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Digital Subaltern as Technology of Neocolonial Globalization?

Sun, May 27, 14:00 to 15:15, Hilton Prague, M, Tyrolka

Abstract

As Spivak’s much debated essay on “Can the subaltern speak” (1988) implies—the notion of recovering subaltern voice as authentic and representative is based in dominant structures of understanding of what is voiced and how voice is shaped in its entry into mainstream. In the conceptualization of “voice,” the subject position is always/already seen and heard only in translation and through transformation. It is symptomatic of how feminist studies itself is institutionally moved towards a focus on binary/heteronormative and neocolonial frameworks endorsing lean-in feminisms more than critical interrogations of how power reproduced hierarchies of race, class, caste, ethnicity, geography and so on. Today, we remain caught in the fraught binary of individual empowerment vs community loyalty. This lends itself to the neoliberal ethos of individualization. Extracting the individual from within communities in the name of empowerment through digital space works in conjunction with NGOs emphasis on “neoliberal empowerment” (Sharma, 2008).

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