[Air-L] Data Power conference abstract submission deadline: 16th January

Helen Kennedy h.kennedy at sheffield.ac.uk
Sat Jan 10 12:33:40 PST 2015

*Please note that we now have an online submission system, so please submit
your 250 word abstracts here:
<http://datapower.group.shef.ac.uk/index.php?option=6> by 16th January
2015. *

*DATA POWER*: a two-day, international conference

*Date:* Monday 22nd and Tuesday 23rd JUNE 2015

*Venue:* Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Sheffield, UK

Data make many promises. Through data, we can access opinions, feelings,
behaviours, people, in real time, at great volume and at great speed.
Tracking data is the holy grail*. *Data have the potential to transform all
aspects of society, making all of its operations more efficient. Big data
represent opportunities for social researchers to enhance understanding of
human behaviour. The numbers speak for themselves.

But what is the cost of the data delirium (van Zoonen)? What kind of power
is enacted when data are employed by governments and security agencies to
monitor populations or by private corporations to accumulate knowledge
about consumers in an increasingly ‘knowing capitalism’ (Thrift)? Because
contemporary forms of data mining and analytics open up the potential for
new, unaccountable and opaque forms of population management in a growing
range of social realms, questions urgently need to be asked not only about
who gets access to data and whose privacy is invaded, but also about
control, discrimination, and social sorting – about data power. We also
need to ask about the possibility of agency in the face of data power, of
social groups sidestepping the dominating interests of big business and big
government in our increasingly big-data-driven world.

This conference creates a space to reflect on these and other critical
issues relating to data’s ever more ubiquitous power. Keynote speakers
include these fantastic commentators on data power:

   - Mark Andrejevic, Center for Critical and Cultural Studies, University
   of Queensland, author of AOIR book award winner *Infoglut *(2013);
   - Kate Crawford, Microsoft Social Media Research Collective, author of
   numerous articles on big data and *Understanding the Internet: Language,
   Technology, Media, Power *(forthcoming) (participation to be confirmed);
   - José van Dijck, Comparative Media Studies, University of Amsterdam,
   author of *The Culture of Connectivity *(2013);
   - Alison Hearn, Faculty of Information and Media Studies, University of
   Western Ontario, author of numerous articles on data, labour and
   - Richard Rogers, Digital Methods Initiative, University of Amsterdam,
   author of ICA book award winner *Digital Methods* (2013);
   - Evelyn Ruppert, Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths College,
   University of London, author (with Engin Isin) of *Being Digital
   Citizens *(forthcoming) & editor of *Big Data and Society*;
   - Joseph Turow, Annenberg School of Communication, University of
   Pennslyvania, author of *The Daily You* (2012), amongst many other

Papers are invited on the following – and other relevant – topics:

   - The political economy of data
   - Data cultures (data and the cultural industries, data journalism)
   - Data and the production of subjectivity and identity
   - Theorising data
   - The politics of data visualisation
   - Data labour
   - Emotional data
   - The social life of data and data-driven methods
   - The politics of open and linked data
   - Data-driven governance, surveillance and control
   - Data and discrimination
   - The regulation of data mining
   - Data citizens
   - Resistance, agency, appropriation.


   - Submit your 250 word abstract to
   http://datapower.group.shef.ac.uk/index.php?option=6 by 16th January
   - Decisions on abstracts will be communicated by 30th January 2015.
   - The conference fee is £120 waged (approx. $190 / 150 euro, £80
   unwaged/student (approx. $130 / 100 euro).
   - Whilst we welcome papers of all kinds, please note that this
   conference focuses on critical questions about data’s power. Papers which
   do not address critical, social questions will not be accepted.
   - The conference will launch the special issue of *The European Journal
   of Cultural Studies* edited by Mark Andrejevic, Alison Hearn and Helen
   Kennedy, entitled ‘Data Mining and Analytics’.
   - Data Power is hosted by the University of Sheffield’s Digital Society
   Network, and the Department of Sociological Studies, both in the Faculty of
   Social Sciences.
   - Please direct any queries to data-power-conference at sheffield.ac.uk.

Professor Helen Kennedy
Department of Sociological Studies / Faculty of Social Sciences
Elmfield, Northumberland Road
Sheffield S10 2TU
T: 0114 2226488
E: h.kennedy at sheffield.ac.uk

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