Encrypted Repositories: Techniques of Secret Storage from Desks to Databases

Horizons Colloquium Series

Shannon Mattern, Professor of Anthropology, The New School for Social Research

Ours is an age of leaks and hacks, of doxing and public shaming. Yet we are not alone in our fascination with security and secrecy (or the lack thereof). Many historians have described the 18th century as an age of secrets – of espionage and secret societies, of new forms of private writing and sartorial features allowing for the confidential carriage of objects. This desire for discretion also informed, and was informed by, new modes of organizing space. In this paper I’ll examine how 18th-century techniques in cabinetry and lock-making generated furnishings that served as encryption devices requiring specialized knowledge for their operation, and cultivating new techniques of secrecy among their users. For additional information please visit: http://colgate.edu/horizons

Friday, September 6 at 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Case-Geyer Library, 560 Batza Room
Case-Geyer Library, 13 Oak Dr, Hamilton, NY 13346, USA


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