Journal articles: 'California Literacy Campaign' – Grafiati (2024)

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Author: Grafiati

Published: 4 June 2021

Last updated: 1 February 2022

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1

Squibb, Sara Davidson. "Be aware: Elevate your news evaluation: Emphasizing media literacy, one library’s initiative." College & Research Libraries News 78, no.10 (November3, 2017): 541. http://dx.doi.org/10.5860/crln.78.10.541.

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The following article outlines the University of California-Merced Library’s unfolding news evaluation campaign,1 shares our strategies, and reflects on our efforts. The impetus for this campaign came when a colleague shared Vanessa Otero’s News Quality Chart, a graphic that places news sources on X and Y axes, representing quality and partisan bias.2 Otero’s work, combined with increasing public concern and conversation about the legitimacy of news, propelled my colleagues and I to start discussing how we might emphasize media literacy, especially news evaluation. We started our discussion just prior to the spring semester, and we launched our campaign a few weeks later. Though this meant limited time for planning, we wanted to capitalize on this opportunity to promote information literacy by initiating and participating in a broader campus conversation about news evaluation.

2

Freedman, Carl. "Polemical Afterword: Some Brief Reflections on Arnold Schwarzenegger and on Science Fiction in Contemporary American Culture." PMLA/Publications of the Modern Language Association of America 119, no.3 (May 2004): 539–46. http://dx.doi.org/10.1632/003081204x20631.

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The 2003 Guber natorial recall campaign in California was a perfect political storm. The extraordinary result—the democratic removal of a sitting governor before his term expired (for the first time in California history and the second time in United States history) and his replacement by a bodybuilder turned movie star with not the slightest governmental experience—depended on the improbable conjuncture of several factors, each pretty odd in itself: the special severity with which the Bush recession hit the California economy, largely because of the latter's unusual dependence on high-tech corporations; the California power crisis engineered by Enron and other denizens of the Houston energy industry; the astonishing charmlessness of Governor Gray Davis, whose political career had been based not on attracting strong loyalty or admiration but on fund-raising, negative campaigning, and convincing core Democratic constituencies that he was marginally less repellant than Republican alternatives; the willingness of the multimillionaire United States congressman Daryl Issa to spend two million dollars of his own money to get the recall on the ballot in the first place; and, of course, the overwhelming star power of Arnold Schwarzenegger. One might suppose that the evident contingency of the whole matter precludes finding historical importance in it. It is after all possible, even likely, in what Guy Debord brilliantly analyzed as la société du spectacle, for an event to be sensational without being tremendously significant.

3

Tarr,G.Alan. "Civil Liberties Under State Constitutions." Political Science Teacher 1, no.4 (1988): 8–9. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s0896082800000362.

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Ask most political scientists about constitutional law, and they will tell you about the Federal Constitution and its interpretation by the U.S. Supreme Court. Examine a text on American constitutional law, and you will likely find the same tendency to equate constitutional law with the U.S. Constitution. Even the recent campaign for constitutional literacy during the Bicentennial of the Constitution altogether ignored the most obvious gap in Americans' constitutional knowledge—namely, the virtually total ignorance about state constitutions.This inattention to state constitutions and state constitutionalism is unfortunate, because state constitutions are assuming an increasing importance in American politics. They have served as the incubators for institutional innovations that are now receiving national attention. President Reagan's proposals for a balanced budget amendment and for an item veto both had their origins in state charters. Moreover, because most state constitutions can be amended relatively easily, they have provided an alternative avenue by which groups that are blocked in the legislative process can pursue political change. California's Proposition 13 is a case in point. Finally, state constitutions have furnished the basis for probably the most significant development in civil liberties law over the past two decades, namely, the rediscovery of state bills of rights as independent protections for civil liberties.

