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Theorizing the Web Presents: Networking in the Anthropocene

Wednesday, Nov 18, 2020 at 2:00 PM

This episode of Theorizing the Web Presents explores the precarious relationship between human agency and networked technologies in our contemporary age. In the first part, titled “ABOLISH THE USER: Designing Against the End of History,” Melanie Bumpas examines how the ubiquitous design construct of “the user” constrains our experience of the web and forecloses the possibility of new kinds of online sociality. Then, in “Web Theory in a Warming World,” Adam Boffa considers how climate change has various implications for the future of digital media.The discussion is moderated by Dr. Tanya Lokot, Assistant Professor at the School of Communications, Dublin City University, whose writing focuses on the interplay between digital media and civic actors in the context of augmented protest.

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Panelist Bios:

Melanie Bumpas (@hidden_cities): Bumpas’s background is in tech policy, qualitative research, and social theory, and she completed a Master of Science degree at the Oxford Internet Institute in 2017. Originally from Mississippi, she spent several years living in China and is currently based in Washington, DC. She is particularly interested in the politics of how sociotechnical systems are designed and deployed.

Adam Boffa (@ambinate) is a writer and researcher from New Jersey. His work has appeared in publications including Longreads, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Earther, and Hyperallergic.

English