Date(s) - March 3, 2017
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
LSC 376, Lory Student Center
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Department of Anthropology Spring 2017 Brown Bag Lunch Series
Date: Friday, March 03, 2017
Location: Lory Student Center 376
Time: 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
This brown bag will present the reasons why anthropologists should know about the Free Software movement and exclusively use Free Software, personally and in the context of community-based research. Philosophically, Free Software is fundamentally about whether the user controls the program or the program controls the user. Issues of social justice and social responsibility are embedded in the freedom to know about and consent to the concession of power and privacy inherent in computer use. Anthropologists have a key role to play in fulfilling the obligation of public intellectuals to create awareness of the privatization of public goods, like education, water, and in this instance, computers. The efforts at privatization, and the resistance embedded in the Free Software movement, represents a contemporary contested space that is a critical frontier for research by academics who are concerned with the loss of public access to knowledge and the basic resources needed for human life.
Practically, the Free Software movement can provide vulnerable and marginalized communities with access to computer use, because GNU/Linux continues to function on ‘old’ computers as well as it functions on new computers. Knowledge of Free Software can provide a skill set to youth, displaced people, community-based organizations and others that can provide the opportunity to find employment or create small or micro enterprises of their own.
Free system images will be made for participants who bring a blank >8GB USB stick.
About the Speaker
Dr. Pickering’s research interests focus on political economy and the effects of globalization, the socially embedded nature of the economy, and the role of local institutions in the construction of the world-system, both currently and through history. Her research on the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Indian Reservations in South Dakota involves issues of economic development, time allocation, social network analysis, access to credit, and welfare reform. Dr. Pickering worked as a legal services attorney in Pine Ridge and is interested in comparative legal systems, alternative dispute resolution, and the economic effects of legal structures. She has published a book entitled Lakota Culture, World Economy, and has work in Rural Sociology, Journal of Economic Issues, Research in Human Capital and Development, Human Ecology and American Indian Culture and Research Journal.