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While the term “visual literacy” has grown in popularity in the last 50 years, its meaning remains nebulous. It is described variously as: a vehicle for aesthetic appreciation, a means of defence against visual manipulation, a sorting mechanism for an increasingly data-saturated age, and a prerequisite to civic inclusion (Fransecky 23; Messaris 181; McTigue and Flowers 580). Scholars have written extensively about the first three subjects but there has been less research on how visual literacy frames civic life and how it might help the public as a tool to address disadvantage and assist in removing social and cultural barriers. This article examines a forerunner to visual literacy in the push to create an international symbol language born out of popular education movements, a project that fell short of its goals but still left a considerable impression on graphic media. This article, then, presents an analysis of visual literacy campaigns in the early postwar era. These campaigns did not attempt to invent a symbolic language but posited that images themselves served as a universal language in which students could receive training. Of particular interest is how the concept of visual literacy has been mobilised as a pedagogical tool in design, digital humanities and in broader civic education initiatives promoted by Third Space institutions. Behind the creation of new visual literacy curricula is the idea that images can help anchor a world community, supplementing textual communication. Figure 1: Visual Literacy Yearbook. Montebello Unified School District, USA, 1973. Shedding Light: Origins of the Visual Literacy Frame The term “visual literacy” came to the fore in the early 1970s on the heels of mass literacy campaigns. The educators, creatives and media theorists who first advocated for visual learning linked this aim to literacy, an unassailable goal, to promote a more radical curricular overhaul. They challenged a system that had hitherto only acknowledged a very limited pathway towards academic success; pushing “language and mathematics”, courses “referred to as solids (something substantial) as contrasted with liquids or gases (courses with little or no substance)” (Eisner 92). This was deemed “a parochial view of both human ability and the possibilities of education” that did not acknowledge multiple forms of intelligence (Gardner). This change not only integrated elements of mass culture that had been rejected in education, notably film and graphic arts, but also encouraged the critique of images as a form of good citizenship, assuming that visually literate arbiters could call out media misrepresentations and manipulative political advertising (Messaris, “Visual Test”). This movement was, in many ways, reactive to new forms of mass media that began to replace newspapers as key forms of civic participation. Unlike simple literacy (being able to decipher letters as a mnemonic system), visual literacy involves imputing meanings to images where meanings are less fixed, yet still with embedded cultural signifiers. Visual literacy promised to extend enlightenment metaphors of sight (as in the German Aufklärung) and illumination (as in the French Lumières) to help citizens understand an increasingly complex marketplace of images. The move towards visual literacy was not so much a shift towards images (and away from books and oration) but an affirmation of the need to critically investigate the visual sphere. It introduced doubt to previously upheld hierarchies of perception. Sight, to Kant the “noblest of the senses” (158), was no longer the sense “least affected” by the surrounding world but an input centre that was equally manipulable. In Kant’s view of societal development, the “cosmopolitan” held the key to pacifying bellicose states and ensuring global prosperity and tranquillity. The process of developing a cosmopolitan ideology rests, according to Kant, on the gradual elimination of war and “the education of young people in intellectual and moral culture” (188-89). Transforming disparate societies into “a universal cosmopolitan existence” that would “at last be realised as the matrix within which all the original capacities of the human race may develop” and would take well-funded educational institutions and, potentially, a new framework for imparting knowledge (Kant 51). To some, the world of the visual presented a baseline for shared experience. Figure 2: Exhibition by the Gesellschafts- und Wirtschaftsmuseum in Vienna, photograph c. 1927. An International Picture Language The quest to find a mutually intelligible language that could “bridge worlds” and solder together all of humankind goes back to the late nineteenth century and the Esperanto movement of Ludwig Zamenhof (Schor 59). The expression of this ideal in the world of the visual picked up steam in the interwar years with designers and editors like Fritz Kahn, Gerd Arntz, and Otto and Marie Neurath. Their work transposing complex ideas into graphic form has been rediscovered as an antecedent to modern infographics, but the symbols they deployed were not to merely explain, but also help education and build international fellowship unbounded by spoken language. The Neuraths in particular are celebrated for their international picture language or Isotypes. These pictograms (sometimes viewed as proto-emojis) can be used to represent data without