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Paper Workshop Announcement: STS and Democracy

Politics has been conceptualized in incredibly broad terms in STS (Brown 2015). At the same time, the more specific question of democratic politics has often been left under-explored, allowing notions such as public participation to be imported as “off the shelf” ideals in STS (Marres 2012:ix). In this workshop, we ask what it would mean to work with democracy not as an implicit repository of ideals, but as an explicit object of study in STS. We ask how democratic politics can be understood and studied based on the practice-oriented empirical commitments and conceptual repertoires of STS. Such an effort might require a redescription of democratic political institutions and concepts, paying close attention to the situated practices and entanglements that their operations require. Despite a number of notable contributions in recent years, we believe that the vast majority of the work on what STS has to offer democracy is yet to be done.
Format  The purpose of the workshop is to invite 1…
Recent posts

Introducing: The Twitter-thing!

Context: The Twitter-thing is the (awkward?) translation into English of 'Twittertinget' - a project I worked on last year with two Danish colleagues, Irina Papazu (CBS) and Tobias Bornakke (Uni. of Copenhagen) in collaboration with the Danish newspaper Politiken. The Twitter-thing is a tool that draws on TCAT in order to build a network visualisation of how Danish MPs use hashtags on Twitter. Here follows my abstract for the upcoming Data Publics conference in Lancaster, where I'll be exhibiting the Twitter-thing.


Parliaments could seem to be highly issue-agnostic places. All sorts of problems move in and out of these large and expensive devices (Dányi 2015), while the membership stays more or less the same in-between elections. But as issues are taken up and left behind by parliaments, they also make cuts in the parliament in the sense that specific sets of parliamentarians become attached to specific issues. The aim of the Twitter-thing tool is to trace these cuts and v…

PhD defended and now available online

I haven't posted here for a year, but there is a reason for that: I have been finishing my PhD thesis! Now it is all over and done - I defended the thesis publicly (in the Danish tradition) on 25th May 2016, and have received my diploma. So I thought it was high time to post an update here.

First, let me point to the Danish Association for Science and Technology Studies website, where the PDF version of the thesis can be downloaded: http://www.dasts.dk/?page_id=29 (direct link to PDF).

Second, here is a short blurb about the thesis content that I wrote for the announcement of the defense. There is a longer abstract in the PDF.
Caring for publics - how media contribute to issue politicsThe thesis investigates how media become part of processes of formulating issues and organizing publics in practice. It draws on the pragmatist approach to publics developed by Dewey, Lippmann and recent literature in Science and Technology Studies (STS) in order to get out of an idealized notion of p…

London update

(This is an expanded version of a post I wrote for the new TANTlab website)

It has been very quiet here on my blog, as it often happens with blogs in these days of social media. But here is a nice occasion to write an update: I've spent the last couple of months in London. This is my second stay abroad as part of my PhD. For the first half of 2014, I worked in Paris. Now it's London, where, more specifically, I am spending the summer term at Goldsmiths. Even more specifically, I am a visiting fellow at the Centre for the Study of Invention and Social Process (CSISP), Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London. Lots of fancy names, but what goes on here? Here are some brief examples. Back in May, I was at an all-day workshop on ’doing screen work ethnographies’ together with a group of highly interesting researchers, including Lucy SuchmanAdrian MackenzieAnne BeaulieuDaniel Neyland and Christine Hine. The reason why these people (and more) came together at Go…

Mapping Controversies and/as research?

Several ’Mapping Controversies’ courses have been taught in Copenhagen for some time now, at various places and with various titles. Earlier this week some of the people involved in these efforts sat down for a one-day seminar to discuss whether there is something under the umbrella of ’Mapping Controversies’ that can be taken from an existence as pedagogical tools towards research contributions (at this point I am using ’Mapping Controversies’ as a placeholder for multiple activities instead of offering an authoritative definition).
The seminar was funded by the Digital Humanities Lab Denmark (DigHumLab) and hosted by the Techno-Anthropology Research Group (TANT) at Aalborg University Copenhagen. For a ’Mapping Controversies’ teacher and practitioner such as myself, the seminar came across as a rare chance to discuss among peers where our work might be heading. Here follows an account of the discussions.
The day started with Anders Kristian Munk’s keynote, which played with the idea o…

Two (used) comments on Gillespie's new chapter "The Relevance of Algorithms"

I'm in Paris this semester, as a visiting doctoral student at the Center for the Sociology of Innovation (CSI) at Ecole des Mines and at the médialab at Sciences Po. 
Apart from finding myself in the middle of two very lively research communities, I've also been so lucky that a series of cross-institutional seminars on Digital Methods are taking place in Paris this spring.
The last seminar was on "Transformative interaction: web effects on social dynamics", for which I volunteered to prepare a brief comment on one of the selected readings, namely Tarleton Gillespie's chapter "The Relevance of Algorithms", forthcoming in an edited volume on "Media Technologies" to be published by MIT Press. (The full chapter has been uploaded by Gillespie here).
Since I prepared the comments in writing, and since they did in fact spark some discussion, I've decided that it might be appropriate to recycle them as a blog post. Here goes:

New short piece in themed issue of XRDS on privacy

When giving a presentation at a conference, it is often very hard to determine whether anyone is really listening. Lots of tired faces in the room, not least when it's Saturday afternoon and the city of Paris is waiting outside the conference center, as was the case when I presented my paper at the Web Science 2013 conference earlier this year.

Sometimes, however, it turns out afterwards that in fact some people had been listening. One person who was still awake at that last session in Paris in May was my fellow PhD student Richard Gomer, who later reached out to me about publishing a short and more popular version of my argument in XRDS - Crossroads. For the uninitiated (as I was), this is the official ACM Magazine for students.

The Fall 2013 issue has the theme "The Complexities of Privacy and Anonymity". Richard, who was one of the editors of this issue, thought it would be fun to have a less technical, more social theory-oriented take on the theme, and I liked the ch…