Assistant Professor, Tufts University
Former Co-Chair and Contributor, Platypus: The CASTAC Blog
I'm an anthropologist who studies how people use technology to interpret, reproduce, and circulate sound. My current book project is titled Computing Taste: The Making of Algorithmic Music Recommendation, based on a long-term ethnographic study of the developers of music recommender systems. In previous research, I've studied the history of the player piano and experimental music.
The nice thing about context is that everyone has it
Nick Seaver (2015) | Media, Culture & Society 37(7): 1101-1109 | http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0163443715594102
Contributions to Platypus: The CASTAC Blog
2016 was a busy year for CASTAC members. The wealth of articles that we can now share through our online directory, books published or soon to be, blog posts made here and elsewhere, and the many great talks in Minneapolis suggest what we have been up to: that is, of course, applying critical anthropological attention to science, technology and computing, and interrogating social practices and systems of meaning and power. We have researched, written, edited, taught, mentored, reviewed, and managed. We have a lot to be proud of and a lot in the works.
As an organization, CASTAC has been busy, too. We have continued to grow our presence online, at the AAA meetings, and beyond. In this post, we’ll recap what we’ve been up to this past year and talk about what’s in the works for the year to come. (more…)
CASTAC is proud to be co-hosting, with the Media Anthropology Network and Digital Anthropology Interest Group, an e-seminar on the many uses of Facebook in anthropological research. The seminar begins today, June 22, 2016, and it is being kicked off with a set of statements [PDF] by researchers whose projects have engaged Facebook, as part of their fieldwork or as a platform for disseminating and discussing their research: Philipp Budka (University of Vienna), Jordan Kraemer (Wesleyan University), Martin Slama (Austrian Academy of Sciences), and Sydney Yeager (Southern Methodist University). All readers of the blog are invited to participate in the discussion. The e-seminar is taking place on the medianthro list, so if you're interested in joining the conversation, be sure to sign up there.
Last year was a busy one for CASTAC. In addition to the incredible work that our web and Platypus blog team have put into integrating and expanding our existing web presence, we’ve also doubled down on our organizational programming, working to facilitate new collaborations between junior scholars, established faculty, and specialists working in various industries of science and technology. In that follows, we’d like to relate some developments from the past year before shifting focus to the months and years ahead.
We’re pleased to report an increase in submissions for the Diana Forsythe Prize, which CASTAC facilitates in conjunction with the Society for the Anthropology of Work and with the support of the General Anthropology Division and Bern Shen. Through their respective books on hacker communities and the normalization of once-extraordinary medical treatment, this year’s award winner Biella Coleman and honorable mention Sharon Kaufman continue Diana Forsythe’s pioneering work at the intersection of anthropology and STS, bringing cultural perspectives to bear on the relationship between technology and social change. Having recognized Coleman and Kaufman at this year’s annual meeting, we would like to congratulate them once again, and thank outgoing award committee chair João Biehl and continuing committee members Stefan Helmreich and Nina Brown for their extensive work on behalf of the Forsythe Prize. (more…)