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).

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L’Internationale (eds.): Living with Ghosts: Legacies of Colonialism and Fascism (2019)

19 November 2019, dusan

Living with Ghosts: Legacies of Colonialism and Fascism is a constellation of essays, conversations and images that point to the manner in which the legacies of colonialism and fascism reverberate in our present conjuncture. The impulse for producing this issue was a question of whether it may be possible to trace the connections between the violences of the colonial project through the horrors of fascism to current forms of racism, identitarianism and populism – what we initially called ‘an arc’ of colonialism-nationalism-fascism.

These shifts are palpable in the contemporary political uncertainties expressed in this collection of texts. Each of the contributors reflect on the specificities of their environment through their lived experiences, through their artistic practices, or reflections on the curatorial climate. They seek to maintain a space for critical engagement and political criticism. Furthermore, this issue considers the layers of historical conditions that inform states of ‘belonging’ and ‘sovereignty’ (even ‘citizenry’ as a debatable proposition) in Europe. What becomes evident from these various contributions is that there is no sudden or surprising development towards the right – too often expressed an ‘inexplicable phenomena’ of contemporary society. They instead address it as a slow and steady movement based on historical events and political terms of reference which have remain unresolved and have again returned, this time through the opportunism advanced and fuelled by the structures of capitalism that connect Europe to Russia and America. Each is a case study that recognises the patterns of violence and inequality evident in the political structures of colonialism and fascism.”

With contributions by Nick Aikens, Jyoti Mistry, and Corina Oprea, Gurminder K.Bhambra, Rex Edmunds and Elizabeth A. Povinelli, Gloria Wekker, Quinsy Gario, Nkule Mabaso, Jyoti Mistry, Jelena Vesić, and Kuba Szreder.

Publisher L’Internationale Online, 2019
Creative Commons BY-NC-SA License
ISBN 9789151931685
190 pages

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Achille Mbembe: Necropolitics (2016–) [ES, IT, EN]

14 November 2019, dusan

“In Necropolitics Achille Mbembe, a leader in the new wave of francophone critical theory, theorizes the genealogy of the contemporary world, a world plagued by ever-increasing inequality, militarization, enmity, and terror as well as by a resurgence of racist, fascist, and nationalist forces determined to exclude and kill. He outlines how democracy has begun to embrace its dark side—what he calls its “nocturnal body”—which is based on the desires, fears, affects, relations, and violence that drove colonialism. This shift has hollowed out democracy, thereby eroding the very values, rights, and freedoms liberal democracy routinely celebrates. As a result, war has become the sacrament of our times in a conception of sovereignty that operates by annihilating all those considered enemies of the state. Despite his dire diagnosis, Mbembe draws on post-Foucauldian debates on biopolitics, war, and race as well as Fanon’s notion of care as a shared vulnerability to explore how new conceptions of the human that transcend humanism might come to pass. These new conceptions would allow us to encounter the Other not as a thing to exclude but as a person with whom to build a more just world.”

First published as Politiques de l’inimitié, La Découverte, Paris, 2016.

English edition
Translated by Steven Corcoran
Publisher Duke University Press, 2019
Theory in Forms series
ISBN 9781478005858, 1478005858
viii+213 pages

Reviews: Laurent Husson (Érudit, 2017, FR), Magali Bessone (L’Homme, 2016, FR), Guillaume G. Poirier (Ithaque, 2017, FR), Alexis Pierçon-Gnezda (Les Inrocks, 2016, FR), Jean Vettraino (Revue Projet, 2016, FR), Akono François-Xavier (Philosophie-politique, 2016, FR), Klaus Nüchtern (Zeit, DE, 2017), Jos Schnurer (socialnet.de, 2017, DE), Filippo La Porta (Laterza, 2019, IT), Tancredi Re (Economia Italiana, 2019, IT).

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Políticas de la enemistad (Spanish, trans. Victor Goldstein, 2018, via)
Nanorazzismo: il corpo notturno della democrazia (Italian, trans. Guido Lagomarsino, 2019)
Necropolitics (English, trans. Steven Corcoran, 2019)