Where is the Internet?

Join us for a lecture by Professor Laura DeNardis on the material and geographical resources that power the internet.

Where is the Internet?  

Wednesday January 21, 2014, 3 p.m.
Battelle-Tompkins 228

How do technologies once imagined as disembodied or dispersed become local? Laura DeNardis is one of the world’s foremost Internet governance scholars and a professor in the School of Communication at American University. In this talk she discusses current debates about internet infrastructure and neutrality, and traces how the internet has evolved from a dispersed and ethereal technology to a global everyday utility and a local, and fiercely debated, political resource.


About our speaker

Laura PictureDr. Laura DeNardis is a scholar of Internet architecture and governance and a tenured Professor in the School of Communication at American University in Washington, D.C.  She is a Senior Fellow of the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and serves as the Director of Research for the Global Commission on Internet Governance. She is an affiliated fellow of the Yale Information Society Project at Yale Law School and served as its Executive Director from 2008-2011. She is a co-founder and co-series editor of the MIT Press Information Society book series. She has previously taught at New York University, in the Volgenau School of Engineering at George Mason University, and at Yale Law School. Her expertise and scholarship has been featured in Science MagazineThe EconomistNational Public Radio (NPR), New York TimesTime MagazineChristian Science MonitorSlate MagazineReutersForbes, the Washington TimesEl PaisLa RepubblicaThe Atlantic, and the Wall Street Journal. Dr. Laura DeNardis at United Nations Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland

Her books include The Global War for Internet Governance (Yale University Press 2014), Opening Standards: The Global Politics of Interoperability (MIT Press 2011); Protocol Politics: The Globalization of Internet Governance (MIT Press 2009); and Information Technology in Theory (2007).

Laura DeNardis holds an A.B. in Engineering Science from Dartmouth College; a Master of Engineering from Cornell University; a Ph.D. in Science and Technology Studies from Virginia Tech (Phi Kappa Phi); and was awarded a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Information Society Project at Yale Law School.


Have a look at Laura DeNardis’ books:

 The Global War For Internet Governanceoffers a fresh perspective on both familiar and under-theorized questions and topics animating the field of contemporary critical and cultural theory. It provides a full account of the history and scope of the field, focusing on the most pressing questions and problems that occupy and impel contemporary theoretical discourse. GatThe Internet has transformed the manner in which information is exchanged and business is conducted, arguably more than any other communication development in the past century. Despite its wide reach and powerful global influence, it is a medium uncontrolled by any one centralized system, organization, or governing body, a reality that has given rise to all manner of free-speech issues and cybersecurity concerns. The conflicts surrounding Internet governance are the new spaces where political and economic power is unfolding in the twenty-first century. This all-important study by Laura DeNardis reveals the inner power structure already in place within the architectures and institutions of Internet governance. It provides a theoretical framework for Internet governance that takes into account the privatization of global power as well as the role of sovereign nations and international treaties. In addition, DeNardis explores what is at stake in open global controversies and stresses the responsibility of the public to actively engage in these debates, because Internet governance will ultimately determine Internet freedom

Protocol Politics examines what’s at stake politically, economically, and technically in the selection and adoption of a new Internet protocol. Laura DeNardis’s key insight is that protocols are political. IPv6 intersects with provocative topics including Internet civil liberties, US military objectives, globalization, institutional power struggles, and the promise of global democratic freedoms. DeNardis offers recommendations for Internet standards governance, based not only on technical concerns but on principles of openness and transparency, and examines the global implications of looming Internet address scarcity versus the slow deployment of the new protocol designed to solve this problem.


Please click on the book title below to learn more about Laura DeNardis’ works: