Winifred Poster, PhD

In Memoriam

I continue to do fieldwork in India for my project funded by the National Science Foundation, The Hidden Back Office of Info-Tech: Rural and Prison Sourcing of Information and Communication Technology Labor

My continuing source of inspiration and delight is the “Labor, Technology, Postcolonialism, and Feminism” reading group, which I founded with Kavita Philip and continue to organize and grow

Rest in peace to my father, Mark Poster, 1941-2012, a pioneer of media, internet, and information studies, and a great dad.  See his obituary in the LA Times.


January: workshop participant at “Mapping Inequalities Across the On-Demand Economy,” at Data & Society in New York

February: panelist discussing “Labor and Technology for Design,” at the Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago

March:  presenting “Who’s Tracking Whom?  Multi-surveillance of Labor in the Online Sex Trafficking Industry,” at Law, Technology and the Organization of Work, Spring Symposium of the Wefel Center for Employment Law, Saint Louis University School of Law

March:  panelist for “Future of Work” Roundtable, G20 Sub-Forum for Think Tanks, Gateway House Indian Council on Global Relations, Mumbai.

April:  Visiting Scholar at Microsoft Research New England Lab, in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Recently Published

“Sound Bites, Sentiments, and Accents: Digitizing Communicative Labor in the Era of Global Outsourcing,” Forthcoming.  Chapter for digitalSTS:  A Handbook and Fieldguide, edited by David Ribes and Janet Vertesi, Princeton University Press

Close Watch of a Distant Manager:  Multisurveillance by Transnational Clients in Indian Call Centres,”  2017.  Pp. 151-180 in Humans and Machines at Work: Monitoring, Surveillance and Automation in Contemporary Capitalism, edited by Phoebe Moore, Martin Upchurch, and Xanthe Whittaker, Palgrave MacMillan.

Invisible Labor: Hidden Work in the Contemporary World, with Marion G. Crain and Miriam A. Cherry, University of California Press, 2016

Borders in Service: Enactments of Nation in Transnational Call Centers, with Kiran Mirchandani, University of Toronto Press, 2016

Presentations and Activities This Winter and Spring

See my worked discussed and quoted in

Work in Progress, on “Invisible Labor: Not Just Housework Anymore”, in a blog post for the American Sociological Association’s Section on Work and Occupations, 2017

Psychology Today, on emotion detection software in Indian call centers, in “Duet Ex Machina:  Fine-tuning the relationship between man and machine may be the biggest design challenge of all,” by David Berreby (May 2, 2016)

Work in Progress, on “Socially Benevolent Workplace Surveillance?”, in a blog post for the American Sociological Association’s Section on Work and Occupations, 2015

Washington University, St. Louis

International & Area Studies

/ International Affairs Program

One Brookings Drive, MC-1085
St. Louis, MO 63130