Critical Digital Geographies: Feminist, Queer, Postcolonial, and Critical Race Perspectives

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Digital Geographies Specialty Group, Sexuality and Space Specialty Group, Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 2:35 PM / 4:15 PM (Eastern Standard Time)
Room: Washington 3, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Organizers: Casey Lynch, Lily House-Peters
Chairs: Abraham Weil


Ash, Kitchin, and Leszczynski (2018) signal a critical ‘digital turn’ in geography characterized by the growth of geographic research produced through, by, and of the digital. In conversation with previous scholarship (Elwood and Leszczynski 2013; Graham and Foster 2016), the increasing attention to the digital in geography broadly, and to “the politics of geographical knowledge production with the digital” (Ash, Kitchin, and Leszczynski 2018: 5) in particular, intersects with theoretical provocations in feminist, queer, postcolonial, and critical race scholarship. Along this vein, there have been multiple engagements between digital geographies and feminist theories of work and labor, as well as acknowledgement of the ways digital technologies, codify, reinforce, or reshape existing racial, gender, and classes inequalities (Richardson 2018; Leszczynski and Elwood 2015; Roth 2016; Holloway et al. 2000), or produce new forms of differentiation (Rose 2017).

Yet, more substantial engagements of digital geography with feminist, queer, postcolonial and critical race theory remain somewhat limited, despite an abundance of scholarship outside geography examining the entanglement of processes of technological change with such concerns. For example, critical race scholars have highlighted the complex socio-technical assemblages that both work to reproduce and reify racial categories (Brown 2015; Pugliese 2010; Weheliye 2014) and to organize various forms of resistance (Marez 2016; Weheliye 2005). Transfeminist engagements have sought to queer the boundaries between technical objects and systems and the body--between technics and biology (Egaña and Solà 2016; Sullivan and Murray 2016). Feminist scholars like Karen Barad, Rosi Briadotti, and Donna Haraway have explored the material and “technical” nature of processes of subjectification and the production of meaning. Postcolonial critiques have long noted the entanglement of colonization and ideologies of “Western” dominance with notions of technological progress (Adas 1990; Arnold 2005; Wuertenberg 2018).

In this session (or set of sessions), we hope to bring together scholars engaging questions of the digital from across feminist, transfeminist, queer, postcolonial, and critical race perspectives. We invite both theoretical and empirical contributions, including an openness to speculative approaches. Topics might include (but are not limited to):

-Ideologies of technological progress and their links to whiteness, colonialism, masculinity
-Critiques of emerging technological practices in policing, surveillance, urban governance
-Critiques of the practices of large techno-capitalist firms or “startups”
-The role of digital technologies in evolving practices of resistance
-Differences in technology use across diverse populations
-New axes of difference emergent within evolving socio-technical systems
-Critical methodologies in digital geographic inquiry
-Intersections of digital geography, environment, and race
-Technical objects, queer theory, and the body

Please submit abstracts (250 words) to both Casey Lynch ( and Lily House-Peters ( by Monday, October 15, 2018.

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42(1): 25-43.
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Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Anna Feigenbaum*, Bournemouth University, Big Data Baby-Making: Celmatix and Genetic Profiteering in the IVF Industry 20 2:35 PM
Presenter Courtney Donovan*, San Francisco State University, Future Possibilities for Tech and Health Humanities: Insights from Intersectional Feminism 20 2:55 PM
Presenter Jasmine Truong*, , It feels like love: Romance scam and digitally mediated spaces of the intimate 20 3:15 PM
Presenter Hayal Akarsu*, , Digital Policing: Techno-optimism, Surveillance, and Political Subjectivity in the ‘Digital Age’ 20 3:35 PM
Presenter Kelly Sharron*, , American Monument and the Tension of Institutionalized Resistance 20 3:55 PM

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