Archive for the ‘internet research’ Category
Introduction: Subaltern empowerment, socio-economic globalization and digital divides
1. Producing the Global: Microfinance Online
with Franklin Yartey and Anca Birzescu
2. Philanthrophist or Investor? Microlending to the Other
with Anca Birzescu, Franklin Yartey
3. Snapshots from Sari Trails, Cyborgs Old and New
with rad Zabibha
4. Framing the Loom: An Indian Context
with Seemanthani Niranjani and B. Syamasundari
5. Kente Cloth and Adinkra in the Global Market
Precious Yamaguchi and Franklin Yartey
Conclusion: Multiple interfacings with the so-called subaltern: To be continued
Key Concepts and Terms
About the Author
for more on the conference – go to http://atlasconference.tumblr.com/
I realize now that the question “has the internet empowered the subaltern woman” is not the question to ask – in one sentence – the answer could be “yes” – in another reply the answer could be “no” – but…. it tells us nothing about what I set out to investigate in the past 18 or so years…
the point is that the “internet” is part of a logics that are even in place in processes offline – and from before the “internet” came along to “empower” the subaltern (at the risk of sounding repetitive and restating what many others have stated).
the issue then is why is the “internet” considered an outsider and who does the “west” vs “rest” binary serve.
My articles from Development in practice and Gender and Development – from 1999 – both fail to extricate themselves from this binary… because they start with the question and assumption of empowerment through the internet – which is a question imposed from a logic that such research is forced into – and therefore is a logic even non-profits and ngos are complicit in.
more on this in the book – perhaps.
As I work on the final revisions on the book manuscript while the publishers examine the camera-ready samples – I once again got caught in an archive search frenzy.
Also my continuing work and leisure in various mostly women-centered networks (because the practice of knitting and related fiber craft is still gendered as a female activity) made me think back on the spoon collective listprocs I founded and ran in the 1990s – women-writing-culture, third-world-women and sa-cyborgs.
Discussions on that are still relevant – and suddenly I need to find archives if I am to historicize net presences of women writing and creating and connecting through the internets…
“Digital diasporas” occur at the intersection of local/ global, national/
international, private/public, offline/online and embodied/disembodied. In
digital diasporas, a multiplicity of representations, mass media broadcasts,
textual and visual performances and interpersonal interactions occur. The
term *”digital diaspora”* is most often used to talk about how diasporic
populations the world over use the Internet to connect to each other.
Scholars such as Anna Everett (2009) and Jeniffer Brinkerhoff (2009) have
each used the phrase in relation to very specific situated histories of
forced migrations (African American histories of slavery) and transnational
travel respectively. The link to labor flows and hierarchies of colonialisms
and digital globalization is clear in both. In most general usage of the
phrase “digital diaspora,” however, it is used to describe migrant
populations without attention to the specific conditions of subjectivity
that produces diasporas. Further, it is interesting that international NGOs
(specifically the United Nations) and Transnational corporations as well as
National businesses have mobilized the notion of digital diaspora in
“reverse brain-drain” efforts where very materially successful
transnationals and migrants with moneys to invest actually get to return
In the past I have edited a couple publications that center around South
Asian Digital Diasporas (a Special Section of New Media and Society in 2006)
and South Asian Technospace (a co-edited collection of essays). My intent
with this next volume on digital diasporas is to include material that helps
elaborate on the more current platforms where links between transnational
capital and labor flows can be mapped in the context of the increasing
NGOization and ITization of the globe. Thus questions include (but are not
limited to) – why “digital diaspora” and why now? What forms a “digital
diaspora” within gaming environments and social networks? How are
non-profits and transnational corporations (similarly or differently)
mobilizing this idea of digital diaspora in relation to labor and capital
flows? How does a “digital diaspora” form – how does it “look” – how does it
function and so on.
>From prospective contributors, I will need an extended abstract of 800 to
1000 words that fleshes out the theoretical and methodological approaches in
relation to a specific site that will be examined.
1] Extended abstract due on July 26th, 2011
2] You will hear back about your abstracts by August 15th 2011 – with
suggestions on how
you can proceed if the abstract is considered acceptable for the collection
3] Full essays are due by October 1, 2011.
If you have questions regarding the publisher and what exactly I’m looking
for and so on – feel free to email me -
[for citation details - email me]
Changes, Transitions, Upgrading, Rewriting… what stayed constant if anything?
I started work on this book during a post dot.com socio-economic era soon after I had completed my last book. The last book (Gajjala, 2004) to be based fully on my own research endeavours and collaborations drew on the work I’d done both for my dissertation and towards tenure, during the mid to late 90s. In the midst of that book project and this current one (and I anticipate the same for the next one I am embarking on as I shut the covers on this one) – shifts have occurred. These shifts have reaffirmed for me that what I was observing at these cross-sections are indeed impacting our presents and futures in ways that compel us to re-seat ourselves from disciplinary comfort zones. What is discussed in this book that you are reading the “conclusion” of, for instance, does not just impact our social and cultural lives as if those were separate from political and the economic. These online/offline intersections are changing the way we need to respond to situations around us – whether in our domestic everyday or in the world-wide political milieu. What is most compelling is not that there are shifts or there is change – these are givens in any era. Our urgent attention and reflexive engagement is needed to observe carefully how this so-called speed of change allows a loss of memory that permits status quo hierarchies to be unchanged generation after generation. While bodies and cultural objects are coded as interchangeable and made visible as agents of difference, democracy and multiculturalism – code is standardized and these individual agents of so-called change are placed on naturalized technical platforms. Code is made invisible. Does this mean that the cod-ers – the labor that codes – have the power? Does this mean that the complex literacies involved in producing the platforms and networks are created by the labor-force that codes them? What configurations of practices, literacies and assumptions underpin how this labor force is trained and simultaneously rendered powerless while they labor to produce “us” in the interface?
Should the Humanities and Social Sciences be left out of these kinds of inter-disciplinary practices of standardizing socio-cultural financial code named as “technical” and “Technology,” as we continue incestuously “blind” peer-reviewing each other’s work, gatekeeping to ensure there is not more than a bit of fashionable dissonance and multiplicity in voicing – as we maintain outdated hierarchies of knowledge-production?
In continuing work my call to fellow researchers is to scrutinize closely every practice, every code, every interface, woven designs, crochet patterns, spoken word – for what seams seamless. We have been looking at and reveling in the discovery of “ruptures” and celebrating them or pointing to them as evidence of hopeful change. But we are missing what hides in the background of the ruptures we see “popping up.” What are the non-changing factors that are hidden by the fast appearing manner in which the “newness” of the place/space/time/body intersections seem to have the potential for reproducing “old” oppressive regimes in brand new bytes great speed and less time for reflection and contemplation.
How do we “upgrade” the lens that sees – what do we look for and why. How is an “unscripted entry” (here I refer to a recent podcast interview of Larry Gross where he talks about the unscripted entry of Justin Beiber and the likes into the mainstream) into the mainstream actually a product of status quo production mechanisms that have shifted and been hidden through the continual and simultaneous upgrading and standardization of layers of access and literacy. What do we write and publish for and why – if we reproduce consistencies in the name of discovery of newness?