Morgan Currie's profile
Name

Dr Morgan Currie

Title

Lecturer in Data & Society

Organisation

Science Technology and Innovation Studies

E-Mail Telephone

0131 650 6394

Website

My research and teaching interests focus on open and administrative data, 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 Interests

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

Current Projects

Cultural Mapping

The 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 will be an open-access, community-created map that includes city cultural assets, hubs and flexible spaces of past and present. The map will be 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 local forms of 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 all manner of administrative information rendered as data, and so subject to quantification and machine-readable functions. City governments have embraced these statistical tools to track performance, set goals, justify budget expenditures, direct public services, and engage the public. Datafication raises new questions about public accountability, democratic representation, and civil liberties 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 theory 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 performativity is also useful for moving beyond a representational view of data and towards understanding its affective and rhetorical dimensions.

PUBLICATIONS

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.

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 Topics

I am currently supervising students researching the quantification 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 and data activism, and cultural GIS.

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)

Carla Alvarez (Social Policy)

Refereed Journal Articles

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., B. Paris, & Donovan, J. (2018) "What difference do data make? Data management and social change"Online Information Review, https://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. 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 2019. ISBN 978-1-912669-11-0.

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., 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.