EVENT | The Digital Self Workshop

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Description

This workshop focuses on how digital technology influences our daily lives, its impacts on the ways culture is re-shaped, and as a result how our identities as workers, consumers and media and cultural producers are changing. This workshop will draw upon the research expertise of both CMCI and DDH, and find synergy with a small group of external participants from a wide range of disciplines.

This workshop focuses on how digital technology influences our daily lives, its impacts on the ways culture is re-shaped, and as a result how our identities as workers, consumers and media and cultural producers are changing. This workshop will draw upon the research expertise of both CMCI and DDH, and find synergy with a small group of external participants from a wide range of disciplines. We will encourage critical engagement of existing research approaches and examine means to further innovative research. KCL participants, including doctoral researchers, will be encouraged to discuss potential grant applications through creating cross-departmental research clusters.

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Date and time

Fri 6 July 2018
10:30 – 17:00

Location

Strand Campus, King’s College London
London
WC2R 2LS

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Project | Screenscapes: Phantasmagoria, Cinema, Radar, GPS

Following a year-long fellowship at Yale University, senior lecturer Bernard Geoghegan and co-author Francesco Casetti are completing a book titled “Screenscapes: Phantasmagoria, Cinema, Radar, GPS.” This book proposes a radically new genealogy of digital media, locating digital geospatial technologies in a longer history of screen-based efforts to forge, modify, and control the environment. This writing project is funded by the Mellon Foundation.

Authors: Bernard Geoghegan, Francesco Casetti 

Associated organisations: Film & Media Studies at Yale University, Mellon Foundation

Project | Quitting Social Media

The Quitting Social Media (QSM) project engages with people who have voluntarily quit, or considered quitting, social media. Through this research, we hope to gain insight into how social media users – and former users – negotiate tensions and pressures around today’s connectivity culture. Amidst recent debates and consumer services addressing digital addiction and detox (e.g. Otto 2016, Löchtefeld et al. 2013, Portwood-Stacer 2013, Brabazon 2012), QSM aims to locate the practices of and motivations behind digital retreat.

King’s lead researcher: Zeena Feldman

Quitting Social Media (QSM) is a research project that seeks to engage with people who have voluntarily quit, or considered quitting, social media. The project is based at King’s College London in the Department of Digital Humanities.

Through this research, we hope to gain insight into how social media users – and former users –  negotiate tensions and pressures around today’s connectivity culture. Amidst recent debates and consumer services addressing digital addiction and detox (e.g. Otto 2016, Löchtefeld et al. 2013, Portwood-Stacer 2013, Brabazon 2012), QSM aims to provide insight into the practices of and motivations for digital withdrawal. To facilitate this understanding, we wish to engage with a broad range of participants. We are especially keen to hear from anyone who:

  • has quit a specific social networking site (e.g. Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, LinkedIn);
  • has considered quitting social media;
  • has abandoned all social media platforms;
  • is taking a temporary break from social media use;
  • has decided to permanently stop using social media services
  • has participated in a digital detox programme (whether formal or informal)
  • is concerned about the possibility of social media addiction;
  • has stopped using a smartphone.

Participants of all ages and backgrounds are welcome. To learn more about how you can take part in this research, please visit the Call for Participants page.

Keywords: digital detox, digital addiction, quitting social media, social media, information overload, digital retreat

Project | The Political Economy of Artificial Intelligence

While much has been written about the economic impacts of artificial intelligence in terms of the jobs it might take, much less attention has been paid to AI’s impact on the concentration of capital and the increase in market power.

This project takes as its focus the ways in which AI will reorganise businesses in light of market competition, with a particular focus on the technological necessities that machine learning demands, as well as the strategic ambitions of the leading capitalist firms to dominate this new general purpose technology. Fundamental questions about value and power will be posed in light of these changes, to determine how AI companies may be transforming the economy.

King’s lead researcher: Nick Srnicek

Project | After Work: The Fight for Free Time

There is a tension at the heart of contemporary post-work politics. Forms of labour that are conventionally associated with men are explicitly resisted, whilst forms of work more commonly associated with women are valorised. “Masculinized” labour is escaped, whilst “feminized” labour proliferates – all in a fashion that supposedly marks the end of work. Drawing upon post-autonomist Marxism and second-wave materialist feminism, this book will reject the naturalization of reproductive labour, and seek instead to generate a more robustly feminist post-work politics.