text. Taken together they are an “intemporal, hieroglyphic language” that Neutrath hoped would unite working-class people the world over (Lee 159). The Neuraths’ work was done in the explicit service of visual education with a popular socialist agenda and incubated in the social sphere of Red Vienna at the Gesellschafts- und Wirtschaftsmuseum (Social and Economic Museum) where Otto served as Director. The Wirtschaftsmuseum was an experiment in popular education, with multiple branches and late opening hours to accommodate the “the working man [who] has time to see a museum only at night” (Neurath 72-73). The Isotype contained universalist aspirations for the “making of a world language, or a helping picture language—[that] will give support to international developments generally” and “educate by the eye” (Neurath 13). Figure 3: Gerd Arntz Isotype Images. (Source: University of Reading.) The Isotype was widely adopted in the postwar era in pre-packaged sets of symbols used in graphic design and wayfinding systems for buildings and transportation networks, but with the socialism of the Neuraths’ peeled away, leaving only the system of logos that we are familiar with from airport washrooms, charts, and public transport maps. Much of the uptake in this symbol language could be traced to increased mobility and tourism, particularly in countries that did not make use of a Roman alphabet. The 1964 Olympics in Tokyo helped pave the way when organisers, fearful of jumbling too many scripts together, opted instead for black and white icons to represent the program of sports that summer. The new focus on the visual was both technologically mediated—cheaper printing and broadcast technologies made the diffusion of image increasingly possible—but also ideologically supported by a growing emphasis on projects that transcended linguistic, ethnic, and national borders. The Olympic symbols gradually morphed into Letraset icons, and, later, symbols in the Unicode Standard, which are the basis for today’s emojis. Wordless signs helped facilitate interconnectedness, but only in the most literal sense; their application was limited primarily to sports mega-events, highway maps, and “brand building”, and they never fulfilled their role as an educational language “to give the different nations a common outlook” (Neurath 18). Universally understood icons, particularly in the form of emojis, point to a rise in visual communication but they have fallen short as a cosmopolitan project, supporting neither the globalisation of Kantian ethics nor the transnational socialism of the Neuraths. Figure 4: Symbols in use. Women's bathroom. 1964 Tokyo Olympics. (Source: The official report of the Organizing Committee.) Counter Education By mid-century, the optimism of a universal symbol language seemed dated, and focus shifted from distillation to discernment. New educational programs presented ways to study images, increasingly reproducible with new technologies, as a language in and of themselves. These methods had their roots in the fin-de-siècle educational reforms of John Dewey, Helen Parkhurst, and Maria Montessori. As early as the 1920s, progressive educators were using highly visual magazines, like National Geographic, as the basis for lesson planning, with the hopes that they would “expose students to edifying and culturally enriching reading” and “develop a more catholic taste or sensibility, representing an important cosmopolitan value” (Hawkins 45). The rise in imagery from previously inaccessible regions helped pupils to see themselves in relation to the larger world (although this connection always came with the presumed superiority of the reader). “Pictorial education in public schools” taught readers—through images—to accept a broader world but, too often, they saw photographs as a “straightforward transcription of the real world” (Hawkins 57). The images of cultures and events presented in Life and National Geographic for the purposes of education and enrichment were now the subject of greater analysis in the classroom, not just as “windows into new worlds” but as cultural products in and of themselves. The emerging visual curriculum aimed to do more than just teach with previously excluded modes (photography, film and comics); it would investigate how images presented and mediated the world. This gained wider appeal with new analytical writing on film, like Raymond Spottiswoode's Grammar of the Film (1950) which sought to formulate the grammatical rules of visual communication (Messaris 181), influenced by semiotics and structural linguistics; the emphasis on grammar can also be seen in far earlier writings on design systems such as Owen Jones’s 1856 The Grammar of Ornament, which also advocated for new, universalising methods in design education (Sloboda 228). The inventorying impulse is on display in books like Donis A. Dondis’s A Primer of Visual Literacy (1973), a text that meditates on visual perception but also functions as an introduction to line and form in the applied arts, picking up where the Bauhaus left off. Dondis enumerates the “syntactical guidelines” of the applied arts with illustrations that are in keeping with 1920s books by Kandinsky and Klee and analyse pictorial elements. However, at the end of the book she shifts focus with two chapters that examine “messaging” and visual literacy explicitly. Dondis predicts that “an intellectual, trained ability to make and understand