Dean's Lecture Series - Jennifer Gabrys presents Atmospheric Citizens: How to Make Breathable Worlds
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Environmental sensors are meant to activate particular forms of citizenship. Plugging in a digital kit and joining a disparate community of users are the steps to be followed that in principle should mobilize data and rights in the making. Yet rather than unfold a more straightforward form of political engagement, citizen sensing kits and the citizen data they generate can often give rise to even more complex struggles with urban environmental life.
In this public lecture, Jennifer will draw on material from her forthcoming book, Citizens of Worlds: Open-Air Toolkits for Environmental Struggle, to discuss how atmospheric citizens are constituted through practices of sensing environments and working to build more breathable worlds. It will describe collaborations to monitor air pollution from fracking infrastructure, to document emissions in urban environments, and to create air-quality gardens. As these projects show, how people respond to, care for, and struggle to transform environmental conditions informs the political subjects and collectives they become as they strive for more breathable worlds.
About the speaker
Jennifer Gabrys is Chair in Media, Culture and Environment in the Department of Sociology at the University of Cambridge. She leads the Planetary Praxis research group, and is the Principal Investigator on the ERC-funded project, Smart Forests: Transforming Environments into Social-Political Technologies. She also leads Citizen Sense and AirKit, which are participatory and practice-based research projects funded by the ERC that address air pollution and citizen engagement.
She writes on digital technologies, environments and social life, with recent publications including How to Do Things with Sensors (2019), and Program Earth: Environmental Sensing Technology and the Making of a Computational Planet (2016).
Her newest book, Citizens of Worlds: Open-Air Toolkits for Environmental Struggle, is forthcoming from University of Minnesota Press and is available on Manifold as an open-access publishing experiment. She also co-edits the “Planetarities” short-monograph series published through Goldsmiths Press.
This lecture will be held on Tuesday 12 April at 6.30pm Australian Eastern Standard Time. To check the date and time of this lecture against your time zone, click this link and enter your city.