Past Presentations
DARK MATTERS: On the Surveillance of Blackness
Simone Browne
Thu, 11/19/2015 - 3:00pm

Abstract: Situating blackness as an absented presence in the field of surveillance studies, this talk questions how a realization of the conditions of blackness—the historical, the present, and the historical present— can help social theorists understand our contemporary conditions of surveillance.

Multi-level governance in humanitarian organizations: Implications for information flows
Carleen Maitland
Wed, 10/14/2015 - 12:00pm

Abstract: International multi-level governance, meaning the organizational policies and practices of international organizations, shapes humanitarian organizations’ adoption and use of information and communications technologies (ICTs), with implications for information flows. In this talk, I present a multi-level governance model derived from institutional theories from economics, organization science, and public administration.

CITS Fall Welcome Gathering
Wed, 10/14/2015 - 11:00am

Please join us for light snacks and beverages as we recognize Lisa Parks for her outstanding service as the Center's Director over the past three years, get to know our newest affiliates, meet our grad students, and talk about new trends and initiatives relevant to CITS.  Many exciting things have happened over the summer and I am hopeful you will join us as we go forward.

Mapping Commercial Nationalisms on Reality TV
Zala Volcic
Thu, 05/14/2015 - 2:00pm

This presentation will consider the themes and reception of different reality shows in the Balkans (such as To Sam Ja (That’s Me, 2005)) that attempt to re-connect and integrate the former Yugoslav republics after the wars. Drawing on examples taken from the production and reception of the shows, I explore the ways in which these TV programs manage social, political and economic conflicts by transposing them into the realm of the personal.

Science, Secrecy, and the Soviet State
Asif Siddiqi
Wed, 05/13/2015 - 4:00pm

Secrecy was endemic in Soviet society and culture. Information that we might consider benign in the Western context was off-limits to most of the general populace throughout the existence of the Soviet Union. Controls over the circulation of information were particularly strict relating to matters of national security, which usually subsumed most scientific and engineering activity. Yet, the state also had an imperative to publicize Soviet achievements in science and technology even as it kept most of this activity secret.

Key Research Trends in the Digital Humanities: How the Digital Humanities Challenge the Idea of the Humanities
Alan Liu
Thu, 04/30/2015 - 4:00pm

How do such key methods in the digital humanities as data mining, mapping, visualization, social network analysis, and topic modeling make an essential difference in the idea of the humanities, and vice versa? Using examples of digital humanities research, Alan Liu speculates on the large questions that confront the humanities in the face of computational media–most importantly, questions about the nature and function of interpretive “meaning.”

Crowdsourcing and Online Services: the Good, the Bad, and the Lucrative
Ben Zhao
Tue, 04/07/2015 - 3:00pm

Crowdsourcing provides a fast and easy way for those with challenging problems to get help from real human "workers" across the Internet.  The growing popularity of crowdsourced systems has a number of implications on the security and viability of today's online systems.  In this talk, I'll present some of our recent results across multiple projects that study the various benefits and downsides of crowdsourced systems.  First, I'll briefly describe some of our earlier work on using crowdsourced workers to detect fake user profiles in online social networks.

Climate Data Detectives: On the History and Politics of Knowledge about Global Climate Change
Paul Edwards
Thu, 02/19/2015 - 4:00pm

Edwards teaches in in the School of Information (SI) and the Dept. of History at the University of Michigan, an interdisciplinary professional school focused on bringing people, information, and technology together in more valuable ways. His research explores the history, politics, and cultural aspects of computers, information infrastructures, and global climate science. He sometimes direct the University of Michigan Science, Technology & Society Program which sponsors a distinguished speaker series, a biweekly faculty colloquium, a graduate certificate, and an undergraduate minor.

Drone Logic: Distributed, Ubiquitous Monitoring and the “Big Data” Deluge
Mark Andrejevic
Fri, 02/06/2015 - 2:00pm

The presentation is not about drones, per se (that is, the armed surveillance devices used in contemporary forms of asymmetrical warfare), but about what might be described as drone logic: the deployment of ubiquitous, always-on networked sensors for the purposes of automated data collection, processing, and response. It treats the drone as an avatar of the emerging logic of increasingly passive interactivity.

Networked Protests in the 21st Century: Strengths, Weaknesses and Protester Desires
Zeynep Tufekci
Fri, 02/06/2015 - 12:00pm

Early predictions about Internet's impact on social movements was that lower coordination costs afforded by internet technologies would help help fuel movements, but that online symbolic acts, derided as slacktivism, would turn out to be of little to no influence. Based on field research and study of in multiple large movements, including those of the so-called Arab Spring, Gezi protests in Turkey, Occupy in the United States, I conclude the opposite.