visual messages is becoming a vital necessity to involvement with communication. It is quite likely that visual literacy will be one of the fundamental measures of education in the last third of our century” (33) and she presses for more programs that incorporate the exploration and analysis of images in tertiary education. Figure 5: Ideal spatial environment for the Blueprint charts, 1970. (Image: Inventory Press.) Visual literacy in education arrived in earnest with a wave of publications in the mid-1970s. They offered ways for students to understand media processes and for teachers to use visual culture as an entry point into complex social and scientific subject matter, tapping into the “visual consciousness of the ‘television generation’” (Fransecky 5). Visual culture was often seen as inherently democratising, a break from stuffiness, the “artificialities of civilisation”, and the “archaic structures” that set sensorial perception apart from scholarship (Dworkin 131-132). Many radical university projects and community education initiatives of the 1960s made use of new media in novel ways: from Maurice Stein and Larry Miller’s fold-out posters accompanying Blueprint for Counter Education (1970) to Emory Douglas’s graphics for The Black Panther newspaper. Blueprint’s text- and image-dense wall charts were made via assemblage and they were imagined less as charts and more as a “matrix of resources” that could be used—and added to—by youth to undertake their own counter education (Cronin 53). These experiments in visual learning helped to break down old hierarchies in education, but their aim was influenced more by countercultural notions of disruption than the universal ideals of cosmopolitanism. From Image as Text to City as Text For a brief period in the 1970s, thinkers like Marshall McLuhan (McLuhan et al., Massage) and artists like Bruno Munari (Tanchis and Munari) collaborated fruitfully with graphic designers to create books that mixed text and image in novel ways. Using new compositional methods, they broke apart traditional printing lock-ups to superimpose photographs, twist text, and bend narrative frames. The most famous work from this era is, undoubtedly, The Medium Is the Massage (1967), McLuhan’s team-up with graphic designer Quentin Fiore, but it was followed by dozens of other books intended to communicate theory and scientific ideas with popularising graphics. Following in the footsteps of McLuhan, many of these texts sought not just to explain an issue but to self-consciously reference their own method of information delivery. These works set the precedent for visual aids (and, to a lesser extent, audio) that launched a diverse, non-hierarchical discourse that was nonetheless bound to tactile artefacts. In 1977, McLuhan helped develop a media textbook for secondary school students called City as Classroom: Understanding Language and Media. It is notable for its direct address style and its focus on investigating spaces outside of the classroom (provocatively, a section on the third page begins with “Should all schools be closed?”). The book follows with a fine-grained analysis of advertising forms in which students are asked to first bring advertisem*nts into class for analysis and later to go out into the city to explore “a man-made environment, a huge warehouse of information, a vast resource to be mined free of charge” (McLuhan et al., City 149). As a document City as Classroom is critical of existing teaching methods, in line with the radical “in the streets” pedagogy of its day. McLuhan’s theories proved particularly salient for the counter education movement, in part because they tapped into a healthy scepticism of advertisers and other image-makers. They also dovetailed with growing discontent with the ad-strew visual environment of cities in the 1970s. Budgets for advertising had mushroomed in the1960s and outdoor advertising “cluttered” cities with billboards and neon, generating “fierce intensities and new hybrid energies” that threatened to throw off the visual equilibrium (McLuhan 74). Visual literacy curricula brought in experiential learning focussed on the legibility of the cities, mapping, and the visualisation of urban issues with social justice implications. The Detroit Geographical Expedition and Institute (DGEI), a “collective endeavour of community research and education” that arose in the aftermath of the 1967 uprisings, is the most storied of the groups that suffused the collection of spatial data with community engagement and organising (Warren et al. 61). The following decades would see a tamed approach to visual literacy that, while still pressing for critical reading, did not upend traditional methods of educational delivery. Figure 6: Beginning a College Program-Assisting Teachers to Develop Visual Literacy Approaches in Public School Classrooms. 