The Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA) of the Faculty of Humanities is looking for a PhD candidate to join the ERC-funded project 'Data Activism: The Politics of Big Data According to Civil Society'(DATACTIVE), with Dr. Stefania Milan as Principal Investigator. DATACTIVE investigates citizens' engagement with massive data collection, seeking to understand how activism evolves in the time of datafication.
As datafication progressively invades all spheres of contemporary society, citizens grow increasingly aware of the critical role of information as the new fabric of social life. This awareness gives rise to new sociotechnical practices taking a critical approach to 'big data' and massive data collection, which fall under the rubric of 'data activism'. Data activism takes at least two forms: re-activedata activism, whereby people increasingly resist the threats to civil rights that derive from corporate privacy intrusion and government surveillance (e.g., by means of technical fixes such as encryption); and pro-active data activism, whereby citizens take advantage of the possibilities for campaigning and social change that data availability provides (e.g., data-based advocacy). The DATACTIVE project explores how activism broadly defined evolves in the age of big data. We take a critical look at, among others, citizen empowerment through data; civil society's privacy practices; surveillance and internet activism; governance of data flows and internet infrastructure; open data and civic tech networks.
You will join an interdisciplinary team working under the leadership of Dr. Stefania Milan (the Principal Investigator) and collaboratively examining the emerging dynamics of data activism at the intersection of its social and technological dimensions. We offer a multidisciplinary, interactive and international research environment in a leading department (Communication and Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam currently ranks number 8 in the QS World Rankings).