The rapid proliferation of global computer-based networks and the growing digitization of knowledge, which allows it to circulate in those global networks, unsettle standard meanings of knowledge. This in turn problematizes the effectiveness of current framings for understanding what knowledge is. It makes legible the particularity or embeddedness of the putatively “natural” or “scientific” categories through which formal institutions organize “their” knowledge. But this might well be simply knowledge pertinent to their aims. In this context, network technologies have the potential to open up established categories of formalized knowledge and unsettle their dominance. This enables the rise of novel types of knowledge practices. Established bodies of knowledge can exit their frames or go beyond hierarchical institutionalized controls. They can get disassembled and navigate the distributive potential of digital networks, and what were once unitary bodies of knowledge ensconced in specific categories (and, often, power systems) can now get redeployed in bits and pieces. Finally, such bits and pieces can be re-mixed and serve the needs of a far broader spectrum of users and conditions, including those of the disadvantaged.
Saskia Sassen is the Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology and Member, The Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University. Her new book is Expulsions: Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy (Harvard University Press 2014) now out in 15 languages. Recent books are Territory, Authority, Rights: From Medieval to Global Assemblages (Princeton University Press 2008), A Sociology of Globalization (W.W.Norton 2007), and the 4th fully updated edition of Cities in a World Economy (Sage 2012). Among older books are The Global City (Princeton University Press 1991/2001), and Guests and Aliens (New Press 1999). Her books have been translated into over 20 languages. She is the recipient of diverse awards and mentions, including multiple doctor honoris causa, named lectures, and being selected as one of the top global thinkers on diverse lists. Most recently, she was awarded the Principe de Asturias 2013 Prize in the Social Sciences and made a Foreign Member of the Royal Academy of the Sciences of the Netherlands.
CARGC will host a cocktail reception for those attending the lecture in the Forum from 5:15 - 6:00 pm.
Please email Marina Krikorian to RSVP.