1977. ERIC. Searching for Civic Education The visual literacy initiatives formed in the early 1970s both affirmed existing civil society institutions while also asserting the need to better inform the public. Most of the campaigns were sponsored by universities, major libraries, and international groups such as UNESCO, which published its “Declaration on Media Education” in 1982. They noted that “participation” was “essential to the working of a pluralistic and representative democracy” and the “public—users, citizens, individuals, groups ... were too systematically overlooked”. Here, the public is conceived as both “targets of the information and communication process” and users who “should have the last word”. To that end their “continuing education” should be ensured (Study 18). Programs consisted primarily of cognitive “see-scan-analyse” techniques (Little et al.) for younger students but some also sought to bring visual analysis to adult learners via continuing education (often through museums eager to engage more diverse audiences) and more radical popular education programs sponsored by community groups. By the mid-80s, scores of modules had been built around the comprehension of visual media and had become standard educational fare across North America, Australasia, and to a lesser extent, Europe. There was an increasing awareness of the role of data and image presentation in decision-making, as evidenced by the surprising commercial success of Edward Tufte’s 1982 book, The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. Visual literacy—or at least image analysis—was now enmeshed in teaching practice and needed little active advocacy. Scholarly interest in the subject went into a brief period of hibernation in the 1980s and early 1990s, only to be reborn with the arrival of new media distribution technologies (CD-ROMs and then the internet) in classrooms and the widespread availability of digital imaging technology starting in the late 1990s; companies like Adobe distributed free and reduced-fee licences to schools and launched extensive teacher training programs. Visual literacy was reanimated but primarily within a circ*mscribed academic field of education and data visualisation. Figure 7: Visual Literacy; What Research Says to the Teacher, 1975. National Education Association. USA. Part of the shifting frame of visual literacy has to do with institutional imperatives, particularly in places where austerity measures forced strange alliances between disciplines. What had been a project in alternative education morphed into an uncontested part of the curriculum and a dependable budget line. This shift was already forecasted in 1972 by Harun Farocki who, writing in Filmkritik, noted that funding for new film schools would be difficult to obtain but money might be found for “training in media education … a discipline that could persuade ministers of education, that would at the same time turn the budget restrictions into an advantage, and that would match the functions of art schools” (98). Nearly 50 years later educators are still using media education (rebranded as visual or media literacy) to make the case for fine arts and humanities education. While earlier iterations of visual literacy education were often too reliant on the idea of cracking the “code” of images, they did promote ways of learning that were a deep departure from the rote methods of previous generations. Next-gen curricula frame visual literacy as largely supplemental—a resource, but not a program. By the end of the 20th century, visual literacy had changed from a scholarly interest to a standard resource in the “teacher’s toolkit”, entering into school programs and influencing museum education, corporate training, and the development of public-oriented media (Literacy). An appreciation of image culture was seen as key to creating empathetic global citizens, but its scope was increasingly limited. With rising austerity in the education sector (a shift that preceded the 2008 recession by decades in some countries), art educators, museum enrichment staff, and design researchers need to make a case for why their disciplines were relevant in pedagogical models that are increasingly aimed at “skills-based” and “job ready” teaching. Arts educators worked hard to insert their fields into learning goals for secondary students as visual literacy, with the hope that “literacy” would carry the weight of an educational imperative and not a supplementary field of study. Conclusion For nearly a century, educational initiatives have sought to inculcate a cosmopolitan perspective with a variety of teaching materials and pedagogical reference points. Symbolic languages, like the Isotype, looked to unite disparate people with shared visual forms; while educational initiatives aimed to train the eyes of students to make them more discerning citizens. The term ‘visual literacy’ emerged in the 1960s and has since been deployed in programs with a wide variety of goals. Countercultural initiatives saw it as a prerequisite for popular education from the ground up, but, in the years since, it has been formalised and brought into more staid curricula, often as a sort of shorthand for learning from media and pictures. The grand cosmopolitan vision of a complete ‘visual language’ has been scaled back considerably, but still exists in trace amounts. Processes of globalisation require images to universalise experiences, commodities, and more for people without shared languages. Emoji alphabets and globalese (brands and consumer messaging that are “visual-linguistic” amalgams “increasingly detached from any specific ethnolinguistic group or locality”) are a testament to a mediatised banal cosmopolitanism (Jaworski 231). In this sense, becoming “fluent” in global design vernacular means familiarity with firms and products, an understanding that is aesthetic, not critical. It is very much the beneficiaries of globalisation—both state and commercial actors—who have been able to harness increasingly