Burcu Baykurt

University of Massachusetts Amherst

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About me

I am an assistant professor of urban futures and communication at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. My research focuses on the social and cultural implications of digital technologies, with a particular focus on cities, governance, and social inequalities. My book project, The City as Data Machine, is based on fieldwork and interviews I conducted over three years in Kansas City, where residents and public officials have partnered with Google and Cisco to test a gigabit internet service and a smart city program respectively. I examine in what ways digital infrastructures change how the city manages and experiences urban inequalities. This project has so far received support from the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy Research, the Tobin Project, the Tech and Policy initiative at Columbia SIPA, the National Science Foundation, and the Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship.

My other projects include soft power internationalism and technologies of globalization, the impact of algorithmic systems on local governance, and the narratives of failure, or lack thereof, in the contemporary tech industry.

I completed a Ph.D. in Communications at Columbia University. I hold an MA in Media, Culture and Communication at New York University, an MA in Political Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London, and a BA in Political Science and International Relations at Bogazici University,

[Baykurt CV] (PDF, Feb 2020)