© 2020 SEYRAM AVLE

RESEARCH 

I study the situated practices and discourses of digital technology culture and innovation. This work focuses on how digital technologies are designed, produced, distributed, and used in various contexts across parts of Africa, China, and the United States. I take a primarily critical approach, informed by cultural, feminist, and postcolonial studies and speak to an interdisciplinary audience across Communication/Media Studies, STS, and HCI. 

 

One line of research focuses on tech entrepreneurship, making, and transnational collaborations within 'innovation culture'. I've conducted ethnographic work with entrepreneurs, startups, and tech hubs in Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, the south of China, and Silicon Valley. I have an ongoing project on collaborations between African and Chinese entrepreneurs and another on African techies in innovation hubs like Silicon Valley and Shenzhen. I'm currently working on a book about tech entrepreneurship as a mode of living and space of work in Ghana. 

 

Another line of my research focuses on the intersections of 'old' and new media, specifically the evolution and implications of networked radio in Ghana. This work primarily focuses on public discourse, social class, and how they intersect in a small democratic nation. 

 

I've also recently started looking at ways that media and tech workers in the global south use digital tools like WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram, WeChat, etc for work and life. 

My research has has been supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), ProQuest, the University of Michigan, and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. 

In addition to my scholarly work, I am co-founder and editor of Tech + Africa, an online publication focused on telling stories of tech entrepreneurs, makers, and funders in and from Africa.

Keywords: tech entrepreneurship, digital technology, innovation, design, production, Africa, China, networked radio

PROJECTS

TECH ENTREPRENEURSHIP & TRANSNATIONAL INNOVATION
APPS IN THE SOUTH
NETWORKED RADIO
THE GLOBAL TECHNOCLASS