Nicole Taylor


Nicole Taylor

Dr. Nicole Taylor
Associate Professor and Ph.D. Program Coordinator 
Office: ELA 236
Phone: 512.245.2473

Curriculum Vitae

PhD –University of Arizona, Anthropology
MA—Texas A&M University, English
BA—Texas State University, English

Research Interests
Social media, identity, and youth; body image and gender; childhood obesity and teasing practices; adolescent and emerging adult health; qualitative and applied research methods; internet ethnography; institutional culture, decision-making, and collaboration; contemporary U.S. and educational research settings

I am an anthropologist who explores contemporary social issues related to youth. My most recent research examines identiy, emotional expression, and sociality among college students on social media. Funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, this project also explores ethical and methodological challenges of conducting long term participant observation in social media and anonymizing digital images.

In 2022, with support from another National Science Foundation grant, my team conducted customer discovery interviews as part of the I-Corps program to explore a potential commercial solution to social media dependence that could mitigate the effects of "always on" technology culture. 

In 2022, I also began working with Dr. Kate Spradley to ethnographically explore decision-making processes surrounding the treatment of unidentified human remains by law enforcement and other agencies along the south Texas border to understand procedural gaps that give rise to the long-term dead (human remains that are buried and forgotten).  This project draws on my earlier work as a practicing anthropologist exploring institutional culture, decision-making, and collaboration.

I received my PhD in anthropology from the University of Arizona.  Following graduate school, I worked in nonprofit and corporate settings conducting research and evaluation in the areas of substance abuse, education and poverty, childhood obesity, school climate, and institutional culture.  I then served for five years as the Director of Scholar Programs at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, New Mexico before returning to Texas State University, my undergraduate alma mater, to accept a faculty position.

Selected Publications


VandenBroek, Angela and Nicole Taylor (Eds.)
Under Contract. Kits for Digital Methods: Doing Sociotechnical Research. New York: Routledge.

Taylor, Nicole and Mimi Nichter
2022. A Filtered Life: Social Media on a College Campus. New York: Routledge.

Taylor, Nicole
2016.  Schooled on Fat: What Teens Tell Us About Gender, Body Image, and Obesity. New York: Routledge (Innovative Ethnographies Series).
Finalist (Anthropology/Archeology), 2016 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards
First Place (Societal Issues), 2016-2017 ReaderViews Literary Awards
Best Non-fiction Book of the Year, 2016-17 ReaderViews Literary Awards

Articles and Chapters

Taylor, Nicole, and Angela VandenBroek
In press. Penciling: An Anonymization Method for Social Media Images. Field Methods.

Taylor, Nicole, Louie Dean Valencia-García, Angela VandenBroek, Ashley Stinnett, and Alejandro Allen. 
2023. Ethics and Images in Social Media Research. First Monday 28(4).

Taylor, Nicole, and Orit Tamir
2019. Diverse Student Experiences in Higher Education: Implications for the Anthropology Classroom (Guest Editor's Introduction). Teaching & Learning Anthropology Journal (Special Issue) 2(2):1-6.

Tamir, Orit, and Nicole Taylor
2019. Nontraditional Students: Understanding and Meeting their Needs in the Anthropology Classroom. Teaching & Learning Anthropology (Special Issue) 2(2):25-40.

Morey, Taylor, and Nicole Taylor
2019. Understanding How Undergraduate Students Experience and Manage Stress. Implications for Teaching and Learning Anthropology. Teaching & Learning Anthropology (Special Issue) 2(2):41-61.

Taylor, Nicole
2017. Fat is a Linguistic Issue: Discursive Negotation of Power, Identity, and the Gendered Body among Youth. In Fat Planet: Obesity, Culture, and Symbolic Body Capital. Eileen Anderson-Fye and Alexandra Brewis, eds. pp. 125-147. Santa Fe, NM: SAR Press; Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.

Taylor, Nicole, and Mimi Nichter.
2017.  Studying Body Image and Food Consumption Practices. In Research Methods in the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition. John A. Brett and Janet Chrzan, eds.  pp. 58-69.  Oxford, UK: Berghahn Books.

Taylor, Nicole, and Mimi Nichter.
2017.  Body Image: Supporting Healthy Behaviors on College Campuses. In Further Wellness Issues for Higher Education: How to Promote Student Health During and After College. David S. Anderson, ed.  Pp. 19-37. New York: Routledge.

Taylor, Nicole
2011. Negotiating Popular Obesity Discourses in Adolescence: School Food, Personal Responsibility, and Gendered Food Consumption Behaviors. Food, Culture & Society 14(4): 587-606.

Taylor, Nicole
2011. “Guys, She’s Humongous!”: Gender and Weight-Based Teasing in Adolescence. Journal of Adolescent Research 26(2):178-199.

Popular Media

2023. Digital Multiples and Social Media (with Mimi Nichter). CASTAC (Committee on the Anthropology of Science, Technology and Computing) Blog (March 28).

2023. Without a Trace: The Ghosting Phenomenon. Enlighten Me, TXST Podcast Network.  Available on Spotify and Apple (October 31).

2022. How Is Social Media Morphing Our Self-Image? Discover Magazine (April 22).

2019.  How to Use Your Phone More Mindfully in 9 Simple Steps. (October 19)

2019.  Mental Health Illustrations on Instagram Create Community. (October 10)

2019.  How to Talk to Your Kids about Weight.  NBC Better (September 8).

2017.  Author Interview. Inside Scoop Live (July 12)

2016.  How Teens Experience Fat Teasing and Body Image During a Time of Heightened Obesity Stigma. Huffington Post Blog (July 21).

Courses Taught

Undergraduate Courses

  • Anthropology 3303: Applied Cultural Anthropology
  • Anthropology 3325: Medical Anthropology
  • Anthropology 3375: Anthropology of Youth
  • Anthropology 3376: Language and the Body
  • Anthropology 4304: Language, Culture and Society

Graduate Courses

  • Anthropology 5360: Qualitative Methods
  • Anthropology 5373: Applied Anthropology Methods
  • Anthropology 7353: Applied Anthropology Methods