Fracking Systems, Earth Dispossessed: Social Research and Pedagogy through Game Invention

Let us push ideas to the extreme, at the risk of being taken for extravagant”                                                                                                                                                                                                                      -Gabriel de Tarde, Monodology and Sociology

We are pleased to have visiting with us in October, Professor Joseph Dumit from the Department of Anthropology at UC Davis. Joseph Dumit will be giving a talk on recent research followed by a workshop in which we will all be asked to re-invent our own research in the format of a critical game.

A small teaser in the words of Dumit:

Is fracking not one such idea currently being pushed to the extreme, producing freakish landscapes while being represented as a walk in the park? Imitating Tarde, as we are wont to do today, suggests that we investigate the how of repetition: social, vital and physical; imitative, hereditary and vibratory. Working with computer scientists and geologists as they haptically explore earth data – quake traces, landscape fractures, apocalyptic geographies, and speculative infrastructures – this paper wriggles their mode of analysis into STS, inquiring into theories’ vibrations. This is both a discussion of fracking in the US with an eye toward global markets, as well as a preview of the digital game version of it I’ve been developing with the ModLab at UC Davis.

Where: Scroll Bar

When: 10:00-13:00 October 19th, 2016


To participate, RSVP to Marisa Cohn at