Kathleen received her PhD from the Department of Political Science at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Her dissertation research lay at the intersection of political theory, media studies, popular culture, and international relations, with a focus on the ways in which the interactions of online and offline worlds impact events and individuals. She examined online and offline worlds as horizontal spaces separated by porous borders.
Her research takes advantage of a wide variety of texts: science fiction novels, short stories, Medieval Welsh tales (in the original Welsh and in translation), blogs, web forums, and traditional philosophical and theoretical pieces. These texts all grapple with the porosity of multiple, overlapping worlds, and so allow her to theorize the ways in which issues not only become viral online, but are also affective offline. In the end, she showed that time spent online has the potential to involve individuals in issues, which span the online/offline divide, that they would likely have been apathetic to or unaware of otherwise.