Description

My current research brings my long-standing interest in epistemology, modernity and knowledge production into the new field site of space science. In particular, I draw from my background in linguistics and STS to study the way spatial and terrestrial scientific objects are identified, documented, categorized and made actionable by the sensory media technology itself, as well as by physicists, astronomers, ecologists, data and GIS technicians and the larger community of stakeholders who then reach out to the public. How is data collected, made sense of, made operable and made visible in space science? The case studies that I am working on include satellite assemblages whose maps are generated in desertification projects in the Africa Sahel, and the Square Kilometer Array, a radio telescope observatory spanning Africa and Australia, projected to be the largest scientific infrastructure on Earth by 2027. In these projects, as with earlier projects, I am interested in how values, norms, chronotopes, spirituality, emotions as well as cognitive models figure in the work of constructing knowledge, whether looking at the sky, or at the Africa from above. Meanwhile, I keep one foot on the ground in Sudan, where questions of gendered agency, activism and digital technologies continue to demand attention in the wake of the 2019 revolution.

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