Call for papers: Critical Data Studies – special section of Big Data and Society

A call for papers has been issued for a special theme section of Big Data and Society on Critical Data Studies. 1,000-word proposals are due by July 10th 24th (deadline extended), with accepted full submissions due October 4th.

Critical Data Studies (CDS) is a growing field of research that focuses on the unique theoretical, ethical, and epistemological challenges posed by “Big Data.” Rather than treat Big Data as a scientifically empirical, and therefore largely neutral phenomena, CDS advocates the view that data should be seen as always-already constituted within wider data assemblages. Assemblages is a concept that helps capture the multitude of ways that already-composed data structures inflect and interact with society, its organization and functioning, and the resulting impact on individuals’ daily lives. CDS questions the many assumptions about data that permeate contemporary literature on information and society by locating instances where data may be naively taken to denote objective and transparent informational entities. CDS may be viewed as an emerging field connected to Information Ethics, Software Studies, and Critical Information Studies in that it seeks to question the ethical import of information and Big Data for society. Problems of causality, quality, security, and uncertainty concern CDS scholars. Recent articles outlining the theoretical program of CDS offer a new platform from which to question data in this manner. We seek essays for this special volume that broaden these latest commitments in CDS to include new empirical research projects on information and communication technologies (ICTs) that fall under the umbrella of Big Data, while also seeking to question their attendant epistemological shifts. Through the critical lens of ethics and morality, this special volume opens up CDS to localizations where Big Data can no longer be seen as neutral, and where an ethics of Big Data might emerge.

Full details of the call can be found on the Big Data and Society web site. Proposals and questions should be e-mailed to section guest editors Andrew Iliadis (Purdue University) and Federica Russo (Universiteit van Amsterdam) by July 10th 24th (deadline extended).

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