Metric Culture: The Quantified Self and Beyond

Metric Culture: The Quantified Self and Beyond

International Conference, 8-9 June 2017
Organised by: Btihaj Ajana (AIAS and King’s College London)
Venue: Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies, Denmark

Confirmed keynote speakers:
Deborah Lupton (University of Canberra, Australia)
Rosalind Gill (City, University of London, UK)

Recent years have witnessed an intensive growth of systems of measurement and an increasing integration of data processes into various spheres of everyday life, so much so that it can be argued that we are now living in a “metric culture”. From smartphones apps that measure our activity and sleep, to digital devices that monitor our health and performance at the workplace, the culture of measurement is currently on the rise. Encouraged by movements such as the Quantified Self, whose motto is “Self Knowledge through Numbers”, a growing number of people across the globe are embracing practices of self-quantification and tracking with the aim to assess and improve their health, productivity and well-being.

The overarching aim of this international conference is to critically engage with the nuanced aspects and multifaceted implications of living in a metric culture. This event will look at the ways data and metrics link to understandings and representations of self and identity, to issues of power and control, and to questions of value and agency. We will seek to interrogate the kinds of ontologies, relations and communities that are emerging out of the hybrid interweaving of body and technology in the context of the Quantified Self practices and beyond.

By bringing together relevant scholars who are engaged in the study of the social, political, cultural and ethical dimensions of self-tracking practices and related technologies, the conference aims to provide critical insights and nuanced reflections on the way metric culture is unfolding within and affecting the various spheres of our lives, and how it is reshaping our relation to our bodies, vitalities and surroundings.

Call for abstracts

Submissions are invited (theoretical, empirical, visual or performative) on topics related (but not limited) to:

  • Histories and genealogies of self-tracking and quantification
  • Sociology and philosophy of wearable technologies and ubiquitous computers
  • The social life of self-tracking practices and data
  • Self-tracking and social media
  • Self-tracking and biomedia
  • Quantified Self communities
  • Quantified Self and Big Data
  • Quantified Self and healthcare
  • Quantified Self and the insurance industry
  • Quantified Self and the law
  • Quantified Self and the environment
  • Quantified Self and surveillance
  • Quantified Self at the workplace
  • Politics of metrics within academia
  • Methodological issues in researching the Quantified Self and metric cultur

Metric Self is particularly interested in contributions from the fields of Media and Cultural Studies, Digital Culture, Sociology, Philosophy, Anthropology, Medical Humanities, Surveillance Studies, and other related disciplines. Participation of the Quantified Self community itself is also highly encouraged.

Deadline and contact information

Abstracts (maximum of 200 words) and a short biographical note (max. 100 words) should be sent by 10 November 2016 to bajana@aias.au.dk with “metric culture abstract” as the email title. You can also follow them on Twitter @MetricLife

Conference registration fee

Academics and presenters: 1000 Danish Krone

Students and the general public: 150 Danish Krone

The conference fee covers all conference materials, coffee breaks, lunch, and conference reception.

Credits: Metric Self

 

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