conference participants

Ariella Azoulay

Department of Comparative Literature and Modern Culture and Media, Brown University

Ariella Azoulay studies revolutions from the 18th century onward and investigates how civil historical knowledge can be portrayed from photographs and other visual media. The Israeli political regime has been a primary focus of her work.

Recent books: From Palestine to Israel: A Photographic Record of Destruction and State Formation, 1947-1950 (Pluto Press, 2011), Civil Imagination: The Political Ontology of Photography (Verso, August 2012) and The Civil Contract of Photography (Zone Books, 2008); co-author with Adi Ophir, The One State Condition: Occupation and Democracy between the Sea and the River (Stanford University Press, 2012).

Curator of When The Body Politic Ceases To Be An Idea, Exhibition Room – Manifesta Journal Around Curatorial Practices No. 16 (folded format in Hebrew, MOBY, 2013), Potential History (2012, Stuk / Artefact, Louven), Untaken Photographs (2010, Igor Zabel Award, The Moderna galerija, Lubliana; Zochrot, Tel Aviv), Architecture of Destruction (Zochrot, Tel Aviv), Everything Could Be Seen (Um El Fahem Gallery of Art).

Director of documentary films Civil Alliances, Palestine, 47-48 (2012), I Also Dwell Among Your Own People: Conversations with Azmi Bishara (2004), The Food Chain (2004), among others.

Elizabeth Bernstein

Associate Professor of Sociology and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Barnard College, Columbia University

Professor Bernstein is the author of Temporarily Yours: Intimacy, Authenticity, and the Commerce of Sex (University of Chicago Press, 2007), which received two distinguished book awards from the American Sociological Association as well as the 2009 Norbert Elias Prize—an international prize which is awarded biennially to the author of a first major book in sociology and related disciplines. Her current book project is Brokered Subjects: Sex, Trafficking, and the Politics of Freedom, which explores the convergence of feminist, neoliberal, and evangelical Christian interests in the shaping of contemporary global policies surrounding the traffic in women. Her research has received support from the Institute for Advanced Study, the Social Science Research Council, the NSF, the AAUW, and the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy at Columbia University. At Barnard and Columbia, she teaches courses on the sociology of gender and sexuality, on trafficking, migration, and sexual labor, and on contemporary social theory.
Jonah Brucker-Cohen

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Parsons MFA in Design & Technology and Parsons School of Art, Design, History, and Theory (ADHT).

Dr. Jonah Brucker-Cohen is an award winning researcher, artist, and writer. He received his Ph.D. in the Disruptive Design Team of the Electronic and Electrical Engineering Department of Trinity College Dublin. His work and thesis is titled "Deconstructing Networks" and includes over 77 creative projects that critically challenge and subvert accepted perceptions of network interaction and experience. His work has been exhibited and showcased at venues such as San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, MOMA, ICA London, Whitney Museum of American Art (Artport), Palais du Tokyo,Tate Modern, Ars Electronica, Transmediale, and more. His writing has appeared in publications such as WIRED, Make, Gizmodo, Neural and more. His Scrapyard Challenge workshops have been held in over 14 countries in Europe, South America, North America, Asia, and Australia since 2003.

Portfolio and Work:
Scrapyard Challenge Workshops:
Twitter: @coinop29

Gabriella Coleman

Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy, Department of Art History and Communication Studies, McGill University

Trained as an anthropologist, Gabriella (Biella) Coleman teaches, researches, and writes on computer hackers and digital activism. Her work examines the ethics of online collaboration/institutions as well as the role of the law and digital media in sustaining various forms of political activism. Her first book, "Coding Freedom: The Aesthetics and the Ethics of Hacking" has been published with Princeton University Press and she is currently working on a new book on Anonymous and digital activism.


Kelly Dobson

Associate Professor and Department Head, Digital + Media, Rhode Island School of Design

Kelly Dobson is an artist working in the realms of new media, machine design, social interventions, and public performance. Her projects involve technological systems and explore what they mean and do for people other than that for which they were consciously made. She earned her doctorate at MIT while a member of the Computing Culture Group in the Media Lab and the Interrogative Design Group in MIT’s Visual Studies Program.

