Contact

Dr. Alison Powell

Room TW3.7.01J
Department of Media and Communications

London School of Economics and Political Science

Houghton Street London WC2A 2AE

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7955 6649

Twitter (@MediaLSE): twitter.com/#!/medialse

Email: a.powell@lse.ac.uk


LSE Experts

Profile and further information on research expertis

 
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Dr. Alison Powell

Programme director of Media and Communication (Data & Society)

I’m an Assistant Professor and Programme Director of the MSc in Media and Communication (Data & Society). I research how people’s values influence the way technology is built, and how technological systems in turn change the way we work and live together.

I am currently working on a book about technological citizenship and governance in data cities and Internet of Things-enabled ‘sensing cities’ and working on several projects related to citizenship, cities, data and ethics. This work tries to understand the discourses, practices and governance structures that are part of our society’s orientation towards data.

My past research projects have looked at community wireless networking and its policy impact, digital rights activism in comparative perspective (including Net Neutrality and the opposition to SOPA and ACTA legislation) and the expansion of open source, DIY and hacking culture from software to hardware to open science. I also often deliver lectures on the civic and governance implications of smart cities and Internet of Things technology projects.

I am delighted to supervise research students in any of these research areas.

Education

I have a Bachelor’s degree in Canadian Literature, training in Science and Technology Studies and critical theory, and many years of field experience working with technical cultures. My PhD (2008) is from Concordia University’s Communication Studies Programme. I integrate these different perspectives to investigate the social significance of how we build communication technologies, and to provide concrete recommendations for policy and practice based on my empirical research.

Elsewhere and Otherwise

I blog at http://www.alisonpowell.ca and contribute occasional thoughts on Internet freedom and openness to the LSE Media Policy Project blog. Outside of academia I play the violin, train in circus arts, and get obsessed about my garden.

Keywords:  Digital citizenships, Open source cultures, Digital activism, technology activism and hacktivism

Research Associations

I was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute from 2008 to 2010, where I worked on digital rights and internet governance issues. From 2011-2014 I was a member of the European Network of Excellence in Internet Science. In this project I studied open source hardware licensing and governance.

I am an associated researcher with the artistic research project Museum of Contemporary Commodities, where I have investigated data commodities and everyday life in cities.

I am a member of the Digital Poilcy Alliance working group on the Internet of Things and a member of the BSI standards-setting body on the Internet of Things.

Collaboration Interests

I’m currently interested in projects and partnerships that investigate how to build ethical, reflexive Internet of Things systems, and projects that help reshape how data can be used by citizens for civic or community interest.

Articles

Hacking in the public interest: authority, legitimacy, means and ends
Powell, Alison (2016) Hacking in the public interest: authority, legitimacy, means and ends. New Media and Society, 18 (4). pp. 600-616. ISSN 1461-4448

Automation, algorithms, and politics| bots and political influence: a sociotechnical investigation of social network capital
Murthy, Dhiraj, Powell, Alison B., Tinati, Ramine, Anstead, Nick, Carr, Leslie, Halford, Susan and Weal, Mark (2016) Automation, algorithms, and politics| bots and political influence: a sociotechnical investigation of social network capital. International Journal of Communication, 10 . pp. 4952-4971. ISSN 1932-8036

Open culture and innovation: integrating knowledge across boundaries
Powell, Alison B. (2015) Open culture and innovation: integrating knowledge across boundaries. Media, Culture and Society, 37 (3). pp. 376-393. ISSN 0163-4437

Network exceptionalism: online action, discourse and the opposition to SOPA and ACTA
Powell, Alison B. (2015) Network exceptionalism: online action, discourse and the opposition to SOPA and ACTA. Information, Communication & Society, 19 (2). pp. 249-263. ISSN 1369-118X

Big data from the bottom up
Couldry, Nick and Powell, Alison (2014) Big data from the bottom up. Big Data & Society, 1 (2). ISSN 2053-9517

Democratizing production through open source knowledge: from open software to open hardware
Powell, Alison (2012) Democratizing production through open source knowledge: from open software to open hardware. Media, Culture and Society, 34 (6). pp. 691-708. ISSN 0163-4437

Metaphors, models and communicative spaces: designing local wireless infrastructure
Powell, Alison (2011) Metaphors, models and communicative spaces: designing local wireless infrastructure. Canadian Journal of Communication, 36 (1). ISSN 1499-6642

Net neutrality discourses: comparing advocacy and regulatory arguments in the United States and the United Kingdom
Powell, Alison and Cooper, Alissa (2011) Net neutrality discourses: comparing advocacy and regulatory arguments in the United States and the United Kingdom. The Information Society, 27 (5). pp. 311-325. ISSN 0197-2243

