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Conferences & lectures

Sensing Smart Forests

Part of the Sentience Lecture Series co-sponsored by the Centre for Sensory Studies and the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture

Date & time
Thursday, December 2, 2021
11 a.m. – 12:40 p.m.

Registration is closed


Jennifer Gabrys


This event is free


Centre for Sensory Studies, Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture



Electrical tape holds an aluminum sleeve around a tree trunk in a dense forest. On location at the SmartForests Canada research site, July 2020, Sainte-Émilie-de-l’Énergie, Québec. Photo by Gisèle Trudel. With permission by the artist.

In this presentation, Professor Jennifer Gabrys of the University of Cambridge will investigate the sensory arrangements that Smart Forests generate. Gabrys will ask how sensory infrastructures materialize as distributions of power and governance, while considering the sensory practices of humans and more than humans that transform and potentially re-constitute dominant regimes of perception toward other inhabitations and milieus

Forests are increasingly sensorized environments. Whether in the form of camera traps to monitor organisms or Internet of Things to detect wildfires, there are an array of sensor technologies that observe and constitute forests in relation to scientific inquiry, Indigenous land claims, environmental governance, and disaster prevention and mitigation. 

The Sentience lecture series is organized by David Howes, professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. Sponsored by the Centre for Sensory Studies and co-sponsored by the Centre for the Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture (CISSC) and two CISSC Working Groups: Colonial, Racial and Indigenous Ecologies (CRIE) and Sensing Atmospheres.

About Jennifer Gabrys

Jennifer Gabrys is Chair in Media, Culture and Environment in the Department of Sociology at the University of Cambridge. She leads the Planetary Praxis research group, and is Principal Investigator on the ERC-funded project Smart Forests: Transforming Environments into Social-Political Technologies. She writes on digital technologies, environments and social life, with recent publications including How to Do Things with Sensors (2019); and Program Earth: Environmental Sensing Technology and the Making of a Computational Planet (2016). Her newest book, Citizens of Worlds: Open-Air Toolkits for Environmental Struggle, is forthcoming from University of Minnesota Press. Her work can be found at,, and

This event is part of:

Sentience Lecture Series

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