From Kristina Lyons, SJRC Affiliate in Feminist Science Studies:
The capital city of Putumayo, Mocoa, where I have been engaged in research and accompanying agro-life popular processes since 2004, suffered a devastating avalanche in the early morning hours after three rivers, the Mocoa, Mulato and Sancoyaco, flooded and overtook 17 neighborhoods. At least 236 people have been killed, more than 250 more are disappeared, and hundreds are wounded and left homeless. The hospital collapsed, the bus terminal, central gas station, and market were obliterated, and there is no electricity, potable water, or most public services. I am lucky that my closest friends, colleagues, compañerxs, and adoptive family members are safe thus far. However, there are many people still unaccounted for and countless others in shock and needing basic supplies, water, food, and support of all kinds.
If you have learned about Putumayo through my or other’s work, heard a talk, read a piece, or feel moved and motivated by this news and the situation occurring, please contact me. I am organizing donations for local community relief, mutual aid, and reconstruction projects in Mocoa. While there is so much troubling and devasting phenomena happening in the world, Mocoa is a place that holds my heart and continues to shape all that I am as an anthropologist and person.
Thank you in advance for any solidarity. Please circulate among friends and networks that may be concerned and interested in supporting such efforts. firstname.lastname@example.org
- A number of new texts have been published on the topic since my last offering (spring of 2014), so several of those will be integrated into the readings (e.g., Federica Frabetti, Software Theory: A Cultural and Philosophical Study (2014)).
- I have a book manuscript for the MIT Press “Software Studies” book series that will be integrated into the readings.
- The hands-on, maker project described above involves modifying, extending and/or analyzing some software I have written. You can get a preview of that software, a story generator, here (narrated by FDM PhD student Fabiola Hanna): http://fdm.ucsc.edu/~wsack/DecodingDemocracy/index.html
- On the first day of class (April 5th), I have two luminaries in the world of software studies and software art coming to speak. They will both come to class to speak with us, but also be giving separate talks on campus:
- Matthew Fuller (Goldsmiths College, University of London) will speak at the Cultural Studies Colloquium on April 5th at noon in Humanities Room 210.
- Olga Goriunova (Royal Holloway, University of London) will speak at our Visual and Media Cultures Colloquium in Porter 245 at 4:00pm on April 5th(http://havc.ucsc.edu/news_events/2016/11/08/visual-media-cultures-colloquium-olga-goriunova)
The award recognizes scholars who have earned lifetime achievements in research. In addition, award recipients are invited to spend a year collaborating with specialist colleagues in Germany to carry out their proposed research projects.
The project Reardon and her collaborators will embark on will explore how the rise of big data’ is changing interpretive practices in the life sciences and life scientists’ understandings of and relationships to life. While centered on the life sciences, and in particular on genomics, the research aims to produce insights about how the rise of informatics and big data are changing what it means and entails to produce knowledge across the natural and social sciences, and how those changes also entail shifts in what it means to act in an ethical and democratic manner.
The bi-national collaboration will allow for historical and comparative studies that promise novel insights into these fundamental processes. In the United States, the norm of openness powerfully shapes practices of interpreting genomes. In Germany, the privacy of genetic and genomic data still is considered paramount, although under mounting pressure. The study will investigate how different legal and scientific approaches to the management and governance of genomic data create different practices of interpretation that entail different conceptions of knowledge and justice.
Veronika Lipphardt, Reardon’s collaborator at the University of Freiburg, notes the timeliness of the research. “German politicians are currently discussing whether or not the German Law should allow for DNA Phenotyping and the determination of biogeographical ancestry in criminal investigation”, she says. “Interpreting the results will be a major challenge for forensicists, investigators and judges.” Lipphardt belongs to a small group of scholars invited to a central expert hearing by the State Department of Justice.
Reardon plans to disseminate the research through published articles, public talks, and online media.
The Humboldt Foundation was founded by the German government and strives to promote exchange of knowledge between scientists and scholars all over the world.