Publications

See my CV for a complete list of publications and presentations.  

Books

Eden Medina, Bones and Lives: Making and Unmaking Truth After Dictatorship, manuscript in preparation, under contract with Duke University Press.

Eden Medina, Ivan da Costa Marques and Christina Holmes, eds. Beyond Imported Magic: Science, Technology and Society in Latin America. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 2014.

*Awarded 2016 Amsterdamska Award from the European Society for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST).

Eden Medina, Revolucionarios cibernéticos: Tecnología y política en el Chile de Salvador AllendeSantiago, Chile: LOM Ediciones, 2013.

Eden Medina, Cybernetic Revolutionaries: Technology and Politics in Allende's ChileCambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 2011. 

*Awarded 2012 Edelstein Prize for outstanding book in the history of technology.

*Awarded 2012 Computer History Museum Prize for outstanding book in the history of computing.

*Awarded Honorable Mention, Recent History and Memory Book Prize of the Latin American Studies Association.

Journal Articles

Eden Medina, "Forensic Identification in the Aftermath of Human Rights Crimes in Chile: A Decentered Computer History," Technology and Culture 59 (4 Supplement)(2018): S100-S133.

*Awarded 2019 Abbott Payson Usher Prize for the best article or other work published by the Society for the History of Technology in the preceding three calendar years.

As computer historians extend the bounds of what constitutes computer history, they must also take care not to write histories that overstate the importance of these technologies. "Decentering" the computer in computer history provides a way for historians to study the role of computers in more domains without exaggerating their importance. Here I illustrate how the use of a computer system for forensic identification formed part of Chile's complicated history of truth, justice, and reconciliation in the aftermath of the Pinochet dictatorship. While computers are not, and should not be, the central focus of how we understand processes of truth and reconciliation in history, in this case they illuminate the dynamics of how those working within the Chilean government, including its justice system, have approached Chile's history of human rights abuses.

Eden Medina and Ilan Sandberg Wiener, "Science and Harm in Human Rights Cases: Preventing the Revictimization of Families of the Disappeared," Yale Law Journal Forum, 125 (2016): 331-342.

International human rights law and the jurisprudence of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights obligate states to investigate cases of forced disappearance (also called enforced disappearance) until the victim has been found and identified. This obligation aims to end the uncertainty that families face, make the events of past atrocities public, and, in some cases, collect evidence for criminal proceedings. However, fact finding as a means of reparation can also lead to the revictimization of those affected, thereby causing a secondary harm. A broader construction of the reparation obligation that recognizes the risk of revictimization would help states mitigate this harm and better serve the needs of families.

Eden Medina, "Rethinking Algorithmic Regulation," Kybernetes, 44 (6/7) (2015): 1005-1019.

The history of cybernetics holds important lessons for how we approach present-day problems in such areas as algorithmic regulation and big data. This article positions Project Cybersyn as a historical form of algorithmic regulation and uses this historical case study as a thought experiment for thinking about ways to improve discussions of algorithmic regulation and big data today. This conceptual paper draws from the author's extensive research on Cybersyn's history to build an argument for how cybernetic history can constructively enrich current discussions on algorithmic regulation and the use of big data for governance.

Stephanie Kane, Eden Medina and Daniel Michler, "Infrastructural Drift in Seismic Cities: Chile, Pacific Rim, 27 February, 2010," Social Text, 122 (2015): 71-92.

This article traces the government decision making that took place during the Chilean earthquake and tsunami of February 27, 2010. It brings together ethnography and the social study of science and technology to illuminate how communications infrastructures exacerbated the uncertainties in military protocol. We use the Chilean case to develop the concept of infrastructural drift, which we define as the practices, behaviors, and unforeseen effects that accompany a systemic but unsystematic shift in technological habits.

Eden Medina, "Big Blue in the Bottomless Pit: The Early Years of IBM Chile," IEEE Annals of the History of Computing 30 (2008): 26-41.

