other 11 projects, for 8 years. "CoE AgeCare is conducted as a concerted effort of four different Research Groups (RGs) coming from the Universities of Jyväskylä, Tampere and Helsinki and in close collaboration with a broad network of leading international scholars".
2017-2018: she is the Principal Investigator of the 2-year project "Ageism e social media attraverso la lente delle media ideologies: un'indagine esplorativa" (Ageism and social media through the lens of media ideologies: an exploratory investigation), in cooperation with Dr. Fernández-Ardèvol and Rosales Climent (IN3, UOC, Barcelona). The project has received a grant funded by Lumsa University (2017-2018).
September 2017 – today: she is a Member of "ValueAble network", an ERASMUS+ project, line KA2, Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices (Lumsa University)
December 2017 – today: she is a member of the project “LIGHTS, CAMERA AND ACTION AGAINST GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE (Lights4violence), SEP-210420542”. The project involves 7 European University and Research Institutions and is coordinated by Alicante University (Spain). It is funded by European Commission, GD Justice, Rights, Equalitay and Citizenship Programme.
2016 - today: she is an associate researcher at the Ageing + Communication + Technologies (ACT) research group, funded by The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). ACT involves researchers working at more than 25 Institutions in North and South America, Europe, and Asia.
2015 - today: she is a member of the WG "Media", COST Action IS1402 "Ageism - a multi-national, interdisciplinary perspective". COST Actions (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) are funded by the European Union Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020.
March 2014 - march 2017: she has been the Principal Investigator of a Programma di Rilevante Interesse Nazionale (PRIN) project, which is a designated Research Project of Relevant National Interest. The project has received a grant funded by the Italian Ministry of Education for € 204,000. The title of the project is "SHAKE networks: the role of social media in emergency communication and dissemination of seismological research". The research group includes social scientists and seismologists.
March 2014 - February 2016: she has held a fellowship as an external associate researcher at the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (Barcelona, Spain), research group COMUNICACIÓ MÒBIL, ECONOMIA I SOCIETAT (CMES), coordinators: Mireia Fernández-Ardèvol and Manuel Castells.
2013-2014: she has directed the Italian unit of the research project "Interactions with and through mobile phone among the elders", in collaboration with the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (Barcelona, Spain).
2012 - 2013: she has been the Principal Investigator of the project "Emergenze social" (focusing on the role of social media in emergency communication), which has received a grant funded by Sapienza University (2012-13).
2012 – 2016: she has co-coordinated (with Prof. Adam Matei, Purdue University, USA) the research project "Alterpode - World Geography Survey" (exploring the relations between the representations of geography, and digital media).
She has been a part of several research groups, based both at Sapienza and at Lumsa University, some of which included international cooperation, and/or funding by the European Commission.
Her research has been presented to several national and international conferences. Among others: ESA (European Sociological Association, 2009, 2013), ECREA (2012, 2014, 2016), AoIR (Association of Internet Researchers, 2011, 2016), ISCRAM (2015, 2017), NCA (National Communication Association, USA), HCII (2015, 2017), IAMCR (2017, 2019), etc.
Editorial membership and peer-review activities
Dr Comunello is associate editor of the International Journal of Information Communication Technologies and Human Development (IJICTHD) (IGI Global, USA).
Editorial membership and peer-review activities
She is a member of the Editorial review board of the International Journal of Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (IJISCRAM).
She is also a member of the Editorial Board of the Italian journal Problemi dell'Informazione (Il Mulino); and a member of the Editorial Committee of the Italian journal Comunicazionepuntodoc.
July 2017 - today: she is a member of the PROGRAM BOARD of the international conference ITAP 2018, associated to HCI International (Information technology for the ageing population, held in Las Vegas, USA, in July 2018, and to be held in Copenhagen, July 2019)
A selection of conferences, journals and books Dr. Comunello has served as a peer reviewer include:
" Information, Communication and Society
" New Media and Society
" Ageing and Society
" Annals of Geophysics
" The Sociological Review
" The Information Society
" Journal of Social Intervention: Theory and Practice
" African Journalism Studies
" Seven annual conferences of the Association of Internet Researchers (2010 - 2016)
" ISCRAM conferences
" ECREA conferences
" Books published by IGI Global (Hershey, PA, USA), Emerald (UK)
She has also served as a peer reviewer for several Italian journals and book publishers, as well as for research grants funded by the Italian Ministry of Education, and by the Danish Council for Independent Research.
Recent publications (selection)
Comunello F, Mulargia S, 2018, Social media in earthquake-related communication, Emerald, UK
Comunello F (2018), Oltre le filter bubbles. Una riflessione sulla controversia vaccinale sui social media, RIML, 1/2018 (Rivista Italiana di Medicina Legale)
Sarrica M, Farinosi M, Comunello F, Brondi S, Parisi L, Fortunati L (2018). Shaken and stirred: Social representations, social media, and community empowerment in emergency contexts. SEMIOTICA, ISSN: 1613-3692
Comunello, F., Mulargia, S., & Parisi, L. (2017). «Non guardarmi, non ti sento». Processi di sense giving nella controversia sui vaccini infantili tra gli utenti di Facebook. Problemi dell'informazione, 42(3), 431-458.
Comunello, F., Fernández Ardèvol, M., Mulargia, S., & Belotti, F. (2017). Women, youth and everything else: age-based and gendered stereotypes in relation to digital technology among elderly Italian mobile phone users. Media, Culture & Society, 39(6), 798-815.
Rosales, A., Fernández-Ardèvol, M., Comunello, F., Mulargia, S., & Ferran-Ferrer, N. (2017). Older people and smartwatches, initial experiences. El profesional de la información (EPI), 26(3), 457-463.
Comunello F, Mulargia S (2017). Tra risposte protocollate e «social sensing». L’uso dei social media per la comunicazione d’emergenza nelle istituzioni locali italiane. SOCIOLOGIA E RICERCA SOCIALE, p. 111-136, ISSN: 1121-1148
Comunello F, Simone Mulargia, Lorenza Parisi (2016). The ‘proper’ way to spread ideas through social media: exploring the affordances and constraints of different social media platforms as perceived by Italian activists. SOCIOLOGICAL REVIEW, vol. 64, pp. 515-532, ISSN: 1467-954X, doi: 10.1111/1467-954X.12378
Comunello F, Parisi L, Lauciani V, Magnoni F, Casarotti E (2016), Tweeting after an earthquake: user localization and communication patterns during the 2012 Emilia seismic sequence, Annals of Geophysics (IF 2014: 1.037)
F. Comunello (2015). Tra “donne panda” e mainstreaming di internet. Un’analisi esplorativa sulle giornaliste italiane (anche) online. Problemi dell’informazione, 3/2015, pp. 503-527.
Comunello, F., Mulargia, S., Belotti, F., & Fernández-Ardèvol, M. (2015). Older People’s Attitude Towards Mobile Communication in Everyday Life: Digital Literacy and Domestication Processes. In Zhou J., Salvendy, G. (eds.) Human Aspects of IT for the Aged Population. Design for Aging (pp. 439-450). Springer International Publishing. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-20892-3_43.
F. COMUNELLO, G. ANZERA (2012). Will the revolution be tweeted? A conceptual framework for understanding the social media and the Arab Spring. ISLAM AND CHRISTIAN-MUSLIM RELATIONS, vol. 23, p. 453-470, ISSN: 0959-6410, doi: 10.1080/09596410.2012.712435