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[Virtual] Scholars@Hallwalls: Ewa Ziarek, “A Crisis of Narrative and Judgement in the Age of Big Data”

December 4, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm


Join us for a virtual edition of our Faculty Fellows talks! This lecture series brings current UB humanities research out into the community.

This talk rethinks the stakes of Arendt’s notion of narrative in the context of the new regime of power characteristic of Big Data. Intertwined with judgement and public sphere, narrative, according to Arendt, can be a political form of acting in the world, which facilitates a public mode of debate with others. Yet, can such a mode of narrative survive in the age of algorithmic governmentality, which replaces judgments with automatic algorithmic procedures? And what are the political consequences of such narrative crisis for democracy and the humanities themselves?  Ziarek pursues these questions by engaging with interdisciplinary groups of scholars–data scientists, philosophers, and legal as well as technology scholars–all of whom debate the new power relations characteristic of algorithmic governmentality.

About Ewa Plonowska Ziarek, Julian Park Professor, Comparative Literature

A Senior Research Fellow of Philosophy, at Western Sydney University, and a Visiting Faculty in the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts, University of Maine, Ewa most recently co-authored with Rosalyn Diprose Arendt, Natality and Biopolitics: Towards Democratic Plurality and Reproductive Justice (2019), a book awarded Book Prize of Symposium: Canadian Journal for Continental Philosophy. Her other books include, among others, Feminist Aesthetics and the Politics of Modernism (2012); An Ethics of Dissensus: Feminism, Postmodernity, and the Politics of Radical Democracy (2001); The Rhetoric of Failure: Deconstruction of Skepticism, Reinvention of Modernism (1995). Her interdisciplinary research interests include feminist political theory, critical race theory, and recently, algorithmic culture.

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This event is cosponsored by the Digital Scholarship Studio and Network.


December 4, 2020
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Event Category:


Humanities Institute