Portrait

Rodrigo Ochigame

I'm a PhD student in the Program in History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology, and Society at MIT.

My research focuses on experimental practices of direct and participatory democracy, especially in the global south. For example: Brazilian citizens and residents organize popular assemblies and unofficial plebiscites; youth activists invent regulations for speaking and listening; and computer programmers design new systems of voting, membership, delegation, and decentralized collaboration. Through struggle and experimentation, those actors produce political theory, imagine alternative institutions, and confront the complexities of scale, expertise, rhetoric, deliberation, action, and transformation.

My latest article (with James Holston) is Filtering Dissent: Social Media and Land Struggles in Brazil, New Left Review, 2016. It investigates the algorithmic filtering of public discourse through a case study of land conflict and mobilization. Translations are available in Spanish and Turkish.

I'm also the developer of Pluralize, a cosmopolitan music recommender.

Email: last name at mit.edu (PGP)