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Assistant Professor of Technology Studies

Area of Study: Media & Technology Studies

Email: aaron.shapiro@unc.edu
Office: 201A Bingham Hall
Office Hours: By appointment

 

Biography

Hello and welcome to this webpage! I’m Aaron Shapiro, assistant professor of technology studies. I research and teach about connections across technology, society, culture, and political economy, and especially technology’s relationship to urban space, infrastructure, and inequality. I’m currently teaching a class about algorithms and society, and a class about the history and politics of sound. In the future, I plan to teach about: cities and infrastructure; urban policing, technology and the social construction crime; the financialization of society; and more!

 

Research Interests

I’m trained in anthropology, communications, and urban studies, and I try to bring these different traditions to my research and writing. My first book (Design, Control, Predict: Logistical Governance in the Smart City) is about the frictions of new urban technologies – the ways that social and economic inequalities have a way of frustrating straightforward technical solutions. These days I’m in the early stages of a second book project. This will be about the relationship between the financialization of everyday life and the ways we engage with and adopt new technologies. How do financial logics and techniques, such as securitization, risk management, and assetization, motivate and constrain the development and use of certain technologies and not others? I plan to survey a diverse range of products (real estate tech, logistics platforms, creative software, and streaming services) to bring together two parallel concerns: how financial capitalism shapes everyday life, and how technologies embed the values of the society that produces and consumes them.