Upcoming Talks – Fall 2014

23 Oct 14 – CSTMS Colloquium – “On the Importance of Price Information to Fishers and to Economists

November 4 – Center for Work, Technology & Organization, Stanford University

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Upcoming Talks – Spring 2014

April 9th – Santa Clara University, Management Department Seminar Series.

April 28th & 29th – “The Materiality of Rumors,” University of Toronto, Culture and Technology Lecture Series.

May 22nd – UCLA, Information Studies Colloquium Series.

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Revisiting the Fishers of Kerala, India at ICTD 2013 in Cape Town

A paper titled ‘Revisiting the Fishers of Kerala, India’ co-authored by Janaki Srinivasan and myself was accepted at the upcoming ICTD 2013 conference in Cape Town, South Africa.  This paper reported on our ethnographic case study of mobile phone use in the Keralan fishing industry. Interviews and observations were carried out by Janaki in beach landing sites and markets in both north and south Kerala.

The paper is intentionally written to be in dialogue with Economist Robert Jensen’s canonical paper which is widely known in the ICTD field titled “The Digital Provide: Information (Technology), Market Performance, and Welfare in the South Indian Fisheries Sector.” In particular we explored the political economic context of the fishing industry, credit and investment practices in the industry, the possibilities of generalizing from Jensen’s study, and the broader range of mobile phone uses (beyond checking market prices) by those in the fish supply chain.

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Podcast from the SfAA

I’m participating in a book project lead by Roger Sanjek, a sequel to his original edited book, “Fieldnotes: The Making of Anthropology.” The forthcoming book on “eFieldnotes” will consider the alteration to fieldwork practices following from the use of various digital technologies by ethnographers.  A small number of contributors to the volume had the chance to meet and present papers at the Society for Applied Anthropology conference in Denver, CO on March 23rd.

Our panel was selected to be podcast.  The podcast audio is available here.

My contribution to the book will be titled, “Through a Screen, Darkly: On Remote, Collaborative Fieldwork in the Digital Age.”

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Coverage in the Guardian

My book was cited in this piece in the Guardian by John Naughton: Online, some are more equal than others: much is made of the Internet being a level playing field…tell that to the kids in Ghana.

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Upcoming Public Talks – Spring 2013

Boston University, Visible + Invisible Users: Internet, Social Media, and Youth in Global Perspective. Monday, February 11, 2013. Time: 2 – 5:30 PM, Location: College of Communication, 640 Commonwealth Ave, Room 209.

Harvard University, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Luncheon Series (RSVP required). February 12th. 12:30pm. 23 Everett St, 2nd Floor – this talk was recorded, view it here or read Ethan Zuckerman’s recap.

Stanford University, Africa Table. February 20. 12:00pm. Encina Hall West, Room 202.

Pitzer College, Munroe Center for Social Inquiry. Series on Examining THE CITY: Issues of Sustainability, Social Stratification, Democratic Public Spheres, Privatization, Cosmopolitanism and the Arts. February 26th. 4:15 pm, George C.S. Benson Auditorium

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Revisiting the Fishers of Kerala, India

I co-presented some new work with Janaki Srinivasan this week at the IMTFI annual conference for funded researchers. Our talk, “revisiting the fishers of Kerala, India” looks at all important issues of generalizability in ICTD research and practice. Our presentation is summarized in this blog post by Liz Losh.

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Two New Book Reviews

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Book Review for ‘Invisible Users’ at LA Review of Books

The first review of my new book, by Kevin Donovan who says several very insightful things that I’m pleased to think my book in some way inspired, such as:

“This dominant reductionist approach defines certain values, practices and technologies as “the Internet”, and ignores many others, especially the concrete ways in which it is experienced everyday, such as by the youth in Ghana’s internet cafes. Of course, shorthand is useful, and endless precision is both tedious and implausible. But perhaps to really understand “the Internet” we need to forget it as a unified “it” altogether, something that exists within a context and can be used for good or bad. This instrumentalist conception too often prompts the wrong questions and obfuscates differences and changes. Indeed, the important and interesting questions related to “the Internet” are almost invariably the ones where it isn’t a unified whole, but rather messy and fractured, in ongoing relationship with people.”

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Column #1 for Global Policy

Is the Digital Divide a defunct framework? My first column for Global Policy, a web-based journal run from my alma mater, The London School of Economics.

One related item, on “exclusionary online subcultures” see this blog post where a Ugandan journalist who criticizes Google’s chrome browser and supports IE is ridiculed and dismissed by reddit commenters. An example of insularity and ethnocentrism in online communities.

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