The Labour of Digital Scholarship
Organised in partnership with College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences digital scholarship programme
Karen Gregory, School of Social and Political Science, The University of Edinburgh
23rd February 2017
Project Room 1.06, 50 George Square, University of Edinburgh, EH8 9LH
sign up here: open to all (lunch is provided courtesy of the Digital Scholarship initiative)
Digital platforms have given rise to new modes of scholarly communication. From individual scholarly blogs, shared digital research libraries, open online teaching, social media profiles, to Open Access university initiatives, contemporary academic labour is increasingly becoming digital labour. Drawing on work done in the fields of education, media studies, and cultural studies, this talk will offer a definition of academic digital labour in order to ask make visible the nature of this work, as well as to offer a theory of why such digital work is increasingly valuable in the University. I argue that digital labour is the unacknowledged thread that links disciplinary work, instructional and educational technologies, library services, and information technology to larger administrative visions and goals for restructuring the University. Such restructuring, however, also entails demands for decreased labour costs and docile labour, both of which have resulted in an increasingly contingent, precarious, and causalized University. As such, tracing the labour that makes digital scholarship possible enables us to chart new labour arrangements in the University, as well as ask larger and essential questions about the labour required to curate, sustain, and steward knowledge in a digital society.
About the speaker: Karen Gregory is a Lecturer in Digital Sociology at the University of Edinburgh. Her work explores the intersection of digital labor, affect, and contemporary spirituality, with an emphasis on the role of the laboring body. Karen is a founding member of CUNY Graduate Center’s Digital Labor Working Group and her writings have appeared in Women’s Studies Quarterly, Women and Performance, Visual Studies, Contexts, The New Inquiry, and Dis Magazine.
You can often find Karen online @claudiakincaid.