Phone: (352) 294-6396
- Ph.D. Cultural Anthropology, University of California, Santa Cruz
- M.A. Cultural Anthropology, University of California, Santa Cruz
- B.A. Linguistics, University of California, Berkeley
Information technology, infrastructure, data storage and data mobilities, Iceland and the Arctic, U.S. empire, secrecy, surveillance, gender, sexuality, violence and vulnerability in ethnographic research
I am a cultural anthropologist whose research is focused on the social, material, and political life of information. I am particularly interested in the infrastructures that store data, transmit it, and render its presence as natural (or aberrant, or spectacular, depending on where it is placed).
My current book project examines information infrastructures in Iceland (including data centers, fiber-optic cables, and legislative regimes) as sites for negotiating questions of sovereignty, identity, and imperial power. Following the rise of the data storage industry, this work shows how the project of attracting data to Iceland is not just an economic calculus; it also mobilizes regional tensions, a legacy of American military occupation, and post-colonial formations of whiteness and masculinity. By showing how developing digital networks get routed through well-established marginalities, my research unsettles the techno-utopian ideal of connectivity.
My next research project investigates the interface between emergent surveillance technologies in Iceland, and longstanding, everyday, small-town experiences of watching others and being watched.
Positions and Honors
Positions and Employment
- University of Florida, Assistant Professor, 2019 –
- Queen’s University, Postdoctoral Fellow, 2018–2019
- Visiting Scholar, Ethnography Lab, Concordia University, 2017–2018
- Visiting Scholar, University of Iceland (Háskóli Íslands), 2014–2015
Other Experience and Professional Memberships
- Junior Program Chair, Association for Feminist Anthropology
- Member, American Anthropological Association
- Member, Society for Cultural Anthropology
- Member, American Ethnological Society
- Member, Society for Urban, National, and Transnational Anthropology
- Member, Society for Social Studies of Science
- Member, UF Digital Humanities Working Group
- Society for Urban, National, and Transnational Paper Prize, 2017
2019. Johnson, Alix. “Data Centers as Infrastructural In-betweens: Expanding Connections and Enduring Marginalities in Iceland,” American Ethnologist 46(1): 75-88.
2019. Johnson, Alix. “Emplacing Data within Imperial Histories: Making Iceland Information’s ‘Natural’ Home,” Culture Machine 17: 1-12.
2018. Johnson, Alix. “Ruination, Remaking, Return: Critical Dialogues on Re-built Environments,” City & Society 30(2): 1-6.
2017. Johnson, Alix and Mél Hogan. “Location and Dislocation: Mapping Geographies of Global Data,” Imaginations Journal of Cross-Cultural image Studies 8(2): 4-7.
More Publications Available on Google Scholar
Contribution to Science
Ongoing Research Support
Completed Research Support (within the past three years)
- Mellon / American Council of Learned Societies Dissertation Completion Fellowship
- National Science Foundation Arctic Social Sciences Program Fellowship
- Wenner-Gren Foundation Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
- American-Scandinavian Foundation Research Scholarship
- Leifur Eiríksson Foundation Research Scholarship
- Surveillance, Suspicion, Secrecy
- Digital Anthropology