image-based technologies for their benefit. To take a humorous but nonetheless consequential example, Spanish culinary boosters were able to successfully lobby for a paella emoji (Miller) rather than having a food symbol from a less wealthy country such as a Senegalese jollof or a Morrocan tagine. This trend has gone even further as new forms of visual communication are increasingly streamlined and managed by for-profit media platforms. The ubiquity of these forms of communication and their global reach has made visual literacy more important than ever but it has also fundamentally shifted the endeavour from a graphic sorting practice to a critical piece of social infrastructure that has tremendous political ramifications. Visual literacy campaigns hold out the promise of educating students in an image-based system with the potential to transcend linguistic and cultural boundaries. This cosmopolitan political project has not yet been realised, as the visual literacy frame has drifted into specialised silos of art, design, and digital humanities education. It can help bridge the “incomplete connections” of an increasingly globalised world (Calhoun 112), but it does not have a program in and of itself. Rather, an evolving visual literacy curriculum might be seen as a litmus test for how we imagine the role of images in the world. References Brown, Neil. “The Myth of Visual Literacy.” Australian Art Education 13.2 (1989): 28-32. Calhoun, Craig. “Cosmopolitanism in the Modern Social Imaginary.” Daedalus 137.3 (2008): 105–114. Cronin, Paul. “Recovering and Rendering Vital Blueprint for Counter Education at the California Institute for the Arts.” Blueprint for Counter Education. Inventory Press, 2016. 36-58. Dondis, Donis A. A Primer of Visual Literacy. MIT P, 1973. Dworkin, M.S. “Toward an Image Curriculum: Some Questions and Cautions.” Journal of Aesthetic Education 4.2 (1970): 129–132. Eisner, Elliot. Cognition and Curriculum: A Basis for Deciding What to Teach. Longmans, 1982. Farocki, Harun. “Film Courses in Art Schools.” Trans. Ted Fendt. Grey Room 79 (Apr. 2020): 96–99. Fransecky, Roger B. Visual Literacy: A Way to Learn—A Way to Teach. Association for Educational Communications and Technology, 1972. Gardner, Howard. Frames Of Mind. Basic Books, 1983. Hawkins, Stephanie L. “Training the ‘I’ to See: Progressive Education, Visual Literacy, and National Geographic Membership.” American Iconographic. U of Virginia P, 2010. 28–61. Jaworski, Adam. “Globalese: A New Visual-Linguistic Register.” Social Semiotics 25.2 (2015): 217-35. Kant, Immanuel. Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View. Cambridge UP, 2006. Kant, Immanuel. “Perpetual Peace.” Political Writings. Ed. H. Reiss. Cambridge UP, 1991 [1795]. 116–130. Kress, G., and T. van Leeuwen. Reading images: The Grammar of Visual Design. Routledge, 1996. Literacy Teaching Toolkit: Visual Literacy. Department of Education and Training (DET), State of Victoria. 29 Aug. 2018. 30 Sep. 2020 <https://www.education.vic.gov.au:443/school/teachers/teachingresources/discipline/english/literacy/ readingviewing/Pages/litfocusvisual.aspx>. Lee, Jae Young. “Otto Neurath's Isotype and the Rhetoric of Neutrality.” Visible Language 42.2: 159-180. Little, D., et al. Looking and Learning: Visual Literacy across the Disciplines. Wiley, 2015. Messaris, Paul. “Visual Literacy vs. Visual Manipulation.” Critical Studies in Mass Communication 11.2: 181-203. DOI: 10.1080/15295039409366894 ———. “A Visual Test for Visual ‘Literacy.’” The Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association. 31 Oct. to 3 Nov. 1991. Atlanta, GA. <https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED347604.pdf>. McLuhan, Marshall. Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. McGraw-Hill, 1964. McLuhan, Marshall, Quentin Fiore, and Jerome Agel. The Medium Is the Massage, Bantam Books, 1967. McLuhan, Marshall, Kathryn Hutchon, and Eric McLuhan. City as Classroom: Understanding Language and Media. Agincourt, Ontario: Book Society of Canada, 1977. McTigue, Erin, and Amanda Flowers. “Science Visual Literacy: Learners' Perceptions and Knowledge of Diagrams.” Reading Teacher 64.8: 578-89. Miller, Sarah. “The Secret History of the Paella Emoji.” Food & Wine, 20 June 2017. <https://www.foodandwine.com/news/true-story-paella-emoji>. Munari, Bruno. Square, Circle, Triangle. Princeton Architectural Press, 2016. Newfield, Denise. “From Visual Literacy to Critical Visual Literacy: An Analysis of Educational Materials.” English Teaching-Practice and Critique 10 (2011): 81-94. Neurath, Otto. International Picture Language: The First Rules of Isotype. K. Paul, Trench, Trubner, 1936. Schor, Esther. Bridge of Words: Esperanto and the Dream of a Universal Language. Henry Holt and Company, 2016. Sloboda, Stacey. “‘The Grammar of Ornament’: Cosmopolitanism and Reform in British Design.” Journal of Design History 21.3 (2008): 223-36. Study of Communication Problems: Implementation of Resolutions 4/19 and 4/20 Adopted by the General Conference at Its Twenty-First Session; Report by the Director-General. UNESCO, 1983. Tanchis, Aldo, and Bruno Munari. Bruno Munari: Design as Art. MIT P, 1987. Warren, Gwendolyn, Cindi Katz, and Nik Heynen. “Myths, Cults, Memories, and Revisions in Radical Geographic History: Revisiting the Detroit Geographical Expedition and Institute.” Spatial Histories of Radical Geography: North America and Beyond. Wiley, 2019. 59-86.

