I am currently Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities at MIT, affiliated with the Comparative Media Studies / Writing department. Formerly, I was a Ph.D. Candidate at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania.
My current work analyses how new media and its data become invested with ideals of precision, objectivity and truth – especially through aesthetic, speculative, and otherwise apparently non-rational means. The point is to try and produce critical, historically informed diagnoses of the contemporary faith in “raw” data, sensing machines, and algorithmic decision-making, and of their public promotion as the next great leap towards objective knowledge.
At MIT, I am working on completing one book project and beginning another. The first, “Data Epistemologies / Surveillance and Uncertainty”, analyses the changing boundaries of the known, the probable and the unknowable vis-à-vis early twenty-first century technologies of state “dragnet” surveillance and self-tracking. The second, “A Speculative Literature for a Data-Driven Society”, examines the genealogy of our imaginations about data, innovation and surveillance – from science fiction of the early twentieth century to experimental prototypes of ‘big’ data in the present day.