On July 12-14 Stefania will be at X in Mountain View, in Silicon Valley, as one of the invitees to Sci Foo. Science Foo is a series of interdisciplinary conferences organized by O’Reilly Media, Digital Science, Nature Publishing Group and Google. It is an “unconference focused on emerging technology, and is designed to encourage collaboration between scientists who would not typically work together”. Stefania plans to propose a session on ‘decolonizing data’.
On July 8-11, Stefania will be in Madrid for the annual conference of the International Association of Media and Communication Research (IAMCR). She will present some preliminary findings of her new research on feminist and postcolonial theories of change in data activism; participate in a roundtable on Big Data from the South, featuring Monika Halkort, Patricia Peña, Emiliano Treré, Nick Couldry and Ulises A. Meijas; take part in a roundtable on smart cities, in conversation with Matthew Bui (Annenberg at USC), and participate in the launch of ‘Hybrid Activism’ (Routledge, 2019) by Emiliano Treré.
Niels and Stefania organized a panel in occasion of the Dutch Day of Sociology, which this year is hosted by the University of Amsterdam on June the 27th.
The panel, entitled Society rebooted. Digital infrastructure and its governmentality, featured an interdisciplinary conversation with, among others, Sally Waytt (Maastricht University) and Linnet Taylor (TILT).
Today it is 70 years ago that the book 1984 by George Orwell was published. I was interviewed by nu.nl about the relevance of 1984 for today’s society. (The piece is in Dutch: ‘Zeventig jaar na 1984: Zo actueel is de roman van George Orwell.’)
On June 4, Stefania gives a lecture on ethical issues in social movement and political participation research at the Summer School on Methods for the Study of Political Participation and Mobilization, in Florence, Italy.
The school is organised by the ECPR Standing Group on Participation and Mobilization and the Dipartimento di Scienze Politico-Sociali at the Scuola Normale Superiore.
We would like to thank the Amsterdam Center for European Studies (ACES – https://aces.uva.nl) for supporting interviews transcription at DATACTIVE with a small grant.
On April 9, Stefania was in Berlin to give a talk at the Magnus-Haus, the headquarters of the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft (German Physical Society), as part of the Physik und Gesellschaft series.
The talk was entitled /Error 404: Social Life Not Found/ – How to bring politics back into the datafied society, and was moderated by Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Eberhardt.
Datafication – or the process of rendering into data aspects of social life that have never been quantified before – has altered the way we experience ourselves and exercise our citizenship today. Blanket surveillance and privacy infringements, however, are making citizens grow aware of the critical role of information as the new fabric of social life. As the advent of datafication and the automation turn threaten social life as we know it, how can we re-invent citizenship? How can we bring progressive politics back, to inform, among others, technological development and public policies? In this talk I will reflect on how politics and citizen agency are re-designed in light of the challenges and possibilities of big data and machine learning.
On April 5-7, Stefania will attend the International Journalism Festival in Perugia. She will speak in the panel ‘Facing the challenges of a datafied society’, on Saturday at 5pm. She will join on stage Philip Di Salvo (Institute of Media and Journalism USI), Colin Porlezza (Department of Journalism City University, London), and Adrienne Russell (University of Washington).
The contemporary datafied society is hybrid in nature: information technology, policy makers, activists and participatory publics all converge in shaping today’s mediated landscape. Making sense and interpreting these elements comes with new challenges for journalists whose role it is to help citizens understand the mechanisms of today’s democracy and its potential abuses. The Snowden revelations and the Cambridge Analytica scandal, among others, have deeply impacted our understanding of the contemporary digital area, such as mass surveillance, the role of algorithms, and the perils of the data economy. These cases, among others, also exhibit some of the complex hybridization processes journalism is going through, both on a practical and on a cultural level. New players like hackers and activists entered the journalism field either through collaboration with journalists or by creating new tools, strategies and standards. In both cases they introduce new themes and debates into the news agenda. This panel, composed of academics and practitioners, will explore the role of journalism in shaping debates and issues about the datafied society and highlight some of the most successful examples of today’s hybrid journalism.
We are happy to announce the first in our 2019 DATACTIVE Working Paper Series, by Guillen Torres:
Torres, G. (2019) “Auditing the State: Everyday Forms of Institutional Resistance in the Mexican Freedom of Information Process”, DATACTIVE Working paper series, No 1/2019 ISSN: 2666-0733.
Governmental transparency through Freedom of Information (FOI) Laws has become a standard in modern liberal democracies. However, a recent trend documented by practitioners and academics alike consists of governments stating in paper their support for transparency, but in practice implementing various kinds of strategies to limit the flow of information towards engaged citizens, increasing secrecy and opaqueness. While scholarly attention has mostly been set on the motivations and effects of secrecy within institutions, the consequences experienced by politically engaged citizens have received less interest. In this paper I focus on how information activists experience and make sense of instances of information control during the performance of the FOI process, through a case study set in Mexico. I suggest that the constant denials, delays and obstructions activists face during the process of requesting information can be productively analyzed through the concept of Everyday Forms of Resistance.
About the DATACTIVE working paper series
The DATACTIVE Working Paper Series presents results of the DATACTIVE research project. The series aims to disseminate the results of their research to a wider audience. An editorial committee consisting of the DATACTIVE PI and Postdoctoral fellows reviews the quality of the Working Papers. The Series aims to disseminate research results in an accessible manner to a wider audience. Readers are encouraged to provide the authors with feedback and/or questions.