Dan Bouk

Dan Bouk

Dan Bouk is Associate Professor of History at Colgate University and a Faculty Fellow at Data & Society. He researches the history of bureaucracies, quantification, and other modern things shrouded in cloaks of boringness. His work investigates the ways that corporations, states, and the experts they employ have used, abused, made, and re-made the categories that structure our daily experiences of being human. His first book, How Our Days Became Numbered: Risk and the Rise of the Statistical Individual (University of Chicago Press, 2015), explored the spread into ordinary Americans’ lives of the U.S. life insurance industry’s methods for quantifying people, discriminating by race, justifying inequality, and thinking statistically. His recent writings put today’s political and economic values of personal data in a much wider historical context. He is currently completing a book on the U.S. census for MCDxFSG titled Democracy’s Data and How to Read It.

Dan Bouk