dr. C.R. Lynch (Casey)

Assistant Professor

About Me

I am Assistant Professor of Digitalization and Society and a human geographer interested in critical, democratic, and participatory approaches to digitalization. My work critiques dominant processes of digitalization—in particular those based on surveillance, extraction, and corporate control—while also exploring alternative approaches oriented around social and economic justice and sustainability. I am particularly interested in the ways processes of digitalization are materialized and territorialized in cities. My work explores themes such as:

  • Commons-based and cooperative models of digitalization
  • Co-production and co-creation of digital systems and knowledge
  • Grassroots innovation
  • Feminist, queer, anti-colonial, and anti-racist perspectives on AI and robotics
  • Theories and practices of democracy and digitalization
  • Digitalization and urban politics

I employ primarily ethnographic and participatory methods to engage a broad range of actors, including those traditionally excluded from dominant discourses around technology and innovation. Looking forward, I am interested in collaborating with community organizations, engineers, artists, municipalities, and others to explore and enact just digital futures.

Prior to joining the University of Twente in September 2022, I was an Assistant Professor of Geography at the University of Nevada, Reno (2019-2022) and a visiting scholar at Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain (2017-2019). I received a BA in International Development Studies and Contemporary Studies from the University of King’s College and Dalhousie University in Canada (2012), and a MA and PhD in Geography from the University of Arizona in the United States (2015 and 2019). My work has received funding from the US National Science Foundation, Social Science Research Council, Wenner-Gren Foundation, and a Fulbright Fellowship, and has been published in journals like Annals of the American Association of Geographers, Antipode, Environment and Planning D, Urban Geography, Regional Studies, and others.


Earth & Environmental Sciences
Artificial Intelligence
Social Sciences


My research cuts across science and technology studies (STS), human geography, urban studies, and social theory. Past research projects have examined the work of community technology collectives in Barcelona and the process of developing and deploying a social robot tour-guide in a museum, both described below. 

Community Technology: In a project supported by a Fulbright Fellowship, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and the Social Science Research Council, I conducted ethnographic research with community technology collectives in Barcelona loosely organized around calls for “technological sovereignty.” This work traces how an emerging network of cooperatives, community organizations, and activists utilize open-source technologies to build alternative local economies. I reflect on the practices of local residents as they manage common digital infrastructures, experiment with alternative forms of work and property, and re-imagine themselves as digital subjects.

Social Robotics and the Spaces of Everyday Life: Prior to joining the University of Twente, I was the PI on a National Science Foundation (US) funded project titled “Social Robots and the Production of Space: Exploring the Socio-Spatial Dimensions of Human-Robot Interaction.” This is a broad interdisciplinary collaboration involving a roboticist, a digital artist, the curators of two museums, and several postgraduate and undergraduate students. The project interrogates the processes and logics of social robotic development, as well as the politics and ethics of employing such technologies in specific social spaces. The project employs ethnographic research to study the development and deployment of a robot tour-guide equipped with a socially aware navigation system to be used in two museums in Reno, Nevada, USA.


Lynch, C. R., & Farrokhi, B. (2022). Digital Geographies and Everyday Life: Space, Materiality, Agency. In The Routledge Handbook of Methodologies in Human Geography (pp. 196-206). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003038849-19
Shahrezaie, R. S., Manalo, B. N., Brantley, A. G. , Lynch, C. R., & Feil-Seifer, D. (2022). Advancing Socially-Aware Navigation for Public Spaces. In RO-MAN 2022 - 31st IEEE International Conference on Robot and Human Interactive Communication: Social, Asocial, and Antisocial Robots (pp. 1015-1022). [9900653] IEEE/EUCA. https://doi.org/10.1109/RO-MAN53752.2022.9900653
Lynch, C., Bissell, D., House-Peters, L., & Del Casino Jr. , V. J. (2022). Robotics, Affective Displacement, and the Automation of Care. Annals of the American Association of Geographers, 112(3), 684-691. https://doi.org/10.1080/24694452.2021.1985953
Lynch, C., & Del Casino Jr. , V. J. (2019). Smart Spaces, Information Processing, and the Question of Intelligence. Annals of the American Association of Geographers, 110(2), 382-390. https://doi.org/10.1080/24694452.2019.1617103
Other Contributions

Forthcoming Publications

Del Casino, Vincent, and Casey R. Lynch (Accepted, forthcoming) Robots, Robotic Technologies, and Labor Geographies. Handbook of Labor Geography (Edward Elgar Publishing, ed. Andrew Herod).

Lynch, Casey R. & Vincent Del Casino Jr (accepted, forthcoming). Perceptions of Intelligence in Urban AI and the Contingent Logics of Real Estate Estimate Algorithms. AI Urbanism (eds. Cugurullo, F., Marvin, S. McGuirk, P., Caprotti, F., Cook, M., and Karvonen, A.). Routledge.

Lynch, Casey R., & Kerri Jean Ormerod. (accepted, forthcoming). Science. The Wilely-Blackwell Companion to Social and Cultural Geography. (eds. Jamie Winders and Ishan Ashutosh).

UT Research Information System

Google Scholar Link


Prior to joining UT, I taught in several undergraduate and postgraduate programs at the University of Nevada Reno, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, University of California Education Abroad Program, and University of Arizona. These include courses on urban geography, geographic thought, nationalism, Mediterranean cultural studies, and sustainable development, among other topics. I also have extensive experience in experiential and field-based education, primarily as an international field instructor leading courses for high school students in Costa Rica, Panama, and Ecuador. At UT I contribute to several degree programs teaching on themes related to the social, political, and ethical dimensions of digitalization and innovation.

Courses Academic Year  2022/2023

Courses in the current academic year are added at the moment they are finalised in the Osiris system. Therefore it is possible that the list is not yet complete for the whole academic year.

Contact Details

Visiting Address

University of Twente
Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Ravelijn (building no. 10), room 5240
Hallenweg 17
7522NH  Enschede
The Netherlands

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Mailing Address

University of Twente
Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Ravelijn  5240
P.O. Box 217
7500 AE Enschede
The Netherlands

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