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Centre for Digital Anthropology

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What is new and different about our engagement with digital technologies? Do digital technologies and practices alter or perpetuate existing social relationships, hierarchies and political structures? What does it mean to be off line in a digital age? What kinds of new subjectivities and publics do digital practices bring into being?

The Centre for Digital Anthropology is a leading research hub for the understanding of digital technologies in the rich context of human society and culture. Through teaching, research and a dynamic series of regular events, we encourage a global perspective on the development, structures, and practices of digital technologies. Our researchers work in Trinidad, Peru, Vanuatu, Switzerland, France, Romania, Turkey, Middle East, Brazil, The UK, China, India, Italy and work on social networks, webcams, digital museum collections, big data, digital models, massively multiplayer online role-playing games, with automated work systems, and with mobile phones. 

Digital World Blog

Data Waves – finding meaning through music

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Miranda Marcus, UCL Digital Anthropology

Screen Shot 2017-01-12 at 12.02.09

How do we display data in a way that is meaningful? This is the question that has been posed by Dr Robin Carhart-Harris from the Division of Brain Sciences at Imperial College London, the lead researcher on the recent clinical trials into the effects of psilocybin/psychedelics on the brain. Between 2012 and 2016, Dr Carhart-Harris’ team have conducted different studies using psilocybin (the hallucinogenic compound found in magic mushrooms) and LSD aimed at understanding the impact of potent hallucinogenic drugs on the human brain. The results have provided first evidence of the underlying changes in brain function that are associated with the well-documented drug effects and have laid the foundation for future studies to evaluate potential medical treatments for conditions such as depression, end-of-life anxiety and addiction.…

Information and Communication Technology and Wellbeing in the Merchant Marines

Thursday, 01 December 2016

Annamaria Dall’Anese, PhD student, UCL Anthropology

If the informal use of the internet through personal devices on board merchant vessels encounters barriers due to patchy infrastructure and weather issues, then the formal provision of ICT-empowered telemedicine has brought to an end the era when the sea made the ship an entirely isolated environment. The ship in the age of ICT appears as Foucault described it: as a “heterotopia”; a place that is both isolated and penetrable. My interest in merchant marines was sparked by joining a cargo ship sailing from Australia to Singapore as a passenger/English teacher in 2009. The passage, though short, gave me the opportunity to discover the social life of these communities, and I became intrigued by the issue of connectivity at sea.…

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