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Louisa Shen

Network Member

Faculty of English


My research looks at the production of visibility engendered by our electronic and digital screens, with a view to understanding how the device has altered the phenomenology of our perceptual field and changed our habits of seeing since its inception in the early twentieth century. The work seeks to provide a historical account of the screen’s impact on vision and conditions of visibility, against which we might be able to contextualise urgent contemporary debates over the problems of ‘screentime’ and ‘distraction’ and phenomena such as ‘virality’ and ‘influence’. Hidden power (infra)structures behind the screen might be revealed by means of sustained critical examination.

I trained originally in literature, film, and history in New Zealand, with a significant apprenticeship in writing studies. Prior to returning to research here in Cambridge, my background in textual practice enabled me to work as technical author in the software sector. Other areas of research interest thus include the intersection between writing and technology (code as text/text as code), the linguistic and narrative constructions of computational culture, and the portrayal and refraction of technology in fictional and visual texts, broadly conceived.

About us

The Trust & Technology Initiative brings together and drives forward interdisciplinary research from Cambridge and beyond to explore the dynamics of trust and distrust in relation to internet technologies, society and power; to better inform trustworthy design and governance of next generation tech at the research and development stage; and to promote informed, critical, and engaging voices supporting individuals, communities and institutions in light of technology’s increasing pervasiveness in societies.

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