Kelly is Head of Digital + Media at RISD. Prior to this, she taught at Cornell University, Oslo National Academy of the Arts, and worked as a researcher at MIT’s Center for Advanced Visual Studies. Awards include the Rockefeller New Media Artist Fellowship, the Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art Award and the VIDA Art and Artificial Life Honor. Her work has been featured in many publications and exhibited internationally including at Witte de With in Rotterdam, Circulo De Bellas Artes in Madrid, the Millennium Museum in Beijing, Goldsmiths College in London, Fringe Exhibitions in Los Angeles, and The Kitchen, MoMA, Gigantic Art Space, Eyebeam and Exit Art in New York City.

Didier Fassin

James Wolfensohn Professor of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, Director of Studies, École des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris

Didier Fassin was the founding director of the Interdisciplinary Research Institute for the Social Sciences (CNRS — Inserm — EHESS — University Paris North). Trained as a medical doctor, he has been Vice-President of Médecins sans Frontières and is President of the Comité médical pour les exilés. His field of interest is political and moral anthropology, and he is currently conducting an ethnography of the state through a study of policing and the prison. His recent publications include: De la question sociale à la question raciale? (with Eric Fassin, 2006), Les politiques de l’enquète: Épreuves ethnographiques (with Alban Bensa, 2008), Les nouvelles frontières de la société française (2009) and Moral Anthropology (2012) as editor; When Bodies Remember: Experience and Politics of AIDS in South Africa (2007), The Empire of Trauma: An Inquiry into the Condition of Victimhood (with Richard Rechtman, 2009), Humanitarian Reason: A Moral History of the Present (2011), and Enforcing Order: An Ethnography of Urban Policing (2013), as author.
Kara Keeling

Associate Professor of Critical Studies (School of Cinematic Arts) and African American Studies (Department of American Studies and Ethnicity), University of Southern California

Kara Keeling’s current research focuses on theories of temporality, spatial politics, finance capital, and the radical imagination; cinema and black cultural politics; digital media, globalization, and difference; and Gilles Deleuze and liberation theory, with an emphasis on Afrofuturism, Africana media, queer and feminist media, and sound. Her book, The Witch's Flight: The Cinematic, the Black Femme, and the Image of Common Sense, explores the role of cinematic images in the construction and maintenance of hegemonic conceptions of the world and interrogates the complex relationships between cinematic visibility, minority politics, and the labor required to create and maintain alternative organizations of social life.

Keeling is author of several articles published in anthologies and journals and co-editor (with Colin MacCabe and Cornel West) of a selection of writings by the late James A Snead entitled European Pedigrees/ African Contagions: Racist Traces and Other Writing and (with Josh Kun) of a collection of essays about sound in American Studies entitled Sound Clash: Listening to American Studies. Currently, Keeling is writing her second monograph, tentatively entitled Queer Times, Black Futures and co-editing (with Thenmozhi Soundarajan) a collaborative multi-media archive and scholarship project focused on the work of Third World Majority, one of the first women of color media justice collectives in the United States, entitled "From Third Cinema to Media Justice: Third World Majority and the Promise of Third Cinema".

Prior to joining the faculty at USC, Keeling was an Assistant Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), and was an adjunct assistant Professor of Women's Studies at Duke University, and a visiting assistant professor of Art and Africana Studies at Williams College. Keeling has developed and taught courses at the undergraduate and graduate level on topics such as Media and Activism, Cinema and Social Change, Race, Sexuality, and Cinema, and Film As Cultural Critique, among others. In the summer of 2005, Keeling participated in the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute on African Cinema in Dakar, Senegal. She currently serves on the editorial boards of the journals Cultural Studies, Feminist Media Studies, and American Quarterly, where she is a managing editor, and she is the Editor of the Moving Image Review section of the journal Gay and Lesbian Quarterly (GLQ).

Laura Kurgan

Associate Professor of Architecture, Director of the Spatial Information Design Lab (SIDL), Director of Visual Studies, Graduate School of Architecture, Preservation, and Planning, Columbia University

Professor Kurgan's work explores things ranging from digital mapping technologies to the ethics and politics of mapping, new structures of participation in design, and the visualization of urban and global data. Her recent research includes a multi-year SIDL project on "million-dollar blocks" and the urban costs of the American incarceration experiment, and a collaborative exhibition on global migration and climate change. Her work has appeared at the Cartier Foundation in Paris, the Venice Architecture Biennale, the Whitney Altria, MACBa Barcelona, the ZKM in Karlsruhe, and the Museum of Modern Art (where it is part of the permanent collection). She was the winner of the United States Artists Rockefeller Fellowship in 2009, and named one of Esquire Magazine's ‘Best and Brightest’ in 2008. She has published articles and essays in Assemblage, Grey Room, ANY, Volume, and Else/Where Mapping, among other books and journals.


