Affective Automata: Postcolonial Algorithms of Affective Computing

I am invited to present my recent work on affective computing at Graduate Program in Media Studies at Pratt Institute, NY on November 18. In this project I aim to investigate new forms of affective computing in relation to the history of regulating social affect as part of the genealogy of the techniques for categorizing human subjects, or “making-up people” as Ian Hacking calls in relation to the role of the nineteenth century official statistics through which different kinds of human beings and human actions came into being, hand-in-hand with the invention of categories for labeling people and their behaviors. Within that genealogy, my research highlights how the coevolution of techniques of categorization and social regulation of affect is interwoven with figures of European “others;” Jews, Muslims, and natives from the colonies in order to legitimize media techniques used for extracting typologies for creating penal, medical and moral norms.

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