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Showing posts with the label arjun appadurai

Starting my sabbatical journey as a visiting scholar at NYU Steinhardt

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Who doesn't love sabbaticals! It's one of those ancient and privileged rituals in academia which is prized dearly and rightly so. It allows us to disconnect, recharge and rediscover our passions for writing, reading and engaging with new ideas and people. Time is structured not by grading or teaching but by exploratory thought. With my book deadline with Harvard University Press in the summer of 2016, I have my path carved by this dominant goal. The book Poor@Play: Digital Life beyond the Westis not a typical academic book but rather will be written in the style which is more New Yorker ...and that's exciting as its about unlearning journal style writing and going back to a time where we write to engage a larger intelligent public and yet, back it with the vigor of serious scholarship.

So what better place to start my sabbatical journey than Steinhardt's NYU. I am working closely with Arjun Appadurai and will be attending the weekly Privacy Research Group under the me…

Launch of new organization -Catalyst Lab

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I have for the longest time wanted to start an organization that would bring academia and business together, partly because unlike many academics in the humanities and social sciences, I did shift careers and moved from the business world into this so called 'ivory tower.' Having experienced both worlds, I respect their unique strengths and  am also aware of the challenges that weaken them when it comes to public outreach, one of the cornerstones for any organization in a contemporary democratic society. Being 'accountable' to the public today is not just about transparency but a new kind of communication which is more a dialogue between diverse stakeholders rather than a top down dissemination of information to the public. And with new digital platforms providing potentially new public spheres online, we have little excuse to delay such conversations from happening.

Since I'm a big fan of 'manifestos' as it condenses ideals and passions that remind us of …

New Book out! The Leisure Commons: A Spatial History of Web 2.0 (Routledge)

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My book, 'The Leisure Commons: A Spatial History of Web 2.0' has just been published by the Routledge Science, Technology & Society Series. 
About the book: There is much excitement about Web 2.0 as an unprecedented, novel, community-building space for experiencing, producing, and consuming leisure, particularly through social network sites. What is needed is a perspective that is invested in neither a utopian or dystopian posture but sees historical continuity to this cyberleisure geography. This book investigates the digital public sphere by drawing parallels to another leisure space that shares its rhetoric of being open, democratic, and free for all: the urban park. It makes the case that the history and politics of public parks as an urban commons provides fresh insight into contemporary debates on corporatization, democratization and privatization of the digital commons. This book takes the reader on a metaphorical journey through multiple forms of public parks such …