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Department of Social Anthropology


We are delighted to welcome Dr Juan del Nido as the Philomathia ‘Ethics of Technology’ postdoctoral fellow to the Department and specifically to the Max Planck-Cambridge Research Centre. Juan recently completed an ESRC postdoctoral fellowship after his PhD, at the University of Manchester and he brings a fantastic range of ethnographic and geographical expertise to the Department. The subject of Juan’s PhD was Uber’s gig workers in Argentina, he will continue this research alongside his new project.  

Juan’s new project will examine how technology mediates the imagination of a horizon beyond ethics based on an ethnographic analysis of how a Buenos Aires’ NGO promotes and brokers the incorporation of Blockchain among public and private stakeholders, Haunted by confirmed or presumed corruption, indolence and what they see as the moral deterioration of the public sphere, certain middle class Argentines see in Blockchain’s technical properties, processes and code the means not to flesh out or embody the ethical but to outright foreclose it, and deviations thereof, as a subject of concern. Building on recent developments in the anthropology of ethics, political theory and economic reasoning he will be looking at the following questions: What kind of order could lie beyond the ethical? How would it reproduce and sustain itself? How would economic, moral and political categories like efficiency, transparency, equality and freedom, and longstanding cultural patterns like the public vs. private divide, exist in such an order? How do technological affordances mobilize (post-) ethical imaginations?