Ganaele Langlois

Assistant Professor of Communication, Faculty of Social Science and Humanities, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Associate Director of the Infoscape Centre for the Study of Social Media

Professor Langlois's research is on social and participatory media, and is influenced by software studies, critical theory and philosophy of technology. In general, she is interested in questioning the current notion of participation and the social as they are formulated by mainstream corporate software platforms. She is currently working on three research projects. The first one, with Greg Elmer at Ryerson University, is on critical research methods for studying social media, and is funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada. She is also working on a book entitled "Meaning in the Age of Social Media", which looks into the technical mediation of the psychic, cultural and linguistic processes involved in the search for meaning. Finally, she is working with Alessandra Renzi on exploring the links between activist practices, alternative software and co-research.

She has recently published with Greg Elmer and Fenwick McKelvey a book entitled The Permanent Campaign: New Media, New Politics (Peter Lang). Her articles have been published in Television and Society, Culture Machine, Fibreculture, New Media and Society and in the Canadian Journal of Communication.

Colin Milburn

Associate Professor of English and Gary Snyder Chair in Science and the Humanities, UC Davis

Professor Milburn's research focuses on the cultural relations between literature, science, and technology. His interests include science fiction, gothic horror, the history of biology, the history of physics, video games, and the digital humanities. He is a member of the Science & Technology Studies Program and the Center for Science and Innovation Studies. He is also affiliated with the programs in Cinema and Technocultural Studies, Cultural Studies, Performance Studies, and Critical Theory, as well as the W. M. Keck Center for Active Visualization in the Earth Sciences (KeckCAVES). Since 2009, he has been serving as the director of the UC Davis Humanities Innovation Lab, an experimental offshoot of the Digital Humanities Initiative.


Nicholas Mirzoeff

Professor of Media, Culture and Communication, New York University

My work is in the field of visual culture. In recent years it has fallen into four main areas.

First, I have been working on the genealogy of visuality, a key term in the field. Far from being a postmodern theory word, it was created to describe how Napoleonic era generals "visualized" a battlefield that they could not see. Applied to the social as a whole by Thomas Carlyle, visuality was a conservative strategy to oppose all emancipations and liberations in the name of the autocratic hero. My book The Right to Look: A Counterhistory of Visuality was published by Duke University Press (2011).

Second, I produce texts and projects that support the general development of visual culture as a field of study and a methodology. The third Visual Culture Reader was published in 2012 by Routledge, The second fully revised edition of An Introduction to Visual Culture was published in 2009 by Routledge, with color illustrations throughout and new sections of Keywords and Key Images.

Third, I work on militant research with the global social movements that have arisen since 2011.

Finally, I am working on a new project on the cultures of climate change in conjunction with the not-for-profit Islands First.


Katherine Moriwaki

Assistant Professor of Media Design, School of Art, Media, and Technology, Parsons The New School for Design

Professor Moriwaki’s focus is on interaction design and artistic practice. She teaches core curriculum classes in the M.F.A. Design + Technology Program where students engage a broad range of creative methodologies to realize new possibilities in interactive media. Katherine is also currently completing a Ph.D. in the Networks and Telecommunications Research Group at Trinity College Dublin.

Her work has appeared in numerous festivals and conferences including numer.02 at Centre Georges Pompidou, Futuresonic, Break 2.2, SIGGRAPH, eculture fair, Transmediale, ISEA, Ars Electronica, WIRED Nextfest, and Maker Faire. Her publications have appeared in a wide range of venues such as, Ubicomp, CHI, ISEA, NIME, the European Transport Conference, and the Journal of AI & Society. Her project, in collaboration with Jonah Brucker-Cohen was featured in "New Media Art" by Mark Tribe and Reena Jana in 2006.

She has taught at a wide variety of institutions and departments, such as Trinity College Dublin, Rhode Island School of Design, and Parsons School of Design, as has lead workshops on interaction design and the creative re-use of electronic objects around the globe. These "Scrapyard Challenge" workshops have been held thirty-seven times in fourteen countries across five continents. Katherine received her Masters degree from the Interactive Telecommunications Program at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where people and enabling interaction were emphasized over any specific technology. She was a 2004 recipient of the Araneum Prize from the Spanish Ministry for Science and Technology and Fundacion ARCO.


