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Seminar — Studying the narratives about and expectations of tech connectivity fundamentally informs us about social life, and bears relevance beyond the subfield of “digital anthropology.”
Date & Time:
Room 8B-1-14, South Campus, University of Copenhagen
The Centre of African Studies, Copenhagen University
Processes of digitalization are often accompanied by discourses about more efficiency, solvability, and better futures. These discourses are socially situated, and generate a wide variety of tech communities, and tech products, even if these are limited to the demo stage. In Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of Congo, tech entrepreneurs, the Congolese state, and humanitarian actors, all produce visions of cyberfutures.
Imaginations about digitally mediated lives do not necessarily project images of material futures, but they are very much centered around future social formations. Discourses about cyberfutures express ideas about relatedness, how people should connect and interact with each other and with institutions. The tech imagination of the “good life” thus provides first and foremost a scenario for sociality. Studying the narratives about and expectations of tech connectivity fundamentally informs us about social life, and bears relevance beyond the subfield of “digital anthropology”.
The lecture will be given by Katrien Pype, Associate Professor at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology of KU Leuven University.