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Nov 2 2023

COMM Colloquium – “A City Is Not a Computer: The Biography of a Book” – Dr. Shannon Mattern

COMM Colloquium

November 2, 2023

3:00 PM - 5:00 PM


Library I-470

In this talk I’ll consider what it means to examine cities as multifariously mediated, technologized environments — spaces embedded with code and cables, waves and words — in a culture that tends to equate “technology” with Silicon Valley. Simultaneously, I’ll address the book as a mediated object — one that, in this particular case, originated in open-access long-form, para-academic articles and evolved into a university press book; we’ll consider the methods, ethics, politics, and economics of doing media scholarship across media forms.

 Bio: Shannon Mattern is the Penn Presidential Compact Professor of Media Studies at Art History at the University of Pennsylvania. From 2004 to 2022, she served in the Department of Anthropology and the School of Media Studies at The New School in New York. Her writing and teaching focus on media architectures and infrastructures and spatial epistemologies. She has written books about libraries, maps, and urban intelligence; she serves as president of the board of the Metropolitan New York Library Council; and she contributes a column about urban data and mediated spaces to Places Journal. You can find her at



Zizi Papacharissi

Date posted

Aug 23, 2023

Date updated

Aug 29, 2023