A public talk on Digital Activism and Political Change, organised by the Digital Worldmaking Research Stream & the Goldsmiths Media Ethnography Group.
The irruption of WikiLeaks, Anonymous, Snowden, Cambridge Analytica and other tech-savvy actors onto the global political stage raises urgent questions about the impact of digital activism on political systems around the world. In this talk I draw from my recent book, The Rise of Nerd Politics (Pluto, 2018), to assess the role that such actors play in sparking and managing new processes of political change in the digital age. Drawing from long-term anthropological research in Spain and Indonesia - as well as secondary literature on Iceland, Tunisia, Taiwan, Brazil and the United States - I track the rise of techno-political 'nerds' as a new class of political brokers with growing influence. To keep the inquiry manageable, I focus on four domains of nerd politics that have expanded dramatically since 2010: data activism, digital rights, social protest and formal politics.
Dr John Postill teaches communication at RMIT University, Melbourne. He has a PhD in anthropology from University College London and is the author of The Rise of Nerd Politics (2018), Localising the Internet (2011) and Media and Nation Building (2008), the co-author of
Digital Ethnography (2016) and co-editor of Theorising Media and Practice (2010). He is currently writing a historical anthropology of media and communication titled Runaway Media as well as his first novel, Life of Piñas.
Dates & times
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