June 17, 2013, by ajzeg
Critical Theory Meets Science & Technology Studies
Last week I got invited to give a talk by the University of Nottingham Institute for Science and Society. As well as really enjoying it and meeting some great people, I got asked some interesting questions that made me think about different elements of my research: particularly issues surrounding potential incompatibilities between policy and activism. I might write a separate blog about research-related issues another time, but I’m mainly bringing it up because I wanted to promote the excellent seminar series that postgraduate students from ISS organise (updates are available on their website) and via their Twitter feed @nottmSTS
There are several people in the Centre for Critical Theory who are involved with projects exploring the politics of technology, or who use theories derived from STS, with Colin Wright’s work on the digital unconscious; Andy Goffey’s recently recent book Evil Media; Jen Birks’ forthcoming News & Civil Society, which touches on the relationship between activism & digital media; Tracey Potts’ critique of life-hacking in Geographies of Rhythm and my own interest in posthumanism and biocapitalism. Collectively, this work feeds into two research strands of the Centre: the aforementioned digital unconscious and the theme of technology & resistance.I’m looking forward to doing more work on the latter, both with colleagues in the Centre and with people with a shared interest in the field that we’ve met in other departments, over the course of the next academic year.
I’ve also really been enjoying co-facilitating the philosophies of technology reading group with Andy, at Nottingham Contemporary. Again, we’ve met some great people, engaged in some interesting debates, and read some stimulating (if sometimes devisive) theory. We’re currently putting together a reading list – based on participants’ suggestions, as well as our own – which we can put on here once the group has ended its run. The session on object oriented ontology was particularly contentious (and entertaining), so I’m looking forward to the Contemporary’s OOO session tomorrow: which includes a screening of Elizabeth Price’s User Group Disco, followed by a discussion with thinkers & curators interested in the agency of objects.
I’ll be a bit sad when the reading group’s over, but am looking forward to doing more work in this area over the forthcoming year.