The exposé should outline a research project that has at its centre the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, GBIF. The project should aim to make this archive/database/online discovery environment into a productive site for ethnographic engagements. The guiding questions directing such engagements are: How can we open the “black box” that is GBIF? How can we use GBIF to problematise issues around naturecultures, the role of nature in politics and the role of politics in nature, the intersection of nature/biology and colonialism, the politics of collection and collecting, the practices of knowing nature, the consequences of the datafication of nature? The exposé is meant to be developed in conjunction with all seminar participants, working towards a collective and shared research project. However, it should also contain a “personalised” component, representing your individual contribution to the research project. For this, we suggest you use your “digital pet” as a research companion that will help you guide your question, approach and/or literature.
The exposé can take the following structure: 1. Introduction to GBIF and the datafication of nature (shared) 2. Introduction of the (set of) issue/s and concept/s that you wish to address. These can be taken from the key literature (production of scientific knowledge; the problem of collaboration; the problem of technologies and their politics; etc.) or could include additional/other relevant concepts. (shared with the option to personalise) 3. Methodology (shared AND personalise): This should address how you will carry out the research project and include methodological/analytical concepts from the literature (eg “data ideology”; “boundary object”; etc) 4. Work packages and timeline (shared AND personalised) 5. Literature (shared AND personalised)
We will be focusing on the following aspects this term: The question of the “social”: anthropology is concerned with “human” affairs but how can we get to the “human” elements, the social interactions when dealing with data and data infrastructures? You have raised this issue throughout the seminar, so this term we will take some time to examine how to figure the social (or its traces) in GBIF and beyond. For this, we will look at literature from infrastructure studies and material cultures.
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