6 November 2016
I’m coming up to two months in my fellowship at Data & Society, and I’m trying my best to appreciate it, and not take any of it for granted. The fact that I’m getting paid to read, learn, discuss and debate is still a little bit surreal!
One thing that I have been thinking a lot about is the privileges and the opportunities that the fellowship grants me. Along with the fantastic Data & Society network and community, it’s been such a nice break to be assigned reading lists and books in preparation for discussion groups, debates and seminars.
With that in mind - and as someone who thoroughly appreciates when others make curricula public - here’s everything that I’ve been assigned to read over the past two months.
Beamtimes and Lifetimes, by Sharon Traweek. A study by an anthropologist of the world of high-energy physicists.
The Democratic Surround, by Fred Turner. This made for a great transition read for me coming from Germany to the United States, though as colleagues at Data & Society pointed out, it does focus heavily on white people, and at some points seems almost dismissive of important issues like the civil rights movements.
The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood by James Gleick.
Race, Class and Gender as Categories of Analysis and Connection, by Patricia Hills Collins. This has probably been my favourite article so far! It talked a lot about practical issues that I think about a lot.
A Theory of Justice, by John Rawls - as a non-academic, I have to admit that this was pretty hard to get through. Explanations of it what it was trying to say, though, made a lot of sense to me - but the fact that his arguments around inequality were expressed in (what seemed to me) a highly inaccessible way, came across as highly ironic to me.
Generic Processes in the Reproduction of Inequality: an Interactionist Analysis, by Michael Schwalbe et al.
The New Atlantis, by Ursula K. LeGuin. (yep, I’m totally pinching myself that reading and discussing this forms part of what is now my part-time day job…)