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S O C I A L M E D I A A N D
R E V O L U T I O N S
I M A G I N E D C O M M U N I T I E S A N D P O L I T I C A L A C T I O ...
C A N S O C I A L M E D I A
C A U S E R E V O L U T I O N S ?
A R A B S P R I N G , O C C U P Y M O V E M E N T S , F E R ...
N O ?
S L A C T I V I S M , C L I C T I V I S M , “ F E E L G O O D ” A C T I V I S M , I G N O R E S S U R V E I L L A N ...
M E D I A A N D C R E AT I N G C O M M U N I T I E S
@adelinekoh
I M A G I N E D C O M M U N I T I E S
• Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities
• Critics of social media have paid insuf...
I M A G I N E D C O M M U N I T Y & T H E
N E T W O R K E D P U B L I C S P H E R E
@adelinekoh
A N D E R S O N
• print capitalism -> nationalism
• Walter Benjamin’s “homogenous, empty time” vs.
“simultaneous, messiani...
N O L I M E
TA N G E R E
• José Rizal, Father of
Filipino nationalism
• “a dinner party being
discussed by hundreds of
unn...
P R I N T- C A P I TA L I S M T I M E
• Imagined Community: “hypnotic confirmation of a
single community, embracing author...
T H E N E T W O R K E D P U B L I C S P H E R E
@adelinekoh
N E T W O R K E D C O M M U N I T Y
F O C U S O N P R O D U C E R S N O T C O N S U M E R S
@adelinekoh
I M A G I N E D C O M M O N A L I T Y
N E W C O N N E C T I O N S
@adelinekoh
N E T W O R K E D P U B L I C S P H E R E
• New ‘mediascapes’ / ‘ideoscapes’ (Appadurai)
• Asynchronous communities
• New ...
S O C I A L M E D I A A S S P E C TA C L E :
A R E T U R N T O M A R X
@adelinekoh
C R I T I Q U E S O F S O C I A L M E D I A
• Focus on tools & the discursive sphere
• Brea / White“clictivism” ; Morozov,...
PA R A L L E L S I N T H E H I S T O RY O F
M A R X I S M
• Counterinformation conference, Amsterdam 1999
• Eastern Europe...
M A R X
• “material” over
“ideological”
• even found in Marx’s
notion of commodity
fetishism
@adelinekoh
Y E T
• The importance of who controls information is as
important as who controls the mode of production
• “manufacture o...
W E S T E R N
M A R X I S M
• Focus on “alienation”
• Adorno & Horkheimer’s “Culture Industry”
• oppositional forms of cin...
S O C I A L M E D I A / C I N E M A
• Some uses of social media = some uses of Third
Cinema?
• Different media to break th...
C AV E AT S
• Cooptation of activist
platforms beyond the
state, e.g. “Operation
Lollipop”
• misinformation
• Data-mining ...
F I N A L LY:
• Social media does not cause revolutions.
• It affords us a political space from which potentially
revoluti...
• Image Credits
• #OccupyHongKong, Pasu Ah Yeung
• #OccupyWallStreet, Marc Occil
• Evgeny Morozov, Tim Wu, New America Fou...
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Social Media and Revolutions: Imagined Communities and Political Action

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Slides for my keynote address at the Texas Digital Humanities Conference 2015. https://conferences.tdl.org/uta/index.php/txdhc/index/pages/view/keynote

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Social Media and Revolutions: Imagined Communities and Political Action

