While the global proliferation of digital media-technologies has attracted much attention, less focus has gone into studying the plurality of historical and sociotechnical contexts of computing in most parts of the world. By bringing together interdisciplinary scholars and data practitioners in the Indian context, I hope this book will help advance critical debates and collaborative approaches to global computational cultures.
Fourth-year Media, Culture, and Communication doctoral student Sandeep Mertia has published the edited volume Lives of Data: Essays on Computational Cultures from India (Institute of Network Cultures, 2020 open access). The work includes essays by 15 scholars examining digital media and big data in the Indian context spanning fields such as history, anthropology, science and technology studies (STS), media studies, civic technology, data science, and journalism.
Sandeep Mertia is a PhD candidate and an NYU Urban Doctoral Fellow. He is an Information and Communication Technology engineer by training, and a former Research Associate at the Sarai programme, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies in Dehli. Lives of Data is the culmination of a series of research projects and workshops hosted at the Centre.
Professor Arjun Appadurai writes that this "remarkable collection is the first major portrait and assessment of the social and technical relationalities that constitute the ecology of big data in India today."