iSchool PhD Research Days 2018
Research around Margins, Boundaries and Translations

6:00 – 7:30 pm, April 19, 2018
Inforum (4th flr), Claude T. Bissell Building, 140 St George Street

We invite the Faculty of Information and broader University of Toronto community to join us at PhD Research Days 2018: Research around Margins, Boundaries and Translations. Prof. Lilly Irani will deliver a talk titled drawing on her forthcoming book Innovators and their Others, a public reception will follow:

Citizenship and the Subsumption of Hope

In this talk, I explain the rise of what I call entrepreneurial citizenship in India – a call for citizens to take up the developmental work of a liberalizing state. These calls emanate from Davos, the World Bank, and the Government of India alike; they promise that the methods of innovation – optimistic hacking and design – correct capitalism’s failings by making civil society more inclusive. This talk shows practices that emerge in response to this call through an ethnographic account of a design studio in India and its practices at the intersection of philanthropy, corporate social responsibility, and finance. As studio members leave corporate jobs to participate in development, they seek to make “not a living, but a life.” As they put their ideals and critiques to work, I show how “innovation” practices invite critique and subsume political desire for the production of value. The talk draws from 14 months of ethnography over half a decade, forthcoming as a book Innovators and their Others (Princeton University Press).

Lilly Irani photo

Lilly Irani is an Assistant Professor of Communication & Science Studies at University of California, San Diego. She is a co-founder and maintainer of digital labor activism tool Turkopticon. She is currently writing a book on the cultural politics of entrepreneurialism in transnational India. Her work has appeared at ACM SIGCHI, New Media & Society, Science, Technology & Human Values, South Atlantic Quarterly, and other venues. She has a Ph.D. in Informatics from University of California, Irvine.


PhDRD 2018 Keynote Poster