School Seminar: Critical Information Studies. Why were engineers and computer scientists at a conference on religion?


Three members of the interdisciplinary Critical Information Studies Research Group, based in the School of Computing and Communications, presented papers at “Contemporary Religion in Historical Perspective: Publics and Performances” in February of this year. They took as a starting point the presumption that the development and ubiquitous application of information technology has led to an informational perspective on all aspects of modern society; and that information has to be engaged with critically, i.e. using perspectives which surface the gender, race, class and other biases, assumptions, and implications of informational phenomena and artefacts. This seminar will discuss the background to the CIS group, how it led to participation in a conference organised by The Open University’s Department of Religious Studies, and why engineers, technologists and computer scientists need to adopt an interdisciplinary critical perspective in their teaching and research.

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