Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Self-Portrait 1995, Chuck Close
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Happy Birthday Kat! (Nov. 9th, 2005)
Saturday, November 05, 2005
"What is Science Studies" at Franke Institute, Univ of Chicago
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11
11:45 a.m. - 5:15 p.m.
Franke Institute for the Humanities, 1100 East 57th Street, JRL S-118
Conference: What is Science Studies?
E-mail enquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
THE EMERGENCE OF SCIENCE STUDIES AS A DISCIPLINE:
historical formation/ internal institutional histories/ STS's emergence from other fields
Karin Knorr Cetina, University of Chicago
Robert Brain, University of British Columbia
Emily Martin, New York University
SCIENCE STUDIES AND ITS BOUNDARIES:
border relations with neighboring disciplines/ STS seen from the outside
Ken Alder, Northwestern University
Katherine Hayles, University of California at Los Angeles
John Carson, University of Michigan
TELEOLOGIES OF SCIENCE STUDIES:
what's at stake?/ political and ethical responsibilities/ relation to the public and to science/ consequences of institutionalization
Trevor Pinch, Cornell University
Thomas Gieryn, Indiana University
Adrian Johns, University of Chicago
Joseph Rouse, Wesleyan University
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Foucault on Wireless Networks (for Kat)
I don't know your feelings about Foucault—I'm thinking here mainly of the Foucault of the Disciplines, esp. Discipline and Punish. Here, he's describing a historical mode of power, carried within and propagated by particular disciplines (e.g. psychiatry, psychology, criminology, pedagogy, etc.) and directed at the individual and the individual's body as the mobile point of contact between power and society. This target of disciplinarity, the individual, is key, and is what got me thinking about wireless networks, which also seem to focus on the individual (I'm not sure what modes of generality, or grouping, wireless networks engender. Are they networks or societies or communities or populations?).
So, a facet of disciplinary power is that it is very careful about the way it distributes and organises bodies in space. The classroom, with its ordered grid, is one of F's favorite examples. But also: the prison, the military march, the hospital, the factory—and I'd add, now: the office cubicle and (my point here) wired and wireless networks, all seem to me to be methods—architectural or social or institutional or technological—for arranging and administering (disciplining) bodies in space (there are different methods for ordering bodies in time, e.g. course schedules).
And so I'm thinking about computer networks as spatially-ordering disciplinary tactics in this way (although maybe not always only disciplinary). And once you start thinking in that direction, then the shift from wired to wireless networks starts to look interesting for the ways in which it re-orders bodies. Perhaps still governed by disciplinarity, perhaps not. That would be something to be investigated: but the question/method remains: how do re-configured networks re-configure bodies in space, in relation to other bodies and to buildings and to things and etc., and what are the effects of this re-configuration, what consequences does it have for the operations of (what Foucault always calls, vaguely, but importantly) power? Put that way, it will probably sound a lot like questions you're already asking. To which I'd say (if you're at all captured by this approach), if you're not familiar with it, take a look at some Foucault. Maybe start with Disc and Punish, and then move to the stuff on biopower, which he formulated as a new mode of power, differently organized than disciplinarity, organized around populations rather than bodies/individuals, concerned with regulation rather than discipline, but often collusive and co-extensive with disciplinarity. Both modes seem to operate in our current world, and perhaps both are relevant to wireless networks. Or maybe wireless networks are a kind of pivot. This would be the question.
There must be someone who has written on this. I don't know who.