Trusting Information- Technology Truth and Transparency
Trusting Information: Technology, Truth and Transparency
Monday, October 10th to Wednesday, October 12th, 2011
Course description: This PhD course aims to examine in ethnographic detail the notion of trust and its engagement with concepts and practices of information. As a multivalent concept with a high social currency (especially but not only in the modern West), trust has become a subject of study for numerous social sciences, encapsulating a wide spectrum of assumptions and perspectives. These include but are not limited to anthropological and sociological perspectives on risk society and audit culture, and STS (science and technology studies) and organizational approaches to understanding relations between technological infrastructures and trustworthy information.
In the “information age”, trust is often associated with free access to data and the idea of transparency. Issues of trust are brought into relief wherever there are perceived to be exchanges – or the possibility of appropriation - of information. However, these exchanges and the relations they entail take many different forms and include many different types of actors. More generally, trust is related to information in the sense that it is perceived to span the gap between what is known and what is unknown.
This PhD course looks to critically explore the notion of trust, with an emphasis on its relation to informational practices, calling on a broad range of social scientific approaches and engaging with a wide range of empirical contexts.
Areas of enquiry include (but are not limited to):
Trust in information: How do different conceptualizations and practices of information bear on different practices of trust, be it in the same or different cultural contexts?
Trust in technology: How are relations of trust mediated or even constituted by technologies? What concepts of trust are built into (new) technologies and how is this done?
Trust and knowledge: What shapes does trust assume in the knowledge-making practices that are studied? And what shapes does trust assume in the relation between social scientists and these practices/practitioners?
Intended audience: The course is of particular interest to students in science and technology studies, anthropology and sociology but participation of people with other social scientific or technology design backgrounds is also welcomed.
Place: The course takes place at the IT University of Copenhagen, Rued Langgaardsvej 7, 2300 Copenhagen S, Denmark (www.itu.dk)
Annelise Riles, Cornell University
Hirokazu Miyazaki, Cornell University
Casper Bruun Jensen, IT University of Copenhagen
Christopher Gad, IT University of Copenhagen
Laura Watts, IT University of Copenhagen
Brit Ross Winthereik, IT University of Copenhagen
The course comprises a mixture of lectures and discussion sessions involving participants and speakers. Discussions focus on papers submitted by participants and are based on student presentations with feedback from other participants and speakers.
Participants will receive a package of readings to be read in preparation for the course. Each participant submits an approximately ten-page paper by September 15th, 2011.
Participation in the course is free. The course will comprise approximately 20 students. They will be selected on the basis of the submitted abstracts. You will receive a notification about acceptance of participation by July 1st, 2011.
To participate you must submit the form found here
to firstname.lastname@example.org by June 15th, 2011. The form includes an extended abstract describing how your work relates to the topic Trusting Information: Technology, Truth and Transparency and briefly outlining the central issues you are facing in working with the theme. Because the course is interdisciplinary the abstract should also contain basic information about your approach and disciplinary context.
The course readings comprise a set of core readings and a set of secondary readings. Among the core readings, Hirokazu Miyazaki’s book manuscript will be distributed to participants – you are required to purchase Annelise Riles Collateral Knowledge: Legal Reasoning in the Global Financial Markets. A package with additional articles will be made available.
NB : With the exception of the core readings, the readings below are provisional.
Miyazaki, Hirokazu (forthcoming) Arbitraging Japan: Traders as Critics of Capitalism. University of California Press.
Riles, Annelise (2011) Collateral Knowledge: Legal Reasoning in the Global Financial Markets. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Britz, Johannes J. (2004) “To Know or Not to Know: A Moral Reflection on Information Poverty”, Journal of Information Science 30:192-204.
Capurro, Rafael and Birger Hjorland (2003) “The concept of information”, Annual Review of Information Science and Technology 37:343-411.
Corsin-Jimenez, Alberto (2005) “After Trust”. Available at < http://works.bepress.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1011&context=alberto_corsin_jimenez>
Gambetta, Diego (ed) (1988) Trust: Making and Breaking Cooperative Relations. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
Kline, Ronald R. (2006) “Cybernetics, Management Science, and Technology Policy: The Emergence of ‘Information Technology’ as a Keyword, 1948-1985”, Technology and Culture 47(3):513-35
Porter, Theodore M. (1994) "Information, Power, and the View from Nowhere”, in Lisa Bud-Frierman (ed.) Information Acumen: The Understanding and Use of Knowledge in Modern Business, London: Routledge, pp. 217-30.
Porter, Theodore M. (1996) Trust in Numbers: The Pursuit of Objectivity in Science and Public Life. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Riles, Annelise (ed.) (2006) Documents: Artifacts of Modern Knowledge. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press. Chapters by Hirokazu Miyazaki, Annelise Riles and Marilyn Strathern.
Riles, Annelise (2010) “Collateral Expertise: Legal Knowledge in the Global Financial Markets” Current Anthropology 51(6): 795-818.
Schiller, Dan (2006) How to Think About Information. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press.
Strathern, Marilyn (2005) “Robust Knowledge and Fragile Futures” in Aihwa Ong and Stephen J. Collier (eds.) Global Assemblages: Technology, Politics and Ethics as Anthropological Problems. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, pp. 464-80.
Strathern, Marilyn. 1987. “The Limits of Auto-anthropology” in Anthropology at Home. Anthony Jackson (ed). London – Tavistock Publications
Turnbull, David (2004) “Narrative Traditions of Space, Time and Trust in Court: Terra Nullius, ‘Wandering’, the Yorta Yorta Title Claim, and the Hindmarsh Island Bridge Controversy” in Gary Edmond (ed.) Expertise in Regulation and Law. London: Ashgate, pp. 166-83.