CIM Student Conference 2022: Digital in a Post-Pandemic World
The digital in a post-pandemic world conference is organised by the postgraduate students from the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies (CIM) of the University of Warwick. We aim to provide a space to explore how the digital is re-configured and reconfiguring our present world. Instead of normalising it, we propose to stay with the digital as a problem (Haraway, 2016).
30 June 2022, from 10 am | Oculus BuildingLink opens in a new window
This conference is open to PGT and PGR students from CIM as well as other departments. Lunch and refreshments will be provided during the day, followed by a post-conference social/BBQ.
(For any queries, please email email@example.com.)
We will have presentations from postgraduates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds, such as sociology, media studies, aesthetics, art, cultural studies, design, political science, computer science, machine learning, big data, business studies, or anthropology. We are especially interested in works that take an interdisciplinary approach. The presentations are not necessarily related to Covid, but we have invited people to include their experiences of how their recent work have been impacted by the pandemic.
We are also running an experimental workshop which will allow for researchers to share their work-in-progresss, be inspired by new ideas, test hypotheses, and get useful feedback which can help shape their final piece.
What do we mean by 'Digital in a Post-Pandemic World'?
The digital in a post-pandemic world is the general theme of the conference but we have invited contributions including the following topics, but not limited to:
- Digital mediation and dissemination in pandemic response
- Decolonising and understanding Data colonialism
- Digital inequalities and algorithmic oppression
- Environmental resistance in the digital sphere
- New ways of teaching and working are shaped by the digital
- Depatriarchalisation of digital infrastructures
- Artificial intelligence applications and integrations in the social
- The politics of participatory interventions with technologies
- Data and machine-learning epistemologies
- Struggles for algorithmic in/visibility in social media
- Computer vision or seeing like a Machine Learning model
- Apps, interface design and their discontents
- Spatial reconfigurations of smart cities or smart houses
- Visualisation techniques as methods and knowledge sources
What does the digital look like today? Rather than thinking of the digital as something static and immutable, it is clear how it has changed over the years with the mobility of smartphones, the enclosure of digital platforms and the increased extension of the Internet of Things and cryptocurrencies. Moreover, the digital has unfolded in diverse ways in critical events such as the pandemic crisis or the Russian invasion of Ukraine, significantly affecting the experiences, meanings and ways of relating to these dramatic processes.
In a post-pandemic world, in which contagions, tests and deaths by Covid do not cease but have become part of our daily lives, the digital has spread widely like a virus through all domains of our societies, often portrayed as the technological solution to our problems. The pandemic forced physical distancing to reduce contagion and transformed several activities into remote or - more recently - hybrid formats. Education institutions and the world of work have adopted hybrid or blended logic between the digital and the face-to-face that need to be examined if they will endure in this post-pandemic world. At the same time, our epistemic infrastructures for research are being platformed, generating a series of implications for what and how we know the world (Lury, 2020). While the digital became the infrastructure to bridge these new forms of distances, at the same time, there are growing calls for a distancing from the digital, in terms such as 'digital detox' or 'digital disconnection', to reconnect physically and return to a slower pace of life.
Going beyond the pandemic, the digital has opened new ways of making us sensitive to a world in crisis, increasing our means of recording and analysing the social life of multiple beings on the planet. At the same time, the digital has also contributed to more invasive forms of surveillance as well as to the ecological damage that has led to the climate crisis in which we find ourselves (Gabrys, 2016). While the digital has enabled citizen engagement, the digital has also intensified modes of exclusion and oppression of marginalised groups in increasingly opaque and invisible ways (Noble, 2018; D'ignazio & Klein, 2020). Of course, forms of digital pollution or algorithmic oppression were occurring long before the pandemic. With the naturalisation of the digital in a post-pandemic world, the question is how much digitally mediated forms of racism, colonialism or misogyny, and environmental harms are exacerbated and even taken for granted as we are obliged to adapt to the so-called hybrid reality.
Along with critiquing the digital, we need to creatively invent alternative ways of unfolding it (Marres, Guggenheim & Wilkie, 2018). How can we inventively intervene in society with digital devices purposefully oriented for more just and democratic ends? How can we decolonise and depatriarchalise sensors, algorithms, data or visualizations to mobilise tactics of resistance or appropriation of the digital? How can we reimagine the digital to make a difference and turn our post-pandemic world into a more habitable one? These are some of the pressing questions we invite you to reflect on at this conference.
D'ignazio, C., & Klein, L. F. (2020). Data feminism. MIT press.
Gabrys, J. (2016). Program earth: Environmental sensing technology and the making of a computational planet. University of Minnesota Press.
Haraway, D. J. (2016). Staying with the Trouble. Duke University Press.
Lury, C. (2020). Problem Spaces: How and Why Methodology Matters. John Wiley & Sons.
Marres, N., Guggenheim, M., & Wilkie, A. (2018). Inventing the social. Mattering Press.
Noble, S. U. (2018). Algorithms of oppression. New York University Press.