This article examines the history of IBM in Chile, a slender South American country bordered by the Andean cordillera and the Pacific Ocean. It asks how IBM came to dominate the Chilean computer market and emphasizes the importance of studying both IBM corporate strategy and Chilean national history to address this question. The article also examines how IBM reproduced its corporate culture in Latin America and how the company used its culture to adapt to political and economic changes in the region and create a global workforce.

Eden Medina, "Designing Freedom, Regulating a Nation: Socialist Cybernetics in Allende's Chile," Journal of Latin American Studies 38 (2006): 571-606.

*Awarded 2007 IEEE Life Member's Prize in Electrical History.

This article presents a history of "Project Cybersyn," an early computer network developed in Chile during the socialist presidency of Salvador Allende (1970-1973) to regulate the growing social property area and manage the transition of Chile's economy from capitalism to socialism. This article has been translated into French and Spanish.

 

Book Chapters

Eden Medina and Mark P. Carey, "New Narratives of Technology, Expertise, and Environment in Latin America: The Cold War and Beyond," In Traveling Technocrats: Experts and Expertise in Latin America’s Long Cold War, Andra Chastain and Timothy Loreck, eds. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, forthcoming 2020.

Hilary Charlesworth, Sally Merry, B.S. Chimni, Javier Couso, Terry Halliday, Outi Korhonen, Vivian Lin, Eden Medina, Leslye Obiora, César Rodríguez-Garavito, Greg Shaffer, and Rene Urueñ a, "International Organizations and Technologies of Governance," International Panel for Social Progress Report: Reshaping Society for the Twenty-first Century. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2018.

Eden Medina, "Reading History in a Large Concrete Panel," Monolith Controversies.Eds. Hugo Palmarola and Pedro Alonso. Berlin: Hatje Cantz, 2014. Awarded 2014 DAM Architectural Book Award. 

Michael Lemon and Eden Medina, “A Review of History of Technology Scholarship on Latin America in English Language Journals,” Beyond Imported Magic: Science, Technology and Society in Latin AmericaEd. Eden Medina, Ivan da Costa Marques, and Christina Holmes. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 2014.

Eden Medina, "Cibernetica Socialista en el Chile de Allende," Situation Room. Ed. Pablo de Soto. Gijon, Spain: LABoral Center for Industrial Art and Creation, 2010. Chapter published in Spanish and English.

Eden Medina, "Secret Plan Cybersyn," in Conspire. Transmediale Parcours 1Ed. Stephen Kovats and Thoman Munz. Frankfurt, Germany: Revolver Press, 2008. Chapter published in English and German.

Eden Medina, "Ballet Slippers," in Evocative Objects: Things We Think With. Ed. Sherry Turkle. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 2007.

Eden Medina, "Democratic Socialism, Cybernetic Socialism," in Making Things Public: Atmospheres of Democracy. Ed. Bruno Latour and Peter Weibel. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2005.

Eden Medina and David Mindell, "Engineering and Computer Science in Action: The Structure of Engineering Revolutions," in Using History to Teach Computer Science and Related DisciplinesEd. Atsushi Akera and William Aspray. Washington, D.C.: Computer Research Associaton, 2004.

 

Essays and Reviews

Eden Medina and Dwai Banerjee, "Computing and AI: Humanistic Perspectives from MIT," MIT School of Humanities and Social Science, September 2019. 

Eden Medina, "Las políticas para interconectar una nación," Revista Diseña, 11 (2017): 46-60.

Eden Medina, "Memories of the Yagan: The Chilean Automobile for the People," Technosphere Magazine, Spring 2017.

Eden Medina, "The Power of Paper," The Hill, December 2016.

Eden Medina, "The Politics of Networking a Nation," Public Books, November 2016. Translated into Spanish.

Eden Medina, "Book Review of Conflicts in the Knowledge Society: The Contentious Politics of Intellectual Property by Sebastian Haunss," Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 66 (4) (2015): 869-871.

Eden Medina, "The Cybersyn Revolution," Jacobin Magazine, Spring 2015. Translated into German.

