In University Restructures, is Trauma too Strong a Word?

I would argue that the unhappy academics were creating and adding to what I described in my thesis as affective swirls of discontent, and that they were doing this as a means of bonding, or collective self-comforting. Anthropologist Nigel Thrift (2004), in discussing spatial affect, might argue that these swirls gather momentum, affecting the moods and feelings of others as they circulate. As they get translated into different, perhaps more durable contexts — such as via technologies like online chat and email — the affect begins to bed down into the objects (such as emails, or policies), as well as into the humans, strengthening the network and the feelings of discontent further. This is where collective trauma may become an apt description.

Ep. #44: Digitising Migrants: Annalisa Pelizza on the European immigration crisis in an age of Big Data

“Migration issues in Europe are a hot topic right now - it's not news that they have been used in the last 50 years as a way to steer public opinion into right wing positions...they are mobilised as elements in a narration of invasion, losing cultural specificities - not only individuals are mobilised in discursive terms, but there are also infrastructures that create people as migrants - not having access to proper work, or being put into certain infrastructures from which it’s virtually impossible to get out, creates people as migrants, as outsiders to society.” In Episode 7 of our STS Interview Series, Jodie is interviewing Annalisa Pelizza, Professor in Technology Studies of Communication at the University of Bologna in Italy about how migrants shape Europe and are shaped by European infrastructures.

Ep. #40 Robot Reflections: Inger Mewburn on researching researchers & welcoming our robot overlords

“Machine learning is a broad area of study, and that’s one thing you don’t see from a distance, is how broad it is. We like to do what we call human-in-the-loop type of machine learning, which is a co-creation of something. So, what we’re using is the machine to, sort of, both capture our knowledge … Continue reading Ep. #40 Robot Reflections: Inger Mewburn on researching researchers & welcoming our robot overlords

Ep. #36 If machines talked: Lucy Suchman on drone warfare, stubborn photocopiers & human-robot relations

“The claim was 'isn’t this wonderful that remote controls keep humans safe'. Now, all you have to do is recognise that this is referring only to certain humans. The assumption is the humans that matter are those who are involved in US military operations. And it completely  dehumanises the humans who are of course the … Continue reading Ep. #36 If machines talked: Lucy Suchman on drone warfare, stubborn photocopiers & human-robot relations