UCL Centre for Digital Humanities


Building access: mass digitization and the politics of infrastructure

5:15 pm to 8:15 pm, 26 June 2019

barcode image, mass digitization and the politics of infrastructure

Event Information

Open to







Lankester Lecture Theatre G01
Medawar Building, UCL
Malet Place
United Kingdom

Today, all of us with internet connections can access millions of digitized cultural artefacts from the comfort of our desks. Institutions and individuals add thousands of new cultural works to the digital sphere every day, creating new central nexuses of knowledge. How does this affect us politically and culturally? In this keynote address, Nanna Bonde Thylstrup approaches mass digitization critically as an emerging sociopolitical and sociotechnical phenomenon, offering a new understanding of a defining concept of our time. Framing mass digitization as a ccritical question of infrastructure, Thylstrup complicates mass digitization’s simplistic promise of “access”, outlining instead its complex and messy political landscapes and what new ethical, cultural and political questions they give rise to.

This lecture and reception is organised by the UCL Centre for Digital Humanities, part of the Institute of Advanced Studies, and is generously supported by the UCL Grand Challenges for Cultural Understanding and the UCL Centre for Critical Heritage Studies.

About the Speaker

Nanna Bonde Thylstrup is an Associate Professor of Communication and Digital Media at Copenhagen Business School. Her research interests concern digital infrastructures, their epistemologies, their memories and how they come to shape digital governance issues. More specifically, she is interested in how feminist and anti-colonial media and cultural theory can be brought to bear on issues related to datafication and digitization.