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Morgan Currie

Morgan Currie
Name
Dr Morgan Currie
Title
Lecturer in Data & Society
Department
Science Technology and Innovation Studies School of Social and Political Science University of Edinburgh
Address
2.88 Old Surgeons' Hall High School Yards Edinburgh UK
Telephone
0131 650 6394
Email
Research Interests
Administrative Data, open data, data activism, Democratic Theory, data infrastructures, Participation, Performativity, cities
URL
http://www.sps.ed.ac.uk/staff/science_technology_and_innovation_studies/morgan_currie

Biography

My research and teaching interests focus on open and administrative data, automation in social services, activists' data practices, civil society and democracy, social justice and the city, participatory mapping, and libraries of things. I use mostly qualitative methods of participant observation, interviews, and participatory mapping, drawing from the fields of STS, media studies, information studies, and critical data studies.

I earned a Ph.D. in Information Studies from University of California, Los Angeles, in 2017. I have a MLIS from the University of California, Los Angeles (2016) and a Masters in New Media from the University of Amsterdam (2010). Prior to my Lectureship I was was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Digital Civil Society Lab at Stanford University.

Research

Research Interests

Administrative Data, open data, data activism, Democratic Theory, data infrastructures, Participation, Performativity, cities

Current Projects

Cultural Mapping

The Edinburgh Culture and Communities Mapping Project uses open data and participatory mapping to locate cultural and artistic spaces in the city. Through community workshops and pop-up events, we ask participants about the value and significance of a diverse range of city venues and about the challenges and opportunities of supporting cultural space. One outcome of this research is an open-access, community-created map that includes city cultural spaces, public sculpture and street art, bike and bus routes, and demographic information, among other city data. The map is used to discuss and analyse gentrification, arts equity and inclusion, and accessibility to culture in Edinburgh and surrounding areas.

Project webpage here.

Datafication of Cities

This research draws on my dissertation to ask about the consequences of data-centric policies inside city governments on public outreach and democratic participation. While administrations have long collected statistics for the express purpose of creating quantitative accounts for administrative decision-making, the past decade has seen new types of administrative information rendered as data, and so subject to automation and machine-readable functions. City governments have embraced these tools to track performance, set goals, triage public services, and engage with the public. Datafication raises new questions about public accountability and democratic participation that demand exploring.

PUBLICATIONS

Currie, M. (2020) Data as performance - showcasing the city through open data mapsBig Data & Society.

Currie, M. & U. W. F. Hsu (2019). Performative data: Cultures of Government Data Practice. Journal of Cultural Analytics. 13 August 2019. https://doi.org/10.31235/osf.io/32utx.

Currie, M. (2018). Hacking administration: A report from Los Angeles. In Hunsinger J. and A. Schrock (eds.), Making Our World: The Hacker and Maker Movements in Context, New York: Peter Lang.

Currie, M. (2018). A dual valuation of openness. Proceedings of the 19th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research. Delft, The Netherlands, 30 May – 1 June.

Currie, M. (2017). The datafication of transparency work: A report from Los Angeles. Proceedings for the Interactions Symposium on Big Data. InterActions: UCLA Journal of Education and Information Studies, 13(2). https://escholarship.org/uc/item/73j1q5sp.

Data Activism & Data Justice

This ongoing research analyses case studies of data activism and data justice through critical and political theory to differentiate between activist goals and methods. I'm in particular influenced by theories of agonistic pluralism that argue that consensus politics mask how power is rooted in society. The concept of agonism is useful for moving beyond a representational view of data and towards understanding its affective and rhetorical dimensions. To this end, I've also been part of Edinburgh's Data Justice Week and past efforts to involve communities in interrogating data through collective analysis and GIS mapping.

PUBLICATIONS

Crook, R. & Currie, M. (forthcoming 2020). “Numbers will not save us: Agonistic data practices.” The Information Society. 

Currie, M., B. Paris & J. M. Donovan (2019). What difference do data make? Data management and social change. 43: 6 Online Information Review

Currie, M., & B. Paris. (2018). Back-ups for the future. Archival practices for data activism. Archives & Manuscripts. June.

Currie, M., B. Paris, I. Pasquetto, and J. Pierre (2016). The conundrum of police officer-involved homicides: Counter-data in Los Angeles County. Big Data & Society. 3.2: 2053951716663566. bds.sagepub.com.

Teaching

Undergraduate Teaching

Spring 2020 

Data, Design & the City (with James Stewart)

Postgraduate Teaching

Fall 2019

Technologies of Civic Participation 

Spring 2020

Internet, Society & Economy (with James Stewart)

PhD Supervision

PhD Topics

I am currently supervising students researching the automation and datafication of government administrations and affective facial recognition systems. I'm happy to take students interested broadly in the social and political dimensions of big data, government and urban data, data justice, data activism, and cultural mapping.

Find out more about the programmes that I am involved with:

PhD in Science and Technology Studies; PhD in Social Policy

Current PhD Students

Benedetta Catanzariti (Science, Technology & Innovation Studies)

James Besse (Science, Technology & Innovation Studies)

Carla Alvarez (Social Policy)

Publications

Books

Currie, M. & Miranda, M. (forthcoming 2021). The Culture & Communities Mapping Project. Palgrave.

