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"People Like You": The social life of the index

Celia Lury (University of Warwick) will present her recent work at the médialab's seminar.

Event, Research Seminar

Salle 21, 27 rue Saint Guillaume, 75007 Paris

Tuesday June 18th, 2019, Celia Lury will be médialab's guest. She will present her work about the speech distribution in digital culture in a talk entitled '"People Like You": The social life of the index.'


With the dual aim of exploring how digital culture provides a new distribution environment for indices and showing how indices distribute speech in digital culture, Celia Lury considers slogans such as ‘Not in our name’, and the hashtags ‘Je suis Charlie’, and ‘MeToo’. In all cases, the index of concern is a personal pronoun – ‘our’, ‘je’, ‘me’ and ‘you’, and in all cases the analysis focuses on the personhood such figures of speech occasion. It is suggested that what matters is whether participating in a speech event necessarily means you are a part of the event. The disjunction between the two - participating in/being part of - is identified as a characteristic of practices of personalisation and raises issues of social and political inclusion and exclusion, as well as challenging our ideas of truth.


Celia's main research contribution is to the development of the interdisciplinary study of culture. She has made a series of studies of cultural change, focusing on the implications of such change for understandings of the person, processes of individualisation and the relations between individuals and groups. She is also interested in the ways in which 'live' methods contribute to the enactment of social worlds. Her current focus involves looking at the role of methods such as ranking, optimisation, and bio-sensing in the making of a topological culture.

Practical information

Tuesday June 18th, 2019 – 2pm to 4pm.

This seminar is open to all within the limits of available places. Please register in advance.

WARNING, due to renovation works, we had to change the venuethe seminar will take place in Room 21, 27 rue Saint Guillaume, 75007 Paris