Malte Ziewitz

Malte Ziewitz

Assistant Professor
Mills Family Faculty Fellow
Department of Science & Technology Studies
330 Rockefeller Hall
Cornell University

mcz35@cornell.edu

Summer office hours:
by appointment

[Research] [Teaching] [Contact]


I am an Assistant Professor at the Department of Science & Technology Studies at Cornell University with a graduate field appointment in Information Science. Broadly based in science and technology studies, ethnography, and public policy, my research revolves around the practicalities of valuation, governance, and accountability in digitally networked environments — the dynamics at work, the values at stake, the design options at hand.

In my recent work, I have been looking at the practical politics of novel review, rating, and ranking schemes in healthcare and search engine optimization (SEO). I am especially interested in the everyday work of establishing, maintaining, and subverting these schemes. Attending to these practicalities opens up exciting avenues for rethinking longstanding problems of accountability, valuation, and governance.

I have also been interested in algorithmic ordering; the history and performativity of internet governance; the nature and uses of "crowd wisdom" in regulation; and computational approaches to privacy. As Principal Investigator, I headed the ESRC-funded How's My Feedback? project, a collaborative design experiment to rethink and evaluate online review and rating websites.

Previously, I was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication and the Information Law Institute at New York University, a McCloy Fellow at Harvard University, a Non-resident Fellow at the Research Center for Information Law at the University of St. Gallen, and a Junior Researcher at the Hans Bredow Institute for Media Research. My work has been supported by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the German National Academic Foundation, an OII/PGP Scholarship, the Heinz Schwarzkopf Foundation, the Keble Association, and the German Academic Exchange Service.

See also: Bio | CV (pdf)


Research interests

Science & technology studies; sociology of (e)valuation; governance and accountability relations; digital media; reviews, ratings, rankings; computational approaches to privacy; ethnography; ethnomethodology

Projects

Publications

–– Work in progress

–– Journal articles

–– Book chapters

–– Working papers

–– Research reports

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Invited talks and conference papers

Conference and seminar organization

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Teaching

STS 2761 - Governing Everyday Life

Syllabus | Info sheet

Traffic lights, elevators, and recycling bins seem rather boring and irrelevant. Yet, while not usually on our minds when thinking about governance and regulation, these seemingly mundane technologies are important features of our lives. This course will take a closer look at everyday solutions to public problems. Combining hands-on exercises with readings from STS, sociology, and politics, we shall explore the role of everyday devices and technologies in establishing, maintaining, and disrupting social order. How to think about these “small” solutions to “big” problems? What are tools and tricks for analyzing things we take for granted? How might these insights challenge longstanding ideas about accountability, technology, and governance? Working through these questions will be particularly useful for students interested in sociology, design, and public policy.

STS 3561 - Computing Cultures

Syllabus | Piazza

Computers are powerful tools for working, playing, thinking, and living. Laptops, PDAs, webcams, cell phones, and iPods surround us. They are not just devices. They also provide narratives, metaphors, and ways of seeing the world. Computers have a long history in the workplace but, in the last 20 years, they have also become inextricably bound up in all aspects of our everyday lives. This generation of college students is the first for whom instant messaging, mobile phones, and on-line networking are a normal and an essential part of social life. How are the lives of people in the United States and elsewhere changing, for better and for worse, with these technologies? What cultural trends and political forces do they embody? And how could we design, engage, use, or not use them in ways that improve our lives and our societies?

STS 6561 - Technologies of Valuation

Syllabus

Valuation is a pervasive feature of contemporary life. Professors, universities, hotels, markets, movies, user experience, intelligence: almost everything is subject to some form of review, rating, or ranking these days. This course examines valuation as a key techno-scientific practice and asks how value is established, maintained, compared, subverted, resisted, and institutionalized in a range of different settings. Through a mix of reading, writing, and practical exercises, we shall engage with theoretical, historical, and ethnographic studies of (e)valuation in science & technology studies, but also draw on related areas like economic sociology, the sociology of evaluation, accounting studies, anthropology, and information science.

STS 7111 - Introduction to Science & Technology Studies (with M. Lynch)

Revised syllabus coming soon! | 2014 Syllabus

Provides newcomers to STS an overview of some of the major themes and issues in the field, and an opportunity to investigate how scholars in the field go about their work.

Previously

Advising

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Commentary, interviews, media

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Contact

Malte Ziewitz
Department of Science & Technology Studies
330 Rockefeller Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853
U.S.A.

Tel. +1 (607) 255-3810

Last updated: January 20, 2015