[CANCELLED] Colloquia 2019-2020 | Earthquakes, Infrastructures and the Anthropocene

This talk has been cancelled due to current conditions with the COVID-19 outbreak

Earthquakes, Infrastructures and the Anthropocene


In my new book, Documenting Aftermath, I explore post-earthquake information and communication practices amidst infrastructure breakdown in three Northern California earthquakes: the 1868 Hayward Fault earthquake, the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire, and the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. In this talk, I discuss how people produce and circulate information in earthquake publics using a comparative historical lens. I analyze the institutions, policies, and technologies that shape today’s post-disaster information landscape.

Through this work, I attempt to build a sociomaterial account of public information infrastructures. Building on my interest in the imbrication of technology and the environment, I then turn to some recent work with colleagues in developing syllabi to grapple with the role of computing in the Anthropocene.



Megan Finn is the author of Documenting Aftermath (2018) with MIT Press. She teaches information policy and ethics at University of Washington’s School of Information where she is an assistant professor. Megan is a faculty member of the DataLab at the Information School, and at the eScience Institute where, as a part of the data science studies group, she convenes a talk series called Data Then and Now. She is the co-director of the Scholar Strategy Network at University of Washington for the 2019-2020. She is currently working on an NSF-sponsored project on ethical practices in computer security research.