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Critique Essay Humanities Nonfiction Social Sciences Theory

Race, Gender, and the Technological Turn: A Roundtable on Digitizing Revolution

By Cassius Adair, Dorothy Kim, and T.L. Cowan, 2018

We are an intergenerational, multiracial roundtable of senior faculty, doctoral students, postdoctoral researchers, and lecturers who all write about race, gender, and digital culture. We were asked to meet online and in person over the course of a year to discuss at length variations on the theme of digitizing revolution. While our conversations began in the spring of 2016, we presented together on a panel in November 2016 at the National Women’s Studies Association’s Annual Conference— just days aft er the conclusion of the US presidential election between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. As such, the particular social and political context of the election has worked as a troubling backdrop that continues to inform how each of us reflects on the complicated ways in which race, gender, and the digital correlate and shape public discourse. The roundtable that follows is a result of these many ongoing conversations, with each of us offering a short essay on one aspect of the range of topics we have continued to discuss— from intersectionality in gaming communities to trans visibility to the racial and gendered politics of platforms like Tumblr, Twitter, and FemTechNet. When the contributions are read together, we hope the roundtable well synthesizes our dialogic analyses of how power exercised through digital forms uniquely affects women, racial minorities, transgender people, and other marginalized groups.

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