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Uncertain Archives


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Table of Contents

1 Abuse 29
2 Affect 37
3 Aggregation 47
4 Algorithmic Racism 57
5 Bots 65
6 Care 75
7 Complicity 87
8 Conversational Agents 99
9 Cooling 109
10 Copynorms 115
11 Database 125
12 Demo 133
13 Detox 141
14 Digital Assistants 151 
15 Digital Humanities 161
16 DNA 171
17 Drone 179
18 Error 191
19 Ethics 201
20 Executing 209
21 Expertise 217
22 Field 227
23 Figura 235 
24 File 241
25 Flesh 249 
26 Glitch 259
27 Hashtag Archiving 271
28 Hauntology 279
29 Instrumentality 289
30 Interface 299
31 Intersectionality 305 
32 Latency 313
33 Metadata 321
34 Migrationmapping 331
35 (Mis)gendering 339
36 Misreading 347
37 Natural 353
38 Obfuscation 359
39 Organization 369
40 Outlier 377
41 Performative Measure 389
42 Pornography 397 
43 Prediction 403 
44 Proxies 419
45 Quantification 427
46 Remains 433
47 Reparative 443
48 Self-Tracking 457
49 Shifters 469 
50 Sorting 477
51 Stand-In 485
52 Supply Chain 493
53 Technoheritage 499 
54 Throbber 513
55 Time.now 523
56 Unpredictability 533
57 Unthought 541
58 Values 551
59 Visualization 561
60 Vulnerability 569
61 Word 579
Contributors 585
Index 597

About the Author

Nanna Bonde Thylstrup is Associate Professor at Copenhagen Business School and author of The Politics of Mass Digitization (MIT Press).Daniela Agostinho is postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies at the University of Copenhagen.Annie Ring is Associate Professor in the School of European Languages, Culture, and Society at University College London, and author of After the Stasi. Catherine D'Ignazio is Assistant Professor of Data Visualization and Civic Media at Emerson College and coauthor of Data Feminism (MIT Press). Kristin Veel is Associate Professor at the Department for Arts and Cultural Studies at the University of Copenhagen and coauthor of Tower to Tower (MIT Press).


"Uncertain Archives is an impressive book, both in the sense that it is an extensive and well executed piece of work, and in the sense that it makes an impression on the reader. [ . . . It] provides rich, original, and valuable insights into fundamental issues in society, which at the same time run deep and are changing rapidly.”—Nordic Journal of Library and Information Studies

“Thus, particularly for those engaged in the digital humanities, this keyword glossary offers a significant starting point for further investigation, interrogation, and adaptation of big-data methodologies.”
—David Reamer, University of Tampa; Journal of Business and Technical Communication

“Rehabilitating uncertainty as a framework for learning, Uncertain Archives is a vade mecum not only for academic researchers and media practitioners engaged in critical data or archival studies but also for anyone who is willing to explore the complexities of big data archives at the crossroad between humans and machines.”
—Guilia Taurino, Northeastern University; Information and Culture

“This book comes at a time when both archival practice and the academic discipline of archival studies are accelerating their interrogation of the social and political contexts of archives and records, where questions of inclusion, exclusion, management, use, survival, labour, preservation and impact come into play. The focus on big data in this volume, whilst not always made explicit in relation to archives, enables the reader to critically engage with the uncertainty that technological developments bring with them. Whilst it need not be on every archivist’s shelf, it does need to be readily available in reference libraries and on reading lists as a glossary of vital concerns and central concepts.”
—Jessamy Harvey, Archives and Records

“The volume as a whole will particularly appeal to scholars from across STS, applied data science, digital humanities and many others thinking about and with data across disciplines … For a project aiming not to define or chart a field but to help construct an ‘engaged alliance’ for critical thinking and action around big data, Uncertain Archives makes a valuable contribution.” 
—Catriona Gray, LSE Review of Books

“Thylstrup, Agostinho, Ring, D’Ignazio, and Veel’s Uncertain Archives: Critical Keywords for Big Data is in many ways an extraordinary piece of scientific work. Consisting of 640 pages with 61 chapters authored by no less than 73 contributors, the book offers a substantial addition to existing scholarship on the societal consequences of the large scale datafication of modern life. Yet it is not only the sheer size of the book or its well-crafted composition that is remarkable, but also—and more importantly—the rich insights it presents.”
—Maja Bak Herrie, The Nordic Journal of Aesthetics

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