Authors: Nick Srnicek, Helen Hester

There is a tension at the heart of contemporary post-work politics. Forms of labour that are conventionally associated with men are explicitly resisted, whilst forms of work more commonly associated with women are valorised. “Masculinized” labour is escaped, whilst “feminized” labour proliferates – all in a fashion that supposedly marks the end of work. There is a similar tendency within conceptions of the caring economy (which enshrine reproductive labour as the basis of a more equitable society) and feminist criticisms of post-work projects (which warn against the encroachment of automation into social reproduction).

For all of these emerging leftist perspectives, “women’s work” is not only deemed immutable and culturally necessary – it’s seen as a good in itself. As such, this work comes to represent the constitutive limit of contemporary post-work politics. This book will argue that such positions, as they stand, fail to make the alleviation of all forms of drudgery a serious priority. In short, they do not go far enough. Drawing upon post-autonomist Marxism and second-wave materialist feminism, this book will reject the naturalization of reproductive labour, and seek instead to generate a more robustly feminist post-work politics.

EVENT | Repurposing social media for social research? Questions after fake news

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Description

A symposium on the future of research with social media, with a public talk from Professor Richard Rogers, Chair in New Media & Digital Culture at the University of Amsterdam, followed by questions and discussion with Cornelia Reyes Acosta, Alessandro Gandini and Jonathan Gray from the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London.

Social media data as source for empirical studies have recently come under renewed scrutiny, given the widespread deletion of Russian disinformation pages by Facebook as well as the suspension of Alt Right accounts by Twitter. Missing data is one issue, compounded by the fact that the ‘archives’ (CrowdTangle for Facebook and Gnip for Twitter) are also owned by the companies. Previously questions revolved around the extent to which corporate data collected for one purpose (e.g., advertising) could be employed by social science for another (e.g., political engagement). Social media data also could be said to be far from ‘good data’, since the platforms not only change and introduce new data fields (‘reactions’ on Facebook), but also increasingly narrow what’s available to researchers for privacy reasons. How to approach social media data these days? The symposium is an opportunity to debate the future of research with social media.

Speakers

Richard Rogers holds the Chair in New Media & Digital Culture at the University of Amsterdam. He is Director of the Digital Methods Initiative, dedicated to the study of the ‘natively digital’ and online epistemologies. He is also the Academic Director of the Netherlands National Research School for Media Studies (RMeS). Among other works, Rogers is author of Information Politics on the Web (MIT Press, 2004), awarded the best book of the year by the American Society of Information Science & Technology (ASIS&T), and Digital Methods (MIT Press, 2013) awarded Outstanding Book of the Year from the International Communication Association (ICA). Rogers is a three-time Ford Fellow and has received research grants from the Soros Foundation, Open Society Institute, Mondriaan Foundation, MacArthur Foundation and Gates Foundation.
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Date and time

Thur 31 May 2018
17:00 – 18:00

Location

Safra Lecture Theatre, King’s Building
Strand Campus, King’s College London
London
WC2R 2LS

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EVENT | New Perspectives in the Digital Humanities: Digital Identities

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Description

Digital Humanities Early Careers Conference

New Perspectives in the Digital Humanities is an annual conference in the King’s College London Department of Digital Humanities. This initiative started in 2016, and is typically led by first-year PhD candidates, though we boast a wide attendance by staff and external delegates from all over the UK and abroad. This year, we welcome our principal, Professor Ed Byrne, for an address.
Digital Identities

Conceptions of identity, community, and space are given a new dimension in the digital age. Particularly since the mid 20th century, there has been a significant interest in the myriad ways that human identity is developed and expressed through technology. Researchers have adopted new tools and adapted old ones in order to account for the ways in which the digital serves to inform, organize, record, and explain both individual and communal identity. It is this flexibility to both adopt new tools and critically interrogate them that is at the centre of digital humanities.

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Date and time

Fri 18 May 2018
08:30 – 17:30

Location

Bush House
Strand Campus, King’s College London
London
WC2R 2LS

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EVENT | A room of one’s own? Period-trackers as private scopes to escape the stigma of menstruation

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Description

Public talk by Amanda Karlsson (Institute of Communication & Culture at Aarhus University)

Why do women use period-trackers when they could just as well use a calendar to keep track of their menstrual cycle? What does a period-tracker provide other than a digital management tool and a more natural approach to family planning? With the intensive growth of technologies to measure various aspects of our health an increasing number of women are embracing apps for tracking their female cycle. While constructing new mediated relationships with their menstruating bodies these women also produce valuable data for the tech industry – and in that sense become prosumers. Questions of privacy and data ownership surface: Who produces the data, profits from the data and owns the data? However, the benefits of using a period-tracker seem to surpass the fear and potential risk of losing control over sensitive data – as it appears that the app offers a private room to escape the stigma around periods. Based on interviews with Danish women using period-trackers this talk seeks to explore and discuss these intersections of privacy, datafied bodies and menstrual stigma.

