Archive: Thu Apr 2011

Presider: Jenny Davis

The panel: “Arts of Existence: Self and Subjectivity Online” promises to be both exciting and thought provoking. The papers in this panel explore the complex negotiations of publicity, privacy, inclusion, exclusion, and the meanings that these issues hold for the self. Jessica Vitak’s paper, a theoretical piece, examines the costs and benefits of open versus selective interaction via social media. She juxtaposes her theoretical musings against earlier CMC theories of the self (i.e. SIP and the hyperpersonal model) arguing that interrelated temporal, technological, and cultural shifts require us to think about mediated interaction in new ways. Mark Matienzo, through a case study, explores (everlasting) life and death in a mediated world. Using Zygmunt Bauman, Matienzo examines two opposing strategies for negotiating the potential permanence of the self in the contemporary era of pervasive technology. Finally, Aimée Morrison, through a study of mommy bloggers, explores the complex negotiations of candid-intimacy and open access. Morrison’s work looks at the ways in which bloggers simultaneously present their experiences to an open public, while carving out an intimate community. All of these papers illustrate how our digital selves and physical selves are deeply intertwined, and examine how negotiations of self and community necessarily span multiple spaces, places, and audiences. more...

Presider: William Yagatich

Along with the Cyborgology editors and few other colleagues, we are throwing a conference on April 9th called Theorizing the Web. Leading up to the event, we will occasionally highlight some of the events taking place. I will be presiding over a paper session titled “Wiki-Knowledge—Populist Epistemologies from the Web” and present the four abstracts below. The aim of this paper session is to explore emergent communities of knowledges, their epistemologies, and the impact of the knowledge economy that is being created and has been created on the Web and social media. Each of these papers address different knowledges and epistemologies, ranging from the perceptions of the Internet and it uses to the meaning of post-expertise in the era of Web 2.0.

First, Katy Pearce will present a paper on Armenian conceptualizations of the Internet and the Web. What will be emphasized her is the meaning of the Internet and the Web is based not on just individual preference but is both culturally and device-bound. Next, Avelet Oz explores the contradictory tendencies of Wikipedia’s legal consciousness and its ideological practices: Wikipedia’s attempt to set a cultural schema and organization of objectivity while keeping the system open to the lay public to encourage participation. Third, Kyle Reinson presents the intriguing case of post-expertise in the era of Web 2.0, which describes the potential shift of power relations that may result from the challenge of emergent businesses and social media organizations. In effect, the rise of said businesses and social media organizations offer individuals access to information and services at little or no cost that was previously held and distributed by experts in a particular knowledge community. Last, Sally A. Applin will present a paper written with Michael D. Fischer that specifically focuses on the dynamics of knowledge creation on Web 2.0 and how this new practice of knowledge formation challenges authority of experts by rendering such information available to the mass public.

Find the four abstracts below. Together, they will make for an interesting and informative panel for anyone interested in knowledge production and epistemologies. We invite everyone to join us at the conference in College Park, MD (just outside of Washington, D.C.) on April 9th. And let’s start the discussion before the conference in the comments section below. Thanks! more...

Presider: Tyler Crabb

Habermas argues that a healthy public sphere can only grow from a relatively autonomous private sphere.  The maintenance and development of this public sphere is of prime importance to the health of an open society, but this era may be passing.  The development of online social networks challenges the integrity and usefulness of a distinction between the public and private spheres.  Perhaps this distinction is imploding, with future civic  and commercial life simultaneously public and private, populated by cyborg citizens.  The private sphere is now public in many important ways.

Analysis of Facebook affords the opportunity to negotiate the contours of this historic transition, the opportunity to find empirical evidence and conceptual nuance to develop much needed social theory.  This panel will explore transformations in personhood, privacy, property, justice, capital, commerce and other foundational issues; issues which are of obvious importance beyond Facebook’s 500,000,000 users. more...