Colonized by Data: Resisting Capitalism's Emerging Social Order

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Multipurpose Room A, College Avenue Student Center

126 College Avenue

New Brunswick, NJ 08901

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Authors Nick Couldry and Ulises Alí Mejías will discuss their new book, The Costs of Connection: How Data is Colonizing Human Life and Appropriating It for Capitalism (Stanford University Press, August 2019), with Gloria Steinem Chair Naomi Klein.

Couldry and Mejias argue that the role of data in society needs to be grasped as not only a development of capitalism, but as the start of a new phase in human history that rivals in importance the emergence of historic colonialism. This new "data colonialism" is based not on the extraction of natural resources or labor, but on the appropriation of human life through data, paving the way for a further stage of capitalism. Today’s transformations of social life through data must therefore be grasped within the long historical arc of dispossession as both a new colonialism and an extension of capitalism. Resistance requires challenging in their new material guises forms of coloniality that decolonial thinking has foregrounded for centuries. The struggle will be both broader and longer than many analyses of algorithmic power suppose, but for that reason critical responses are all the more urgent. New forms of solidarity are needed that help build connection on different terms from those currently on offer.

Nick Couldry is a sociologist of media and culture. He is Professor of Media Communications and Social Theory at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and from 2017 has been a Faculty Associate at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society. In fall 2018 he was also a Visiting Professor at MIT. He jointly led, with Clemencia Rodriguez, the chapter on media and communications in the 22 chapter 2018 report of the International Panel on social Progress: www.ipsp.org. He is the author or editor of fourteen books including The Mediated Construction of Reality (with Andreas Hepp, Polity, 2016), Media, Society, World: Social Theory and Digital Media Practice (Polity 2012) and Why Voice Matters (Sage 2010). His latest books are The Costs of Connection and Media: Why It Matters (Polity: October 2019).

Ulises Ali Mejías is associate professor of Communication Studies and director of the Institute for Global Engagement at the State University of New York, College at Oswego. He is a media scholar whose work encompasses critical internet studies, network theory and science, philosophy and sociology of technology, and political economy of digital media. He is the author of Off the Network: Disrupting the Digital World (University of Minnesota Press, 2013) and various articles including ‘Disinformation and the Media: The case of Russia and Ukraine’ in Media, Culture and Society (2017, with N. Vokuev), and ‘Liberation Technology and the Arab Spring: From Utopia to Atopia and Beyond’ in Fibreculture (2012). He is the principal investigator in the Algorithm Observatory project.

Book signing immediately following conversation.

This event is presented by the Department of Women's and Gender Studies in the School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Communication and Information, and the Institute for Women's Leadership.




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Guest parking will be available in Lots 26, 30, and the College Avenue Deck. Visitors must register for parking using this link and enter their vehicle information to finalize event parking arrangements. Rutgers faculty, staff, and students with Rutgers parking permissions must park in the lots designated by their parking permissions. Please note: guest vehicles that are not registered may receive a citation.

How can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Please email Kylie Davidson at kylie.davidson@rutgers.edu with any questions.

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No.

Date and Time

Location

Multipurpose Room A, College Avenue Student Center

126 College Avenue

New Brunswick, NJ 08901

View Map

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