Lecture by Janna Z. Huang on The Accumulation of Affordance for Global Data Centers

Join us this Thursday, June 30th, from 16:15-17:45 hrs UTC+2 (convert time) to hear Janna Z. Huang present her work on “The Accumulation of Affordance for Global Data Centers”.

Data centers are the fundamental infrastructure of cloud computing, requiring considerable economic and energy resources to store the herculean amount of data that makes digital life possible today. If data is the lifeblood of the digital economy, large-scale global data centers are the hearts of the digital “cloud.” The infrastructure of modern cloud computing relies on the siting of global data centers owned and operated by multinational Internet companies that draw on the affordances of geopolitically-strategic host regions around the world. This lecture is based on Janna’s present research on the political and ecological relationships between corporate data infrastructures and host communities at several sites in Europe and the United States. In particular, she investigates the local sociotechnical affordances that make data infrastructures possible, and how these affordances become accumulated under the logics of global digital capitalism.

Janna (she/her) is a second-year PhD student in Sociology at UC Berkeley and an editor for the Berkeley Journal of Sociology. Her research leverages qualitative and quantitative methods to explore the sociology of data infrastructures and climate knowledge. Janna is a fellow at the Center for Advanced Internet Studies (CAIS) in Germany, and she has researched science and technology policy at the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI, the Harvard Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, the Federal Communications Commission, and the American Civil Liberties Union. She has also worked on digital strategy in industry, including American Express and General Electric. Janna holds a B.S. in Computer Science with interdisciplinary honors in Science, Technology, and Society (STS) from Stanford University (advised by Paul Edwards), as well as an M.A. in Sociology from Stanford where she pursued independent coursework on critical Internet studies with Angele Christin.

Location: on campus (Universitätsstr. 104, 2nd floor, 44799 Bochum) and Zoom
Zoom Link: https://tinyurl.com/RUSTlab

You will find additional resources and information on this term’s guiding theme Data Traces here on our website.