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New Book on Smart Campuses and Student Surveillance in the Digital Age

In her new book ‘Smart University’ AIAS-SHAPE fellow Lindsay Weinberg critically investigates the increasing use of digital tools for "solving" higher education challenges through surveillance. Her book brings together science and technology studies and critical university studies.

Digital surveillance in higher education is increasing in the United States. Administrators, consulting firms and education technology vendors celebrate digital tools as a way of welcoming the age of ‘smart universities.’

Institutions argue that by monitoring and managing campus life digitally, they can run services more efficiently, strengthen the quality of higher education and better prepare students for future roles in the digital economy. Yet in practice, these digital initiatives often perpetuate structural racism and privatization at public universities under the guise of solving higher education's most challenging problems.

Technologies reproduce racial and economic injustice

In her new book Smart University, AIAS-SHAPE fellow Lindsay Weinberg evaluates how this latest era of tech solutions and systems in schools impacts students' abilities to access opportunities and exercise autonomy on their campuses.

In her work Weinberg has applied historical and textual analysis of administrative discourses, university policies, conference proceedings, grant solicitations, news reports, tech industry marketing materials and product demonstrations. Based on these studies, Weinberg argues that the more recent digital transformations are best understood as part of a longer history of universities supporting the development of technologies that reproduce racial and economic injustice on their campuses and in their communities.

A framework for reimagining digital technology at universities

In her book, Weinberg provides knowledge, tools and frameworks for contesting and reimagining the role of digital technology on university campuses. 

While this new book is focused on studying the US, Weinberg's current fellowship at the Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies (AIAS) at Aarhus University in Denmark enables her to look outside of the US for comparative studies of smart campuses.

About the author

Lindsay Weinberg is currently an AIAS-Shape fellow at the Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies (AIAS) at Aarhus University, and a clinical assistant professor in the John Martinson Honors College and Director of the Tech Justice Lab at Purdue University, the US. Her research and teaching are at the intersection of science and technology studies, media studies, and feminist studies, with an emphasis on the social and ethical impacts of digital technology.

More about the book

Smart University. Student Surveillance in the Digital Age (Johns Hopkins University Press, October 2024) by Lindsay Weinberg,
DOI https://doi.org/10.56021/9781421450018:



Lindsay Weinberg, AIAS-SHAPE fellow
E-mail: lweinber@aias.au.dk
Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies (AIAS)
Aarhus University