Centre for Critical Technology Studies (CCTS) is a transdisciplinary research unit which explores the complex nature of risks in technological development. Built around a number of individual and group projects, the centre seeks to provide concepts, imaginaries and understandings alternative to the dominant model of techno-economic development and transhumanist vision that currently mould the technological reality, right down to everyday life. The centre also aims to shape an open dialogue with the “hard” sciences, computer and engineering sciences and social sciences—beyond the tired rift between the sciences and the humanities—and to create a better public understanding of technological development—beyond the mistaken belief that technoscience belongs in a citadel guarded by experts.
What We Do
Our research elaborates a wide conceptual frame for the technological shift we are living through. The goal is to positively respond to the deficiencies of leading research trajectories in technology studies and the popular misconceptions about technology, in order to foster and promote critical thinking about a broader phenomenon: technicity.
We are especially interested in digital technologies and AI-based systems, the leading vectors of social, economic, and political change at the current stage of technological evolution.This requires a fresh reworking of conceptual frames that would allow for a better understanding of:
- human and other-than-human technical beings and the prostheticity of human life on Earth,
- the relation between the rhythms of technics and the rhythms of cultures, societies and the biosphere,
- new technologies and the way these technologies have been intertwined with various contexts of contemporary life, including everyday life
The goal is a comprehensive approach to technology that, in its application, overcomes disciplinary divides in order to critically assess digital reality and its economic, social, geopolitical, environmental and cultural repercussions.
How We Do It
First, we seek to offer new concepts, which more accurately explain the technological transformation we are witnessing. Second, we seek to introduce these new concepts into publicly engaged humanities, which so far have offered only limited contributions to debates around technological issues.
In our efforts to help create a publicly engaged research practice with an aim to technological diversity, we work to
- conceptually reverse the current techno-scientific paradigms under which the finalities of academic research on technology are subordinated to the extra-academic imperatives of the market-regulated and marketing-driven tech industry,
- put research practices at the service of public and open debate about the technological shape of our future in the Anthropocene.
Our research activities are located within three independent yet overlapping areas of study, based in different research traditions:
- Philosophy of technology, philosophy of science, political economy and continental philosophy;
- Cultural theory, media studies, love studies, digital humanities, critical robotics—specifically cultural norms and the social, emotional and aesthetic codes in relation to digitalism;
- Environmental studies, affect theory, gender and sexuality studies, wilderness studies, critical animal studies.