Zeena Feldman and Jamie Hakim from the Department of Digital Humanities are co-organising an international symposium, “Queering Digital Cultures“, exploring how queer users and tech workers challenge the inequalities and exclusions of today’s internet. The hybrid event will be held on Friday, 28th October 2022 (11.30am to 6pm (BST)) at both King’s College London’s Strand campus and online.
The event is open to the public and free of charge, but registration is required.
The internet is increasingly regarded by users, regulators and NGOs as a public utility. The UN has gone so far as to call internet access a universal right. But the internet is simultaneously seen as a technological infrastructure linked to – and leveraged for – capital production and accumulation. The Queering Digital Cultures symposium aims to explore what this tension between universal access and platform capitalism means for the sex and gender-based assumptions and exclusions generated by today’s internet. We will focus on how homophobia, sexism and transphobia are reproduced in contemporary digital culture and unpack how this intersects with existing inequalities and ‘digital divides’ around race, class and (dis)ability. We train our analytical lens on the ways that mainstream data production, consumption and circulation practices impact sex and gender minorities. We also consider how queer users, activists and tech workers challenge the inequalities and exclusions (re)produced in today’s internet.
Working to understand these issues is crucial for the future of internet studies. Across its thirty-year history, the discipline has critiqued the ways in which digital technologies impact the social register of everyday life. Yet this intellectual project has failed to substantively consider the experiences of sex and gender minorities, and the resulting intersectional exclusions generated by and in today’s internet. Queering Digital Cultures brings together esteemed scholars who have made important contributions to addressing these blindspots.
Kath Albury (Swinburne University of Technology)
Kevin Guyan (University of Glasgow)
Chloé Locatelli (King’s College London)
Shaka McGlotten (Purchase College-SUNY)
Alexander Monea (George Mason University)
Gaspard Pelurson (King’s College London)