MiT8

This is just a quick post to say I’ll be presenting at MiT8 on Sunday – I’ve been retooling my work and gearing up for my second conference and I’m excited to talk about the theory side of my work! Here’s my latest abstract:

When we think about identity, the medium through which we express, articulate and define that concept plays heavily into how it is understood. As society uses new mediums, that mediation becomes remediation, and consequently redefinition. As the public sphere has become more ” identity research has shifted focus to collective issues. This is due to concerns regarding group agency and politics, the means by which those definitions are created and maintained, and the freedom from physical proxemics due to new communications technologies. Those developments foreshadowed the mainstream embrace of new media and social networks. The condition of virtual identity and community is now experience by a large public, interacting and existing through digital media. But how does that change the way we shape the community, and how it shapes us? Issues of the individual and the collective provide challenges to internet users and scholars alike. This work explores those issues, namely the question of how we resolve the online public sphere (or spheres) with our personal identities, and how we collaboratively construct recursive publics. 

Apparently the latest draft is also already up on the website. I’ll be presenting Sunday morning as part of a panel on “Media Spheres” – the invitation was an honor because there are a lot of really great and interesting scholars I hope to meet! Obviously I’ll be tweeting from @mrliterati, feel free to reach out if you’re there as well!

Critical Themes In Media Studies 2013

I had my first conference presentation today, at The New School’s Critical Themes In Media Studies annual grad student conference. There was a lot of great speakers and topics in the program, and from what I understand there should be some video of them up online at some point.

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I got to hear another panel and a half speak before I had to get ready for the panel I was presenting in – probably my favorite thing I heard during the conference was Mateusz Halawa’s work on “Lifelogging: A Technology of the Self.” Halawa identified the sort of archival work that we do with social media, creating assemblages of meaning out of an otherwise meaningless datastream, as a “technology of the self” as described by Foucault. I’m actually not familiar with this term or idea, so I’m eager to look into it myself.

My presentation was a recap of the pilot work I did with Danny Kim on hackathons and collective identity, but I was able to incorporate some of the ideas that I’ve been drawing from as I’ve expanded it into thesis work. Namely, more Castells, some Galloway, and especially Christopher Kelty’s ideas on recursive publics, which I can’t believe I didn’t know about. My second reader brought it up to me in a review meeting a few weeks ago (I was meaning to post about that, but I’ve been crazy busy as I’ve been revising the proposal).

It was interesting to see the way other presenters on the panel viewed publics – our respondent, Edward Byfield, felt this was the underlying theme that connected our works. The other panelists’s projects were “Digital Uncanniness: Art from Google Street View,”“Flash Mobs: Seizing Space “In A Flash” with Digital Technology,” and “The socio-politics of virtual private networks” which mainly focused on the Iranian intranet and use of VPN’s to overcome censorship. I argued that the public is becoming more public by conceptualizing it as “nested publics” of counterpublics (Nancy Fraser) and private publics (Papacharissi) which overlap and bump up against each other.

On that note, I’ll be talking about public/private identity and these virtual communities at Media in Transition 8 in May! Two conferences in a month… at least my thesis proposal is virtually done.