Ethnography Lab / Events / Updates

Upcoming Talk on Friday, Oct. 21 with Professor Rodrigo Ochigame

Please join us for the upcoming talk: The Paragenealogical Method in the Anthropology of Rationalities with Professor Rodrigo Ochigame

Lunch will be provided!

Date: Friday, October 21

Time: 12 pm

Location: Ethnography Lab Seminar Room, AP330, Anthropology Building

Event Description: Since the Cold War, the concept of rationality has become increasingly associated with certain formal models of logic and computation. This talk offers a critical examination of computational rationality, challenging the supposed universality of the formal models that have come to define it. Instead of tracing the emergence of computational rationality through a conventional Foucauldian genealogy, I propose a “paragenealogical” method for doing so. Rather than following the central actors who appear to have originated the currently predominant models of rationality, a paragenealogy focuses on peripheral actors who have imagined and developed unorthodox models that may have been ignored, suppressed, or marginalized. To illustrate, I briefly discuss a few historical and ethnographic case studies: nonclassical systems of logic developed by Brazilian mathematicians, nonbinary models of computation by Indian scientists, socialist frameworks of informatics by Cuban librarians and scientists, and efforts to formalize poetic language and translation by Czech linguists and engineers.

Speaker Bio: Dr. Rodrigo Ochigame is an Assistant Professor in the Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology at Leiden University, the Netherlands. Their research examines unorthodox models of computational rationality, such as nonclassical logics from Brazil, nonbinary Turing machines from India, and frameworks of information science from Cuba. Their teaching specialties include digital anthropology, the anthropology of science and technology, and the social dimensions of robotics and artificial intelligence. Ochigame completed a BA at the University of California, Berkeley, and a PhD at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

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