In the Loop: Anita Chan
350 North LaSalle Street
Chicago, IL 60654
Technological Vanguards at the Periphery: Inter-tecnologidad in the Andes
Promising global interconnection and optimization, "the digital" has come to represent the future. Yet despite the power the digital has to drive culture, communication and economies, there has been little attention paid to the "universalist" underpinnings that mobilize it. Likewise, little has been made of the distinct imaginaries that inform the way we think about and the resources available to support development in the digital realm.
Anthropologist Anita Chan will discuss experimental innovation spaces, such as Peru's rural hack lab spaces, that have the potential to disrupt dominant logic of innovation and reorient digital development frameworks. Collaborations among Latin American free-software activists that cross rural and urban sites and connect transnational media producers with indigenous communities may open up possibilities for uncovering collective futures.
Anita Say Chan is an assistant research professor of communications and an assistant professor of media studies in the Department of Media and Cinema Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her research and teaching interests include globalization and digital cultures, innovation networks and the “periphery,” and science and technology studies in Latin America. Her manuscript on the competing imaginaries of global connection and information technologies in network-age Peru, Networking Peripheries: Technological Futures and the Myth of Digital Universalism, is forthcoming with MIT Press. Her research has been awarded support from the Center for the Study of Law and Culture at Columbia University’s School of Law and the National Science Foundation, and she has held postdoctoral fellowships at The CUNY Graduate Center’s Committee on Globalization and Social Change and at Stanford University’s Introduction to Humanities Program.