14 June 2013,  9.30-2.30pm  Samuel Alexander Building

Organised by: Adi Kuntsman, The University of Manchester, and Rebecca L. Stein, Duke University

Sponsored by: The Simon Research Fund, The University of Manchester and The Duke University Office of Global Strategy and Programs and The Duke University Center for Jewish Studies

At the core of this workshop is a rethinking of the so-called ‘digital democracy’ proposition – that is, an argument about the ways that digital technologies, chiefly social media, can advance pro-democracy politics.  In the last few years, this popular proposition has come under increasing criticism from scholars who have reminded us of the flexible nature of digital technologies, including the ways they have been employed by dictators and police states as public relations platforms, tools for tracking and monitoring political dissidents, and means of counter-insurgency more generally. What has emerged in the scholarly literature is something of a dichotomy – digital democracy posited against digital dictatorship.  The event takes a more complex approach to the politics of digital technology, through a discussion of the ways that social media can be employed on both sides of this political divide.  More specifically, the discussion will approach social media both as tools of warfare, military occupation, and authoritarian rule, and as means to subvert and resist such political regimes. Contra most of the literature on digital democracy and digital dictatorship alike, our discussion will focus on questions of everyday culture and language as they emerge where politics and social media meet.


9.30 -10.00 Registration Samuel Alexander Classics foyer

10.00-12.00 Roundtable discussion S3.1

‘"Now you get a picture, you can put it in your Facebook": Thoughts on activism, the movement of images, and Israel/Palestine’, Simon Faulkner (Manchester Metropolitan University)

‘Viral Occupation: Cameras and Networked Human Rights in the West Bank Rebecca L. Stein (Duke University)

‘Colonialism 2.0: cybercide as digital oppression' , Miriyam Aouragh (Oxford University)

‘Social Media and Public Diplomacy: Nation branding through Twitter', Yasmin Ibrahim (Queen Mary)

‘Collecting data for #pillarofdefense and #failing: on the complexities of real-time data collection on Twitter’, Farida Vis (Sheffield University)

Chair: Adi Kuntsman (University of Manchester)

12.00-1.00 Lunch S1.7 

1.00-2.30  Public lecture SG1

Theresa Senft, NYU: ‘My Body Belongs to Me? On Global Spheres, Networked Nudity and Feminist Activism’


Attendance is free but registration is required. Please email to register. Registration deadline: 10 June 2013