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Genevieve Bell

Intel Fellow

Dr. Genevieve Bell is an anthropologist and researcher with 15 years of experience driving innovation in the high tech industry. As the Director of Interaction and Experience Research in Intel Labs, Bell leads a team of social scientists, interaction designers, human factors engineers and computer scientists. This organization researches new computing experiences that are centered around people's needs and desires. This foundationally shapes and then helps to create new Intel technologies and products. In this team and her prior roles, Bell has fundamentally altered the way Intel envisions and plans its products so that they are centered on people's needs rather than simply silicon capabilities.

In addition to leading this increasingly important area at Intel, Bell is an accomplished industry commentator on the intersection of culture and technology and has been extensively featured in publications that include Wired, Forbes, The Atlantic, Fast Company, and the Wall Street Journal. She is a regular public speaker and panelist at technology conferences worldwide, sharing myriad insights gained from her extensive international field work and research. In 2010, Bell was named one of Fast Company's inaugural '100 Most Creative People in Business.' Bell is a passionate advocate for the advancement of women in technology and in 2012 was inducted into the Women In Technology International (WITI) hall of fame. Her first book, 'Divining the Digital Future: Mess and Mythology in Ubiquitous Computing,' was co-written with Prof. Paul Dourish of the University of California at Irvine and released in April 2011. Bell is also the recipient of several patents for consumer electronics innovations.

A native of Australia, Bell moved to the United States for her undergraduate studies and graduated from Bryn Mawr in 1990 with a bachelor's degree in anthropology. She then earned a master's degree and a doctorate in cultural anthropology from Stanford University where she also taught as an acting lecturer in the Department of Anthropology from 1996-1998. With a father who was an engineer and a mother who was an anthropologist, perhaps Bell was fated to ultimately work for a technology company, joining Intel in 1998.

David Howes

Concordia University, Montreal

Dr. David Howes is an anthropologist based at Concordia University, Montreal and the Director of the Centre for Sensory Studies. The Centre provides a collaborative interdisciplinary platform for research in the social life and history of the senses, multisensory aesthetics, and the development of technologies for expanding the sensorium in innovative ways. A pioneer of the anthropology of the senses, Howes has carried out field research on medicine and the five senses in Northwestern Argentina, the sensory life of things in the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford, and the comparative study of sensory orders in Melanesia. An important further branch of his research concerns the application of sensory ethnography to market research.

David Howes is one of the founding editors of The Senses and Society journal, general editor of the Sensory Formations book series from Berg, co-author of a widely acclaimed (and translated) book on the cultural history and anthropology of smell called Aroma,  and the author of Sensual Relations. His next book, “Ways of Sensing: Understanding the Senses in Society” (with Constance Classen) is due out from Routledge this Fall.

In addition to his editorial roles, David Howes helps lead a Concordia-based research project on the globalization of the consumer society. This research focusses on the phenomenon of cross-cultural consumption, which occurs when a product or service that is produced in one culture comes to beconsumed in some other culture. The globalization of markets has resulted in an exponential increase in the incidence the cross-cultural consumption of commodities such as Coca-Cola, Levis jeans, IBM computers, and of services like credit cards and package tours. While some goods and services have been notably successful at penetrating foreign markets, however, others have failed. How are these successes - and just as important, failures - to be explained?

Howes in the project claims that anthropologists as cultural insiders - or “marginal natives” - are ideally positioned to study processes of selection/rejection of goods and services across cultures. They can attend to the particularities of local power relations, knowledge systems, and desires. Traditional models of consumer behaviour fail to recognize how creative and indeed “productive” this process of domestication-through-consumption can be. Consumers may find uses for products never imagined by their manufacturers, or may reject products for similarly “obscure” reasons. So too may consumers evidence significant creativity in terms of the range of meanings they impute to commodities. Many examples of the novel uses and alternative meanings found in or for commodities when they cross cultural borders are discussed in Cross-Cultural Consumption: Global Markets, Local Realities - edited by David Howes.

