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Wendy Chun | Governing through Homophily: Network Science as Segregation


Wendy Chun | Governing through Homophily: Network Science as Segregation

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Wendy Hui Kyong Chun is Professor of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University. She has studied both Systems Design Engineering and English Literature, which she combines and mutates in her current work on digital media. She is author of Control and Freedom: Power and Paranoia in the Age of Fiber Optics (MIT, 2006), Programmed Visions: Software and Memory (MIT 2011), and Updating to Remain the Same: Habitual New Media (MIT 2016).. She is co-editor (with Tara McPherson and Patrick Jagoda) of a special issue of American Literature entitled New Media and American Literature, co-editor (with Lynne Joyrich) of a special issue of Camera Obscura entitled Race and/as Technology and co-editor (with Anna Fisher and Thomas Keenan) of New Media, Old Media: A History and Theory Reader, 2nd edition (forthcoming Routledge, 2015). She is a 2016 Guggenheim Fellow, ACLS and American Academy of Berlin Fellow, and she has been a Member of the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton), a Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard and a Wriston Fellow at Brown. She is also the Velux Visiting Professor of Management, Politics and Philosophy at the Copenhagen Business School; she has been the Wayne Morse Chair for Law and Politics at the University of Oregon, Visiting Professor at Leuphana University (Luneburg, Germany), Visiting Associate Professor in the History of Science Department at Harvard, of which she is currently an Associate.

Governing through Homophily: Network Science as Segregation

The fact that networks create “echo chambers” or “filter bubbles” has become a truism. Personalization allegedly has destroyed commonality and the public sphere. To understand how network algorithms fragment, this talk examines a fundamental axiom of network science: homophily, the principle that similarity breeds connection. Homophily fosters the breakdown of seemingly open and boundless networks into a series of poorly-gated communities, a disintegration furthered by the agent-based market logic embedded within most capture systems. If networks segregate, it is because network analyses rest on and perpetuate a reductive identity politics, which posits race and gender as “immutable” categories and “love of the same” as innate. To face this challenge, this talk reveals and engages the “performative” nature of networks. Networks both enact what they describe and depend on repetitious acts to create nodes and edges. What would happen if we took this performativity seriously and built systems that acknowledged the fundamental fluidity of identity? What would happen if network science met critical theory, in particular critical ethnic studies, to realize that what masquerades as love is often hate?

全喜卿 是布朗大学现代文化与媒体专业的教授。她学过系统设计工程学以及英國文学,因此將这两者转化、融合在数字媒体的研究上。她著有《控制与自由:纤维光学年代的权利与妄想》(Control and Freedom: Power and Paranoia in the Age of Fiber Optics ,MIT, 2006),《可程序化的幻景:软件与记忆》( Programmed Visions: Software and Memory ,MIT 2011), 《更新以维持现状:习惯了的新媒体》( Updating to Remain the Same: Habitual New Media, MIT 2016)等書。也是美国文学的一份特别期刊“新媒体与美国文学”的联合编辑  (with Tara McPherson and Patrick Jagoda), 同时也是暗箱(Camera Obscura)的特别期刊 “种族与/作为技术” (Race and/as Technology )以及《新媒体,旧媒体:一本历史与理论读本》的联合编辑。 担任過2016年古根海姆, ACLS以及美国驻柏林科学院研究院,普林斯顿高等研究院的、 哈佛拉德克利夫高等研究所,布朗大学 Wriston(李斯顿)研究员。 她还是哥本哈根商学院管理、政策与哲学方向的客座教授,任俄勒冈大学法律与政治专业的Wayne Morse 教授职位,德国吕讷堡大学(Leuphana University)客座教授,哈佛大学科学历史系副教授。





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