Digital subjectivities in the global context: new technologies of the self
Luke Stark (Microsoft Research)
Beth Semel (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Marisa Brandt (Michigan State University, Lyman Briggs College)
Start time:
3 September, 2016 at 11:00
Session slots:

Short abstract:

This track explores digital tools for subject formation in a global context. It interrogates the transnational histories, present and futures of digital media as means for shaping individual and collective subjectivity, and complicating global divisions and inequalities of wealth, access, and power.

Long abstract:

Digital technologies such as wearable fitness devices, smartphone apps, neural interfaces, databases of personal information, and algorithmic analytic techniques are challenging our understanding of our own selves as human beings, social actors, and engaged citizens. Much of the current scholarship in media studies and science and technology studies (STS) approaches these digital technologies with a Western, consumerist focus. This track builds on previous 4S panels on these topics by inviting work in diverse formats (papers, tools, or data auto-ethnographies) that explores the global context for these technologies. In this track, we seek to shatter this framing by exploring the co-production of digital subjectivity by experts and citizens around the world. Possible topics for papers include but are by no means limited to: comparative work and case studies from the Global South on digital tools designed for self-tracking and self-management; the globalization of digital labor in relation to technologies of the self (such as in digitally-mediated therapy services); questions of power and post-colonialism in the development and testing of new digital tools; the heterogeneous global spread of models for Silicon Valley entrepreneurship; or the idea of a "Quantified Self" in different global contexts. SESSIONS: 4/4/5