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Session Overview
Fishbowl-01: Money Studies Meets Internet Studies
Thursday, 19/Oct/2017:
11:00am - 12:30pm

Location: Dorpat - Pirogov
Soola 6, Tartu 51013, Estonia

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Money Studies meets Internet Studies

Lana Swartz1, Noopur Raval4, Rachel O'Dwyer3, Stuart Geiger2, Ishita Ghosh2

1University of Virginia, United States of America; 2University of California Berkeley, United States of America; 3Maynooth University, Republic of Ireland; 4University of California Irvine, United States of America

The stories we tell about money and the stories we tell about the internet are becoming more and more blurred. This is true for Venmo use by US college students; payments made through the platform gig economy in the Global South; rumors of cashless economies in Sweden; and the possibility of your refrigerator maybe someday finally buying you milk.

By surfacing these stories, we hope to capture the claims being made through them: claims of connectedness, security, transparency and seamlessness. In particular, how do these claims shore up normative ideas of “networked publics”? And how do they trouble them? Indeed, instead of becoming more seamless, the stuff of money is perhap becoming more baroque: a complicated tangle of wishes and wires.

The goal of this fishbowl is to surface connections between internet research and research into the infrastructures of money and economies. Toward this end, we offer two key questions: Who, what, when, and where are the material substrates of the digital economy? What new forms communities, (networked) publics, territories, and forms of inclusion and exclusion are produced around new money-like things?

In addition to human participants, we invite non-humans to participate as “plankton” among the “fish.” These plankton will take the form of artefacts and may include: photographs of infrastructure, discarded notes, images from field ethnographies, audio/video recordings, old technology, new technology, and so on. We invite (but do not require) human participants to bring artefacts-- digital or material-- to the session.

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