Learning processes in municipal broadband projects: an absorptive capacity perspective
Techatassanasoontorn, Angsana, Tapia, Andrea and Powell, Alison (2011) Learning processes in municipal broadband projects: an absorptive capacity perspective. Telecommunications Policy, 34 (10). pp. 572-595. ISSN 0308-5961

Method, methodology and new media: Grant Kien, Global technography: ethnography in the age of mobility; Nalita James and Hugh Busher, Online interviewing [Review article]
Powell, Alison (2010) Method, methodology and new media: Grant Kien, Global technography: ethnography in the age of mobility; Nalita James and Hugh Busher, Online interviewing [Review article]. New Media and Society, 12 (6). pp. 1025-1031. ISSN 1461-7315

The essential internet: digital inclusion insights from low-income American communities
Powell, Alison, Bryne, Amelia and Dailey, Dharma (2010) The essential internet: digital inclusion insights from low-income American communities. Policy and Internet, 2 (2). ISSN 1944-2866

Reforming policy to promote local broadband networks
Tapia, Andrea Hoplight, Powell, Alison and Ortiz, Julio Angel (2009) Reforming policy to promote local broadband networks. Journal of Communication Inquiry, 33 (4). pp. 354-375. ISSN 0196-8599

WiFi publics: producing community and technology
Powell, Alison (2008) WiFi publics: producing community and technology. Information, Communication and Society, 11 (8). pp. 1068-1088. ISSN 1468-4462

Bringing feminist perspectives into community informatics
Peddle, Katrina, Powell, Alison and Shade, Leslie Regan (2008) Bringing feminist perspectives into community informatics. Atlantis: a Women's Studies Journal, 32 (2). ISSN 0702-7818

What can I say?: (or, "Île Sans Fil are thieves and liars"*): stories from the heart of participatory research
Powell, Alison (2007) What can I say?: (or, "Île Sans Fil are thieves and liars"*): stories from the heart of participatory research. Wi: Journal of Mobile Media . ISSN 1918-2104

An ecology of public internet access: exploring contextual internet access in an urban community
Powell, Alison (2007) An ecology of public internet access: exploring contextual internet access in an urban community. The Electronic Journal of Communicatrion, 17 (1-2). ISSN 1183-5656

Going Wi-Fi in Canada: municipal and community initiatives
Powell, Alison and Shade, Leslie Regan (2006) Going Wi-Fi in Canada: municipal and community initiatives. Government Information Quarterly, 23 (3-4). pp. 381-403. ISSN 0740-624X

Book review: community in the digital age: philosophy and practice
Powell, Alison (2005) Book review: community in the digital age: philosophy and practice. New Media and Society, 7 (4). pp. 589-591. ISSN 1461-4448

Book section

Argument-by-technology: how technical activism contributes to internet governance
Powell, Alison (2013) Argument-by-technology: how technical activism contributes to internet governance. In: Brown, Ian, (ed.) Research Handbook on Governance of the Internet. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK, pp. 198-220. ISBN 9781849805025

"The researcher is a girl": tales of bringing feminist labour perspectives into community informatics
Peddle, Katrina, Powell, Alison and Shade, Leslie Regan (2012) "The researcher is a girl": tales of bringing feminist labour perspectives into community informatics. In: Clement, Andrew, Gurstein, Michael and Longford, Graham, (eds.) Connecting Canadians: Investigations in Community Informatics. Athabasca University Press, Edmonton, Canada, pp. 117-132. ISBN 9781926836041

WiFi publics: defining community and technology at Montreal’s Île Sans Fil
Powell, Alison (2012) WiFi publics: defining community and technology at Montreal’s Île Sans Fil. In: Clement, Andrew, Gurstein, Michael and Longford, Graham, (eds.) Connecting Canadians: Investigations in Community Informatics. Athabasca University Press, Edmonton, Canada, pp. 202-217. ISBN 9781926836041

Community and municipal WiFi initiatives in Canada: evolutions in community participation
Powell, Alison and Shade, Leslie Regan (2012) Community and municipal WiFi initiatives in Canada: evolutions in community participation. In: Clement, Andrew, Gurstein, Michael and Longford, Graham, (eds.) Connecting Canadians: Investigations in Community Informatics. Athabasca University Press, Edmonton, Canada, pp. 183-201. ISBN 9781926836041

Towards a taxonomy for public interest communications research
Powell, Alison and Dailey, Dharma (2010) Towards a taxonomy for public interest communications research. In: Napoli, Phil and Aslama, Minna, (eds.) Communications Research in Action: Scholar-Activist Collaborations for a Democratic Public Sphere. Fordham University Press, New York, USA, pp. 45-70. ISBN 9780823233472