Daniel Miller

Department of Anthropology, University College London

Dr. Daniel Miller is Professor of Material Culture at the Department of Anthropology University College London and a Fellow of the British Academy. He has specialised in the study of material culture and consumption. More recently his work has centred on the areas of digital anthropology, motherhood and the anthropology of clothing. From 2012-2017 he is carrying out a full time project funded by the European Research Council on the impact of new social media, especially social networking sites in seven countries along with a team of post-doctoral colleagues and PhD students. All these studies are 15 month traditional ethnographies. Most began on 1st April 2013.

Danny is author/editor of 35 books. Recent volumes include 2008 The Comfort of Things, 2010 Stuff, 2010  With Zuzana Búriková  Au-Pair. 2011 With Sophie Woodward Eds. Global Denim, 2011 Tales from Facebook. 2012 With Mirca Madianou Migration and New Media 2012 With Sophie Woodward Blue Jeans 2012 Consumption and its Consequences 2012 Edited with Heather Horst. Digital Anthropology. He has a new book called Webcam (with Jolynna Sinanan) that is due out this coming October with Polity Press. Many of his books have been translated, for example, three are coming out in Chinese. He regularly appears on radio and his work is often discussed in popular media internationally.

Most of Danny’s work has been unequivocally academic but his research including his three books about shopping have clearly had an influence in commercial worlds, and he has also carried out studies of business and workplace practice, for example, in the advertising industry. As part of his new ERC research project he has become much more involved in applied studies. Recently he carried out six months research on behalf of a hospice to the north of London and wrote a policy document on how the hospice movement could use new media to enhance their work with terminal cancer victims living in their own homes. There are extensive plans for applied work as part of his current ERC project.

Tricia Wang

Tricia Wang is a global tech ethnographer who researches how technology makes us human. She advises corporations, organizations, and students on utilizing Digital Age ethnographic research methods to improve strategy, services, and products.

Her research interests lie at the intersection of technology and culture—the investigation of how social media and the internet affect identity-making, trust formation, and collective action. Through extensive fieldwork in China and Latin America, she has developed expertise on digital communities in emerging economies, leading to the formulation of an innovative sociological framework for understanding user interactions online.

Tricia relishes on-the-ground, hyper-immersive ethnographic fieldwork, which has provided her with a unique understanding of the experiences of edge communities. For example, while living in internet cafes with migrants, she learned the value of urban “third spaces” to an economic underclass. Working undercover alongside street vendors, meanwhile, gave her a unique perspective on the growth of smart phone ownership in China and revealed the workings of informal markets. During her projects she has pioneered ethnographic techniques such as live fieldnote taking, which uses social media tools to share real-time fieldwork data.

A Fulbright Fellow and National Science Foundation Fellow, Tricia has been recognized as a leading authority by journalists, investors, and ethnographic and sociological researchers. Her research has been featured in The Atlantic, Al Jazeera, Fast Company, Makeshift, and Wired. She has presented at the Microsoft Social Computing Symposium, Lift, and South by Southwest. She has worked with Fortune 500 companies including GE and Nokia and numerous institutions from the UN to NASA. She is also proud to have co-founded the first national hip-hop education initiative, which turned into the Hip Hop Education Center at New York University, and to have built after-school technology and arts programs for low-income youth at New York City public schools and the Queens Museum of Arts.
Recent projects include co-founding and writing for blogs: Ethnography Matters, which brings ethnography issues to the attention of a wider audience; and 88 Bar, which focuses on technology, media, and arts in Greater China. She is a visiting scholar at New York University's Information Telecommunication Program. She is also an advisory board member of Rev Arts in New York City. She is currently writing a book about the internet in China as an expressive space in which users uniquely shape their identities in an otherwise rigid society, a phenomenon she calls "the Elastic Self".
Her research philosophy is that you have to go to the edges to discover what's really happening. She is the proud owner of an internet famous dog who balances stuff on her head, #ellethedog

Previous EPIC Speakers

Emily Pilloton
EPIC2012
Bruce Sterling
EPIC2011
Kenya Hara
EPIC2010
Michael Shanks
EPIC2010