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Digital Human Labour – our schedule at the AAG

Published on
25 Jan 2017
Written by
Mark Graham

I have co-organised a series of session tracks for the AAG meeting titled ‘Digital Human Labour’. My great co-organisers (listed below) and I received an overwhelming number of submissions. We now have a full line-up and schedule. If you’re in Boston for the 2017 AAG, please check out our work. We’ll be doing this from 8am until 7pm (make sure you’re there at 8am, as you’ll notice a certain person’s talk starts then).

Digital Human Labour 1: The Human Labour of Digital Work
is scheduled on Saturday, 4/8/2017, from 8:00 AM – 9:40 AM in Independence East, Sheraton, Second Floor

Organizer(s):
James Thatcher – University of Washington – Tacoma
David O’Sullivan – University of California, Berkeley
Dorothea Johanna KLEINE – University of Sheffield

Chair(s):
James Thatcher – University of Washington – Tacoma

Abstract(s):

8:00 AM   Author(s): *Mark Graham – University of Oxford

Abstract Title: The Geography of the Gig Economy: Are there virtual sites of strength for digital workers?

8:15 AM   Author(s): *Dillon Mahmoudi – Portland State University

Abstract Title: “Code Yourself To A Better Future”: The Feminisation of Software Labour

8:30 AM   Author(s): *Benjamin Shestakofsky – University of California, Berkeley

Abstract Title: Working Algorithms: Software Automation and the Future of Work

8:45 AM   Author(s): *Filipa Pajevic, PhD Student – McGill University, School of Urban Planning
Richard G. Shearmur, Professor – McGill University, School of Urban Planning

Abstract Title: Space, Technology and Everyday Work-life: The spatial underpinnings of mobile and flexible labour, the case of Toronto-Waterloo, Ontario

9:00 AM   Discussant: Mark Graham – University of Oxford

9:15 AM   Author(s): *Ryan Ellis – Northeastern University

Abstract Title: ‘No More Free Bugs’: Organizing the Market for Software Vulnerabilities

Discussant(s):
Mark Graham – University of Oxford

Session Description: The spread of the internet to three and a half billion people around the world has significant implications for the human labour. It is now relatively straightforward to outsource business processes to anyone, anywhere, that has a digital connection. This session aims to bring together scholarship that explores the human labour of this digital work. Who carries it out? How does it affect the livelihoods of workers? What sorts of political and organisational governance regimes bring it into being? And what are the ethical, spatial, social, and economic implications of a world in which human labour is increasing disembedded into digital networks.


Digital Human Labour 2: The Digital Labour of Being Human

is scheduled on Saturday, 4/8/2017, from 10:00 AM – 11:40 AM in Independence East, Sheraton, Second Floor

Organizer(s):
James Thatcher – University of Washington – Tacoma
Gillian C. Rose – The Open University
Mark Graham – University of Oxford

Chair(s):
Mark Graham – University of Oxford

Abstract(s):

10:00 AM   Discussant: Gillian C. Rose – The Open University

10:15 AM   Author(s): *James Thatcher – University of Washington – Tacoma

Abstract Title: Data derives: Confronting digital geographic information as spectacle

10:30 AM   Author(s): *Samuel Miles – Queen Mary University of London

Abstract Title: Queerness in a digital age: the labour of hyperconnectivity

10:45 AM   Author(s): *Roberta Hawkins – University of Guelph

Abstract Title: Digital geographies of development philanthropy: Constituting care and responsibility?

11:00 AM   Author(s): *Karen Gregory – University of Edinburgh

Abstract Title: Weird Solidarity: Situating and Mapping the Data Body

11:15 AM   Author(s): *Gregory T. Donovan – Fordham University

Abstract Title: Settlement in the “Smart” City: Breaking Down Modes of Knowing, Navigating, and Belonging on Manhattan’s West Side

Discussant(s):
Gillian C. Rose – The Open University

Session Description: Digital technologies are now embedded in many aspects of everyday life in many places, mediating everyday experiences of embodiment, mobility, and communication.  It is clear that many of these mediations are reproducing existing ways and forms of ‘being human’, but it is also clear that new forms of (post)humanities are emerging, co-produced with, for example, VR headsets, big data, and social media platforms.  This session aims to bring together scholarship that addresses these monadic emergences.  What new forms of distributed agency, performative gestures and navigational orientations could and should be mapped, and in what ways?  What are their temporalities and spatialities, and what geometries of power and difference do they enact?


