Tag Archives | technology

CASTAC Recruiting for Mentoring Program at 2014 AAAs

CASTAC, the Committee on the Anthropology of Science, Technology, and Computing, seeks to support the professional development of early career scholars in the anthropology of science and technology. Toward this end, they are launching a new Junior-Senior Mentor Program at the 2014 AAA Annual Meeting. Faculty and senior researchers who would be willing to meet with one or two junior scholars (graduate students and recent PhDs) are invited to participate in the mentor program at the Annual Meeting of the AAA in Washington, DC, this December.  CASTAC is also seeking junior scholars who would like to connect with senior scholars in their area of interest.

CASTAC will match mentors and mentees according to overlapping research interests and facilitate their initial contact. Participants will then arrange a time to meet during the conference.…

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Mundane Objects: Materiality and non-Verbal Communication by Pierre Lemonnier

Haidy Geismar, UCL

The latest issue of Hau has a symposium on Pierre Lemmonier’s latest book, Mundane Objects, with commentary by Bruno Latour, Chris Ballard, Tim Ingold, Paul Graves-Brown, Susanne Küchler and a response by Pierre Lemmonier. The series of comments essentially sum up a “state of the art” comment on material culture theory, which Tim Ingold pithily sums up to date:

Perhaps there is something to be said for going back to the anthropological debates of the 1960s and 1970s on such themes as symbolic condensation, the distinction (or lack of it) between ritual and practical-technical actions, and how to do things with and without words. Arguably, our understandings have not been much advanced by subsequent approaches to material culture, for example by treating it as a system of signs whose meanings could be read off from the objects themselves, by entering them as candidates for social life but only as tokens of exchange among human beings, or by focusing on their consumption at the expense of their production.Nor—and here I agree wholeheartedly with Lemonnier—is there anything to be gained from leaving the heavy lifting to such philosophical juggernauts as “agency” and “materiality.” Most agency-speak is as tautologous as the functionalism it replaced: where before, if the presence of a thing has effects (and it would not be present if it did not), these effects were attributed to its functioning, nowadays they are attributed to its agency.

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Rethinking the Technophobia of Old Believers

Kriistina Pilvet (EHI, Tallinn Univ.)

This posting deals with the Old Believer’s congregation of Piirissaare — a little island situated in lake Peipus which makes up part of the Russian-Estonian border. The main focus of this case study is the interaction of their identity and the modern technology they use in order to perform their culture in the peripheral region of one of Europe’s more avant-garde ICT countries.

Normative discourse on Old Believers, especially in Estonia, has often presumed some insularity, un-moderness and technophobic behaviour from the representatives of the given congregation. This narrative is so embedded in the representation of Old Believer’s that it has become a ‘norm’. Several different sources starting from academic publications in anthropology (Dolitsky & Kuzmina 1986; Vorontsova 2000; Filatova ; Ziolkowska 2011) and ending with different travel agency brochures and web sites (www.puhkaeestis.ee, www.estravel.ee) as well as ethnographic films (Brummend 2011) tend to associate Old Believers with traditionalism and a restrained way of life.…

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Unpacking the Cars and Sheds with Genevieve Bell

Unpacking Cars Intel Image

Intel’s resident cultural anthropologist, Dr. Genevieve Bell, was recently featured in an article, “Intel’s Sharp-Eyed Social Scientist” in the New York Times. The article traces some of the findings and insights from Bell’s 16 years at Intel, including a study of how people use technology in their car which will be of interest to material culture studies and STS scholars. Her video interview with Sydney Morning Herald, A Moment with Genevieve Bell, also features some of her recent work in Australia on people’s everyday relationships with sheds.…

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The Tool at Hand

The exhibition,  The Tool at Hand asked what would it be like to create a work of art using only one tool?

In the Spring of 2011 the Chipstone Foundation and the Milwaukee Art Museum invited sixteen established artists from Britain and America to participate in an unusual experiment. Each artist was asked to lay aside his or her standard tool kit and craft a work of art with one tool alone. The challenge presented to the artists sounds simple: create a work of art with one tool. The material and tool were left open-ended with the purpose of encouraging creativity within the one-tool constraint. The Tool at Hand brings together these artworks, the tools that crafted them and short, explanatory videos produced by each artist.…

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CFP: History of the Media in Transition Periods

Extended abstracts (500 words max.), for a 15 minute presentation, can be submitted by e-mail to: ecreacomhistory@gmail.com until 17th March 2013

4-6 September 2013 Lisbon, Catholic University of Portugal

Convergence and digitalization have become buzz-words employed to demonstrate how technological change has impacted on the media and is reconfiguring today’s media systems. Accordingly, media research in the last decade has centered itself on the contemporary changes operated on and by the new media, sometimes over-estimating the transitions that are taking place and not acknowledging common patterns that can be found between the emergence of new media and the appearance of other means of communication in previous decades. In fact, instead of being something new brought by digitalization, moments of technological transition can easily be found in many historical periods, namely throughout the 20th century.…

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Camp 2.0

Matt Voigts, Digital Anthropology, UCL

 The shores of Camp Grady Spruce

In 2012, an estimated 11 million American children attended summer camp for a day, week, month or more. Camp reads at times like a performance art parody of ethnography: a constructed community, in ‘nature’, often suffused with Native American-inspired tribal imagery. Indeed, both anthropology and camp began in the late 1800s, creations of a ‘civilized’ world exploring more ‘primitive’ lifestyles. In England, researchers like Frazer and Tylor synthesized cultural theory from the British Empire’s field reports. In New England, around the same time, outdoorsmen and churchmen began leading groups of children on camping trips, indulging an “Arcadian myth” (as described by Schmitt, 1969) of unspoiled wilderness as refuge from the unhealthy, congested modern city.…

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2013 Conference: Brave New Worlds – Transforming Museum Ethnography through Technolog

CALL FOR PAPERS: Deadline for Submissions: 7 December 2012

We invite papers from curators, conservators, artists, makers, anthropologists, art and design historians, digital media practitioners, researchers and others that explore the impact of technology upon the development and interpretation of museum ethnography, historically and today.

See further details at: www.museumethnographersgroup.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=29&Itemid=41

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Reading Artifacts Summer Institute 2012

Discover alternative historical perspectives and methods in the midst of Canada’s largest collection in science, medicine and technology. Our annual artifact sessions in the CSTM storage facility bring together Canadian and international scholars from across the disciplinary spectrum. Participants immerse themselves in our collections gaining renewed appreciation for artifacts and the multiple, unpredictable stories they tell.…

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