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Monday, July 27 • 13:31 - 16:30
Workshop 2B: Selfies: Inter-faces and ‘me’-diated bodies with Katie Warfield, Crystal Abidin, Fiona Andreallo, Jocelyn Murtell, Carolina Cambre, Cristina Miguel, Fiona Whitington-Walsh, & Stefanie Duguay

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The main objective of the session is to connect various global scholars to discuss the relationship between the self and selfhood, digital imaging practices and experiences, and the sharing of the self/selves visually through social media. Our aim is to invite a widening of the ontological aperture of methods and theories applied to the study of the body via social media–particularly the bodies of marginalized identities and marginalized groups.

  1. Inter-faces: authenticity, agency, and digital subjectivites will address the individual and intimate relationship between one’s body, image, and sharing.
  1. #Me-diated bodies: representation, intimacy, embodied cyborgs, and digital discourse theory will address the social forces that act upon and shape the relationship between body, imaging, and social media.

A young woman uploads a selfie to facebook. The photo of a celebrity becomes a viral meme. Two lovers Snapchat NSFW images to each other at the office. The regularity with which people represent themselves or are represented through digital visual imaging has beckoned researchers from divergent academic fields: art history to internet studies, visual culture to cognitive psychology. Amidst this academic intrigue, digital representations of the body have predominantly been addressed iconographically (in what categories and taxonomies of ways do we represent ourselves visually?) and ethically (what is an appropriate or correct representations of the self, versus and inappropriate or incorrect representation of the self?)

But what has not been explored (perhaps enough) are the ontological assumptions within the process of coding and categorizing bodies, as well as making ethical proclamation about them. Because digital images look so very much like photographs, they have been treated as texts and with such a treatment, images of the living experiential body become frozen and flattened through discourse. Selfies become nothing more than vanity rituals. Nude photos on snapchat are chastised as childish and inappropriate. Sending an image of a body is postage rather than the digital transmission of flesh and subjectivity.

But what if the discourse surrounding the ontology of digital bodies—both in academia and mass media—and therefore the theoretical models for studying, analysing and understanding social media are incomplete? What if digital images of the body are something different than simply a text, a photo, a communicative practice, or an object to be quantified? What if, as Donna Haraway ironically predicted in the Cyborg manifesto, there is no delineation between body and medium, flesh and technology? This rethinking would necessarily beg an integration of quantitative and qualitative methods and a rethinking of online identity and subjectivities.

avatar for Crystal Abidin

Crystal Abidin

University of Western Australia, Australia
PhD Candidate, Anthropology & Sociology
avatar for Fiona Andreallo

Fiona Andreallo

Phd student, lecturer, tutor, course conveynor, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia
Fiona is a PhD candidate at the University of Technology in Sydney (UTS), Australia. She has been awarded an MA in in Photo-media digital design from the University of New South Wales, as well as a BFA in creative practice from the college formally known as COFA. Prior to undertaking... Read More →
avatar for Stefanie Duguay

Stefanie Duguay

PhD Candidate, Queensland University of Technology
Stefanie is a PhD candidate in Digital Media Studies at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). She holds an MSc in Social Science of the Internet from the Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford and a BASc in sociology and psychology from the University of Lethbridge... Read More →
avatar for Cristina Miguel

Cristina Miguel

PhD Student and Teaching Assistant, University of Leeds
avatar for Katie Warfield

Katie Warfield

Faculty, Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Director of the Visual Media Workshop @KwantlenU Lead researcher of Making Selfies/Making Self Faculty, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Surrey BC Katie Warfield is faculty in the Department of Journalism and Communication at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Surrey BC. She is director... Read More →

Monday July 27, 2015 13:31 - 16:30
(7th Floor) TRS1-148 (Ted Rogers School of Management) 55 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON M5G 2C3

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