James Maguire

Associate Professor

Research interests

Socio-Cultural Anthropology, Ethnography, Science and Technology Studies (STS), Politics, Energy and the Environment, Data and the Digital, Datacenters, Iceland, Denmark


  • PhD in Anthropology & STS from the IT University of Copenhagen
  • MSc in Social  Anthropology from the University of Copenhagen.
  • BA (Double Major) in Socio-Cultural Anthropology and Philosophy from the National University of Ireland, Maynooth.

PhD Research

Icelandic Geopower

My PhD work is an ethnography of renewable energy in Iceland. In broad terms, it analyses the processes through which this small nation's volcanic landscapes are being appropriated and transformed in the provision of electricity for aluminium multinationals. More specifically, it examines the geological, financial and political conditions through which the volcanic landscape is being accelerated, triggering what locals refer to as “man-made” earthquakes. The dissertation makes an intervention into the anthropology of energy and the anthropocene through an ethnographic analysis of the temporalities and politics of these 'man-made' earthquakes.

Postdoc Research

Locating the Dataverse My postdoc project interrogates the processes of locating and materialising data through the emergence of the data center industry in Denmark. With a focus on the relations between local government, state actors, and Big-Tech corporations, the project analyses transformations in cultural imaginaries of the future in and beyond the sites where data centers are being located. This includes an attentiveness to questions of energy and infrastructures, as well as the shifting political geographies of data as both stuff in the world and a way of thinking about the world; that is, as both material form and analytic.


  1. Watts, Laura; Winthereik, Brit Ross; Maguire, James (eds.) (in prep) Energy Worlds in Experiment, London: Mattering Press.
  2. Maguire, J. Ballestero, A. Knox, H. Danyi, E (in prep) “Propositional Politics,” in Energy Worlds in Experiment, editors Laura Watts, Brit Ross Winthereik & James Maguire, London: Mattering Press.
  3. Maguire, J (in press) “The Loopy Paradoxes of Electric-Alumina,” in Theorizing the Contemporary, Cultural Anthropology, special issue on The Life of Electric Things, editors Jamie Cross, Mike Anaus, Lea Shick, and Simone Abrams
  4. Winthereik, Brit Ross., Maguire, J. & Watts, L (in press). “The Energy Walk: Infrastructuring the Imagination” in The Handbook of Digital STS, editors David Ribes and Janet Versi, Princeton University Press 2017.
  5. Maguire, J (in press) Prototyping Worlds: Emergent Technologies in the Aerial Age. Accepted for Publication Encounters, the Danish Journal of Science and Technology.
  6. Maguire, J. & Winthereik, B.R (2017) Living with the Earth: More-than-human Arrangements in Seismic Landscapes, in Infrastructures and Social Complexity, editors Penny Harvey, Casper Bruun Jensen, Atsuro Morita, Routledge New York.
  7. Maguire, J (2016) Infrastructural Recursions: Volcanic Landscapes, Instability and Energy Production. Engagements: Anthropology and Environment Section of the American Anthropological Association.
  8. Maguire, J (2015) Virtual Fish Stink Too, in Gambling Debt: Iceland’s Rise and Fall in the Global Economy, editors Gisli Palsson and Paul Durrenberger, University Press of Colorado


  • Organizational and Process Theory. Global Business Informatics BA Program.
  • Green Society & Technology. Digital Design and Communications Elective.
  • IT, Globalization and Culture. Global Business Informatics BA Program.