Data Flows and Water Woes: An Interview With Media Scholar Mél Hogan

Data Flows and Water Woes: An Interview With Media Scholar Mél Hogan

Edward Snowden’s revelations in 2013 about the nature of the digital surveillance state opened a floodgate of public debate about unwarranted mass surveillance using big data and metadata. Indeed, the very word “metadata,” once the arcane jargon of data jockeys and digital librarians, entered common parlance, thanks to its centrality to arguments over just how meaningful and information-rich such data could be. The subsequent revelations have shown how privacy and freedom are inextricably tethered to discourses of national security which are in turn anchored in large scale, dislocated, material infrastructures. In spite of these close interrelations, such connections frequently remain obscure and hidden away from public view – and understanding.

In this contribution to BD&S, “Data Flows and Water Woes: The Utah Data Center” media scholar Mél Hogan looks specifically at the material infrastructures of the NSA that facilitate such surveillance flows. She argues that these infrastructures monumentalize our priorities, by way of their location, dependence on natural resources and public infrastructures, and impacts on the environment.

In the following paragraphs, digital labour researcher Sarah T. Roberts engages Mél Hogan in a dialogue about the topics raised in her work and discovers why they are so crucial for all of us right now.

“Queered by the Archive” in Research Justice: Methodologies for Social Change

“Chapter 5: Queered by the Archive: No More Potlucks and the Activist Potential of Archival Theory” In Research Justice: Methodologies for Social Change in collaboration with the DataCenter, Research for Justice. (Ed. Andrew Jolivette.) Zeffiro, Andrea, co-author.

Continue reading ““Queered by the Archive” in Research Justice: Methodologies for Social Change”

The Archive as Dumpster – Pivot 4:1



Home > Vol 4, No 1 (2015) > Hogan
The Archive as Dumpster
Mél Hogan


In four exploratory theoretical gestures (appraise, dispose, hoard and mediate), I propose the ‘archive as dumpster’ as a framework for returning to the physical conditions of memory, where “picking through the trash” subverts traditional archival methodologies by insisting on the very material consequences of a culture inculcated in networked digital communications. I make an argument that by posing the archive as a mediatic question (Parikka 2013), we can begin to account for the ways in which the perceived immateriality and weightlessness of our data is in fact with immense humanistic, environmental, political, and ethical repercussions. It is also a means by which we come to understand who we are, looking forward. In both cases, pitting the archive’s orderly ambitions against the dumpster’s stinking mess reveals a ‘call of things’ (Bennett 2011); the slow and often distanced process of disposal and waste to remind us who we are, in and over time, in and out of our bodies, increasingly under the impression of a dematerialised engagement with our stuff.

Evidencing the Struggles of Academic Feminism

Chapter 3: Suture and Scars: Evidencing the Struggles of Academic Feminism” In Kumarini Silva and Kaitlynn Mendes (eds) Feminist Erasures: Challenging Backlash Culture. Palgrave Macmillan.


Feminist Erasures: Challenging Backlash Culture – Edited by Kumarini Silva and Kaitlynn Mendes

Feminist Erasures presents a collection of original essays that examines the state of feminism in North America and Western Europe. It focuses on a range of cultural and political contexts to interrogate the apathy toward, erasure of, and interventions in feminist discourse and analysis from popular and political culture. In providing a scholarly critique of feminism’s erasure from various social and political contexts, including news media, popular culture, labor, motherhood, and feminist activism, this collection makes visible the systematic marginalization of women and women’s rights in contemporary culture.

Table of Contents:

1. Introduction: (In)visible and (Ir)relevant: Setting a Context; Kumarini Silva and Kaitlynn Mendes

2. CEOs and Office Ho’s: Notes from the Trenches of Our Women’s Studies Classrooms; Sara T. Bernstein and Elise M. Chatelain
3. Suture and Scars: Evidencing the Struggles of Academic Feminism; Andrea Zeffiro and Mél Hogan
4. Feminist Erasure: The Development of a Black Feminist Methodological Theory; Alexandra Moffett-Bateau

5. Illegible Rage: Performing Femininity in Manhattan Call Girl; Katherine Hindle
6. Empowered Vulnerability?: A Feminist Response to the Ubiquity of Sexual Violence in the Pilots of Female-Fronted Teen Drama Series; Susan Berridge
7. Against Conformity: Families, Respectability and the Representation of Gender-Nonconforming Youth of Color in Gun Hill Road and Pariah; Natalie Havlin and Celiany Rivera-Velázquez
8. ‘Money’s a Bitch’: Women, Gender, and the Financial Markets in Hollywood Films; Micky Lee and Monika Raesch
9. Gladiator in a Suit?: Scandal’s Olivia Pope and the Post-Identity Regulation of Physical Agency; Jennifer McClearen

10. Got Milk? Motherhood, Breastfeeding and (Re)domesticating Feminism; Kumarini Silva
11. Running Mother Ragged: Women and Labor in the Age of Telework; Eric Lohman
12. Infertility Blogging, Body and the Avatar; Rosemary Hepworth

13. SlutWalk, Feminism and News; Kaitlynn Mendes
14. A critical reading of SlutWalk in the news: Reproducing postfeminism and whiteness; Lauren McNicol