Inaugural Professorial Lecture by Brit Ross Winthereik

Brit Ross Winthereik jpgBy January 1st 2018, Head of TiP, Brit Ross Winthereik, started a new position as full professor at ITU, where she will continue her research, teaching and public engagement on digital transformations in society.

Brit will give her inaugural professorial lecture ‘Seeing through infrastructure: Ethnographies of health IT, development aid, energy, and data’.

The lecture takes place on Friday, March 23, 2018 from 2-3 pm in Aud. 1 at the ITU.

Abstract for the inaugural professorial lecture

In this lecture, Brit Ross Winthereik places her research on IT infrastructures in the context of Science and Technology Studies, arguing for the value of using ethnographic methods and situated analytics.

Drawing on her own research conducted in different empirical domains, she will begin with some ethnographic stories. Juxtaposing IT infrastructures in different field-sites brings IT as an actor into view. As an actor in society, IT has transformed and continues to transform social practices and societal institutions, and through such transformations, it is generative too of shifts in data practices and in data as such.

So how to study of something as dynamic, elusive and transformative as IT? How can we see through IT infrastructures so as to ask about the sorts of data they predispose us towards, and ask too about the worlds such data brings with it?

The lecture will suggest that not only do we need to value the work and creativity of those who make or use the infrastructures, but we also need to see through some of the claims that are made about what IT infrastructures can do to help society, or indeed to harm us.

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