Knowledge/Value: Information, Databases and Archives

All day
Through September 9, 2012

Begins
Sep. 7


The third in a series of conferences organized by the Department of Anthropology, University of Chicago, on the theme Knowledge/Value was held at the Center in Beijing.  Under the broader rubric of exploring historical and emergent relationships between epistemology and social value, this conference focused on the theme Information, Databases and Archives.

Knowledge/Value 3 discussed the forms through which collective and public knowledge is rendered as information of a systematic, comparable and useful. Information models and metaphors that have become hegemonic in molecular biology are accompanied in the contemporary era by the botanical and zoological databases of the environmental sciences, by digital humanities analyses of writing and by artificial intelligence systems that help users manage an excess of knowledge and put it to partial use. By virtue of new information management technologies, multiple archives accumulated in diverse histories are ever more accessible to some users, while at the same time the very structure of our retrieval tools buries some elements of these archives ever more deeply in obscurity. The ways in which tools such as databases generate new knowledge within the constraints of market and government agendas is an important aspect of a global “informationalization” process that is far advanced. The papers and presentations for Knowledge/Value 3 will explore some of the new terrains of knowledge revealed in these processes.

 

CONFERENCE PROGRAM


Friday, September 7

8:30 – 9:10 Registration

Venue: UChicago Center in Beijing (with coffee and refreshments served)

9:10 – 9:30 Opening Remarks
Chair: Judith Farquhar, University of Chicago
Zhao Xudong, Renmin University of China
Kaushik Sunder Rajan, University of Chicago

9:30 – 12:00 Panel One: Histories and Cosmologies of Information
Chair: Michael Fisch, University of Chicago

The Image of the World as the Inscription of Data: Vision, Communication, and Design in Post-World War II America — Orit Halpern, New School for Social Research
Information Crisis in Republican China — Thomas Mullaney, Stanford University
Mariano’s Archive: The Eventfulness of the Ahistorical — Marisol de la Cadena, University of California, Davis

12:00 – 13:30 Lunch

13:30 – 15:30 Panel Two: Information and Classification in Relation to Ethnic and Traditional Knowledge
Chair: Zhao Xudong, Renmin University of China

Information and Its Practical Other: Crafting Zhuang Nationality Medicine — Judith Farquhar, University of Chicago, Lai Lili, Peking University
The Establishment of an Archive and Database for Information on the Ancient and Historical Literatures of Nationality Medicines in China — ZHEN Yan, China Academy of Chinese Medical Science, HU Yingchong, China Academy of Chinese Medical Science
15:30 – 16:00 Coffee Break

16:00 – 18:00 On the Indian Experience ( Panel Two Continued)
Chair: John Kelly, University of Chicago

An Indian Path to Biocapital?: Ayurvedic Drugs, Traditional Medicine, and the Regime of Reformulation — Jean-Paul Gaudilliere, Centre de Recherche, Médecine, Sciences, Santé, Santé mentale, Société, Paris
“I am the Author”: Conceptions of Digital Authorship and the Management of India’s Yoga — Allison Fish, Ohio State University
18:30 – 20:00 Conference Dinner

 

Saturday, September 8

9:00 – 10:00 Registration
Venue: UChicago Center in Beijing (with coffee and refreshments served)

10:00 – 12:00 Panel Three: System and Database in China: Problems and Promises
Chair: Lai Lili, Peking University

JIANG Jinsong, Tsinghua University
ZHANG Zhihua, Chinese Academy of Sciences
SONG Xiaoting, Tongji University, Shanghai
LIU Changhua, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences
WU Yishan, Ministry of Science and Technology, China Institute of Science and Technology Information

12:00 – 13:30 Lunch

13:30 – 15:30 Panel Four: Data-driven Science
Chair: Michael Fischer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Integrating Data to Acquire New Knowledge: Three Modes of Integration in Plant Science — Sabina Leonelli, University of Exeter
Astronomers and their Data Practices — Sharon Traweek, University of California, Los Angeles
15:30 – 16:00 Coffee Break

16:00 – 18:00 Panel Five: Questions and Modalities of Representation
Chair: Kaushik Sunder Rajan, University of Chicago

Experimental Ethnography Online: The Asthma Files — Kim Fortun, Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute
Visualizing Biological Intrastructures, Archives and Emergence — Helen Scalway, Royal Holloway, University of London

 

Sunday, September 9

9:30 – 10:00 Registration
Venue: UChicago Center in Beijing (with coffee and refreshments served)

10:00 – 12:00 Closed Discussions

12:00 – 13:30 Lunch

13:30 – 15:30 Break-out Sessions

15:30 – 16:00 Coffee Break

16:00 – 18:00 Break-out Sessions

Organizers: Kaushik Sunder Rajan and Judith Farquhar (Department of Anthropology), Lai Lili (Institute of Medical Humanities at Peking University) and Tian Song (History and Philosophy of Science, Beijing Normal University)