  1. 1. S O C I A L M E D I A A N D R E V O L U T I O N S I M A G I N E D C O M M U N I T I E S A N D P O L I T I C A L A C T I O N @adelinekoh
  2. 2. C A N S O C I A L M E D I A C A U S E R E V O L U T I O N S ? A R A B S P R I N G , O C C U P Y M O V E M E N T S , F E R G U S O N @adelinekoh
  3. 3. N O ? S L A C T I V I S M , C L I C T I V I S M , “ F E E L G O O D ” A C T I V I S M , I G N O R E S S U R V E I L L A N C E @adelinekoh
  4. 4. M E D I A A N D C R E AT I N G C O M M U N I T I E S @adelinekoh
  5. 5. I M A G I N E D C O M M U N I T I E S • Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities • Critics of social media have paid insufficient attention to the affordances of a community created by the medium • Networked public sphere = next battleground @adelinekoh
  6. 6. I M A G I N E D C O M M U N I T Y & T H E N E T W O R K E D P U B L I C S P H E R E @adelinekoh
  7. 7. A N D E R S O N • print capitalism -> nationalism • Walter Benjamin’s “homogenous, empty time” vs. “simultaneous, messianic time” • Prior to print capitalism—anachronism irrelevant • Anderson: “…the medieval Christian mind had no conception of history as an endless cause and effect or of separations between past and present.” @adelinekoh
  8. 8. N O L I M E TA N G E R E • José Rizal, Father of Filipino nationalism • “a dinner party being discussed by hundreds of unnamed people, who do not know each other, in quite different parts of Manila, in a particular month of a particular decade” S T O RY O F F L O R A N T E & L A U R A I N T H E K I N G D O M O F A L B A N I A • Francisco Balagtas • Does not follow chronological order, begins in medias res • simultaneous pasts created through covering voices of characters @adelinekoh
  9. 9. P R I N T- C A P I TA L I S M T I M E • Imagined Community: “hypnotic confirmation of a single community, embracing authors and readers, moving onwards through calendrical time” • “…the idea of a sociological organism moving calendrically through homogenous, empty time is a precise analogue of the idea of a nation, which is conceived of a solid community moving steadily down (or up) history.” @adelinekoh
  10. 10. T H E N E T W O R K E D P U B L I C S P H E R E @adelinekoh
  11. 11. N E T W O R K E D C O M M U N I T Y F O C U S O N P R O D U C E R S N O T C O N S U M E R S @adelinekoh
  12. 12. I M A G I N E D C O M M O N A L I T Y N E W C O N N E C T I O N S @adelinekoh
  13. 13. N E T W O R K E D P U B L I C S P H E R E • New ‘mediascapes’ / ‘ideoscapes’ (Appadurai) • Asynchronous communities • New modes and node for identification and community @adelinekoh
  14. 14. S O C I A L M E D I A A S S P E C TA C L E : A R E T U R N T O M A R X @adelinekoh
  15. 15. C R I T I Q U E S O F S O C I A L M E D I A • Focus on tools & the discursive sphere • Brea / White“clictivism” ; Morozov, “slactivism” @adelinekoh
  16. 16. PA R A L L E L S I N T H E H I S T O RY O F M A R X I S M • Counterinformation conference, Amsterdam 1999 • Eastern European movements—“changing the system” • Western Europe—“media tactics” • Roots in Debord; media as Spectacle @adelinekoh
  17. 17. M A R X • “material” over “ideological” • even found in Marx’s notion of commodity fetishism @adelinekoh
  18. 18. Y E T • The importance of who controls information is as important as who controls the mode of production • “manufacture of consent” —> Chomsky • Said: “from travelers’ tales… colonies were created” @adelinekoh
  19. 19. W E S T E R N M A R X I S M • Focus on “alienation” • Adorno & Horkheimer’s “Culture Industry” • oppositional forms of cinema: Third Cinema vs. First Cinema @adelinekoh
  20. 20. S O C I A L M E D I A / C I N E M A • Some uses of social media = some uses of Third Cinema? • Different media to break through different types of alienation @adelinekoh
  21. 21. C AV E AT S • Cooptation of activist platforms beyond the state, e.g. “Operation Lollipop” • misinformation • Data-mining by the state/ surveillance @adelinekoh
  22. 22. F I N A L LY: • Social media does not cause revolutions. • It affords us a political space from which potentially revolutionary communities can come into being. • We need to pay attention to social media & the community beyond the nation • The battleground for hearts and minds—no longer print, but the networked public sphere. @adelinekoh
  23. 23. • Image Credits • #OccupyHongKong, Pasu Ah Yeung • #OccupyWallStreet, Marc Occil • Evgeny Morozov, Tim Wu, New America Foundation • Community, Yoann Jezebel

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