Christoph Engemann – Declarative & Procedural Identity – Governmediality after Snowden

Event Date: 12 May 2016

Room 264
Senate House
University of London
London WC1E 7HU

The Humanities and Arts Research Centre at Royal Holloway presents:

Dr Christoph Engemann (Leuphana University Lüneburg) –  Declarative & Procedural Identity – Governmediality after Snowden

Using the USA and Germany as examples this talk gives an overview of the past 20 years of attempts by nation-states to create and implement digital identity solutions for their populations. Already in the mid-nineties both countries had elaborate projects to provide official recognized online authentication and identities. For different reasons these projects either failed or did not gain traction. Nonetheless it can be shown that both countries kept pursuing the goal to generate official online identities and had initiated numerous publicly visible projects and do so to this day. At the same after the revelations of Edward Snowden this material can be contrasted with the in-official or secret projects of attributing identities to online user as evident in NSA/Five-Eyes documents. Before this background the talk will develop the notions of declarative and procedural identity to describe the differences of the official and in-official projects of generating online-identities. Finally these examples illustrate the mediality of governmentality and hence the talk will conclude with an outline for a study of governmediality.

Christoph Engemann teaches and writes in the areas of Media Theory of Statehood, Governmediality, Digital Identity and History of Authentication Media as well on Rurality & Barns. He is currently a Post- Doc at the Center for Advanced Study Media Cultures of Computer simulation, Leuphana University Lüneburg. Previously he has held positions at the IKKM Bauhaus University Weimar, at the Science, Technology and Society Program UT Austin and the Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences. He was Non- Residential Fellow at the Center for Internet and Society Stanford Law School and is an alumni of the Oxford Internet Institute Doctoral Summer School. His recent publications are (in German): “Die Adresse des freien Bürgers: Digitale Identitätssysteme Deutschlands und der USA im Vergleich,” in: Leviathan – Berliner Zeitschrift für Sozialwissenschaft 43/1 – 2015 and together with Florian Sprenger (Eds.): “Internet der Dinge. Über smarte Objekte, intelligente Umgebungen und die technische Durchdringung der Welt” Transcript 2015.

Introduction by Scott Wark (Warwick):

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