Politics and Identity in Digital Geographies II

Type: Virtual Paper
Sponsor Groups: Digital Geographies Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/8/2021
Start / End Time: 4:40 PM / 5:55 PM (PDT)
Room: Virtual 37
Organizers: Casey Lynch, Will Payne, Emma Slager
Chairs: Emma Slager


Within the broader "digital turn" (Ash, Kitchin, and Leszczynski, 2018) in geography over the past several years, scholars have investigated how emerging digital systems re-organize relationships of power, creating both new constraints and possibilities for political action. State and corporate actors enroll various forms of algorithmic decision-making and data-based governance work to securitize against potential futures deemed undesirable, while making possible new forms of centralized control and targeted intervention in social life (Amoore and Raley, 2017; Leszczynski, 2016; Marvin and Luque-Ayala, 2017). Although each generation of technology industry hype touts the ability for new forms of connection to liberate and unite social groups, digital communications and media technologies have increasingly supported emerging reactionary populist digital spaces, from alt-right cultural geographies (Hodge and Hallgrimsdottir 2019) to suburban-style segregation online (Banks 2019). At the same time, access to and control over digital technologies are seen as a potential site of political struggle, with scholars highlighting possibilities for alternative digital futures based on postcapitalist logics (Lynch, 2019; Gerhardt, 2019).

Others have focused on the ways digital technologies re-shape existing and produce new categories of identity and difference. Elwood and Leszczynski (2018) have called for feminist digital geographies, highlighting how engagements between digital studies and feminist, queer, and critical race theory are "generating significant new insight into contemporary digital mediations of complex bodies, lives, places, politics, economies and socialities in ways that challenge longstanding disciplinary exclusions" (p. 630). For instance, Jefferson (2018) explores how emerging forms of data-driven crime mapping in Chicago intensify and rationalize ongoing practices of racialized policing, granting them a "scientific" basis. In another example, Jenzen (2017) examines how trans youth engage with digital social media to challenge cis and binary identity norms and generate new practices of community formation, peer education, and activism.

We invite papers making theoretical, empirical, and/or methodological contributions to the field of digital geographies with a focus on questions of politics and identity. Topics might include, but are not limited to:

Digital technology and the production of new subjectivities
Race, gender, sexuality, age, class, and ability in digital geographies
Digital productions of counterpublics and activism in the digital era
The politics of surveillance and privacy
Emerging online political spaces of every valence


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Casey Lynch*, University of Nevada - Reno, Artificial Emotional Intelligence and the Intimate Politics of Robotic Sociality 15 4:40 PM
Presenter Shannon Black*, University of Toronto, Visualizing change: online representation and resistance in the Canada-US hand knitting industry 15 4:55 PM
Presenter Jonathan Cinnamon*, Ryerson University, “What wins the battle is better understanding power”: Activism, data, and distributed agentic capacities 15 5:10 PM
Presenter Clancy Wilmott*, University of California - Berkeley, From Big Daddy Mainframe to Indigenous Blockchain: techno-politics, identities and spatialities in digital geographies 15 5:25 PM

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