Precarity Lab brings together an intergenerational network of scholars and activists at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor to interrogate how digital cultures produce, reproduce and intervene in precarity. We are interested in the contradictions of a digital world in the making that perpetuates uneven access to work, education, and social capital even as it promises new possibilities for resistance and counterculture.

While digital technologies have consolidated the wealth and influence of a small number of players in the global north, they have produced increasingly insecure conditions of work and life for racial, ethnic, and sexual minorities, women, indigenous people, migrants, and people living in the global south.

We seek new genres and platforms for collaborative research, writing, and publishing about the relationship between digital technologies and emergent forms of precarity and power, from the governance of life through algorithms and biotechnologies to the commodification of users’ bodies and the data they produce, from the placement of Palestinian Internet cables to the manufacture of electronics by Navajo women, from the production and deployment of drones on the U.S. Mexico border to maker-manufacturing cultures in urban China.

We explore what a critical study of digital culture might look like that centers transnational, feminist, queer, critical race, and postcolonial modes of inquiry.

Art and Photography Credits
Top left: Michael Ashkin’s “Untitled (proun),” 2010
Top right, bottom left, bottom right: Photography by Silvia Lindtner