This article discusses methodological approaches to app studies, focusing on their embeddedness and situatedness within multiple infrastructural settings. Our approach involves close attention to the multivalent affordances of apps as software packages, particularly their capacity to enter into diverse groupings and relations depending on different infrastructural situations. The changing situations they evoke and participate in, accordingly, make apps visible and accountable in a variety of unique ways. Therefore, engaging with and even staging these situations allows for political-economic, social, and cultural dynamics associated with apps and their infrastructures to be investigated through a style of research we describe as multi-situated app studies. This article offers an overview of four different entry points of enquiry that are exemplary of this multi-situated approach, focusing on app stores, app interfaces, app packages, and app connections. We conclude with nine propositions that develop out of these studies as prompts for further research.
CIM researchers Michael Dieter and Nathaniel Tkacz are pleased to join the Apps Studies Initiative (ASI). ASI is an international network of academic experts in app-related media research. Comprised of researchers and PhD candidates in the fields of media and communication studies, the ASI engages with the theoretical, methodological, and empirical challenges of studying different kinds of apps and their environments. To this end, the ASI also designs methods and software tools: http://appstudies.org/
Date and location: Monday 3rd June, 12 to 3pm, IAS Seminar Room
This salon will explore the intersections between performance and the medical humanities. Dr Alex Mermikides, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and editor of Performance and the Medical Body, will deliver a presentation, followed by a conversation with Dr Jonathan Heron (IATL Warwick).
Dr Mermikides’ edited books include Devising in Practice (Palgrave 2010) and Performance and the Medical Body (Methuen Bloomsbury 2016), and she is currently working on a monograph on theatre, medicine, and concepts of the human. Through the arts /research network Chimera, she creates performances on medical themes, often working in collaboration with medical specialists and patients. Recent projects include Bloodlines, about patient experience of stem cell transplant, and Careful, which explores themes of compassion, care and empathy through the perspective of nurses.
An informal networking lunch will be available at 12.00. Dr Mermikides’ presentation and conversation with Dr Heron will start at 12.30 and finish no later than 2pm; there will be further informal networking opportunities from 2-3pm. (It is not compulsory to attend all parts of the event.)
This salon offers the opportunity for medical humanities scholars across all disciplines at Warwick to connect with each other, with the hope of generating new interdisciplinary research collaborations.
A copy of the introduction to Performance and the Medical Body will be made available before the event. If you would like a copy of this text, please email email@example.com
Richard Terry investigates in this online article in Discovering Society.
Richard Terry discusses the sociotechnical discourse that prefigured the development of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) as online learning platforms. The article is based on a paper Richard delivered at the conference on Capitalism, Social Science and the Platform University, organised by the Culture, Politics and Global Justice research cluster at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge in December 2018.
The article can be accessed here: https://discoversociety.org/2019/05/01/how-moocs-became-platforms/
A Lunchtime Lecture by Dr Karol Kurnicki at Connected Places Catapult
12.06.2019. 1:00pm - 2:00pm; Connected Places Catapult, One Sekforde Street London EC1R 0BE
Cars provide us with flexible mobility, freedom, comfort and experience of progress. But these aspects of automobility are based on cars in movement – a partial picture which misses the fact that usually they remain stationary. As such, they are problematic for drivers, create obstacles for people in public places and have to be managed, often at a great cost, as they take up large portion of urban space.
Looking at parking as a social practice helps to understand it in the context of everyday mobility and production of infrastructure in cities. I want to distinguish parking from driving and see it immobility as it is achieved by people and that requires special set of skills, knowledge and rules. Although rarely seen in this context, parking also relates to a special kind of infrastructure composed not only from car parks and lots, but also temporary or self-made places occupied by vehicles.
The talk will draw on this twofold understanding of parking to show its relevance for everyday experiences of people as well as planning and control of urban spaces. It will discuss its problematic nature and argue that changes in how people practice immobility in cities and create infrastructure are necessary for achieving better urban futures.
Naomi Waltham-Smith discusses her field-recording praxis examining the opposition to the resurgence of the far right and, via the thought of Jacques Derrida, analyses the intimate yet transforming relationship between listening and democracy.
Scott Wark provided commentary on the longevity of the MK Ultra conspiracy in the United States for an article in Wired. Whilst this article focuses on MK Ultra, it also examines what the continued proliferation of conspiracy stories means for online culture and for contemporary politics. The article can be accessed here: https://www.wired.co.uk/article/mkultra-conspiracy-theory-meme
Naomi Waltham-Smith is currently a fellow at the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart. She was chosen by juror Ackbar Abbas (Comparative Literature, UC Irvine) for the art, business & science programme in the economy/economics category for a multimedia project entitled “Cart-otographies of Urban Political Economies” which combines field recording with political-philosophical speculation. During her fellowship she will also be visiting the Derrida archive at IMEC to study unedited writings and correspondence that address sound and listening, as well as making a trip to the Cixous archive in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris to study traces of the sonorous in her dream notebooks. She will also be presenting an antifacist silent disco of her field recordings for the Akademie’s annual Sommerfest in June.
The difference a method makes: methods as epistemic objects in computational science
Computational science is intrinsically interdisciplinary; the methods of one scientist may be the objects of study for another. This essay is an attempt to develop an interdisciplinary framework that can analyse research into methods as a distinctive kind of epistemic orientation in science, drawing on two examples from fieldwork with a group of specialists in computer modelling. Where methods for simulation are objects of research in their own right, they are distinct in kind to the objects of simulation, and raise a different set of sociological and philosophical questions. Drawing on the historian Hans-Jorg Rheinberger’s theory of epistemic objects, I ask: what kind of epistemic object does a method make, and how is research organized around it? I argue that methods become objects of research as purposeful things, in terms of their enrolment in the intentional structure of the experimental system. And, as methods research tends to be interventionary, in the sense that its mode of study creates and modifies its objects, we therefore observe a practical recursion, a dynamic of scientific reinvention, a ‘tuning’ of experimental systems that sheds light on the form of these systems’ historicity, their differential self-reproduction.
Craig Gent joined James Butler on a recent edition of the NovaraFM radio show to discuss his research on algorithmic management in the workplace. Craig recently passed his PhD viva in CIM and is a senior editor at Novara Media. His thesis, titled 'The Politics of Algorithmic Management: Class Composition and Everyday Struggle in Distribution Work', revisted the frameworks and methodologies of early autonomist Marxism to explore contemporary developments in computationally-dependent workplaces.
In this one-hour conversation, Craig and James discuss the difference between algorithmic management and automation, prospects for digital resistance, the theology of algorithms, Frederick Winslow Taylor's enthusiasm for swearing, and much more.
Listen on SoundCloud on the link below or find the podcast on your preferred podcast app by searching 'Novara Media'.