Ali Karimi

Ali Karimi


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Department of Communication, Media and Film: Social Sciences 218



Ali Karimi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication, Media and Film at the University of Calgary. He is a scholar of critical information studies with a focus on surveillance, privacy, and data justice. 

Karimi’s current research examines the power politics of how the state produces, organizes, and uses population information. He studies this problem mostly in the context of the weak states of the Global South where data is often contested and information injustice is a major issue—a problem that particularly hurts marginalized groups. 

He is currently working on a book project, tentatively titled State of Opacity: A History of Counting People, Places, and Prices in Afghanistan, that tells the story of three artifacts that are used for tracking people, places, and prices: the identification document, the house number, and the price tag. The book shows how numerical information—or lack thereof—can affect the state, society, and the market at large. Grounded in the intersection of media studies and STS, this project is based on unexamined archival sources from Afghanistan and several other countries and ethnographic fieldwork. 

Karimi received his PhD from McGill University and before joining the University of Calgary, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Centre for Advanced Research in Global Communication, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania.