Tuesday, February 25, 2003
Monday, February 24, 2003
INCITE members met on friday for a new round of reading group sessions. First up was me; we discussed my ongoing research with UK webloggers and the different kinds of analytical approaches sociologists might take as compared to anthropologists [me]. The discussion once again returned us to the comparison between the study of art objects and texts; and in particular, the distinctions between the anthropology and sociology of art. In this regard, I still find Gell a promising starting point for my own attempt to think about what could be distinctive about the anthropological study of text [and in this case digital text].
Monday, February 17, 2003
“This workshop starts by asking why do we so often think that texts are end-points in sociology and in STS [Science, Technology and Society]? It is informed by two senses: 1. that texts set limits to what can be studied, how study is undertaken, what can be known, and what can be effected or enacted; 2. that telling in texts - even in metaphorical form - can lead to inappropriate closure, rather than opening up and freeing space. The workshop will thus seek to explore other logics, and in particular other possible outcomes and material forms for research in sociology and in STS.”
Most papers questioned the plenitude of texts, revealing a widely-held suspicion: that written language (alone) is not adequate to the task of representing all topics. Sociology, STS, Women’s Studies, Psychology, Health Research, Cultural Studies, and Art were all present, as practices, but it was clear that for whatever our significant differences, all were practically concerned with (even worried about) representation, as a task and as an outcome of analysis. Most papers spoke _about_ the limits of written text; some spoke _at_ the limits of written text by presenting their work in the form of dramatic performance. This put us, as a workshop, in the interesting position of being able to work explicitly between written text, spoken text and dramatic performance in our discussions, and offered up Drama as a running sub-theme, a useful metaphor, and a practical tool. By day two, we had wound ourselves up into a genuine dramatic moment, which, interestingly, may have sparked the most productive discussion of the two-day workshop; it was certainly one of the most engaging.
Our ongoing collaborations with artists will give us the opportunity to continue thinking along these lines. –kris cohen
Tuesday, February 11, 2003
Things are happening here. Digital music in the home, blogging and photoblogging, individualisation and digital video, the use of the internet in public spaces, mobility and immobility, witness appeal boards and forms of writing in, and on, the city: all are active areas of inquiry for INCITE researchers. What unites the projects is their basic approach to asking questions and seeking answers: each project draws on critical theory, ethnography, design, new media, and science and technology studies, and each in its own way is collaborative betwixt and between these disciplines. On the web, INCITE’s home is: www.soc.surrey.ac.uk/incite. Off the web, it all happens between London and the University of Surrey's Sociology Department, in Guildford, which houses INCITE's offices. Look to those sites for the stable information about us.
This blog will offer a more quotidian perspective on INCITE’s work: reports from the field, work in progress, things as they go. It will discuss issues methodological and theoretical, and it will try to provide insight into the inner workings of our various research projects. There are 6 researchers in all. Below, they are listed with a short description of their active areas of research. Use this as a key to future posts. And please check back; we will update the blog at least weekly.
INCITE RESEARCHERS AND THEIR ACTIVE RESEARCH AREAS
[you can find full bios here: www.soc.surrey.ac.uk/incite/staff.htm]
Dr. Nina Wakeford (director of INCITE): oversees the researchers at INCITE, works on the group’s collaborative projects, and is often on the lookout for new ones. Currently studying design practice, technologies in the city, queer theory, and the perils of interdisciplinary translation. N.email@example.com
Zoe Tenger – Meeting and travel arranger, one who transcribes, coffee maker, biscuit buyer, and doer of all those things which make the office tick over and who brings everyone together from time to time. firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Adam Reed (research fellow): researching blogging, political activism online, public texts in the city. Currently interested in material culture of reading and writing, anthropology of literature, the 'urban' and new technologies of perception. email@example.com
Kris Cohen (research fellow): researching mobility, digital photography and photoblogs. firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Smith (PhD CASE student): researching branding, digital photography and digital film. email@example.com
Kate Orton-Johnson (PhD CASE student): looking at new technology in higher education, specifically student use of web-based resources and ideas about how technology is shaping the landscape of higher education; also interested in technology as both a fieldsite and a research tool, the object and means of study and how this affects the process of research methodologically and analytically. firstname.lastname@example.org
Gerard Oleksik (PhD CASE student): researching digital music in the home. email@example.com
That’s us. Please write if you have questions. See you in the posts below.