Elias Muhanna

Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature and Middle East Studies, Brown University

Professor Muhanna teaches courses on classical Arabic literature and Islamic intellectual history. He earned his PhD in Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations from Harvard University in 2012, and was a Visiting Fellow at the Stanford University Center for Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law in 2011-12. His current research focuses on classical and early modern encyclopedic literature in the Islamic world, and on particularly on the diverse forms of large-scale compilation during the Mamluk Empire (1250-1517).

In addition to his academic scholarship, Muhanna writes extensively on contemporary cultural and political affairs in the Middle East for several publications, including The New York Times, The Nation, Foreign Policy, The Guardian, The National, Mideast Monitor, World Politics Review, Bidoun, and Transition.

Lisa Parks

Professor of Film and Media Studies, UC Santa Barbara

Dr. Parks is a Professor and former Department Chair of Film and Media Studies at UC Santa Barbara, and an affiliate of the Department of Feminist Studies. She also currently serves as the Director of the Center for Information Technology and Society at UC Santa Barbara. Parks has conducted research on the uses of satellite, computer, and television technologies in different TRANSnational contexts. Her work is highly interdisciplinary and engages with fields such as geography, art, international relations, and communication studies. She has published on topics ranging from secret satellites to drones, from the mapping of orbital space to political uses of Google Earth, from mobile phone use in post-communist countries to the visualization of communication infrastructures.

Parks is the author of Cultures in Orbit: Satellites and the Televisual, and Coverage: Aero-Orbital Media After 9/11 (forthcoming), and is working on a third book entitled Mixed Signals: Media Infrastructures and Cultural Geographies. She has co-edited three books: Down to Earth: Satellite Technologies, Industries and Cultures, Planet TV, and UNDEAD TV, and is working on a fourth entitled Signal Traffic: Studies of Media Infrastructures. She has served on the editorial boards of 10 peer-reviewed academic journals and has contributed to many anthologies and edited collections.

Raqs Media Collective

Jeebesh Bagchi
(b. 1965, New Delhi, India)
Monica Narula
(b. 1969, New Delhi, India)
Shuddhabrata Sengupta
(b. 1968, New Delhi, India)

Raqs Media Collective have been variously described as artists, media practitioners, curators, researchers, editors and catalysts of cultural processes. Their work, which has been exhibited widely in major international spaces, locates them in the intersections of contemporary art, historical enquiry, philosophical speculation, research and theory — often taking the form of installations, online and offline media objects, performances and encounters. They live and work in Delhi, based at Sarai-CSDS, an initiative they co-founded in 2000. They are members of the editorial collective of the Sarai Reader series.

Raqs is a word in Persian, Arabic and Urdu and means the state that whirling dervishes enter into when they whirl. It is also a word used for dance.

Selected Exhibitions:

  • 2012 Art Unlimited, Art Basel
  • 2012 solo exhibition at The Photographers’ Gallery, London
  • 2012 group exhibition of billboards around the city of Birmingham (UK), Ikon Gallery & BCU
  • 2012 solo exhibition Frith Street Gallery
  • 2010 The Things That Happen When Falling In Love, a solo exhibition at Baltic Centre, Gateshead
  • 2010 The Capital of Accumulation, a solo exhibition at Project 88, Mumbai
  • 2010 a group exhibition at 29th Sao Paulo Biennial 2010, Brazil
  • 2010 a group exhibition at 8th Shanghai Biennale, China
  • 2010 The New Décor, a touring group exhibition at Hayward Gallery, London; The Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Moscow
  • 2009 The Surface of Each Day is a Different Planet, a solo exhibition at Art Now Lightbox, Tate Britain, London
  • 2009 When The Scales Fall From Your Eyes, a solo exhibition at Ikon, Birmingham (UK)
  • 2009 Escapement, a solo exhibition at Frith Street Gallery
  • 2008 Co-curators for Manifesta 7, Trentino


Nishant Shah

Founder and Director of Research, Centre for Internet and Society, Bangalore

Dr. Shah's doctoral work at the Centre for the Study of Culture and Society, examines the production of a Technosocial Subject at the intersections of law, Internet technologies and everyday cultural practices in India. As an Asia Scholarship Fellow (2008-2009), he also initiated a study that looks at what goes into the making of an IT City in India and China. He is the series editor for a three-year collaborative project on "Histories of the Internet(s) in India" that maps nine alternative histories that promote new ways of understanding the technological revolution in the country.