Speakers

Amanda Karlsson is a PhD scholar from Institute of Communication & Culture at Aarhus University, part of the STS group and member of digitalsociety.dk and datalab.au.dk. She is currently a visiting research scholar at Department of Digital Humanities, Kings College.

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Date and time

Wed 16 May 2018
17:00 – 18:30

Location

North Wing B4
Strand Campus
King’s College London
London
WC2R 2LS

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European Holocaust Research Infrastructure

EHRI provides online access to information about dispersed sources relating to the Holocaust through its Online Portal, and tools and methods that enable researchers and archivists to collaboratively work with such sources.

King’s Project lead Tobias Blanke

Apart from providing an online platform, EHRI also facilitates an extensive network of researchers, archivists and others to increase cohesion and co-ordination among practitioners and to initiate new transnational and collaborative approaches to the study of the Holocaust. EHRI thereby seeks to overcome one of the hallmark challenges of Holocaust research: the wide dispersal of the archival source material across Europe and beyond, and the concomitant fragmentation of Holocaust historiography.

More than twenty organisations – research institutions, libraries, archives, museums and memorial sites – form a core working group, but EHRI equally relies on the support of many other individuals and organisations in the broad fields of Holocaust studies and digital humanities. By bringing together experts from different fields, and by building an innovative digital infrastructure supported by a large community, EHRI is a flagship project that showcases the opportunities for historical research in the digital age.

EHRI continually expands the group of institutions and people associated with the project. Institutions that hold Holocaust-related collections are invited to integrate information about their collections in the EHRI Online Portal, thereby increasing their visibility among the research communities. EHRI also offers individuals opportunities to join its human network through its extensive programme of research, training and education events, including workshops, conferences, fellowships, hackathons, methodological seminars and online courses.

EHRI started its work in October 2010 with initial financial support from the European Union for four years. Thanks to the continued EU support, EHRI keeps on developing. A new ambitious four year programme has been put together that will deepen the project’s existing activities and achievements and explore new avenues of research from 2015 to 2019. EHRI is devoted to building a Holocaust research infrastructure that is sustained by its network and will have a right of existence on its own accord.

EVENT | Data Feminism

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Description

How might we draw on feminist critical thought to reimagine data practices and data work? Join us for a public talk with Lauren Klein (Assistant Professor, Georgia Tech) to discuss her recent work on data feminism. Hosted by Jonathan Gray at the Department for Digital Humanities at King’s College London.

Public talk by Lauren Klein, Assistant Professor, Georgia Tech

With their ability to depict hundreds, thousands, and sometimes even millions of relationships at a single glance, visualizations of data can dazzle, inform, and persuade. It is precisely this power that makes it worth asking: “Visualization by whom? For whom? In whose interest? Informed by whose values?” These are some of the questions that emerge from what we call data feminism, a way of thinking about data and its visualization that is informed by the past several decades of feminist critical thought. Data feminism prompts questions about how, for instance, challenges to the male/female binary can also help challenge other binary and hierarchical classification systems. It encourages us to ask how the concept of invisible labor can help to expose the invisible forms of labor associated with data work. And it points to how an understanding of affective and embodied knowledge can help to expand the notion of what constitutes data and what does not. Using visualization as a starting point, this talk works backwards through the data-processing pipeline in order to show how a feminist approach to thinking about data not only exposes how power and privilege presently operate in visualization work, but also suggests how different design principles can help to mitigate inequality and work towards justice.
The hashtag for this event is #kingsdh.

Speakers

Lauren Klein is an assistant professor in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication at Georgia Tech, where she also directs the Digital Humanities Lab. With Matthew Gold, she edits Debates in the Digital Humanities (University of Minnesota Press), a hybrid print/digital publication stream that explores debates in the field as they emerge. Her literary monograph, Matters of Taste: Eating, Aesthetics, and the Early American Archive, is forthcoming from Minnesota in Spring 2019. She is also at work on two new projects: Data Feminism, co-authored with Catherine D’Ignazio, and under contract with MIT Press, which distills key lessons from feminist theory into a set of principles for the design and interpretation of data visualizations, and Data by Design, which provides an interactive history of data visualization from the eighteenth century to the present.

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Date and time

Thu 24 May 2018
16:00 – 18:00

Location

K2.31, King’s Building
Strand Campus, King’s College London
London
WC2R 2LS

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