Wi-Fi, resistance, and making infrastructure visible
Powell, Alison (2010) Wi-Fi, resistance, and making infrastructure visible. In: Crow, Barbara, Longford, Michael and Sawchuk, Kimberly, (eds.) The Wireless Spectrum: the Politics, Practices and Poetics of Mobile Media. Digital futures. University of Toronto Press, Toronto, Canada, pp. 172-186. ISBN 9780802098931

Enabling communities in the networked city: ICTs and civic participation among immigrants and youth in urban Canada
Dechief, Diane, Longford, Graham, Powell, Alison and Werbin, Kenneth C. (2008) Enabling communities in the networked city: ICTs and civic participation among immigrants and youth in urban Canada. In: Aurigi, Alessandro and De Cindio, Fiorello, (eds.) Augmented Urban Spaces: Articulating the Physical and Electronic City. Ashgate Publishing, Aldershot, UK, pp. 155-170. ISBN 9780754671497

Une innovation communautaire en milieu urbain: le cas d'Île Sans Fil
Powell, Alison (2008) Une innovation communautaire en milieu urbain: le cas d'Île Sans Fil. In: Proulx, Serge, Couture, Stéphane and Rueff, Julien, (eds.) L'action Communautaire a L'ère du Numérique. Collection communication. Presses de l'Université du Québec, Québec, Canada, pp. 139-160. ISBN 9782760515369

E-Life and real life: on- and off-line social life in an Internet café
Powell, Alison (2005) E-Life and real life: on- and off-line social life in an Internet café. In: Consalvo, Mia and Allen, Matthew, (eds.) Internet Research Annual: Selected Papers From the Association of Internet Researchers Conference 2003, Volume 2. Digital formations(20). Peter Lang, New York, USA, pp. 135-148. ISBN 9780820468419

Monograph

From the digital divide to digital excellence: global best practices for municipal and community wireless networks
Forlano, Laura, Powell, Alison, Shaffer, Gwen and Lennett, Benjamin (2011) From the digital divide to digital excellence: global best practices for municipal and community wireless networks. Lennett, Benjamin (ed.) New America Foundation, Washington D.C, USA.

Child protection and free speech: mapping the territory
Powell, Alison, Michael, Hills and Victoria, Nash (2010) Child protection and free speech: mapping the territory. Discussion Forum Paper, 17. Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

Broadband adoption in low-income communities
Dharma, Dailey, Amelia, Bryne, Powell, Alison, Joe, Karaganis and Jaewon, Chung (2010) Broadband adoption in low-income communities. Social Science Research Council, New York, USA.

The social impact of communications infrastructure: what do we need to know?
Powell, Alison, Dailey, Dharma and Bryne, Amelia (2009) The social impact of communications infrastructure: what do we need to know? The Ethos Group, Champaign-Urbana, USA.

"Last mile" or local innovation?: Canadian perspectives on community wireless networking as civic participation
Powell, Alison (2006) "Last mile" or local innovation?: Canadian perspectives on community wireless networking as civic participation. CRACIN working papers, 18. Canadian Research Alliance for Community Innovation and Networking, Toronto, Canada.

Marking, locating, and designing for public and private wireless internet spaces
Powell, Alison, Wong, Matt and Clement, Andrew (2006) Marking, locating, and designing for public and private wireless internet spaces. CRACIN working papers, 16. Canadian Research Alliance for Community Innovation and Networking, Toronto, Canada.

Île Sans Fil as a digital formation
Powell, Alison (2006) Île Sans Fil as a digital formation. Laboratoire de Communication Médiatisée par Ordinateur, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montréal, Canada.

Website 

Algorithms, accountability, and political emotion: on the cultural assumptions underpinning sentiment analysis.
Powell, Alison (2016) Algorithms, accountability, and political emotion: on the cultural assumptions underpinning sentiment analysis. Impact of Social Sciences Blog (20 Jul 2016) Blog Entry.

Five Minutes with Alison Powell on what data means, how it is produced and what influence it has for decision-makers.
Powell, Alison (2016) Five Minutes with Alison Powell on what data means, how it is produced and what influence it has for decision-makers. Impact of Social Sciences Blog (22 Feb 2016) Blog Entry.

Book review: Regulating code: good governance and better regulation in the information age
Powell, Alison (2013) Book review: Regulating code: good governance and better regulation in the information age. LSE Review of Books (12 Aug 2013) Blog.

Book review: the network society
Powell, Alison (2005) Book review: the network society. Resource Centre for Cyberculture Studies (Apr 2005) Website.

 

 

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I will be on sabbatical during Lent Term 2017.  I will not be supervising MSc students during Lent Term or Summer Term 2017.