Nishant’s current research engagement since 2009 has been with the possibilities of social transformation and political participation in young peoples’ use of digital technologies in emerging ICT contexts of the Global South. Working with a community of 150 young people and other stakeholders in Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, he has co-edited a 4-volume book titled Digital AlterNatives with a Cause? and an information kit titled D:Coding Digital Natives. Nishant writes regularly for The Indian Express and GQ India to give a public voice to the academic research. He is currently also engaged in a project that seeks to articulate the intersections of digital technologies and social justice within the higher education space in India.

Nishant designs Internet and Society courses for undergraduate and graduate students in the fields of Communication, Media, Development, Art, Cultural Studies, and STS, in and outside of India. He is a founding member of the Inter Asia Cultural Studies Consortium and has also worked as a cyberculture consultant for various spaces like Yahoo!, Comat Technologies, Khoj Studios, and Nokia.


Ravi Sundaram

Senior Fellow, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Sarai

Ravi Sundaram’s work rests at the intersection of the post-colonial city and contemporary media experiences. As media technology and urban life have intermingled in the post-colonial world, new challenges have emerged for contemporary cultural theory. Sundaram has looked at the phenomenon that he calls ‘pirate modernity’, an illicit form of urbanism that draws from media and technological infrastructures of the post-colonial city.

Sundaram’s essays have been translated into various languages in India, Asia, and Europe. His current research deals with urban fear after media modernity, where he looks at the worlds of image circulation after the mobile phone, ideas of transparency and secrecy, and the media event.

Sundaram was one of the initiators of the Centre’s Sarai programme which he co-directs with his colleague Ravi Vasudevan. He has co-edited the critically acclaimed Sarai Reader series: The Public Domain (2001), The Cities of Everyday Life, (2002), Shaping Technologies (2003), Crisis Media (2004) and Turbulence (2006).

His other publications include Pirate Modernity: Media Urbanism in Delhi (2009). Two of his other volumes are No Limits: Media Studies from India (Oxford University Press, 2012) and Delhi’s Twentieth Century (forthcoming, OUP).

Tiziana Terranova

Associate Professor, Sociology of Communications, Coordinator, PhD programme in Cultural and Postcolonial Studies of the Anglophone World, Università degli Studi di Napoli ‘L'Orientale’

Tiziana Terranova's research interests lie in the area of the culture, science, technology and the economy from the perspective of the intersection of power, knowledge and subjectivation. She is the author of Corpi Nella Rete, Network Culture: Politics for the Information Age, and numerous essays on new media published in journals such as New Formations, Ctheory, Angelaki, Social Text, Theory, Culture and Society, and Culture Machine. She is a member of the editorial board of the journal Studi Culturali (Il Mulino) and Theory, Culture and Society, a regular participant to the grassroots seminars of the Italian nomadic university ‘uninomade’ and occasionally also a writer on matters of new media for the Italian newspaper Il manifesto.
Kalindi Vora

Assistant Professor, Ethnic Studies (affiliate faculty of the Critical Gender Studies Program and the Science Studies Program), UC San Diego

Kalindi Vora's research interests are in feminist science and technology studies, critical race and gender studies, South Asian area and diaspora studies, and cultural studies. She is currently completing a book manuscript that examines the connections between forms of historically unfree and gendered labor and contemporary transnational affective and biological economies, entitled [working title], Life Support: Race, Gender and New Socialities in the Vital Energy Economy.

Her publications include:

"Potential, Risk and Return in Transnational Indian Gestational Surrogacy." Current Anthropology. Forthcoming 2013.

"Limits of Labor: Accounting for Affect and the Biological in Transnational Surrogacy and Service Work." The South Atlantic Quarterly 111:4, Fall 2012. pp. 681-700.

"Medicine, Markets and the Pregnant Body: Indian Commercial Surrogacy and Reproductive Labor in a Transnational Frame." Scholar & Feminist Online. 2010.

"The Commodification of Affect in Indian Call Centers." In Intimate Labors: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Care, Sex, and Domestic Work. Eileen Boris and Rhacel Parreñas, eds., Stanford University Press. 2010.

"Indian Transnational Surrogacy and the Commodification of Vital Energy." In special issue, "Re-tooling Subjectivities: Exploring the Possible Through Feminist Science Studies." Subjectivities. 28.1. 2009.

"Other’s Organs and the Production of Life: South Asian Domestic Labor and Human Kidneys." Postmodern Culture. 19.1. 2009.