The Critical Technology Podcast

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Conversations from the frontlines and behind the scenes of sociotechnical research


Critical Technology explores new and emerging research into the social, cultural, and political implications of new/recent technological developments, in the form of one-on-one interviews with the researchers and authors of the studies themselves.

In each episode, Sara Grimes, Director of the KMDI will introduce a new academic publication or study that she thinks will be game changer in how we understand a particular technological application or innovation — its role, meaning, and impact on our lives. She will delve into the specifics of that publication/study with the author/lead researcher themselves, providing listeners with a firsthand account and insight into the work, its major findings and most wide-reaching conclusions, as well as how it fits within both the broader academic literature and our common knowledge about the technology examined.

Format: One-on-One Interviews

Frequency: Bi-monthly

Length: 30-35 minutes


Trailer: Introducing the Critical Technology podcast


Episode 1: Platforms and Cultural Production with Professor David Nieborg

The Platforms and Cultural Production Project explores the recent shift of the cultural industries toward production and distribution systems embedded in digital platforms. Digital platforms in this context includes well known examples, like Facebook, Apple and Amazon, as well as industry-specific systems used predominantly by media/cultural producers (such as Unity for game development) that share many of the same properties and functions. The project examines the rise in prominence of these various digital platforms against the backdrop of wider transformations in the technologies, cultures, and political economies of digital media, through case studies from North America, Western Europe, Southeast Asia and China.

Launched in 2017, with funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), this game changer research collaboration is co-led by three Principal Investigators: 

Dr. Brooke Erin Duffy, Department of Communication, Cornell University

Dr. Thomas Poell , Faculty of Humanities, University of Amsterdam

Dr. David Nieborg , Department of Arts, Culture and Media and Faculty of Information, University of Toronto

Using an approach that combines media studies, political economy of communication, and cultural studies, the Platform and Cultural Production research team is tracking how the rise and spread of platforms is changing the cultural industries, and the growing impact of platforms on our everyday lives. In this episode, Sara chats with the team’s expert on the political economy of platforms, Dr. David Nieborg (@gamespacenl).

Read More

Suggested Readings

Social Media + Society volume 6, issue 3 (July – Sept. 2020) Special Issue: Platforms and Cultural Production

Social Media + Society volume 5, issue 4 (Oct.-Dec. 2019) Special Issue: Platformization of Cultural Production

Coming Soon: Platforms and Cultural Production (the book), Polity Press, Sept. 2021


Contact Us

Got a question or comment? Email us: criticaltechpod.kmdi@utoronto.ca