[CITASA] CFP AAG 2016: Toward a geographical software studies

ryan burns tug31557 at temple.edu
Mon Aug 31 12:06:38 EDT 2015

*Toward a geographical software studies*A series of sessions for the Annual
Meeting of the Association of American Geographers
<http://www.aag.org/annualmeeting> in San Francisco, March 29-April 2, 2016

Ryan Burns <http://burnsr77.github.io> (Temple University)
Nick Lally <http://nicklally.com> (University of Wisconsin–Madison)

A growing body of recent geographic scholarship has focused its attention
on software and algorithms. Some of these studies analyze geographic
—GIS and the geoweb, for example— as such, while others investigate a
myriad of digital technologies that have become ubiquitous within the
spaces of everyday life. These software/code objects interact with and
modulate the world in complex ways, enact processes that connect humans and
nonhumans, and become entangled with social, cultural, political, and
economic systems. Moreover, software created to visualize data is used to
produce knowledge about urban environments and everyday life, but obscure
the processes and contexts which underlie its development. Engaging these
topics, geographers have developed concepts like the “automatic production
of space” (Thrift and French 2002), “software-sorted geographies” (Graham
2005), and “code/space” (Kitchin and Dodge 2011) to describe how
software and space are co-constituted in the contemporary world. Productive
research is building on these topics to explore new ways geographies
are produced (Rose, Degen, and Melhuish 2014), governed (Amoore 2011),
materialized, represented (Woodward et al. 2015), and lived
through software (Kinsley 2014).

This session seeks to bring together a range of spatial thinkers who are
producing new studies, theories, and methods for understanding
and producing software. We welcome submissions that address all facets
of software: the context of its production, its internal
operational logics, the material work it does in the world, and its
spatial distribution of social and political effects. Suggested themes
could include:

• Radical, feminist, or postcolonial political theories of
software, software production, and/or hacking. What are the
liberatory potentials/limits of coding or software and its critiques?
• The political economy of software, code, attentional economies, and the
audience as commodity.
• Methodological contributions for the study of software (deconstruction,
ethnography, reading code, reverse-engineering, archival research, hacking,
writing software, visual studies, understanding processes, online research,
• Software and visual and affective epistemology.
• The materiality of software and the work it does in the world
(the production of space, embodiment, urbanization, social
sorting, securitization, infrastructure, etc).

Amoore, L. 2011. Data Derivatives: On the Emergence of a Security Risk
Calculus for Our Times. Theory, Culture & Society 28 (6):24–43.

Graham, S. D. 2005. Software-sorted geographies. Progress in Human
Geography 29 (5):562–580.

Kitchin, R., and M. Dodge. 2011. Code/space: software and everyday life.
Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.

Kinsley, S. 2014. The Matter of “Virtual” Geographies. Progress in Human
Geography 38(3): 364-384.

Rose, G., M. Degen, and C. Melhuish. 2014. Networks, interfaces, and
computer-generated images: learning from digital visualisations of urban
redevelopment projects. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 32

Thrift, N., and S. French. 2002. The automatic production of space.
Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 27 (3):309–335.

Woodward, K., J. P. Jones, L. Vigdor, S. A. Marston, H. Hawkins, and D. P.
Dixon. 2015. One Sinister Hurricane: Simondon and Collaborative
Visualization. Annals of the Association of American Geographers :1–16.

*Please submit a 250 word abstract to Nick (nlally at wisc.edu
<nlally at wisc.edu>) and Ryan (ryan.burns at temple.edu <ryan.burns at temple.edu>)
by October 9th, 2015.*

Ryan Burns, PhD
Dept of Geography and Urban Studies, Temple University

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