Currie, M., J. Knox & C. McGregor (eds.). (forthcoming 2021). Data Justice & the Right to the City. University of Edinburgh Press.

Refereed Journal Articles

Crook, R. & Currie, M. (forthcoming 2020) “Numbers will not save us: Agonistic data practices.” The Information Society.  

Currie, M. (2020). Data as performance - showcasing the city through open data mapsBig Data & Society. 7:1. https://doi.org/10.1177/2053951720907953. 

Currie, M. & U. W. F. Hsu (2019). Performative data: Cultures of Government Data Practice. Journal of Cultural Analytics. 13 August 2019. https://doi.org/10.31235/osf.io/32utx.

Currie, M., B. Paris, & Donovan, J. (2019) "What difference do data make? Data management and social change"Online Information Reviewhttps://doi.org/10.1108/OIR-02-2018-0052

Currie, M., & B. Paris. (2018). Back-ups for the future. Archival practices for data activism. Archives & Manuscripts. June.

Currie, M., B. Paris, I. Pasquetto, and J. Pierre (2016). The conundrum of police officer-involved homicides: Counter-data in Los Angeles County. Big Data & Society. 3.2: 2053951716663566. bds.sagepub.com.

Fidler, B., & Currie, M. (2016). Infrastructure, Representation, and Historiography in BBN’s Arpanet Maps. IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, 38(3), 44–57. https://doi.org/10.1109/MAHC.2015.69.

Fidler, B. and M. Currie (2015). The Production and interpretation of ARPANET maps. IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, 37(1), 44-55, January-March, DOI: 10.1109/MAHC.2015.16.

Kelty, C., A. Panofsky, R. Crooks, M. Currie, S. Erickson, P. Garcia, S. Wood, and M. Wartenbe (2014). Seven dimensions of contemporary participation disentangled. Journal of the American Society for Information and Technology, 66(3), 474–488. https://doi.org/10.1002/asi.23202

Book Chapters

Currie, M. (2018). Hacking administration: A report from Los Angeles. In Hunsinger J. and A. Schrock (eds.), Making Our World: The Hacker and Maker Movements in Context, New York: Peter Lang.

Currie, M. (2012). The feminist critique: Mapping controversy in Wikipedia. In Berry, D. M. (ed.), Understanding Digital Humanities, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012, pp. 224-248.

Op-Eds, Proceedings, & Book Reviews

Lyons, C & M. Currie (2019). Easy Sharing: A sharing-economy pilot service in areas of multiple deprivation in West Edinburgh. P. Travlou & L. Ciolfi (Eds.). Ethnographies of Collaborative Economies Conference Proceedings. University of Edinburgh, 25 October. ISBN 978-1-912669-11-0.

Niker, F, Himmelreich, J, Feldman, J, & Currie, M. (2019). Coding Caring Workshop Report. Focused study for the Stanford AI100 ReportStanford University, 28-29 May.

Currie, M. (2018). A dual valuation of open governmentProceedings of the 19th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research. Delft, The Netherlands, 30 May – 1 June.

Paris , B. S., and Currie, M. (2018). Buried, altered, silenced: 4 ways government climate information has changed since Trump took office, The Conversation, 21 March. http://theconversation.com/buried-altered-silenced-4-ways-government-climate-information-has-changed-since-trump-took-office-92323

Currie, M. (2017). The datafication of transparency work: A report from Los Angeles. Proceedings for the Interactions Symposium on Big Data. InterActions: UCLA Journal of Education and Information Studies, 13(2). https://escholarship.org/uc/item/73j1q5sp.

Paris, B. S., Currie, M., Donovan, J. (2017). Grand intentions, small interventions: Climate data rescue as counter-data action. AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research. Estonia 18 - 21 October.

Paris, B. S., and Currie, M. (2017). How the “guerrilla archivists” saved history – and are doing it again under Trump. The Conversation, February 21http://theconversation.com/how-the-guerrilla-archivists-saved-history-and-are-doing-it-again-under-trump-72346.

Currie, M., B. Paris, I. Pasquetto, J. Pierre, and A. Sands. (2015). The Police officer-involved homicide database project. Proceedings to the 2015 iConference, Newport, CA.

Fidler, B. and M. Currie (2015). Gateways: Historical underpinnings of a single Internet. Proceedings to the 2015 iConference, Newport Beach, CA.

Currie, M. (2015). Review: Open standards and the digital age: History, ideology, and networks by Andrew L. Russell. InterActions: UCLA Journal of Education and Information Studies, 11(2), Retrieved from: http://escholarship.org/uc/item/19d2h79x.

Currie, M. (2013). Review: Paper machines: About cards & catalogs, 1548-1929 by Markus Krajewski. InterActions: UCLA Journal of Education and Information Studies, 9(1), Retrieved from: http://escholarship.org/uc/item/07h1s2w7.