E. Stefan Kehlenbach
Specialization: Political Theory
Personal Website: www.stefankehlenbach.com
E. Stefan Kehlenbach is an assistant professor of political science at the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at the University at Albany, SUNY. His research focuses on the intersection of technology, structures of power, and politics. His current research is focused on technological power, asking how the vast collection of data, used to fuel technology such as AI and machine learning, becomes invested with discourses of power and shapes our political futures. This develops a new critical theory of technology focused on data and datafication —the process of turning many aspects of our daily lives into data to be analyzed. Stefan’s research has appeared in Theory & Event, The Journal of Military Ethics, and The Journal of Political Science Education. His public-facing work has appeared in the Washington Post and in APSA’s Educate blog.
His book project, Behind the Silicon Curtain: A New Critical Theory of Technology, brings the tools of political and critical theory to bear on the problem of mass datafication — having everything about us, from the core of our identities to our most banal activities, turned into data. It focuses on the structural and conceptual issues that underpin datafication, examining how these structures of power are established and perpetuated, as well as how they impact us at an intellectual level, managing and modifying the very ways in which we understand and interact with the world around us — ultimately controlling how we act politically. Behind the Silicon Curtain outlines the consequences that mass datafication has for democracy and the vision of a society free from technological domination.
Stefan received his PhD from the University of California, Riverside and was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto before joining the faculty at the University at Albany.
Stefan teaches classes on the politics of technology, critical theory, and contemporary political theory.