“The Illusion of Volition” is a blog maintained and populated by Sarah T. Roberts, a doctoral candidate and fellow in the IMLS-funded Information in Society program at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) at the University of Illinois – that’s me! Thanks for stopping by; I look forward to your comments.
Update: I am honored and thrilled to report that I will be joining the Faculty of Information and Media Studies (FIMS) at the University of Western Ontario, at the rank of Assistant Professor, this summer. Thanks to all who supported me through this process. I look forward to the coming adventure at this wonderful institution!
For information about my teaching philosophy and experience, please click here.
The blog is primarily focused, as is its author, on discussions and dissections of notions of information in society, and its attendant sociocultural, economic and ethical implications, as well as the political economy of digital information, the Internet, ICT and popular media. Also under discussion are issues of digital (in)equities, Internet/networked culture, the nature of digital information, information transmission and dissemination, information as commodity/currency, digital and “new media” culture studies, gaming, critical historical technology studies, and Internet policy development.
Discussion includes my current academic research underway in digital labor and “knowledge work,” and the reconfigurations of labor and production in a Post-Industrial, globalized context. This includes topics related to my dissertation, Behind the Screen: the Hidden Digital Labor of Online Content Moderators. Other research streams under discussion here include work on personal digital media creation and curation in and as resistance movement(s), with special emphasis on the Wisconsin Labor Protests of 2011.
Periodic job listings, calls for participation/papers, and observations or musings of a more ephemeral nature are also likely to appear. Meatier, so to speak, content is usually posted in the Meditations category, but everything just ends up on the front page, in general.
Attempting to engage in critical inquiry and reflection at the intersection of analog and digital worlds, I am ultimately and fundamentally concerned with social and economic equity and issues of power, control and justice, global and local.
These writings are often works in progress, the beginnings (or continuations) of dialogs with others, and are likely not my final word or definitive thought on the topics they address, so please do regard them in that light. And, of course, all opinions expressed herein should be considered solely the opinion of the author and not of any institutions or individuals with which I have been associated in the past, present or future, unless otherwise directly stated. Drop in and say hello. Welcome!
contact me directly: robert50 at illinois dot edu