As we continue to endure the privations forced upon us by the pandemic and various government responses thereto, it is important to locate sources of joy. Writing about Black cyberculture often revolves around oppression, resistance, labor, or consumption. Brock, however, argues that Black digital practice's deviation from technocultural practice and desire can be understood as a feature, not a bug. He proposes that Black Twitter, in particular, offers a space for Black joy to originate, participate, and conversate, leading to surplus libidinal, communal, and political energies powering movements such as Black Lives Matter.
André L. Brock is an Associate Professor in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication at Georgia Tech. He is an interdisciplinary scholar with an M.A. in English and Rhetoric from Carnegie Mellon University and a Ph.D. in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His scholarship includes published articles on racial representations in videogames, black women and weblogs, whiteness, blackness, and digital technoculture, as well as groundbreaking research on Black Twitter. His article “From the Blackhand Side: Twitter as a Cultural Conversation” challenged social science and communication research to confront the ways in which the field preserved “a color-blind perspective on online endeavors by normalizing Whiteness and othering everyone else” and sparked a conversation that continues, as Twitter, in particular, continues to evolve. His most recent book is Distributed Blackness: African American Technocultures, published by NYU Press.
Rianna Walcott (she/her) is an LAHP-funded PhD candidate at Kings College London researching Black women's identity formation in digital spaces, and a graduate twiceover from the University of Edinburgh. She co-founded projectmyopia.com , a website that promotes inclusivity in academia and a decolonised curriculum. She frequently writes about feminism, mental health, race and literature for publications including The Wellcome Collection, The Metro, The Guardian, The BBC, Vice, and Dazed . Rianna is co-editor of an anthology about BAME mental health - The Colour of Madness , and in the time left over she moonlights as a professional jazz singer. Rianna tweets at @rianna_walcott and more about her work can be found at riannawalcott.com.
An event hosted by the King's College London's Department of Digital Humanities.
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