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Narrating Voice and Building Self on Digital and Social Media

Sat, May 26, 8:00 to 9:15, Hilton Prague, M, Tyrolka

Session Submission Type: Panel

Abstract

This panel bridges scholarship across a range of geographic and political contexts to interrogate processes of self narration on digital, social, and visual media. Scholars explore the use of visual and social media in identity construction, community formation, and political mobilization on different platforms. Together this research asks: how do visual or digital narrations of the self allow individuals to build voice -- as an expression of agency, belonging, and community?

Recent scholarship on the use of new media in political processes has highlighted the role of new media in encouraging the articulation of subjectivities, agencies, and desires. Nick Couldry has shown that voice operates within and beyond politics and urges scholarship to invest in a “commitment that voice matters.” At the same time, performance studies scholarship has long parsed the affective textures of the live voice as part of the unique individual qualities of expression. This panel interrogates the mediation, affect, motion, and political possibility of visual and digital narration as an expression of voice. Applying affective analysis to the texture of images and digital posts on intersecting media platforms, scholarship collated here examines the processes of building ‘voice’ as an expression of negotiating and articulating changing political subjectivities.

Social media are often visual media. Visual media offer depth and texture to scholarship about media and voice because of the way images, as media artifacts, interact with digital media users and producers. Recognizing this, the panel explores the construction of voice via narration on social, digital, visual media. Panelists interrogate how identification as specific as migrant laborers and militants and belonging as broad as diaspora and religion are navigated via curated narration by individuals on overlapping media platforms. In constructing narratives of departure, arrival, loss, conflict, difference, and similarity, users negotiate divergent commitments. These narratives allow users to express voice (agency, belonging) that stages affinity, affiliation, critique, and desire. Four panelists working in diverse geographic contexts bring their scholarship together to understand how users construct narratives to make meaning as they move through diaspora, transnational labor markets, inter/intra national conflict and as they process social and political change.

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