Consuelo Amat and Natalie Cadranel – Working with History’s Avengers at the Nexus of Academia and Grassroots Technology

November 19th, 2019 - 6:00 pm

Building 200, Room 303 450 Serra Mall
Stanford, CA 94305

How do the worlds of academic research, product development and activism intersect? Citizen journalists are using their phones to record history as it unfolds, as well as platforms like YouTube to bring attention to what is happening in their backyard. Academics create and use archives to conduct research about protests, increasingly relying on social media content as a major source of data. High tech professionals develop apps that respond to people’s needs and that are commercially viable. In this lecture Natalie Cadranel and Consuelo Amat will discuss the tensions between these three actors and examples of productive ways to collaborate. We seek to support activists who would like to record and share sensitive information with the world, to build tools that preserve this information for posterity while protecting the creator, and to find ways to make academic research more viable and ethical.

This talk is presented as a part of the Comm230X +1 Speaker Series, and is open to both Stanford students and the general public.

Speaker Bios

Consuelo Amat is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Stanford’s Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (PACS) and a Senior Research Scholar at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP). She studies state repression, armed and unarmed resistance, and the development of civil society in authoritarian regimes, mainly in Latin America. Her current book project, The Emergence and Consolidation of Opposition to Authoritarian Rule, examines how opposition to autocratic regimes develops in the face of different patterns of state repression. Consuelo uses mixed methods and a variety of data sources—including statistical analysis of original datasets, field experiments, qualitative interviews, and archival materials—to study these questions.

The United States Institute of Peace, the John F. Enders Foundation, the Tinker Foundation, and Yale’s MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies have supported her research. During the 2017-2018 academic year Consuelo was a USIP Jennings Randolph Peace Scholar. Prior to graduate school Consuelo worked at the Brookings Institution, the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, Peace Action, and Human Rights Watch. She holds B.A. degrees in International Affairs and Philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder, an M.A. in Conflict Resolution from Georgetown University, and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Yale University.  

Natalie Cadranel is a Non-Resident Fellow at the Digital Civil Society Lab.

Natalie is an archivist and ethnographer working at the nexus of human rights, design, and technology. She is the Founder and Director of OpenArchive, a free, open-source tool that offers at-risk groups more agency over their sensitive mobile media. Additionally, she is a consulting archivist for the Investigations Lab at UC Berkeley’s Human Rights Center and DocNow and has worked extensively in the non-profit sector with a focus on preserving at-risk media, worldwide.

Using participatory research methods to collaborate closely with archivists, activists, and citizen journalists, she builds on contemporary archival theory and practice through the lens of human rights advocacy. Wedding theory and praxis, she created this mobile-to-archive preservation ecosystem, which ethically collects and preserves media captured by groups at risk of persecution and censorship. OpenArchive seeks to protect its users – and their media – from efforts to chill free speech through content takedowns, privacy breaches, and data loss, while preserving it for legacy access.

She’s written and spoken in academic and industry venues like RightsCon, National Forum on Ethics and Archiving the Web, Internet Freedom Festival, National Council on Public History, Aaron Swartz Day, Association of Moving Image Archivists, and the University of Auckland.

Natalie complements her work with a strong theoretical background, having earned a Masters of Information Management and Systems from UC Berkeley’s School of Information where she focused on human computer interaction, cryptographic usability, and ethical archiving. She serves on the board of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Moving Image Archive.