Dr Tanya Kant (University of Sussex) Making It Personal: Web personalisation, selfhood and algorithmic tactics 

The School of Media at the University of Brighton

is delighted to be hosting the first in a series of online research seminars:

Wednesday 13th May 2020 4.00pm-5.30pm

Attend via web browser here: https://tinyurl.com/y7vc2zus

Dr Tanya Kant (University of Sussex)

Making It Personal:

Web personalisation, selfhood and algorithmic tactics 

Targeted advertisements, tailored information feeds, and recommended content are now common and somewhat inescapable components of our everyday lives. With the help of searches, browsing history, purchases, likes, and other digital interactions, technological experiences are now routinely “personalised.” Companies with access to this information often downplay the fact that users’ personal data serves as a key form of monetisation, and their privacy policies tend to use the terms ‘personalisation’ and ‘customisation’ to legitimise the practice of tracking and algorithmically anticipating users’ daily movements.

This presentation explores the socio-cultural implications of this commercial drive to personalise, especially in relation to web users’ autonomy, knowledge production and performative identity practice. Drawing on the lived experiences of web users who confront personalisation as a market-driven everyday encounter, I explore how platforms’ efforts to personalise online engagements creates epistemic uncertainties for those anticipated by algorithms, produces a struggle for autonomy between the dividuated user and ‘personalised’ system, and imposes tense formations of identity configuration capable of performatively reconstituting users’ sense of self.

 

Tanya Kant is Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies (Digital Media) at the University of Sussex, UK. She is author of Making It Personal: Algorithmic Personalization, Identity and Everyday Life (2020, Oxford University Press) and is Co-Managing Editor of the open access, multimedia publishing platform REFRAME.

Contact: Gemma Cobb g.cobb@brighton.ac.uk

All welcome, no booking required

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