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Research

REsearch

 

Book Project 1
Intimate Capture: Data, Desire, and Violent Designs for a New Middle East

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Grove, N. “The Cartographic Ambiguities of HarassMap: Crowdmapping Security and Sexual Violence in Egypt.” Security Dialogue, Special issue on Questioning security devices: Performativity, resistance, politics. Vol. 46, No. 4, 2015: 345-364.

Grove, N. “Facebook Bras and #digitalharems: Fantasies of Mimesis and the Transgressions of Aliaa Elmahdy and Amina Sboui.” Globalizations, Special issue on Insurrectional Politics. Vol. 12, No. 6, 2015: 943-956.

My first book, Intimate Capture: Data, Desire, and Violent Designs for a New Middle East (in progress) examines the materialization of new regimes of control at the nexus of global imperial formations and contemporary modes of data capture. Beginning with the ways in which the ‘Middle East’ is constructed as an object of market, military and humanitarian intervention, Intimate Capture takes a broad view of global mutations in security and surveillance practices produced in and through connective media infrastructures beyond the putative borders of the region, and toward questions concerning the emergence of new configurations scientific expertise, global racisms, and new modes of perception and experience (re)produced through the proliferation of ‘democratizing’ technologies. In tracing the constitution of bodies marked for violence alongside the production and consumption of user-generated content, the book highlights the tensions that emerge when information is simultaneously made a form of currency, a capacity for advocacy, and an indispensable resource for new and enduring modes of control, exploitation, and dispossession. 

 

 

Book Project 2
'Where awesome never ends': Security, Play, and Convergence in the Gulf

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Grove. N. “Zombie Doctors, Saw-Scaled Vipers, and Other Incipient Swarms: Reading William Connolly in Dubai.” Forthcoming (2018) in Contemporary Political Theory, Critical Exchange on William E. Connolly’s Facing the Planetary: Entangled Humanism and the Politics of Swarming.

Grove, N. “Playing with the World: The Politics of Miniaturization in the Gulf.”  Forthcoming in Salter M. and S. Yao (eds.) How to do Popular Culture in International Relations. Routledge.

Invited Talk: “Substrate and Saturation: Big Data, Beta Testing, and Emergent Security Ecologies in the Gulf.” University of Ottawa Department of Political Science, March 7, 2018.

“Virtuous Control: Intellectual Security, Smart Games, and Countermeasure in the Making of a New Gulf.” Western Political Science Association Annual Meeting (San Francisco), March 2018. 

In 2017, I completed six months of fieldwork divided between the UAE and Qatar for a second major research project funded by the 2016-2017 Fulbright Award in the Middle East and North Africa Regional Research Program. This research considers the spatial and scalar politics of global and local surveillance and securitization as part of the Gulf States’ massive existing and anticipatory entertainment and leisure infrastructures.  Rather than read practices and technics of security in these spaces as overdetermined by authoritarian governments in the region, I consider the increasing influence of entertainment and leisure on incipient biopolitical orders in the Gulf, and the asymmetrical effects of technologies of control on the management of life, norms, bureaucratic bodies, national narratives, and in the rescaling of sociality and mobility in these complex, artificial worlds. The project draws on original research and interviews conducted at dozens of theme parks, entertainment complexes, fun zones, convention centers, gaming hubs, parks, and heritage sites to examine how 'fun' organizes geopolitics in the Gulf at multiple spatial and temporal scales, as well as the politics of play within highly-variegated spaces of consumerism, elite mobility, and cultural governance.  I am interested in how the investment in entertainment technologies, technologies of security, and the proliferation of artificial landscapes for leisure and living are not simply about creating ‘playgrounds’ for tourists and mobile residents, but rather reflect novel and often unrestrained attempts at creating totalizing conditions for material, technical, geological, social and political convergence. 

 

 

Project 3
Weapons of Mass Participation: CROWD TECHNOLOGIES AS MODES OF NON-STATE VIOLENT ORGANIZING

Grove, N. “Weapons of mass participation: Social media, violence entrepreneurs, and the politics of crowdfunding for war.” European Journal of International Relations. December 2017.
https://doi.org/10.1177/1354066117744867  

Invited workshop: ‘Militarization 2.0’s Days of Engagement: Policy, Practice, Research.’ Sponsored by the Militarization 2.0: Militarization’s social media footprint through a gendered lens Vetenskapsrådet Framework Grant, Stockholm University (Sweden), October 25-27, 2017. 

Invited talk: Lund University Internet Institute (LUii) and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies (Sweden), April 27, 2017. 

Interview with Britta Collberg for Lund University Magazine, “Frivilliga krigare mot IS – en täckmantel för privat våld.” April 20, 2017. 

My third area of research focuses on how crowdfunding platforms, social networking sites, and other forms of participatory media are changing what it means to 'go off to war' in profound ways.  Today sites like GoFundMe, IndiGoGo and Facebook allow former military, private contractors, and citizens with no military training to engage in recruitment efforts for modes of non-state violent organizing, to facilitate the purchase of plane tickets, weapons, and armor through individual small-scale donations, and to solicit monetary support upon their return as payment for these self-crafted missions. These activities provide unique insights into contemporary shifts in interpretations of domestic and international laws of war, which I argue can only be partially understood through the literature on the use of private contractors in theaters of combat.  Moreover, the use of crowdfunding applications to transcend the ‘collective action’ problem of national security raises important questions about the increasing militarization of so-called ‘citizen’ responses to perceived security threats.