Joanna Steinhardt

Joanna Steinhardt - Editor

Oakland, CA, USA

I'm a writer and editor with a PhD in Cultural Anthropology. I'm passionate about turning academic writing into accessible prose.

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I have a PhD in Cultural Anthropology and experience writing and editing in several genres. I specialize in editing technical, academic, and scholarly non-fiction writing. I genuinely enjoy helping authors make their texts more accessible (without losing expertise or accuracy in the process). I also have experience in publicity, communications, program management, and (of course) research.
English (US)
Earth, Space, & Environmental Sciences
Humanities & Social Sciences
Writing & Publishing


  • PhD, Sociocultural Anthropology, UC Santa Barbara 2018
  • Los Angeles Review of Books Publishing Workshop Fellow, 2020
  • MA, Cultural Studies, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2007

Work experience

Writer & editor

February, 2019 – Present (almost 4 years)

I’ve written articles for various publications, with a focus on mycology, including Wired and the LA Review of Books. I edited and contributed to an online series on the psychedelic revival for the Society for Cultural Anthropology; as lead editor, I managed the series from solicitation to copyediting. I’ve been a volunteer editor at the LA Review of Books since August 2020. In the spring of 2021, I was an intern at Melville House where I focused on publicity and editorial.

Research Consultant & Writer (Contract)

Dovetail Labs
November, 2018 – February, 2019 (3 months)

As a researcher and writer, I conducted foundational research on emerging technologies for an industry-leading technology company, including two comprehensive reports and executive summaries, an expert interview, and translation (Hebrew to English). I also wrote short articles for a client-facing blog.

User Experience Researcher

The Exploratorium
April, 2018 – March, 2020 (almost 2 years)

As an on-call researcher, I conducted observations and user interviews for exhibit prototypes, provided feedback to stakeholders for iterative design testing, completed data entry of results, and edited project reports.

Communications Consultant & Market Researcher

April, 2016 – October, 2017 (over 1 year)

I conducted research into domestic and international markets for leather-replacement goods, managed nascent social media channels, grew online followings, and wrote PR and branding pieces, heightening the start-up’s public profile and attracting investors.

PhD researcher & Graduate Student Instructor

University of California, Santa Barbara
October, 2011 – September, 2018 (almost 7 years)

I designed and conducted 2+ years of qualitative research on a dispersed community of do-it-yourself scientists, presented at multiple conferences, wrote a dissertation, and published in an academic anthology, while funded by five-year Chancellor’s Fellowship. I also taught 60-90 students/quarter for four quarters.

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