Satomi Sugiyama

Satomi Sugiyama

Professor, Communication and Media Studies
​Department Chair, Communication and Media Studies

Ph.D. Rutgers University, USA
M.A. Wake Forest University, USA
B.A. Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan

Office: Lowerre Academic Center, North Campus, Office 9
Phone: +41 91 986 36 57
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Satomi Sugiyama is Professor of Communication and Media Studies. She received her PhD in Communication Studies at Rutgers University with her dissertation on mobile communication and fashion. Her research and teaching interests include emerging communication technologies and interpersonal relationships, culture, and fashion studies. Her work has been published in such journals as New Media and Society, Fashion Theory, First Monday, and International Journal of Social Robotics, as well as in edited books by Springer, Peter Lang, and Transaction. Sugiyama received MacArthur and National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships at Colgate University while completing her PhD at Rutgers University. She also received an international exploratory workshop grant from the Swiss National Foundation in order to initiate a collaborative exploration of the notion of social robots and ICTs. The workshop led to further international collaborations across disciplines including a COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) workshop on social robotics. She is member of euRobotics topic group "socially intelligent robots and societal applications" and is presently conducting research on perceptions toward social robots. Her current research also includes an investigation into images of wearable technologies and the emoji use among youth. In recent years, she served as a thesis jury member and a guest lecturer for the Master of Advanced Studies in Interaction Design, SUPSI, Lugano, Switzerland. She is on the editorial board of Human-Machine Communication as well as intervalla: platform for intellectual exchange.  

2020-2021 Courses:

COM 105Introduction to Communication and MediaFALL 2020
COM 230TCommunication, Fashion, and the Formation of Taste (Italy)FALL 2020
COM 350Mediated RelationshipsFALL 2020
COM 105Introduction to Communication and MediaSPRING 2021
COM 203Communication ResearchSPRING 2021
COM 497Senior Research Seminar in CommunicationSPRING 2021
COM 295Media Consumption, Fashion, and IdentitySUMMER 2021


Sugiyama, S. (2019). Wearable technologies: Fashion, size and visibility. InA. Mascio, R. Menarini, S. Reinach, & I. Tolic (Eds). The Size Effect: Measuring Design, Fashion and Media (pp. 99-108). Mimesis International. 

Barile, N., & Sugiyama, S. (2018). Wearing Data: From McLuhan’s “Extended Skin” to the Integration Between Wearable Technologies and a New Algorithmic Sensibility. Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture. DOI: 10.1080/1362704X.2018.1514847

Sugiyama, S. (2018). Exploration of expected interaction norms with a social robot in everyday life: A case of twitter analysis in Japan (long abstract). M. Funk et al. (Eds). Envisioning Robots in Society—Politics, Power, and Public Space.  IOS Press Ebooks.

Sugiyama, S. (2017). The image of wearable ICTs: an exploration from a fashion perspective. In G. Motta, & A. Biagini (Eds.), Fashion through History: Costumes, Symbols, Communication (vol. II). Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars. 

Barile, N., & Sugiyama, S. (2016). I am Her(e): Physical/cognitive robots and human intimacy in the imagery of Spike Jonze’s movies. In J. Seibt, M. Nørskov, & S. S. Andersen (Eds.), What social robots can and should do (pp. 335 – 339). IOS Press Ebooks. DOI 10.3233/978-1-61499-708-5-335

Sugiyama, S. (2015). Kawaii meiru and Maroyaka neko: Mobile emoji for relationship maintenance and aesthetic expressions among Japanese teens. First Monday, 20 (10), DOI:

Pfadenhauer, M., Sugiyama, S., & Ess, C. M. (2015). Special issue of IJSR on social robots: Form, content, critique. International Journal of Social Robotics. 10.1007/s12369-015-0291-1

Barile, N., & Sugiyama, S. (2015). The automation of taste: A theoretical exploration of mobile ICTs and social robots in the context of music consumption. International Journal of Social Robotics. 10.1007/s12369-015-0283-1

Ess, C., Sugiyama, S., Sandry, E., & Pfadenhauer, M. (2014). Communication - Theoretical issues in social robotics. In J. Seibt, R. Hakli, & M. Nørskov (eds.), Sociable Robots and the Future of Social Relations: Proceedings of Robo-Philosophy 2014 (pp. 153-156). Amsterdam: IOS Press BV.

Sugiyama, S. (2013). Melding with the self, melding with relational partners, and turning into a quasi-social robot. A Japanese case study of people's experiences of emotion and mobile devices. intervalla: platform for intellectual exchange, 1, 71-84.

Sugiyama, S., & Vincent, J. (2013). Social robots and emotion: transcending the boundary between humans and ICTs. intervalla: platform for intellectual exchange, 1, 1-6.

Sugiyama, S. (2013). The Muted Mobile in Tokyo. In S. Tosoni, M. Tarantino, & Giaccardi (Eds.), Media and the City: Urbanism, Technology, and Communication, Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars.

Sugiyama, S. (2011). "Interpersonal communication beyond geographical constraints: A case of college students who maintain geographically dispersed relationships." In R. Ling & S. W. Campbell (Eds.), Mobile Communication Research Annual Volume II: Bringing Us Together or Tearing Us Apart? (pp. 271-292). New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction.

Sugiyama, S (2010). "Seeking equilibrium: A study of how college students with diverse cultural backgrounds experience mobile communication in everyday life." Encyclopaideia: Journal of Phenomenology and Education, 27 (2), 133-154.

Sugiyama, S. (2010). “Fashion and the mobile phone: A study of symbolic meanings of mobile phone for college-age young people across cultures.” Hoflich, J. R., Kircher, G. F., Linke, C., & Schlote, I (Eds.), Mobile Media and the Change of Everyday Life (pp. 171-190). Berlin: Peter Lang.

Sugiyama, S. (2009). “The decorated mobile phone and emotional attachment for Japanese youths.” In J. Vincent, & L. Fortunati (Eds.), Electronic Emotion, the Mediation of Emotion via Information and Communication Technologies (pp. 85-103). Oxford: Peter Lang.

Katz, J.E. & Sugiyama, S. (2006). “Mobile phones as fashion statements: Evidence from student surveys in the US and Japan,” New Media and Society, 8 (2), 367-83.

Katz, J.E. & Sugiyama, S. (2005). “Mobile phones as fashion statements: The co-creation of mobile communication’s public meaning.” In R. Ling & P. Pedersen (Eds.), Mobile Communications: Re-negotiation of the Social Sphere (pp. 63-81). Surrey, UK: Springer.

Sugiyama, S., & Katz, J.E. (2003). “Social conduct, social capital and the mobile phone in the US and Japan: A preliminary exploration via student surveys.” In K. Nyiri (Ed.), Mobile Democracy: Essays on Society, Self and Politics (pp. 375-386). Vienna: Passengen Verlag.

Awards and Honors:

Swiss National Science Foundation, International Exploratory Workshop fund, December 2010
NEH Pre-doctoral Fellowship, Colgate University, August 2005 - May 2006
MacArthur Pre-doctoral Fellowship, Colgate University, August 2004 - May 2005