Kavita Philip

Kavita Philip is Professor of History at the University of California, Irvine, and the author of Studies in Unauthorized Reproduction (MIT Press).

  • Your Computer Is on Fire

    Thomas S. Mullaney, Benjamin Peters, Mar Hicks, and Kavita Philip

    Techno-utopianism is dead: Now is the time to pay attention to the inequality, marginalization, and biases woven into our technological systems.

    This book sounds an alarm: after decades of being lulled into complacency by narratives of technological utopianism and neutrality, people are waking up to the large-scale consequences of Silicon Valley–led technophilia. This book trains a spotlight on the inequality, marginalization, and biases in our technological systems, showing how they are not just minor bugs to be patched, but part and parcel of ideas that assume technology can fix—and control—society.

    The essays in Your Computer Is on Fire interrogate how our human and computational infrastructures overlap, showing why technologies that centralize power tend to weaken democracy. These practices are often kept out of sight until it is too late to question the costs of how they shape society. From energy-hungry server farms to racist and sexist algorithms, the digital is always IRL, with everything that happens algorithmically or online influencing our offline lives as well. Each essay proposes paths for action to understand and solve technological problems that are often ignored or misunderstood.

    • Paperback $35.00
  • Tactical Biopolitics

    Tactical Biopolitics

    Art, Activism, and Technoscience

    Beatriz da Costa and Kavita Philip

    Scientists, scholars, and artists consider the political significance of recent advances in the biological sciences.

    Popular culture in this “biological century” seems to feed on proliferating fears, anxieties, and hopes around the life sciences at a time when such basic concepts as scientific truth, race and gender identity, and the human itself are destabilized in the public eye. Tactical Biopolitics suggests that the political challenges at the intersection of life, science, and art are best addressed through a combination of artistic intervention, critical theorizing, and reflective practices. Transcending disciplinary boundaries, contributions to this volume focus on the political significance of recent advances in the biological sciences and explore the possibility of public participation in scientific discourse, drawing on research and practice in art, biology, critical theory, anthropology, and cultural studies. After framing the subject in terms of both biology and art, Tactical Biopolitics discusses such topics as race and genetics (with contributions from leading biologists Richard Lewontin and Richard Levins); feminist bioscience; the politics of scientific expertise; bioart and the public sphere (with an essay by artist Claire Pentecost); activism and public health (with an essay by Treatment Action Group co-founder Mark Harrington); biosecurity after 9/11 (with essays by artists' collective Critical Art Ensemble and anthropologist Paul Rabinow); and human-animal interaction (with a framing essay by cultural theorist Donna Haraway).

    Contributors Gaymon Bennett, Larry Carbone, Karen Cardozo, Gary Cass, Beatriz da Costa, Oron Catts, Gabriella Coleman, Critical Art Ensemble, Gwen D'Arcangelis, Troy Duster, Donna Haraway, Mark Harrington, Jens Hauser, Kathy High, Fatimah Jackson, Gwyneth Jones, Jonathan King, Richard Levins, Richard Lewontin, Rachel Mayeri, Sherie McDonald, Claire Pentecost, Kavita Philip, Paul Rabinow, Banu Subramanian, subRosa, Abha Sur, Samir Sur, Jacqueline Stevens, Eugene Thacker, Paul Vanouse, Ionat Zurr

    • Hardcover $9.75
    • Paperback $25.00