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2017 - 18 Events

Centre of Latin American Studies

Tricontinental tea seminar

The Tricontinental Tea Seminars
an initiative of the Consortium for the Global South
University of Cambridge

The Politics of Science and Technology in the Global South
Friday 1 December, Room S1, Alison Richard Building

  • 4.00-5.30pm Brief presentations (5-10 minutes) by individual researchers
  • 5.30-6.00pm Tea and informal connections
  • 6.00-6.30pm Roundtable discussion on emerging themes and potential collaborative projects

The Consortium for the Global South invites you to participate in the first of its Tricontinental Tea Seminars. This informal series is intended to connect researchers working in different departments and disciplines within the University departments, to share knowledge, and to explore the potential for future collaborative projects.

Spaces are limited – if you would like to attend, please email Julie Coimbra 

The Consortium for the Global South is led by the Centre of African Studies, the Centre of Development Studies, the Centre of Latin American Studies, and the Centre of South Asian Studies. It exists to promote the interdisciplinary study of the Global South within the University of Cambridge and beyond.


Charlotte Lemanski (Geography) is interested in exploring the ways in which low-income urban dwellers’ access to public infrastructure (housing and associated services) functions as a material and technical embodiment of their relationship to the state. Specifically, she is exploring this idea of ‘infrastructural citizenship’ through research on domestic energy innovation in low-cost housing in Cape Town and Bangalore. This approach uses the technical and political nature of public infrastructure to illuminate state/citizen relations.

Adam Branch (Centre of African Studies) is currently working on a new research agenda on climate change and climate justice in Africa. He is the Principal Investigator for an AHRC/ESRC GCRF project on ‘Narratives of Conflict, Climate and Development: Re-envisioning Sustainability from Post-War Northern Uganda’, a collaborative research project with scholars from Makerere University, as well as with Ugandan human rights organizations, on the politics of climate change in Uganda and technologies of climate change adaptation.

Tanya Filer(Cambridge Institute for Public Policy) is currently completing a project on the relationship between democracy and digital technologies, taking Argentine government and politics as a principal case study. The project explores the uptake of digital technologies and the rise to prominence of techno-utopianism in public discourse, political thought and policymaking in twenty-first century Argentina. Tanya has broader interests in GovTech and in the politics of technological innovation in the Global South. Her new project, provisionally titled ‘Governing GovTech’ (supported by a British Council ‘cyber research’ grant), will explore modes of governing how democratic states use new and emergent technologies.

David Good (Psychology) works with Sharath Srinivasan on the Africa’s Voices project, which describes itself in the following way: ‘Listening to citizens is at the heart of responsive and effective development and governance. Combining technology, media, and data analysis, we leverage new opportunities of the digital revolution to generate rich insights and amplify diverse, local voices’.

Charu Singh (Darwin College) is a historian of modern South Asia, with a special focus on histories of knowledge, science, print and empire. She is currently working on a book manuscript provisionally titled Producing Vijnan in Colonial North India, c.1890-1950. The project examines the centrality of language and translation in the global circulations of western scientific discourse by exploring how Hindi writers translated and disseminated science writings among the emerging reading public of the early twentieth century. In the past, she has also researched the history of the monsoon and meteorology in the Bombay presidency in the nineteenth century.

Freya Jephcott (Queens’ College) is a medical anthropologist/epidemiologist looking at disease outbreaks of uncertain origin in Sub-Saharan African settings. Part of her research falls under STS, but there is a larger emphasis on the global economy of emerging infectious diseases and its implications for burdens of disease in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Joanna Page (Centre of Latin American Studies) has worked on representations of science and posthuman technologies in Latin American literature and visual culture. She is starting a new project on narratives and artworks that engage with recent research in astrophysics, evolutionary biology, genetics and neuroscience to create shared visions of the origins and future of human culture and society, redefining ‘life in common’.

Ivan Scales (Geography/St Catharine’s College) works on the political ecology of smallholder agriculture in sub- Saharan Africa. His research focuses on the interactions between new technologies and indigenous farming systems, paying close attention to how innovations can both include and exclude individuals and groups along lines of age, class, and gender.

Mara Polgovsky-Ezcurra (Queens’ College) is currently writing a cultural history of cybernetics in Mexico, looking at how the rise of cybernetics as an epistemology relates to political and artistic imaginaries from the late 1940s until today.

Martin Crowley (MML-French) is exploring philosophies of political agency as distributed across human-nonhuman assemblages, in particular looking to develop a model of such agency compatible with an effective politics of decisive intervention and mobilisation.

Stephanie Diepeveen (Centre of Governance and Human Rights) is looking at the intersection of power, rule and digital communication technologies, predominantly in Kenya, but with an aim to speak to wider Africanist political scholarship. The project she is working on at the moment has a strong interest in exploring what effective interdisciplinary collaborative work might look like (across, data science, history and politics) in order to effectively analyse the intricacies of the intersection of power and communication technologies on the continent.