In accordance with The New School’s COVID-19 response, we’ll be meeting online through the end of the semester. This week, rather than engaging with a new lesson, we’ll instead work to acclimate ourselves to the online environment. In order to help me plan, I ask you to please do the following:
- If you haven’t done so already, please read my update email.
- By Tuesday, 3/24, at 5pm, please complete this survey regarding your tech needs and wishes for the remainder of our class.
- We’ll have no “official” class meeting on Tuesday, 3/24, but I’ll be hanging out on Zoom from 6 to 8pm, just in case anyone wants to chat, ask questions, discuss your group presentations or individual final projects, talk about the methods resources (below) we had planned to address this week, etc.
- And for those of you who are concerned about digital privacy on Zoom, check out Laura Norén’s “Zoom Configurations — Five Minutes for Privacy and Security,” Medium (March 16, 2020).
One tap mobile
+16465588656,,971588561# US (New York)
+13126266799,,971588561# US (Chicago)
Dial by your location
+1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
+1 253 215 8782 US
+1 301 715 8592 US
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
Meeting ID: 971 588 561
Our original plan was to discuss various methods and formats for your final projects. These resources are now supplemental; you’re welcome to engage with them on your own time, if at all! I’m also happy to discuss this material during our optional Zoom meeting on 3/24 at 6pm:
A SAMPLER OF METHODS & FORMATS
Continuing our earlier discussion re: the visualization and sonification of logistics, we explore a variety of experimental methods for understanding expansive, multi-scalar, and often stubbornly obfuscatory systems — and the artifacts and agents that work within and around them.
- Consider what methods we’ve already observed in our readings and practiced in class. Now, let’s think about how we might investigate systems that are seemingly too expansive to lend themselves to empirical observation — or technologies that are too complex, or proprietary, to allow us to comprehend their operational logics. How might we approach such subjects obliquely? Please choose at least three of the following that pertain to your project:
- Ethnographies of Expansive Sociotechnical Systems / Multimodal Ethnography: Michael M. J. Fischer, Prologue in Anthropology in the Meantime: Experimental Ethnography, Theory, and Method for the Twenty-First Century (Duke University Press, 2018): focus on “Anthropology and Ethnography in the Meantime,” A Colloquy of Essays,” “Ethnography for Whom, With Whom?…” and “Future Sensing, Human Redesign, Ground-Truthing”: pp. 3-14, 28-30.
- Understanding Algorithms: choose one: Taina Bucher, “Neither Black Nor Box: (Un)knowing Algorithms,” in If… Then: Algorithmic Power and Politics (Oxford University Press, 2018): 41-65 or Nick Seaver, “Algorithms as Culture: Some Tactics for the Ethnography of Algorithmic Systems,” Big Data & Society (2017).
- Understanding Interfaces: choose one: Zoe Carey, “Interfacing Predictive Policing” [manuscript in progress; Zoe, an NSSR Sociology PhD candidate, began this project in our Spring 2019 “Thinking Through Interfaces” class – please do not circulate!] or Shannon Mattern, “Interfacing Urban Intelligence,” Places Journal (April 2014).
- Trade Fair Ethnography: Theodore Baird, “Knowledge of Practice: A Multi-Sited Event Ethnography of Border Security Fairs in Europe and North America,” Security Dialogue 48:3 (2017): 187-205.
- Making Guides: Shannon Mattern, “Cloud and Field,” Places Journal (August 2016).
- Please skim the additional resources in the “Methods Toolkit” I created for my old “Designing Methodologies” class. Some of these materials might be useful for future reference.
- Mike Ananny and Kate Crawford, “Seeing Without Knowing: Limitations of the Transparency Ideal and Its Applications to Algorithmic Accountability,” New Media & Society (2016).
- * Jenna Burell, “The Fieldsite as a Network: A Strategy for Locating Ethnographic Research,” in Larissa Hjorth, Heather Horst, Anne Galloway, and Genevieve Bell, eds., The Routledge Companion to Digital Ethnography (Routledge, 2016): 10 pp.
- Brenda Chalfin, “On-Shore, Off-Shore Takoradi: Terraqueous Urbanism, Logistics, and Oil Governance in Ghana,” Environment and Planning D 37:5 (2019): 814 – 832.
- Johanna Drucker, Graphesis: Visual Forms of Knowledge Production (metaLab / Harvard University Press, 2014).
- Paolo S. H. Favero and Eva Theunissen, “With the Smartphone as Field Assistant: Designing, Making, and Testing EthnoAlly, a Multimodal Tool for Conducting Serendipitous Ethnography in a Multisensory World,” American Anthropologist 120:1 (2018): 163-7.
- Jessica Faycurry, “Approaches to Sensory Landscape Archaeology,” Spectrum 2:1 (2012).
- R. Stuart Geiger and David Ribes, “Trace Ethnography: Following Coordination Through Documentary Practices,” HICSS ‘11 Proceedings, 44th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, January, 2011.
- Florian Hadler and Joachim Haupt, eds., Interface Critique (Kulturverlag Kadmos, 2016).
- Interface Critique Journal.
- Hannah Knox and Dawn Nafus, eds., Ethnography for a Data-Saturated World (Manchester University Press, 2018).
- Hege Høyer Leivestad and Anette Nyqvist, Ethnographies of Conferences and Trade Fairs (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017).
- Celia Lury, Rachel Fensham, Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, Sybille Lammes, Angela Last, Mike Michael, and Emma Uprichard, eds., Routledge Handbook of Interdisciplinary Research Methods (Routledge, 2018).
- Shannon Mattern, “Mission Control: A History of the Urban Dashboard,” Places Journal (March 2015).
- Dawn Nafus, “Exploration or Algorithm? The Undone Science Before the Algorithms,” Cultural Anthropology 33:3 (2018): 368 – 374.
- Lisa Poggilai, “Seeing (From) Digital Peripheries: Technology and Transparency in Kenya’s Silicon Savannah,” Cultural Anthropology 31:3 (2016): 387-411.
- William Rankin, After the Map: Cartography, Navigation, and the Transformation of Territory in the Twentieth Century (University of Chicago Press, 2016).
- Nick Seaver, “On Reverse Engineering,” Anthropology and Algorithms (January 27, 2014).
- James Merricks White, “Rethinking the Spaces of Standardization through the Concept of Site,” Technoscienza 8:2 (2017): 151-74.
- Shoshana Zuboff, “Rendition: From Experience to Data” and “Rendition From the Depths,” in The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power (Hachette, 2019): 139-171.