File spoon-archives/sa-cyborgs.archive/sa-cyborgs_2000/sa-cyborgs.0003, message 15

Date: Sun, 12 Mar 2000 17:30:10 -0500
Subject: session 4.1

Other Cyberfeminisms and Analogue Contexts: Digital Negotiations of the
Global and the Local

The purpose of this session will be to explore various political, social
and cultural implications and (im)possibilities of "virtuality"
in relation to technoscience, third-world/black feminisms, in relation
to the global/local location of the theories/practices of
cyberculture. Contributors will be encouraged to explore
virtual/material practices within a framework that sees virtuality as
accountable and deeply rooted in material, embodied ways of being. In
this session, I will seek scholarship that engages the
importance of examining various interconnections between digital and
analogue existence in an attempt to understand the virtual
and material subjectivities that are being forged within a climate of
"globalization" powerfully driven by transnational capital flow
as digital technologies and the Internet increasingly assume primary
importance in facilitating the expansion of multinational
corporate markets

Organiser: Gajjala, Radhika, Bowling Green State University, OH, USA.,

1 Cyborgs, Networks and Textual Resistance: Writing Cyberfeminism(s) in
the Net

Sunden, Jenny, Linkoping University, Linkoping, Sweden,

The term "cyberfeminism" has been cruising the Net in different forms
for a couple of years, avoiding any final definition of its
inner content and purpose. Despite this fluidity it is possible to find
at least two, partly contradictionary tendencies. One of these
operates on a sophisticated theoretical level of feminism and
technoscience. The other formation is more openly connected to a
political movement, searching to integrate different women's everyday
lives and their actual use of communication technology.

In this paper I will try to capture some distinctive features in the
feminism(s) slowly taking shape on the Net, its theoretical and
political implications. What constitute the foundation of cyberfeminism?
How do cyberfeminists conceptualize gender and female
identity? Secondly, it is an attempt to contrast these growing feminist
trends with more traditional feminist theories and
standpoints, as a way to rethink some cyberfeminist thoughts where they
reflect a feminist past.

2 Alternate "Jenniverses" : Web Celebrity and the Challenge of

Senft, Theresa, New York University, USA,

This paper is part of a larger project in which I study the phenomenon
of "celebrity home-cammers" on the World Wide Web,
the most famous of whom is Jennifer Ringley of the Jennicam
( In order to explore the ideological function
of the Web celebrity further, I focus my analysis here on an "imagined"
Web site: a music video for singer/actress Jennifer
Lopez, who performs her top forty crossover dance single, "If You Had My
Love" through a "Jennicam" of her own. In a series
of cross-cutting identity moves, I see an analogy between the Lopez
video and the current globalization of the
telecommunications industry. I argue that In both cases, anxieties over
local production and consumption of media have been
obscured in digital realms by the power of transnational brand, and the
display of the self as icon.

3 Gendered Mediations of Global Culture: Cybercafe Youth Culture and the
Articulation of Identity

Moorthy, Sujatha, Old Dominion University, USA,

This paper examines cybercafés as sites where global and youth
identities are produced and permit participation in a
transnational youth culture. Through an examination of cybercafs in
India, I offer an analysis of the geographical space where
connections between the global and the local are forged transforming the
concept of the home and the world for Indian
gendered subjects.

Structured by gender and structuring gender roles these technospaces
permit metropolitan, elite youth to participate in a global
economy of information and consumption. Examining the economic
underpinnings of cybercafés and the discourses they enable,
I argue that they do not create a global identity in contradistinction
to the local culture instead they allow Indian youth to mediate
between these two cultures. Indians participating in the cybercafé are
not westernized by the use of the internet even though they
wear and consume all the markers of the West. Their communicative
practice articulates a space that is neither Indian nor
Western, but a depoliticized space of a transnational youth culture that
promotes a disinterested politics.

4 CyberInterventions by Thai Women

Enteen, Jillana, University of Central Florida, USA,

Since English has become the dominant language for international print,
spoken and computer-mediated communications
(CMC), some postcolonial and feminist considerations have suggested that
inequities of power may be imbedded in these
conversations, though there have been few studies investigating the
dynamics of these imbalances. Similarly, gender theories
complicate notions of sexual and gender identities, but universalized
assumptions of identity formation are often applied
uncritically to non-western cultures. This essay, located at the
intersections of gender, feminist and postcolonial theories, traces
the responses of Thai women to the western images of Thailand and Thai
people on the World Wide Web.

This paper examines the Bangkok-based World Wide Web site SiamWEB and
home pages by Thai expatriates involved with
SiamWEB such as those by Busakorn Suriyasarn and Areeya Chumsai. In
order to create multicultural understanding and to
dismantle the geographical limitations of community, SiamWEB and these
homepages challenge these proliferating stereotypes.
Although SiamWEB is dedicated to creating a "true Thai related on-line
community" by exploding these myths about Thai
women, the majority of individuals involved in community formation
beyond posting the initial web pages are western men who,
despite a wide range of intentions, most often sustain these same myths.
Thai women face this dominant discourse whenever
they post, and they implement a variety of strategies in response. These
responses and their effects are examined in detail in the
course of this essay.

5 Cyberfeminism in Action

Joshi, Aiko, Georgia State University, USA,

The Internet has transformed the lives of thousands on a global scale,
with email capabilities that connect people thousands of
miles apart in an instant. Through this medium of cyberspace community,
people who are physically apart because of distance
can meet via the Internet and almost instantly share ideas. Activist
groups and organizations are also taking advantage of
technology and turning cyberspace into "theatres of confrontation"
(Lovink, 1998). People are dependent on technology more
than ever, and it is imperative that feminists join cyberspace to
produce technology that will improve the lives of those on the
margins and disenfranchised. The use of cyberspace technology enables
women in grass-roots movements to effectively
disseminate information on a global scale. This not only provides
information to those in other countries, but it also spreads
awareness of ongoing development projects, actions being taken against
human rights abuses, new laws being implemented or
challenged, and a way for activists to network and share ideas and
engage in lively discourse.

Discussant: Hawthorne, Susan, Spinifex Press, Australia,


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