Big Data and the Power of Narrative

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IT University of Copenhagen

Rued Langgaards Vej 7

2300 København


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Registration for the seminar Big Data and the Power of Narrative

The “Big Data and the Power of Narrative” seminar is a part of The Research Network for the Anthropology of Technology seminar series. The seminar will take place over two days on 21-22 March 2019 at the IT University of Copenhagen with keynote lectures as well as paper presentations.

Date: March 21-22, 2019

Place: IT University of Copenhagen, Rued Langgaards Vej 7, 2300 Copenhagen S. Rooms to be announced.

Registration: Registration is required for those who will present and those who want to join without presenting. Participation is free, and coffee and lunch will be provided during the two-day event.

Cancellation: In order to have enough seats for motivated participants and to minimize food waste, we urge you to cancel your reservation by the 20th of March 2019, if you are not able to attend after all. If you do not cancel your reservation by this date, we will charge a no show-fee.

Description of the seminar

The promise of big data is sweeping across the sciences, and the everyday practices that are the object of anthropology are increasingly leaving data traces. Scholars talk about a ‘datafication’ of social life and see in the digitalization new ways of predicting behaviour and understanding sociality.

A range of technologies are involved in the datafication of everyday life operating to a large extent through the internet of things, AI, the interconnected devices monitoring and regulating everything from our health to finances and reputation, to our energy use, transport, and the food chain infrastructures that sustain our lives.

  • How might we understand the implications of this datafication of everyday life?

  • How might we explore the emerging political and economic contours?

  • How does datafication influence what counts as true and worth knowing?

  • Can anthropology and adjacent fields have a special role in providing narratives about the things that escape datafication?

In this symposium we invite ethnographers to explore these questions and reflect on what ethnography stood to gain from embracing the data abundance and what big data analytics could learn from ethnography.

Key note speakers

  • Joe Dumit, University of California, Davis

  • Minna Ruckenstein, University of Helsinki

  • Evelyn Ruppert, Goldsmiths


We welcome papers that address the seminar theme.

The deadline for submitting abstracts is January 10, 2019. Abstracts of 100-200 words must be e-mailed to Lea Enslev at

Notification will be in February 2019.


For the evening of Thursday the 21st of March, we invite participants for a no-host dinner at a moderately priced restaurant in Copenhagen. To reserve a seat at the dinner, complete the registration flow.


This event is part of the Anthropology of Technology Research Network and organized by Brit Ross Winthereik (IT University of Copenhagen), Klaus Hoeyer (University of Copenhagen), and Maja Hojer Bruun (Aalborg University).

For more information about this 3rd seminar of the Anthropology of Technology Research Network seminar series, go to the Antech website.

Date and time


IT University of Copenhagen

Rued Langgaards Vej 7

2300 København


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Organizer IT University of Copenhagen

Organizer of Big Data and the Power of Narrative

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