Digital Human Labour 3: The Algorithmic Labour of Being

is scheduled on Saturday, 4/8/2017, from 1:20 PM – 3:00 PM in Independence East, Sheraton, Second Floor

Organizer(s):
James Thatcher – University of Washington – Tacoma
David O’Sullivan – University of California, Berkeley
Gillian C. Rose – The Open University

Chair(s):
Gillian C. Rose – The Open University

Abstract(s):

1:20 PM   Discussant: James Thatcher – University of Washington – Tacoma

1:35 PM   Author(s): *Will Payne – University of California – Berkeley

Abstract Title: Location-Based Services Avant La Lettre: The Zagat Survey and Quantified Lifestyles in 1980s New York

1:50 PM   Author(s): *Robert Wentrup – Centre for International Business Studies, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg
Richard H Nakamura – Centre for International Business Studies, School of Business, Economics and Law,University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Patrik Ström – Centre for International Business Studies, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

Abstract Title: “UBERISATION IN PARIS” – THE CLASH WHEN THE ONLINE MEETS THE OFFLINE

2:05 PM   Author(s): *Daniel G. Cockayne – University of Waterloo

Abstract Title: Sharing and neoliberal discourse: The economic function of sharing in the digital on-demand economy

2:20 PM   Author(s): *Sonia Fizek – Abertay University

Abstract Title: Playbouring Cyborgs: Renegotiating the human-machine ensembles

2:35 PM   Author(s): *Luis Felipe Alvarez Leon, Ph.D. – USC Sol Price Center for Social Innovation

Abstract Title: Automating Space: Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Driving, and the New Political Economy of Mapping in the 21st Century

Discussant(s):
James Thatcher – University of Washington – Tacoma

Session Description: Alongside the rise in access to internet technologies and their everyday usage, has come an entwined rise in the analysis and manipulation of digital information through algorithms. Just as new technologies introduce interfaces, mediations, and affordances to (re)produce representations of self, so too do the algorithms which sort, select, and present information constrain what can be done and known through the use of said devices. Similarly, even as the very real geography of the labor of digital work shifts and extends across the globe, algorithms increasingly insert themselves betwixt and between laborers, customers, and corporate interests, altering traditional employment relations through the mediation of technology. Building from the themes of the previous two sessions, this session aims to bring together research on the many ways in which algorithms and quantification function in the world. Questions of interest include, but are not limited to: What sorts of new spatial relations are possible through the algorithmic mediation of labor relations? Where is the work of algorithms done? What are the historical roots of this process? What new forms of knowledge and power have been enabled (and constrained) by these systems?


Digital Human Labour 4: Doing Digital Geographies

is scheduled on Saturday, 4/8/2017, from 3:20 PM – 5:00 PM in Independence East, Sheraton, Second Floor

Organizer(s):
James Thatcher – University of Washington – Tacoma
Mark Graham – University of Oxford
Dorothea Johanna KLEINE – University of Sheffield

Chair(s):
Dorothea Johanna KLEINE – University of Sheffield

Abstract(s):

3:20 PM   Discussant: James N. Ash – Newcastle University

3:35 PM   Author(s): *David O’Sullivan – University of California, Berkeley
Luc Guillemot – University of California, Berkeley

Abstract Title: ‘Same only different’: rethinking the practice of digital urban geographies

3:50 PM   Author(s): *Stephanie Velednitsky – University of Wisconsin – Madison
*Samer N. Alatout – University of Wisconsin-Madison

Abstract Title: Fabricating Sovereignty: Water, Labor, and Microprocessor Manufacture in Israel

4:05 PM   Author(s): *Evangeline McGlynn – University of California Berkeley

Abstract Title: Scales of Inquiry: Geography in the Era of Computational Social Science

4:20 PM   Author(s): *Beatriz Itzel Cruz Megchun – American University of Sharjah

Abstract Title: Re-imagining Sharjah University City Map through Art, Design, and Digital Technologies

4:35 PM   Author(s): *Margaret Jack, PhD student – Cornell University

Abstract Title: Infrastructure as Creative Action: Online Buying, Selling, and Delivery in Phnom Penh

Discussant(s):
James N. Ash – Newcastle University

Session Description: This session focuses on the praxis of the Digital Human Labour series of sessions.


Digital Human Labour 5: Panel

is scheduled on Saturday, 4/8/2017, from 5:20 PM – 7:00 PM in Independence East, Sheraton, Second Floor

Organizer(s):
James Thatcher – University of Washington – Tacoma
Mark Graham – University of Oxford
Gillian C. Rose – The Open University

Chair(s):
Rob Kitchin – National University Of Ireland Maynooth

Panelist(s):
Shannon Christine Mattern – New School University
Matthew W. Wilson – University of Kentucky
Martin Dodge
Sarah Elwood – University of Washington
Dorothea Johanna KLEINE – University of Sheffield

Discussant(s):
Trevor J. Barnes – University Of British Columbia
Renee Sieber – McGill University
David O’Sullivan – University of California, Berkeley

Session Description: This panel brings together key figures in Digital Geographies and asks them pointed questions in a short answer format.

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