How can anthropology contribute to an understanding of the impact of new digital technologies?

Conference poster (source)
European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA) held its 11th conference in Maynooth, Ireland 24-27th August 2010. One of the sessions was titled Digital Anthropology and described how...
"[...] People's imagination of the digital seems to bifurcate as something that, on the one hand, lies at the keyboard at the tip of their fingers but at the same time appears as an abstraction from traditional analogue modes of representation. This bifurcation is often what makes the digital appear to be either the cause or the solution of impending crises. Often this imagination is fed from science fiction and images of humans losing control of the planet to the new technologies themselves.
This is perhaps the moment when anthropology has to choose how to respond to digital technologies. Whether to demonise them as a form of alienation, to romanticise them as open-source utopias or get to grips with the way they speedily become part of everyday life. [...]"
Here's a list of all the presentations (and author names).
  • A brief theory of digital anthropology (Miller and Horst)
  • Digital sound technologies: the renegotiation of music production, consumption and collecting practices (Bowsher)
  • Phreaker/hacker/troller as trickster (Coleman)
  • Spimes as material culture: anthropological approaches to (and through) location-aware objects (DeNicola)
  • Emerging futurities in Muslim southeast Asia: science fantasy, digital development and the urge for moral technology (Barendregt)
  • Digital dramas, online liminality and the state of creolization in Tanzania (Uimonen)
  • Phones, foreigners, and the fluctuating digital divide in Southern Mozambique (Archambault)
  • Culture, conflict and translocal communication: mobile technology and politics in rural West Bengal, India (Tenhunen)
  • Migration and virtual community 2.0 (Komito)
  • Hope infrastructure: enacting expectations in bloggers' material practices (Estatella)
  • Indigenizing digital technologies, imagining cultural futures: Ara Irititja reshapes new media in contemporary Australia (Thorner)
Read all the abstracts here.
On the same site you can find the email address of each presenter.

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