Digital Ethnography Workshop series
Merlyna Lim (Carleton University)
Feburary 7th, 2017 at 5pm
Feet on the Ground, Tweets All Around: Social Media & Contemporary Popular Protests - from Cairo to Kuala Lumpur How can we better understand the interplay between social media and the occupation of urban spaces in contemporary protest movements? How do spaces contribute to insurgent activities and protest movements? Much of current research on social media and activism tends to treat “digital space” as a technical realm separate from “physical space” and delocalize what are intensely contextually specific contestations. For its part, the literature of digital activism tends to assume that urban physical sites of political contestations are unproblematically available. Studies focused on the physical sites of political insurgencies, on the other hand, rarely factor digital networks into their analysis. Using empirical evidence from various places globally, from Egypt to Malaysia, I will scrutinize the complex entanglement of cyber-urban spaces in the making and doing of contemporary social movements and, subsequently, propose analytical framework to deepen our understanding of the interplay between social media and contemporary popular protests.
Merlyna Lim is a Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Digital Media and Global Network Society and associate professor in School of Journalism and Communication at Carleton University. Lim’s research and teaching interests revolve around political and cultural implications of media and technology, in relations to globalization, democratization, and social change. Lim’s past and current research projects are predominantly conducted in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. Lim’s current projects deal with conceptual and theoretical understanding of the actual (neither imagined nor desired) role of digital media in supporting contemporary social movements and transforming politics globally.