A roundtable conversation about new ways to study and think about the entanglements of medial technologies in sociocultural life.
How should we understand the vast and often unexpected entanglements of media technologies in social and cultural life? This roundtable draws into dialogue linguistic and semiotic anthropology, media ethnography and archaeology, and science and technology studies. From syllabic typewriters to sound recorders, from postwar Japan and America to contemporary Punjab and Nigeria, we examine how human, media, and machine do not simply “interact” but variably combine and sometimes co-constitute each other with far-reaching effects. How do we take seriously the materiality of media and their infrastructures without neglecting cultural significance or resorting to species of determinism? In what ways are we helped or hindered by concepts such as “interface,” “indexicality,” and “technique,” and amalgams like “sociotechnical” and, indeed, “technosemiotic”?
Padma Chirumamilla | Doctoral Candidate, School of Information, University of Michigan
Matthew Hull | Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Michigan
Miyako Inoue | Associate Professor of Anthropology, Stanford University
Brian Larkin | Professor of Anthropology, Barnard College, Columbia University
Michael Lempert | Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Michigan
Nishita Trisal | Doctoral Candidate, Anthropology, University of Michigan