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Michael Castelle (Assistant Professor)

Michael Castelle (Assistant Professor)

My research is at the intersection of the economic sociology of markets and platforms, the history of late 20th-century computing, and science and technology studies. I am interested in the use of sociological, anthropological, historical, and semiotic perspectives in recontextualizing and understanding contemporary technological practices, from databases and distributed systems to machine learning and artificial intelligence. My dissertation project, “Transaction and Message: From Database to Marketplace, 1970-2000” examines the intertwined historical and sociotechnical development of database systems, on-line transaction processing, and asynchronous messaging middleware, which together compose the primary software infrastructure of today’s marketplace platforms.

Academic Profile

I have an multidisciplinary academic background in sociology, computer science, and computational neuroscience/neurology. My graduate work was in the Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago, where I taught a course entitled “Computing and Society”, as well as an introductory programming course for graduate students (using Python and R). I was also a teaching assistant for courses on science and society, content analysis, globalization, and consumption. I received a Bachelor’s of Science in Computer Science from Brown University, where I served as head teaching assistant in courses in operating systems and algorithmic animation. I have also worked as a software developer and consultant in various industries, including open-source civic technology, e-commerce for music, visualization of neurological data, 3D animation software, and massively-multiplayer role-playing games.

Selected Publications

  • "Transaction and Message: From Database to Marketplace, 1970-2000", 2017. Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Sociology, University of Chicago.
  • "Marketplace platforms or exchanges? Financial metaphors for regulating the collaborative economy", 2016. Economic Sociology: The European Electronic Newsletter, vol. 17, no.3.
  • "Where do Electronic Markets Come From? Regulation and the Transformation of Financial Exchanges", 2016. (with Yuval Millo, Daniel Beunza, and David Lubin), Economy and Society, vol. 45, no. 2.
  • "Relational and Non-Relational Models in the Entextualization of Bureaucracy". Computational Culture: a Journal of Software Studies No. 3, November 2013.



Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies
University of Warwick

Email: M.Castelle.1 at
Tel: +44 (0)24 761 72519

Office Hours: Wednesdays 2pm-4pm
(except Week of 22/10/17-28/10/17: Friday 1pm-3pm)