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The Habit of Care: Technologies of Living and Laboring Cyborgs at World Social Science Forum 2013

by Prasad Krishna last modified Aug 28, 2013 09:19 AM
The World Social Science Forum 2013 organized by International Social Science Council will take place in Palais des Congrès de Montréal, Canada from October 13 to 15, 2013. Dr. Nishant Shah is participating in the event as a panelist and will speak on "The Habit of Care: Technologies of Living and Laboring Cyborgs".
The Habit of Care: Technologies of Living and Laboring Cyborgs at World Social Science Forum 2013

Dr. Nishant Shah

This was published on the World Science Forum website.

Within the larger discourse around digital cultures, much attention is given to care. Care infrastructure includes physical infrastructure of access to remote spaces, regulatory and policy environments to control the digital spaces, redesigned geographies to house the new populations created by the ICT industries, and is discussed in disciplines as varied as Artificial Intelligence and Climate Change. Care Technologies find obvious resonances with the Foucaultian idea of ‘Technologies of the Self’, reminding us of the normative nature of measurement, cognition, discipline and punishment that is an inherent part of care.

The responses to Care Technologies and the Labor of Caring are not uniform. Some clearly identify the emergence of Care Technologies as a new form of alienation of labour, leading to discrimination and inequity. Others celebrate the ways in which the penetrative nature of the digital – from deep space probes to the sub-molecular conception of the human – allow us to imagine social interactions and our relationships with our own bodies in new ways.

In all the discourse around Care, there is silence about its form, function and nature. While attention is given to infrastructure, labour, politics, production and the intelligibility of care practices, we haven’t yet tried to fathom the conditions and generation of care, relegating it to the realm of the private and the subjective. Combining practice and theory, in different parts of the Global South, and inspired by gender and sexuality studies, this panel looks at Care as a Habit. We focus on the ‘care of technologies’, showing how the forced separation of care and technology needs to be revisited to look at conditions of being human, being social and being political. Working through diverse geographical and political contexts, the panel illustrates the tensions in understanding and engaging with Care and why there is a need to find new vocabularies and relationships to deal with this area.

Dr. Nishant Shah
Dr. Radhika Gajjala
Centre for Internet and Society and Bowling Green State University
Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - 09:00 - 10:45

Nishant Shah

Dr. Nishant Shah is the co-founder and Research Director at the Centre for Internet and Society, Bangalore, India. He is an International Tandem Partner at the Centre for Digital Cultures, Leuphana University, Germany and a Knowledge Partner with the Hivos Knowledge Programme, The Netherlands. He is committed to producing infrastructure, frameworks and collaborations in the global south to understand and analyse the ways in which the emergence of digital technologies have shaped the contemporary social, political and cultural milieu. He edits a series of monographs on ‘Histories of Internet(s) in India’ that examine the complicated relationship that technologies have with questions of gender, sexuality, body, city, governance, archiving and gaming. He was the principle researcher for a research programme that produced the four-volume anthology ‘Digital AlterNatives With a Cause?’, examining the ways in which young people’s relationship with digital technologies produces changes in their immediate environments. Nishant is on the steering committee of the MacArthur Foundation’s Digital Media and Learning Project (USA) as well as on the Media Art Histories collective (Latvia). He is involved with the Inter-Asia Cultural Studies Consortium (Taiwan/S. Korea/Hong Kong) and the global Network of Centres for Internet and Society housed at the Berkman Centre for Internet & Society, USA. He is committed to encouraging multi-stakeholder dialogue and hence regularly does public consultations and trainings for civil society and NGOs, governments, academic partners and private corporate entities. He is a regular speaker at events like Re:publica and Video Vortex and a columnist with India’s leading English language newspaper The Indian Express. His academic and research publications reflect his political stance on open access and open knowledge infrastructure and are all available for free download and distribution under open license.

Schedule Overview

Saturday, October 12
15:00-18:00 Pre-Registration

Sunday, October 13 (Day 1)
09:00-19:30  Registration
11:00-12:45  Plenary I
11:30-17:00  Exhibition Opens
13:00-14:45  Panel Session 1
15:00-16:45  Panel Session 2
17:30           Opening Ceremony and Reception

Monday, October 14 (Day 2)
08:30-17:30  Registration
09:30-17:00  Exhibition Opens
09:00-10:45  Panel Session 3
11:00-12:45  Plenary II 
13:00-14:45  Panel Session 4
15:00-16:45  Panel Session 5
17:00-18:45  Panel Session 6
20:00           Movie Night with the NFB

Tuesday, October 15 (Day 3)
08:30-17:30  Registration
09:30-17:00  Exhibition Opens
09:00-10:45  Panel Session 7
11:00-12:45 Panel Session 8
13:00-14:45  Awards Luncheon
15:00-16:45  Panel Session 9
17:00-18:45  Plenary III
18:45          Closing Ceremony and Reception

ASPI-CIS Partnership


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