Eden Medina, "Author Response: Cybernetic Revolutionaries," History and Technology 28 (4) (2013): 431-441.

Eden Medina, "Cybernetic Revolutionaries," Cabinet, Summer 2012: 21-27.

Eden Medina, "Computers," in Encyclopedia of U.S. Labor and Working Class History. Ed. Eric Arnesen. New York: Routledge, 2007.

Eden Medina, "Computer Memory, Collective Memory: Recovering History Through Chilean Computing," IEEE Annals of the History of Computing 27 (2005): 102-104.

Eden Medina, "Beyond the Ballot Box: Computer Science Education and Social Responsibility," Inroads - The SIGCSE Bulletin 36 (2004): 7-10.

Eden Medina, "Freedom in Code: The Birth of the Chilean Free Software Movement," ReVista Harvard Review of Latin America 3 (2004): 23-24.

Eden Miller, “Decrypting Mathematics,” book review of In Code by Sarah and David Flannery, IEEE Technology and Society Magazine 21: 9-10.

 

Selected Press

"Allende's Strange Plan to Connect Chile, Long Before the Internet,” Americas Quarterly, July 30, 2019.

"Revolution: ARPANET and the Development of the Internet 50 Years Later,Perspectives on History, May 14, 2019.

"State Run Algorithms Should Stay in the Realm of Science Fiction," Financial Times, December 1, 2017.

"Project Cybersyn," 99 Percent Invisible, Episode 230, October 2016.

"Life Feeds and Data Lessons from our Cybernetics Past," Data Informed, February 20, 2015.

"A Internet de Allende," Folha de São Paulo, January 31, 2015.

Interview with Dutch Public Broadcasting Documentary Series Tegenlicht, January 2015.

"Proyecto Cybersyn: Los revolucionarios cibernéticos de Salvador Allende," El Diario, September 11, 2013.

"Historical Reflections: Five Lessons from Really Good History,Communications of the ACM, January 2013.

"Before Fruit Ninja, Cybernetics," New York Times, November 29, 2012.

"El libro de Eden Medina: Revolucionarios Cibernéticos, tecnología y política en el Chile de Allende," Terapia Chilensis, DUNA 89.7, October 9, 2012.

"Entrevista Eden Medina," Revista Bits de Ciencia, No. 7 Primer Semestre, 2012.

"Technology Workshop to Focus on Latin America," Herald Times, August 24, 2012.

"Cybernetic Revolutionaries," Icon Magazine, April 1, 2012.

"Outstanding Junior Faculty Award recipients announced for 2011," IU News Room, February 8, 2011.

"Allende, l'informatique et la révolution," Le Monde Diplomatique, July 2010. Also published in PortugueseSpanishPersianHungarian and Norwegian.

"Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awards funding of prestigious Sawyer Seminars to IU faculty," IU News Room, July 28, 2009.

"IU professor analyzes Chile's 'Project Cybersyn'," Live at IU, June 18, 2009. [pdf]

"Les médias disparus: Cybersyn, réseau social," Libération, August 15, 2008. [pdf]

"IU's Eden Medina earns electrical history award for research on Chile’s technology use," IU News Room, October 31, 2007.

"The Objects of Our Desire: Sherry Turkle Explores People's Deep Ties to Everyday Things," The Washington Post, August 23, 2007.

"Doce científicos revisan la época de Augusto Pinochet," El Mercurio, December 12, 2006.

Cybersyn DocumentaryOr_am, July 2006.

"Chile's Switched-on Socialism Pioneered Networking in Early '70s," Indiana University News and Media, October 24, 2005.

On the MediaNational Public Radio, September 12, 2003.

"Eden Miller: El proyecto Synco: ¿Utopía cibernetica o treinta anos adelantado a su época?" Sociedad y Conocimiento, December 2003.

"Santiago Dreaming," The Guardian, September 2003.

"Proyecto Synco: El Sueño Cibernético de Allende," The Clinic, July 2003.