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FRIHUMSAM-Fri prosj.st. hum og sam

Bodies of Evidence

Alternative title: Kropp og bevis

Awarded: NOK 6.2 mill.

Project Number:

300205

Application Type:

Project Period:

2020 - 2026

Location:

Measuring the body has a long and politically charged history, especially in the context of criminology and forensics. At the same time, we witness the rising use of biometrics in public and private domains, as well as entirely new ways of rendering the body into data. Here, the digitization of DNA analyses is a game-changer. Taking DNA analyses as a case in point, BODIES OF EVIDENCE provides new perspectives on the body within the study of digital forensics. The project contributes with three innovations: 1. It advances the theory and empirics of bodies and embodiment in digital forensics by studying the way in which DNA draws different forms of embodiment together in the making of forensic evidence. 2. It provides empirical insights beyond Western cultures of measuring bodies in the context of forensics. 3. It studies how digital forensics and data about bodies influence human lives, but also the concepts life, body and evidence more generally. In order to realize these innovations, the project is carefully designed. It reviews theories about bodies and embodiment and develops them further (WP1). Then it moves on to map of forensic practices that focus on the relationship between data and bodies in different cultures (WP2). This map provides the basis for the most central part of the project: two case studies that investigate concrete practices of digital forensics today. From these case studies, more overarching insights about bodies and embodiment in digital forensics can be drawn (WP3). Studying these developments not only answers calls to address knowledge gaps about DNA-processing technologies, but also to bring non-Western and Western perspectives into dialogue.

Measuring the body has a long and politically charged history, especially in the context of criminology and forensics. The rise of digital biometrics introduced an important qualitative shift in the informationalization of bodies. Not only are biometric data circulating more vividly across different public and private domains, but new technologies also lead to ever-more diverse ways of “datafying” bodies. The digitization of DNA is a recent game-changer. Taking DNA analyses as a case in point, BODIES OF EVIDENCE provides new perspectives on the body and embodiment within the study of digital forensics. The project contributes with three innovations: 1. It advances the theory and empirics of embodiment within digital forensics by studying the way in which DNA draws different forms of embodiment together in the making of forensic evidence. 2. It provides empirical insights beyond Western cultures of measuring bodies in the context of forensics. 3. It studies how digital forensics and the informationalization of bodies co-produce human lives, but also the concepts life, body and evidence more generally. In order to realize these innovations, the project is carefully designed. It focuses on a conceptual review and advancement of theories about bodies and embodiment in a first step (WP1). Then it moves on to map of forensic practices that focus on the datafied body in different cultures (WP2). This map provides the basis for the most central part of the project: two case studies that further empirical insights and apply theoretical innovations by investigating concrete practices of digital forensics today. From these case studies, more overarching insights about bodies and embodiment in digital forensics can be drawn (WP3). Investigating these developments not only answers calls to address knowledge gaps about DNA-processing technologies, but also to decolonialize criminology and digital forensics by bringing non-Western and Western perspectives into dialogue.

Publications from Cristin

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Funding scheme:

FRIHUMSAM-Fri prosj.st. hum og sam