Anne Beaulieu

Senior Research Fellow, Virtual Knowledge Studio, KNAW, Amsterdam

My research investigates the use of databases of images, using ethnographic methods.

My work focuses on the interaction between new technologies and scientific research practices. Currently, I am pursuing a project that inquires into the use and shaping of information and communications technologies in the field of women's studies. Specifically, I have looked into the use of mailing lists, wikis, and websites in the course of a connective ethnography that centers on Women's Studies in Utrecht.

I am also investigating the dynamics of online infrastructure (mailing lists, databases for visual information and data sharing tools) in other scientific fields. This line of work investigates the development of new forms of authoritative knowledge in mediated settings, and addresses questions like: How is 'objectivity' of digital data established? How do new dynamics around networked sources lead to new views on canons? How do particular infrastructure shape how new visual knowledge can be apprehended? These are also questions I addressed in my work on new technologies in neuroscience and cognitive psychology. More recently, Sarah de Rijcke and I have written about these issues in terms of authoritative images in the ABG.

Ethnographic methods

I also write about methodological issues regarding laboratory studies and mediated research, and about the intellectual agenda of current ethnographic research on the internet. Several meetings around these themes, including an international workshop on virtual ethnography , have been organized by the VKS collaboratoryon virtual ethnography, and other activities are in the planning. More information about these can be found on the vksethno blog

Together with Paul Wouters, Andrea Scharnhorst, Ernst Thoutenhoofd and Matt Ratto, I am working on the topic of STS-inspired intervention to support reflexive research practices and tool development.


I grew up in city called Moncton, a regional service and cultural centre in an economically deprived part of Canada. As part of the minority Acadian (French-speaking) community, I developed a rather complex and sometimes fierce view of language politics and of centre/periphery issues. At 18, I went to McGill University, and from there moved to Amsterdam where I did my PhD. I now live in the fabulous northern city of Groningen with my husband and son (a UK millennium baby).


The Virtual Knowledge Studio for the Humanities and Social Sciences - VKS
Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences