Stefania Milan on Wed, 28 Nov 2018 08:13:49 +0100 (CET)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

[Nettime-nl] Big data from the South: two public events with Nick Couldry et al. (4 Dec)

I am happy to invite you to two public events associated with the research workshop ‘Big Data from the South: Towards a Research Agenda’. For the full schedule see
Please share the invitation with any interested parties. 

The event is made possible by the generous funding of the Amsterdam Center for Globalization Studies, the Amsterdam Center for European Studies, the Amsterdam School of Cultural Analysis, and the European Research Council. 

Best, Stefania


"Can Data be Decolonized? Data Relations and the Emerging Social Order of Capitalism”, book discussion with Nick Couldry (London School of Economics and Political Science) & Ulises A. Mejias (State University of New York at Oswego),  December 4, 2018, 15.00-16.30 @UvA library, Singel 425, room ‘Belle van Zuylen’.

This talk (which draws on the author’s forthcoming book from Stanford University Press, The Costs of Connection: How Data is Colonizing Human Life and Appropriating it for Capitalism) examines how contemporary practices of data extraction and processing replicate colonial modes of exploitation. Couldry and Mejias present the concept of “data colonialism” as a tool to analyze emerging forms of political control and economic dispossession. To that effect, their analysis engages the disciplines of critical political economy, sociology of media, and postcolonial science and technology studies to trace continuities from colonialism’s historic appropriation of territories and material resources to the datafication of everyday life today. While the modes, intensities, scales and contexts of dispossession have changed, the underlying function remains the same: to acquire resources from which economic value can be extracted. Just as historic colonialism paved the way for industrial capitalism, this phase of colonialism prepares the way for a new economic order. In this context, the authors analyze the ideologies and rationalities through which “data relations” (social relations conducted and organized via data processes) contribute to the capitalization of human life. Their findings hold important implications for how we study the internet, and how we may advocate for the decolonization of data in the future. Chair: Stefania Milan (DATACTIVE, University of Amsterdam)


Roundable "Big Data from the South: Decolonization, Resistance and Creativity", with Payal Arora (Erasmus University Rotterdam), Nick Couldry (London School of Economics), Merlyna Lim (Carleton University) and Ulises A. Mejias (State University of New York, College at Oswego), December 4, 2018, 20-21.30 @SPUI25, Spui 25 (drinks to follow!)

Datafication has dramatically altered the way we understand the world around us. Understanding the so-called ‘big data’ means to explore the profound consequences of the computational turn, as well as the limitations, errors and biases that affect the gathering, interpretation and access to information on such a large scale. However, much of this critical scholarship has emerged along a Western axis ideally connecting Silicon Valley, Cambridge, MA and Northern Europe. What does it mean to think datafication from a Southern perspective? This roundtables interrogates the mythology and universalism of datafication and big data, moving beyond the Western centrism and ‘digital universalism’ (Say Chan, 2013) of the critical scholarship on datafication and digitalization. It asks how would datafication look like seen… ‘upside down’? What problems should we address? What questions would we ask? We will explore these questions in conversation with four engaged academics: Payal Arora (Erasmus University Rotterdam), Nick Couldry (London School of Economics), Merlyna Lim (Carleton University), and Ulises A. Mejias (State University of New York, Oswego). Chair Stefania Milan (DATACTIVE, University of Amsterdam), moderator Emiliano Treré (Data Justice Lab, Cardiff University). 


Payal Arora is an Associate Professor at Erasmus University Rotterdam and Founder of Catalyst Lab, a digital activism organization. Her research focuses on digital cultures in the Global South. She is the author of several books including the upcoming, “The Next Billion Users: Digital Life beyond the West” with Harvard University Press.  She sits on multiple boards including the Facebook Advisory Committee, Columbia University’s Earth Institute Connect to Learn, and The World Women Global Council in New York. She has held Fellow positions at NYU, GE, ITSRio and ZeMKI and is the Section Editor for the University of California Press journal - Global Perspectives.

Nick Couldry is Professor of Media, Communications and Social Theory at the Department of Media and Communications, London School of Economics. His work is on media power, voice and increasing questions of data power and data justice. He co-led the chapter on Media and Communications in the International Panel on Social Progress whose report is published this year.

Merlyna Lim is a Canada Research Chair in Digital Media and Global Network Society and Associate Professor in the School of Journalism and Communication at Carleton University. Lim’s research and publications revolve around the mutual shaping of technology and society, and political culture of technology, especially digital media and information technology, in relation to issues of power, justice/equality, democracy and citizen engagement. 

Ulises A. Mejias is associate professor of Communication Studies and director of the Institute for Global Engagement at the State University of New York, College at Oswego. He is a media scholar whose work encompasses critical internet studies, network theory and science, philosophy and sociology of technology, and political economy of digital media. Ulises is the author of Off the Network: Disrupting the Digital World (University of Minnesota Press, 2013), and with Nick Couldry, of The Costs of Connection: How Data is Colonizing Human Life and Appropriating it for Capitalism (forthcoming in 2019 from Stanford University Press).

* Verspreid via nettime-nl. Commercieel gebruik niet
* toegestaan zonder toestemming. <nettime-nl> is een
* open en ongemodereerde mailinglist over net-kritiek.
* Meer info, archief & anderstalige edities:
* Contact: Menno Grootveld (