[SIGCIS-Members] Call for Ideas!

Thomas Haigh thomas.haigh at gmail.com
Tue Aug 23 14:42:43 PDT 2016


I don’t think critical adds a whole lot to “infrastructure studies.” It has some usefulness in formulations like “critical management studies” (a thing in Northern Europe but no so much in the US) as management scholarship is usually uncritical in every sense of the word. So “critical” demarcates a scholarly community deliberately taking a unorthodox approaches to challenge the assumptions of the field. http://www.criticalmanagement.org/content/about-cms 

 

But science studies, STS, media studies, etc. manage to embrace a variety of socially and culturally informed perspectives without their practitioners needing to add the “critical” in front of them. Adding “critical” might be seen as a challenge to those currently embracing “infrastructure studies” as a scholarly identity. There’s also the question of whether “critical” means critical as in “critical thinking” or as in “critical theory,” and while critical theory certainly has a place among other approaches in the study of infrastructure not everyone would feel comfortable with the suggestion that it should be elevated over approaches grounded in STS, history, sociology, anthropology, etc.

 

Best wishes,

 

Tom

 

 

 

From: Members [mailto:members-bounces at lists.sigcis.org] On Behalf Of Lori Emerson
Sent: Tuesday, August 23, 2016 1:39 PM
To: Paul N. Edwards <pne at umich.edu>
Cc: Dag Spicer <dspicer at computerhistory.org>; members at lists.sigcis.org
Subject: Re: [SIGCIS-Members] Call for Ideas!

 

Dear all, I just wanted to thank you for sending in these great resources for infrastructure studies - I came across the term "critical infrastructure studies" a couple months ago and got quite excited about how it seemed more expansive and more useful for describing my projects on labs and the pre-history of the internet than either "media archaeology" or just "media studies." But now I wonder what the extra "critical" denotes since there's a somewhat well established field already of I.S.? Any thoughts?

 

yours, Lori

 

On Tue, Aug 23, 2016 at 11:43 AM, Paul N. Edwards <pne at umich.edu <mailto:pne at umich.edu> > wrote:

Dag, here’s a partial list. I’ll be curious to hear what others might add.

 

Bowker & Star, Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its Consequences

 

Simon & Marvin, Splintering Urbanism — kind of a giant lit review, mostly focused on urban physical infrastructure but with some attention to digital

 

Edwards, A Vast Machine: Computer Models, Climate Data, and the Politics of Global Warming <http://pne.people.si.umich.edu/vastmachine/index.html> 

 

Edwards et al., Understanding Infrastructure: Dynamics, Tensions, and Design <http://pne.people.si.umich.edu/PDF/ui.pdf>  (NSF report with some lit review)

 

Starosielski, The Undersea Network

 

Check the books in my  <https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/series/infrastructures> Infrastructures book series, co-edited with Geof Bowker - e.g. Larry Busch, Standards: Recipes for Reality

 

Also this very recent paper <https://www.academia.edu/27555302/Infrastructure_studies_meet_platform_studies_in_the_age_of_Google_and_Facebook>  on platforms vs. infrastructures - not sure it counts as “canonical”!

 

Best,

 

Paul

 

 

 

 

On Aug 22, 2016, at 16:20 , Dag Spicer <dspicer at computerhistory.org <mailto:dspicer at computerhistory.org> > wrote:

 

Can anyone suggest some canonical and effective texts in Infrastructure Studies?

Thanks!

Dag
--
Dag Spicer
Senior Curator
Computer History Museum
Editorial Board, IEEE Annals of the History of Computing
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—————————————————

Paul N. Edwards, Professor of Information <http://www.si.umich.edu>  and History <http://www.lsa.umich.edu/history/> 

Distinguished Faculty in Sustainability, Graham Sustainability Institute <http://graham.umich.edu> 

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This email is relayed from members at sigcis.org <http://sigcis.org> , the email discussion list of SHOT SIGCIS. Opinions expressed here are those of the member posting and are not reviewed, edited, or endorsed by SIGCIS. The list archives are at http://lists.sigcis.org/pipermail/members-sigcis.org/ and you can change your subscription options at http://lists.sigcis.org/listinfo.cgi/members-sigcis.org





 

-- 

Lori Emerson
Associate Professor | Director, Media Archaeology Lab
Department of English and Intermedia Arts, Writing, and Performance 

University of Colorado at Boulder
Hellems 101, 226 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309-0226
loriemerson.net <http://loriemerson.net>  | mediaarchaeologylab.com <http://mediaarchaeologylab.com> 

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