Final Week Meeting Summarised

In the meeting on the 19th of March, we showed George some slides from our presentation. Our presentation has been divided into three broad sub-headings (rise in technology, data collection and language of privacy policy agreements), all of which we see as independent phenomenon and as tools that that be used towards the making of a surveillance state.

Each one of us spoke about our bit and George made notes – Kristabelle talked of rise in technology, Matthieu on data collection/ targeted adds and I on privacy policy agreements and their language. We also went through the marking criteria and noted that we needed to work on relating each of our individual scripts better and talking about our major disciplinary approach more explicitly. For this, we stayed behind after George left and worked on integrating our research and finding links. For eg-

  • How privacy policy agreements relate to erosion in human agency/ how they represents a facade of it

We discussed how we plan to look at conflict in out presentation- is it the lack of conflict we are focussing on? Lastly, we were reminded to think of a way to present our research in a concise way since all the material we had was going well over 20 minutes.

Week 5 Meeting Summary

Before Reading week we sat down with George to discuss the themes of privacy in the technological age and the impact of technologies shaping our collective behaviours. We focussed on the possible ways of structuring our presentation- would we focus of the evolution of digitisation or this moment in history in 2019. We settled on reflecting on the developments of the last 2 years, of the significant policy changes and the increasingly explicit use of targeted advertising and data analysis. From fixed disciplinary institutions to fluid, over-arching technologies that we are now surrounded by.

We also considered presenting our findings either under the broad headings of pleasure/freedom, privacy and safety or looking at specific technologies and apps and weighing them under the criteria of how these make our lives easier vs. how these impinge on and/or change the meaning of privacy and safety.

We also filled out the consent form for ethical approval, and decided on a survey/focus group for our methodology. If we decide to do any of the surveys online, we could acknowledge that the themes we are engaging in are being performed as we collect data for research via the internet.

Reading Week Task: George asked us to start building a bibliography so we can go into interviews with theoretical underpinnings and specific examples to further discussion to our advantage.

Titles that might be helpful:

  • Radical Technologies – Adam Greenfield
  • Attention Merchants – Tim Wu
  • Extrastatecraft – Keller Easterling
  • Gramophone, Film, Typewriter – Friedrich Kittler

Abstract and Reflection

Essay Abstract:

In this essay, I traced the trajectory of the shift from Victorian literature to the beginning of modern literary forms. Through Virginia Woolf’s essays ‘Modern Fiction’ and ‘Mr Bennett and Mrs Brown’, I highlighted the implicit conflict coming through in the two contrasting modes of representing identity. I talked about the emergence of a ‘Georgian literature’, which Woolf defended and the Edwardians whom Mr Bennett represents. The radical changes in society reflected the conception of their characters and their writings in a way that was lulling. Woolf termed this Edwardian void between these representations of the self and the modern self itself as ‘materialism’. The purgatory that marked this shift also allowed to me to argue that the ‘self’ is essentially¬† a contested concept across and within disciplines.

Reflection on the First Session:

In the first session we got to know each other, talked about our major disciplines and discussed out semester one essay summaries. Coming from the departments of Classics, Geography, Politics and Literature we all had extremely different essay questions. We pointed out that discrimination was a common topic amidst all our writings and that we were interested in exploring something contemporary and relevant in our project this term. George gave an outline of how this module would function on a weekly basis asked us to come up with ideas for the next session so we could narrow down on our final topic.