Doctoral course - Geopolitical and ethical perspectives on human-computer interaction
Teacher: Professor José Abdelnour Nocera; firstname.lastname@example.org
Coordinator (University of Oulu): Dr. Mikko Rajanen; email@example.com
Peppi code: DP00AK78 (registrations to the course)
Extent 2-3 ECTS
The aim of this PhD course is to explore and discuss Geopolitical and Ethical Perspectives on Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). These issues are mainly seen at two levels: (1) on discourses surrounding motivations and value of HCI as a sociotechnical field, and (2) on discourses surrounding concepts of HCI diffusion, maturity and diversity as articulated by global and local knowledge networks. Since the beginning of HCI, discussions of democracy have been around. It may even be fair to say that the key notion of usability aims to support the citizens of a democratic society. Obviously, exactly how HCI should do this remains open for discussion. HCI has several roots deep in military needs from the world wars of the 20th century. It was also born out of the sociotechnical traditions with its emancipatory ambitions, aiming at creating conditions for supporting human agency that facilitates the realization of people’s needs and potential.
There´s an inherent contradiction between these traditions. Thus, we’re interested in exploring the following question: how to reconcile such diverse discourses as military power and emancipatory ambitions in a geopolitical and ethical analysis of HCI research and associated discourses? Moreover, the diffusion of HCI as field of knowledge and practice is dominated by political and post-colonial discourses that pervade local and global knowledge networks shaping what is considered useful and relevant research and practice. In this workshop we understand these issues as geopolitical in nature and aim to trace the cultural and sociotechnical dynamics that construct the field of HCI.
The course consists of lectures, workshops and independent group work over two days in four sessions. Students are required to dedicate time to independent group work. This work is coordinated by the responsible teacher and conducted by PhD students. The results can be reported as a joint peer-reviewed publication.
Working in teams, students identify and analyse a case study of potential geopolitical and ethical tension in HCI or related design topic. With a team-based, hands-on approach, students will use Activity Theory, Technological Frames, Infrastructural Inversion and Knowledge Mobilisation Framework as conceptual frameworks to identify these tensions and propose a way forward to solve them in a more ethical and sensefull fashion for the relevant stakeholders and communities. Students will present their work in a seminar presentation (2ECTS) in the final session of the PhD school. For an additional 1 ECTS, the presentation can further be developed in a manuscript to be submitted as a peer-review publication for a workshop, conference or journal.