Modern Culture/Theatre and Performance Studies/Visual Culture: Cultural Policy: Big data archives

Course content

The discourse of big data often presents large data archives as neutral and reassuring management and securitization systems that relieve the archive of the risk of human slip-ups by ‘letting the data speak for itself’. But as recent information scandals have shown, big data also offers new forms of uncertainty. We will investigate these forms through reading, discussion and excursions.


The course situates itself within the emerging field of Critical Data Studies and explores the politics of big data through the lens of traditional and poststructuralist archival theories. The course will include guest lectures by distinguished scholars relevant to this emerging field.


During the course the participants will have to complete two minor assignments.             



Moderne Kultur

Preliminary reading:

Mayer-Schönberger, Viktor and Kenneth Cukier (2013) Big Data: A Revolution That Will Change How We Live, Work and Think (London: John Murray)


Week 43: Evelyn Ruppert: Big data archives

Week 44: Ben Kafka: Big data archives and psychoanalysis

Week 45: Margins of error and big data archives: visit to the National Archives

Week 46: Workshop

Week 47: Narrating and visualizing big data archives: field visit 

Week 48: Celia Lury: Compositional methodlogies of big data archives

Week 49: Tiziana Terranova: Archival labour in the age of big data

This course is one of the three courses offered this semester that constitute the latter part of a cultural policy module (the first being the mandatory course Cultural Policy – Theory, Method & Analysis). Students are asked to hand in and pass two mandatory assignments defined by the responsible teacher.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Kan aflægges som eksamen på følgende moduler (dog altid sammen med forløb 1).
På MKK 2008-ordningen: Modul 14
På MKK 2015-ordningen: Modul 5
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 28
  • Preparation
  • 308
  • Exam
  • 84
  • English
  • 420