The Cloud and the Crowd

This Center project explores the histories, contemporary forms, and conceptual and political implications of “cloud” and “crowd.” Crowd-sourcing, cloud computing, social media, and the rise of Big Data are implicated in powerful transformations in the fabric of our economic, social, and technical worlds. These shifts range from new modes of visualizing ecological change to the reconfiguration of disaster relief; from collaborative platforms for innovation to the radical dispersal of labor; and from new senses of political possibility to enhanced modes of crowd control.

This interdisciplinary project creates a platform for critical, collective reflection on the rise of the cloud and the return of the crowd in different ways across the globe.

The project currently has two pillars:

The Cloud and the Crowd Multicampus Research Group in the Humanities

Data / Science / Inquiry

Fall 2015 – New Cloud and Crowd Reading Group

This fall the Center’s Special Project area “The Cloud and the Crowd” convenes a new reading group. Following on from Cori Hayden’s course by the same name offered last year we will expand the exploration of relevant texts in literary, social and political theory and data science. Among those texts will be the newly published A Prehistory of the Cloud By Tung-Hui Hu.

Meeting dates and texts:

Thursday, October 1, 12-2pm in Stephens 470 – A Prehistory of the Cloud By Tung-Hui Hu

Thursday, November 19, 12-2pm in Stephens 470- The View from Above by Jeanne Haffner.

Friday, December 18, 12-2pm in Stephens 470- Beautiful Data by Orit Halpern

Friday, January 22, 12-2 pm in Stephens 470- Crowds and Power by Elias Canetti




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