Samara Hayley Steele


Position Title
CST PhD Student


Research Interests:

Diegesis, Methodology, Reification, Epistemo-Ontology, Cultural Economy, Performance Studies, Environmental Humanities, Science and Technology Studies (STS), Community Economies, Consent Studies, Gender Playability, Decolonial Studies, Analog Game Studies, Critical Code Studies (CCS).


  • Mellon Public Scholars 2020
  • HASTAC Scholars Fellowship (2018-2020)
  • Cultural Studies Association Travel Award (2019)
  • Provost’s Fellowship in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, UC Davis (2018-19)
  • Graduate Assistantship, The Humanities Sustainability Research Project, Portland Center for Public Humanities (PCPH), PSU (2009



  • M.F.A. Creative Writing, Portland State University, 2014.
  • B.A. English & Interdisciplinary Studies, double major. Fairhaven College, Western Washington University, 2007.



  • “The Reality Code: Interpreting Aggregate Larp Rules as Code that Runs on Humans.” The International Journal of Role-Playing, Issue 7.


  • “A Question of Diegesis and Agency: Towards a New Materialist Rhetoric for Narrative Studies.” Presenter, Pacific Ancient and Modern Languages Association (PAMLA) conference, 2019.
  • “Whose Autonomy? 50 Years of Emergent Refusals in the Other Utopia.” Presenter, the Union for Democratic Communications (UDC) annual conference, CSU East Bay, 2019.
  • “Searching for Zero: Spitballing Hegemonic Modes of “Unknowing” and Conjuring the Big “O” Other.” Presenter, the Society for the Social Studies of Science (4S) annual conference, 2019.
  • “Racialized Sousveillance and the Biopolitics of Grievability: Video Footage of Police Brutality as Speculative Realism.” Presenter, Cultural Studies Association (CSA) annual conference, Tulane University, 2019.
  • “Game Design Methodologies for Gender Playability: A Case Study of Thermophiles in Love.” Invited presenter, the Social Studies of Live Action Role-Playing Games Conference, the European University of St. Petersburg, 2016.
  • “Code as Diegetic Language in LARP.” Invited presenter for the “Critical Code Studies and Creativity” panel, Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts (SLSA) annual conference, 2016.
  • “Lessons in Netprov: Collaborative Writing in the Digital Age.” Presenter with Rob Wittig and Mark Marino, The Berkeley Center for New Media, UC Berkeley, 2016.
  • “Gender Playability in Larp: The Roles of Performativity and Interpolation.” Presenter, the Annual Gender Studies Symposium, Lewis & Clark College, 2016.
  • “Teaching Political Economy through Larp: Some Game Mechanics of Feudalism and Capitalism.” Presenter, the Role-Playing and Simulation in Education Conference. Texas State University, 2016.
  • “Beyond Lords and Ladies: Factors that Support (or Inhibit) Player Experimentation with Gender.” Presenter, the Living Games Conference, the Game Center, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, 2014.
  • “Larp and Leisure Labor: Situating Live Action Role-Play within the New Economic Ecology.” Presenter, the Living Games Conference, the Game Center, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, 2014.


  • HASTAC Scholars Fellowship.  The Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory (HASTAC) 2018-2020.
  • Provost’s Fellowship, UC Davis, 2018-19.
  • Graduate Assistantship with the Portland Center for Public Humanities, Portland State University, 2009.

Selected Affiliations

  • The California Economies Collective, UC Davis, Organizer
  • The ModLab, Humanities Gaming Lab, UC Davis, Graduate Research Fellow
  • The Humanities and Critical Code Studies (HaCCS) Lab, USC, Advanced Research Affiliate
  • The Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory (HASTAC)
  • The Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts (SLSA)
  • The Society for the Social Studies of Science (4S)

Selected Activism & Consensus Community Organizing

Slingshot (activist newspaper)

Berkeley, Calif.                        2011-present                           Editorial Collective Member

LAND ACTION (adverse possession mutual aid network)

Oakland, Calif.                        2015-2016                               Development Director, Organizer

The Long Haul Infoshop (community space)

Berkeley, Calif.                        2011-15                                   Collective Member

Villagecraft (decentralized education network)        

San Francisco Bay Area           2013-15                                   Network Facilitator

Occupy the Farm (guerilla farming movement)                                

Albany, Calif.                           2013-15                                   Organizer, Publicist

The Sudo Room (hacker space)

Oakland, Calif.                        2013-15                                   Collective Member, Publicist

PLACE for Sustainable Living (urban ecovillage & community center)               

Oakland, Calif.                        2013-15                                   Organizer, Publicity

The Omni Commons (post-hierarchal community space)                           

Oakland, Calif.                        2014-15                                   Organizer, Publicist

Liberated Lens (film collective)            

Oakland, Calif.                        2014-15                                   Collective Member

Oakland Spring Rising (urban farming movement)

Oakland, Calif.                        2015                                        Organizer

Occupy Oakland                                    

Oakland, Calif.                        2011                                        Organizer

The WTO Protests                      

Seattle, Wash.                         1999                                        Activist, Journalist

The Pickering Farm Community Garden       

Issaquah, Wash.                      1996-00                                   Organizer


Interactive Media & Gamemaking:


Sivad: A Live Action Role-Playing Game

UC Davis ModLab                                2019                            Project Director

Hotel Obfuscia produced by Foma Labs (interactive theatre)                       

San Francisco, Calif.                            2017                            Performance Artist

directed by Mark Marino & Rob Wittig (netprov)

One Star Reviews                                2017                            Featured Player

Fake News Agency                              2017                            Featured Player

Thermophiles in Love                         2016                            Co-creator

Monstrous Weather                           2016                            Featured Player

Air-B-n-Me                                          2016                            Featured Player            

Thermophiles in Love (larp)                                 

Berkeley, Calif. & Atlanta, Ga.            2016                              Larpwright, Co-Facilitator

Bleed, Harrassment, Truama (larp)

with Sarah Lynn Bowman, John Stavropoulos & Sarah Hart

2016                              Larpwright, Co-Facilitator

Los Angeles Freeform & Theatre Larp Collective     

Los Angeles, Calif.                               2016                            Co-founder

Cat Bloc (protest performance)                         

San Francisco Bay Area                       2014-15                       Performance Artist

Break Silence, End Isolation (protest performance)      

San Francisco Bay Area                       2013                            Performance Artist

Beyond the Aether (larp)                                      

Portland, Ore.                                     2009-12                       Rules Development, Co-Facilitator

Kumoricon (cosplay)                                         

Portland, Ore.                                     2008-10                       Performance Artist

Sakuracon (cosplay)                                           

Seattle, Wash.                                     2000-08                       Performance Artist

NERO Alliance (larp)

Seattle Chapter                                   2003-07                       Volunteer

Oregon Chapter                                  2005                             Staff

Camlann Medieval Village (interactive theatre, reenactment)                                

Carnation, Wash.                                1996-98                       Performance Artist