• Sysling, Fenneke


This article introduces the papers contained in this special issue and explores a new field of interest in the history of science: that of measurement and self-making. In this special issue, we aim to show that a focus on self-tracking and individualized measurement provides insight into the ways technologies of quantification, when applied to individual bodies and selves, have introduced new notions of autonomy, responsibility, citizenship, and the possibility of self-improvement and life-course decisions. This introduction is an exploratory history of measurement and self-making, and it provides a discussion of self-tracking in the past as part of the genealogy of present-day digital self-tracking technologies. It concludes that a focus on measurement and self-making highlights the relationship between measurement and morality, the making of the ideal of an autonomous self, capable of improvement, and the relationship between autonomy and surveillance.


The SELF Institute