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Thursday, October 11 • 9:00am - 10:30am
Politics, Joy and Resistance in Black Cyberculture(s)

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"JOY IS RESISTANCE": RESILIENCE AND (RE)INVENTION IN BLACK ORAL CULTURE ONLINE
Jessica H. Lu, Catherine Knight Steele
On February 13, Brittany Packnett, activist and co-founder of Campaign Zero tweeted, “Some folks really want activists to be sad, angry, depressed, never smiling, broke and downtrodden everyday. I don't get it.” She went on, “Love is resistance. Joy is resistance.” Through Critical Technocultural Discourse Analysis (Brock, 2016), we argue that Black users’ intentional deployment of joy online is a rhetorical strategy that utilizes the affordances of digital platforms to disrupt the conflation of blackness with death and dying. We begin by tracing the consumption of Black death narratives in contemporary media to the omnipresent threat to Black life normalized by American chattel slavery. The rhetoric that shapes and innovates digital platforms today is grounded in subversive strategies fostered before and during enslavement. We then analyze how Twitter and Vine users engage two hashtags, #CareFreeBlackKids2k16 and #FreeBlackChild, to disrupt dominant narratives in four ways: defying threats against black life; disproving the “menacing threat” of blackness; challenging the survival vs. freedom binary; and imagining black futures. Black users’ expressions of joy and pleasure online underscore the dynamic power of African American rhetorical practice, and highlight the ways in which Black oral culture leverages the affordances of digital platforms to foster resistance discourse.

“THIS IS NOT THE POST-ELECTION CONVERSATION WE WANTED TO HAVE”: THE PODCAST IN COLOR AS POLITICAL PUBLIC SPHERE IN A POST-OBAMA WORLD
Briana Nicole Barner
In this “golden renaissance” of podcasting (Berry), the election of Trump is a particularly important moment to examine the significance of the platform—as an archive, but also as a medium of resistance, particularly when hosted by individuals who hold marginalized identities. Podcasts hosted by people of color, or “podcasts of/in color” provide a significant site of analysis for the development of political thought and resistance, especially during monumental political and social change. Using three episodes from the podcasts “Politically Re-Active,” “The Read” and “The Black Joy Mixtape,” this project will explore political thought and consciousness in podcasts, positioning them as alternative counterpublics. I am interested in examining the ideologies present in each of the episodes, how their marginalized identities are positioned throughout the episodes and also the value in having Black public spaces, which I am positing defines the Black podcast.

This project will utilize Brock’s critical technocultural discourse analysis (CTDA) to analyze three episodes of three podcasts. CTDA “combines interpretive methods (discourse analysis) and theoretical frameworks (e.g. critical race or feminist theory” (Brock, 2) and applies them to information and communication technologies (ICTs). I will also utilize textual analysis of each of the episodes and any significant social media postings. Sarah Florini’s notion of Black audio enclaves and Melissa Harris-Lacewell’s theorizations about Black public spaces will also be useful theories for this work.



Thursday October 11, 2018 9:00am - 10:30am
Sheraton - Ballroom West

Attendees (22)