Catherine D’Ignazio, Lauren F. Klein: Data Feminism (2020)

14 May 2020, dusan

“Today, data science is a form of power. It has been used to expose injustice, improve health outcomes, and topple governments. But it has also been used to discriminate, police, and surveil. This potential for good, on the one hand, and harm, on the other, makes it essential to ask: Data science by whom? Data science for whom? Data science with whose interests in mind? The narratives around big data and data science are overwhelmingly white, male, and techno-heroic. In Data Feminism, Catherine D’Ignazio and Lauren Klein present a new way of thinking about data science and data ethics—one that is informed by intersectional feminist thought.

Illustrating data feminism in action, D’Ignazio and Klein show how challenges to the male/female binary can help challenge other hierarchical (and empirically wrong) classification systems. They explain how, for example, an understanding of emotion can expand our ideas about effective data visualization, and how the concept of invisible labor can expose the significant human efforts required by our automated systems. And they show why the data never, ever “speak for themselves.”

Data Feminism offers strategies for data scientists seeking to learn how feminism can help them work toward justice, and for feminists who want to focus their efforts on the growing field of data science. But Data Feminism is about much more than gender. It is about power, about who has it and who doesn’t, and about how those differentials of power can be challenged and changed.”

Publisher MIT Press, 2020
strong Ideas series
Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND license
ISBN 9780262044004, 0262044005
xii+314 pages

Interviews with authors: Jason Forrest (Nightingale, 2019), Zoë Corbyn (The Guardian, 2020).

Book website

PDF (39 MB)

Zoe Beloff: Emotions Go to Work (2018)

4 October 2018, dusan

Emotions Go to Work is an investigation into how technology is used to turn our feelings into valuable assets. One might call it the transformation of emotion into capital. It asks what is at stake in our relationship with the companions we call smart objects? What does the future hold in store for a world where people are treated more and more like things, while the billions of gadgets that make up the Internet of Things are increasingly anthropomorphized, granted agency?

Spanning an arc of time from the 18th century to 21st century and beyond, Emotions Go to Work traces the codification and instrumentalization emotional data in ways both playful and serious. It considers the role emojis play our mental life and their potential to evolve and grow monstrous. It suggests that anthropomorphized technological creatures from early cartoons might inspire a utopian society. Proposing that the first step to re-wiring our world is to picture possibilities in games and in play, in dreams and in far-fetched fictions, so that we can begin new conversations between people and things.”

Publisher Minor Compositions, Colchester, 2018
Open access
ISBN 9781570272301
59 pages


PDF (12 MB)

Katrin Pahl: Tropes of Transport: Hegel and Emotion (2012)

12 October 2017, dusan

“Intervening in the multidisciplinary debate on emotion, Tropes of Transport offers a fresh analysis of Hegel’s work that becomes an important resource for Pahl’s cutting-edge theory of emotionality. If it is usually assumed that the sincerity of emotions and the force of affects depend on their immediacy, Pahl explores to what extent mediation—and therefore a certain degree of manipulation but also of sympathy—is constitutive of emotionality. Hegel serves as a particularly helpful interlocutor not only because he offers a sophisticated analysis of mediation, but also because, rather than locating emotion in the heart, he introduces impersonal tropes of transport, such as trembling, release, and shattering. ”

Publisher Northwestern University Press, 2012
Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0
ISBN 0810127857, 9780810127852
ix+282 pages

Reviews: Emilia Angelova (Parrhesia, 2014), David H. Kim (Parrhesia, 2014), John McCumber (Parrhesia, 2014), Jason J. Howard (Parrhesia, 2014), Katrin Pahl (response to the 4 reviews, Parrhesia, 2014).

Interview with author (Rorotoko, 2012)