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The Human Knowledge Project

Siva Vaidhyanathan, Robertson Professor of Media Studies at the University of Virginia

Tuesday 3 February 2015 – Plenary session, 10:00am – 10:55am

Biography

Siva Vaidhyanathan is the Robertson Professor of Media Studies at the University of Virginia. He also teaches in the University of Virginia School of Law. Vaidhyanathan is the author of The Googlization of Everything And Why We Should Worry (University of California Press, 2011),Copyrights and Copywrongs: The Rise of Intellectual Property and How it Threatens Creativity (New York University Press, 2001) and The Anarchist in the Library: How the Clash between Freedom and Control is Hacking the Real World and Crashing the System (Basic Books, 2004). He also co-edited (with Carolyn de la Pena) collection, Rewiring the Nation: The Place of Technology in American Studies (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007).

Vaidhyanathan has written for many periodicals, including American Scholar, the Chronicle of Higher Education, the New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, Slate.comEsquire.com,  MSNBC.COMSalon.comopenDemocracy.net, Columbia Journalism Review, BookForum, Slate.com, the Washington Post, and The Nation. He is a frequent contributor to National Public Radio and toMSNBC.COM and has appeared in a segment of "The Daily Show" with Jon Stewart. In March 2002, Library Journal cited Vaidhyanathan among its "Movers & Shakers" in the library field. In the feature story, Vaidhyanathan lauded librarians for being "on the front lines of copyright battles" and for being "the custodians of our information and cultural commons." In November 2004 the Chronicle of Higher Education called Vaidhyanathan "one of academe's best-known scholars of intellectual property and its role in contemporary culture." He has testified as an expert before the U.S. Copyright Office on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

After five years as a professional journalist, Vaidhyanathan earned a PhD in American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. He has taught previously at Wesleyan University, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Columbia University, New York University, and Universiteit van Amsterdam. You can follow him on Twitter at @sivavaid.

Abstract

The Human Knowledge Project

As Google strives to "organize the world's information and make it university accessible" libraries must seize the opportunity to offer a compelling competing vision of a global information ecosystem. This talk will describe and promote a model for a networked digital "collection of collections" that could better serve humanity than Google and other commercial firms could ever hope to. In addition, this talk will offer a strong critique of the "technofundamentalist" trend that has led us to depend so centrally on companies to serve the public good. 

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Presentation

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