Is there an Ontology to the Digital

Screencap of ruby, mmm tasty

On another digital note, I am really pleased to see the fantastic Digital Ontology collection of essays that Antonia and I collated is now up on the Cultural Anthropology website: Thanks to all our contributors and their reflections on databases, search engines, monitoring, commuications, digital museum artefacts and more….

The collection is part of the wonderful Fieldsites section of the Cultural Anthropology site that publishes lively conversations that are happening in anthropology. The essays we put together came out of two workshops we organised in London in the 2014/15 academic year.

We kick off the collection like this:

It might be argued that anthropology has come late to the question of whether there is an ontology to the digital. Although scholars in software and media studies have long described the logical structure of digital media, anthropologists have tended to critique such accounts as overly generalized, focusing instead on the local specificities of technology use. The aim of this Theorizing the Contemporary series is to provide an interface between these positions. We suggest that anthropology’s recent turn to ontology offers the potential of expanding the anthropology of the digital in a way that allows us to attend to ontological questions without falling into the trap of universalizing claims.

See the full collection here:


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