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Friday, October 12 • 11:00am - 12:30pm
On haptics, touch, and the internet

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The call for AoIR2018, which prompts us to think about transnational materialities states, “the ‘material turn’ within internet research seeks to firmly ground critical analyses in the manifold physicalities and corporealities embodied and engendered within such networked technologies.” Often those interrogations have meant critically exploring the infrastructural components of the system, the metaphorical physicality of those systems, as in software and platform studies, the socio-historical materiality of hardware, or, when considering the sensorial arrangements prompted by media, a concern with audio-visual modalities. Touch and haptic technologies have also played key roles in the development of transnational materialities but largely remain missing from the conversation. Haptic technologies that communicate touch, from keyboards and touchscreens to rumble-packs, virtual reality gloves, and tele-operation devices are formative to the materiality of the internet. Likewise, conventions and associations of touch shape interactions with internet connected technologies from phones to children’s toys, and are reshaped through those interactions. Some of the issues at stake involve the relationship between haptics and networked affect; haptics in HCI as critical internet interfaces and infrastructure; haptics in AR and VR; haptics, mobile internet, and mobility; touch and internet use rituals; multi-sensory approaches to embodied media use; inclusive research methods; haptic aesthetic approaches to internet research, and haptic histories of the internet. Our roundtable attempts to address these issues by discussing how haptic media studies and other approaches to touch and technology could provide avenues for internet scholarship to push beyond its current boundaries.


Meryl Alper, Northeastern University

Larissa Hjorth, RMIT University

Kris Paulsen, The Ohio State University

David Parisi, College of Charleston

Jason Archer, University of Illinois at Chicago

Chris Salter, Concordia University

Friday October 12, 2018 11:00am - 12:30pm EDT
Sheraton - Salon 7