This panel seeks to critically examine social media across established boundaries of nation, language and identity. In what ways have wikis (Wikipedia), blogs (Global Voices), micro-blogs (Twitter), massively multi-player online role-playing games (World of Warcraft), social networking (Bebo, Facebook), etc., facilitated new forms of community that do not mimic the formations of the past, potentially challenging repressive elements of that past? And conversely, in what ways do we find historical socio-economic strictures copied and pasted into cyberspace?
Postcolonial theory is well positioned to address such interactions. Accordingly, this panel seeks proposals that apply postcolonial theory to digital media. How does theory “travel” on the web? Is “hybridity” a viable category for analyzing on-line identity? Can we better understand digital phenomena in light of what colonial, postcolonial and neocolonial histories have to teach us? In what ways does digital representation challenge or reinforce orientalisms and primitivisms of the past? How does digital culture “translate” as it mediates and is intermediated across different “contact zones”? Does the “free” in free software resist or reinforce the neo-liberal foundations of globalization? Finally, proposals should focus on what postcolonial theory and digital cultural theory have to offer one another.
Amit Ray, Ph.D.
Rochester Institute of Technology
College of Liberal Arts, 06-2309
92 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, NY 14623
Phone: 585 475-2437
Fax: 585 475-7120
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