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Morgan G. Ames is a lecturer and postdoctoral scholar with the School of Information and the interim associate director of research for the Center for Science, Technology, Medicine and Society at the University of California, Berkeley. Morgan's research explores the cultural politics of technology, the ideologies behind high-tech innovation, and the role of utopianism in the technology world. Her current projects focus on the imaginary of the "technical child" as fertile ground for this utopianism.
Morgan is wrapping up a book on the One Laptop per Child project, under contract with MIT Press, as a particularly rich example of technological utopianism. Drawing on archival research and a seven-month ethnography in Paraguay, the book explores the cultural history, results, and legacy of the project - including what the project tells us about the many other technology projects that draw on similar ideals.
Her next project explores the role that utopianism plays in discourses around childhood, education, and 'development' in two geographically overlapping but culturally divided worlds: developer culture of Silicon Valley and the working-class and immigrant communities in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Morgan previously spent two years as a postdoctoral researcher at the Intel Science and Technology Center for Social Computing at UC Irvine, where she worked with Paul Dourish in the Department of Informatics. Morgan's PhD is in communication (with a minor in anthropology) from Stanford, where her dissertation won the Nathan Maccoby Outstanding Dissertation Award in 2013. She also has a B.A. in computer science and M.S. in information science, both from the University of California, Berkeley.
Morgan has been invited to present her work at conferences around the world, including South by Southwest (SXSW). Morgan has won "Best of CSCW 2017" and "Best of CSCW 2010," was nominated for "Best of CSCW 2013," and co-wrote the most-cited paper of CHI 2007. She has also worked as a researcher at Nokia, Yahoo!, Google, and Intel.