Dr Dipali Mathur

Digital Scholarship Postdoctoral Fellow
Dr. Dipali Mathur

Dr Dipali Mathur - https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1496-4823

Digital Scholarship Postdoctoral Fellow, September 2022 - February 2023

Home Institution: University of Wollongong (UOW) Australia

Dr Dipali Mathur completed her PhD in Environmental Humanities from the University of Wollongong (UOW) Australia in March 2022 under the supervision of Professor Ian Buchanan. She was awarded the “Examiners’ Commendation for Outstanding Thesis Award” by UOW, and her thesis is due to be published by Lexington Books in late 2022. Dipali is also the recipient of an Honorary Fellowship at UOW Australia for the period 2022-2023. Her current areas of research interest include the impact of toxicity, waste and pollution on marginalized communities and the environment, de/postcolonial studies, posthumanism, discourses of the Anthropocene, policy and governance, and digital cultures. Prior to commencing her PhD research in Australia, Dipali obtained her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in English Literature (with distinction) from the University of Delhi, India and then went on to teach English Literature and Critical Theory at the University of Delhi as Assistant Professor (ad-hoc) of English for three years from 2013-2015.

Project Title: 'Rematerializing' the Digital: Governmentality and the Environment Consequences of Life Online

As ‘we’ become increasingly immersed in life online, the material reality of toxic harms to the lives and landscapes that enable ‘our’ virtual worlds remains hidden from view. Invariably, the highly polluting stages in the production of digital technologies, from digging for ‘conflict minerals’ to dumping of digital debris in landfills, form the livelihoods of marginalized communities in developing countries of Africa, Asia and South America, where lax regulations enable the continued exploitation of vulnerable people and places. In employing Foucault’s concept of governmentality as the prompt to think about how a situation is rendered governable, my project addresses an urgent problem: what constitutes “good governance” apropos the environmental costs of digital technology? In pursuing how e-waste is made governable, this project is interested in asking, “what are the colonial histories of ‘our’ digital cultures?” In addressing these questions, the project investigates the ‘end of life’ governance of digital devices through a comparative examination of e-waste governance in the UK (second-largest e-waste producer per capita) and India (third-largest e-waste generator by total volume).