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Monstrous Archives: Colonialism and the emergence of data

7:30pm-8:45pm on Thursday 28 March

Times shown are in GMT (UTC +0) up to the 26th March. For events on or after 27th March times are in BST (UTC +1).

West Court Jesus College, Jesus College Jesus Lane, , CB5 8BQ

For centuries, the archive has intrigued and fascinated us. Often imagined as a dusty room in a crumbling old library, it is where we go to locate our collective memory, to understand who we are, and where we have come from. But with the advent of information technology, and its drive to accumulate vast amounts of data, the archive itself is changing. Today, it is not any one physical location, but an ethereal stream of information, travelling at the speed of light. It is in the palm of our hands, yet snaking beneath our oceans, powered by fossil technologies and rare earth minerals, and plugged into a planetary grid of technologies.

In this talk, Siddharth Soni will discuss his upcoming book Monstrous Archives the winner of the 2023 Ideas Prize for Non-Fiction, which tells the story of the industrial transformation of the archive into a large and inscrutable monster. He will take us on a journey through the technologies that underpin the archive, whether card catalogues in a colonial library, or computer bots scraping and assembling bytes in a data centre, to illuminate the anxieties and ideologies that underpin the archive today.

Booking/Registration is: REQUIRED

For further info:

Additional Information

Age: Adults
Format: Talk
Timing: In person
Cost: Free
Event Capacity: Cambridge
Theme: Society
Accessibility: Lift, Step-free access, Accessible toilet, Hearing loop

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