WIAS and CAMRI are pleased to invite you to the book launch of “DigitalDemagogue” by our joint director, Professor Christian Fuchs.
Christian Fuchs will be giving an introduction to “Digital Demagogue”, a timely and topicalstudy of the expressions of ideology, nationalism and authoritarianism in the age of big dataand social media, and discusses the prospects for overcoming capitalism and renewing theLeft.
We’re all familiar with the ways that Donald Trump uses digital media to communicate, fromthe ridiculous to the terrifying. This book digs deeper into the use of those tools in politics toshow how they have facilitated the rise of authoritarianism, nationalism, and right-wingideologies around the world.
Christian Fuchs applies an updated Marxist frame, along with insights drawn from FrankfurtSchool thinkers counting Franz L. Neumann, Theodor W. Adorno, Erich Fromm, HerbertMarcuse, Max Horkheimer, Wilhelm Reich, Leo Löwenthal and Klaus Theweleit, to show thepernicious role of social media in the hands of nationalist politicians.
Media like Twitter have been used to spread right-wing ideology far and wide, and make itseem like an ordinary part of contemporary political discourse. Fuchs diagnoses this problemin stark terms, but he doesn’t stop there: he also lays out ways to fight it, and analyses theprospects for pushing past capitalism and renewing the Left.
Christian Fuchs is Professor at the University of Westminster. He is Director of the Communication and Media Research Institute (CAMRI) and the Westminster Institute for Advanced Studies (WIAS). His fields of expertise are critical digital & social media studies, Internet & society, political economy of media and communication, information society theory, social theory and critical theory. He has published extensively and is co-editor of the open access journal triple: Communication, Capitalism and Critique.
Ways of Feeling: Exploring Remote Personal Touch Communication – Carey Jewitt (Knowledge Lab, UCL)
How might touching at a distance transform our experiences of communication and communicative practices and norms? In this presentation, Carey Jewitt will argue that we are at a tipping point for digital communication: moving beyond “ways of seeing” to include “ways of feeling”.
Much as optical technologies transformed sight and the visual (e.g. from the telescope and microscope, the X-ray, photography, film, computer graphics, MRIs to Google Glass), the rapid expansion in digital touch technologies is set to reconfigure touch and the tactile in significant ways. With this comes a fundamental shift in forms and modes of communication in digitally co-located and remote interaction. With a speculative focus on personal remote touch communication, across a range of technological domains, Carey Jewitt will explore the potential of touch-based technologies to re-shape what can be touched, as well as when and how it can be touched, and how this may supplement, heighten, extend and reconfigure how people (and machines) communicate, re-frame existing touch practices and lead to new touch-based capacities and practices.
The centrality of touch to both human experience and communication underpins the need to understand the social consequences of how touch is digitally remediated.
About the speaker
Carey Jewitt is Professor of Learning and Technology and Director of UCL Knowledge Lab, University College London. Her research interests are the development of visual and multimodal research theory and methods, video-based research, and researching technology-mediated interaction. She has led a number of research projects on methodological innovation most recently MODE ‘Multimodal Methods for Researching Digital Data and Environments’ (ESRC, MODE.ioe.ac.uk) and MIDAS ‘Methodological Innovation in Digital Arts and Social Sciences’ (ESRC, MIDAS.ioe.ac.uk).
Carey is a founding Editor of the journal Visual Communication (Sage), and her recent publications include Introducing Multimodality (2016) with Bezemer and O’Halloran, The Sage Handbook of Researching Digital Technologies (2014) with Price and Brown, and The Routledge Handbook of Multimodal Analysis (second edition) (2014).
Roza Tsagarousianou (UoW) – Dangerous ‘Others’: The Politics of Securitisation of Europe’s Muslims
In her short talk, Roza Tsagarousianou will analyse the social construction of Europe’s Muslim populations and its impact as a ‘threat’ and a factor of societal insecurity. Examining the interplay of media discourse, public debate, policy and everyday life throughout Europe, she will discuss the materiality of such securitization discourses and practices and the concrete effect these have on the ongoing transformation of our societies.
Drawing on a critical engagement with debates on securitization and on governmentality, she will argue that the emphasis on the Muslim threat contributes to the normalization of a permanent state of exception. In this state, anticipation rules over perpetration, and classification is sufficient for de-subjectification leading to the deprivation of legal protections. European Muslims become interminably spectral, always watched and under scrutiny in a Europe defined by their very exclusion.
Roza Tsagarousianou is Reader in Media and Communication and member of the CAMRI research centre, the Homelands research group and the Westminster University Migration Network. She has been the Director of the CAMRI Doctoral programme and is currently leading the MA in Diversity and the Media, offered in collaboration with the Media Diversity Institute.
Among many other writings, her monographs include Diasporic Cultures and Globalization (Shaker 2007) and Islam in Europe: Public Spaces and Civic Networks (Palgrave 2013). Her forthcoming monograph will be The Securitisation of Islam in Europe: Public debate, Policy, Identity and Citizenship (Palgrave 2018). She is also working on a co-edited anthology on Diasporas, Media and Culture (Wiley Blackwell 2018).
To celebrate the publication of The Routledge Companion to Media and Activism, join its editor Graham Meikle and a panel of its contributors to discuss some of the key contemporary themes in this exciting area. Panelists will include Red Chidgey, Christian Fuchs, Athina Karatzogianni, Anastasia Kavada and Yngvar Steinholt, with more speakers to be confirmed.
The Routledge Companion to Media and Activism is a new collection of 42 original and authoritative essays by leading scholars from around the world. The book introduces and explores central debates about the diverse relationships between media and protest, between communication and social change.
Graham Meikle is Professor of Communication and Digital Media at the University of Westminster. His books include Social Media (Routledge 2016), Media Convergence (with Sherman Young, Palgrave Macmillan 2012) and The Routledge Companion to Media and Activism (2018).