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Murphy, Ffion, and Richard Nile. "Writing, Remembering and Embodiment: Australian Literary Responses to the First World War." M/C Journal 15, no.4 (August14, 2012). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.526.

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This paper is part of a larger project exploring Australian literary responses to the Great War of 1914-1918. It draws on theories of embodiment, mourning, ritual and the recuperative potential of writing, together with a brief discussion of selected exemplars, to suggest that literary works of the period contain and lay bare a suite of creative, corporeal and social impulses, including resurrection, placation or stilling of ghosts, and formation of an empathic and duty-bound community. In Negotiating with the Dead, Margaret Atwood hypothesises that “all writing of the narrative kind, and perhaps all writing, is motivated, deep down, by a fear of and a fascination with mortality—by a desire to make the risky trip to the Underworld, and to bring something or someone back from the dead” (156). She asks an attendant question: “why should it be writing, over and above any other art or medium,” that functions this way? It is not only that writing acquires the appearance of permanence, by surviving “its own performance,” but also that some arts are transient, like dance, while others, like painting and sculpture and music, do “not survive as voice.” For Atwood, writing is a “score for voice,” and what the voice does mostly is tell stories, whether in prose or poetry: “Something unfurls, something reveals itself” (158). Writing, by this view, conjures, materialises or embodies the absent or dead, or is at least laden with this potential. Of course, as Katherine Sutherland observes, “representation is always the purview of the living, even when the order it constructs contains the dead” (202). She argues that all writing about death “might be regarded as epitaph or memorial; such writing is likely to contain the signs of ritual but also of ambiguity and forgetting” (204). Arguably writing can be regarded as participation in a ritual that “affirms membership of the collectivity, and through symbolic manipulation places the life of an individual within a much broader, sometimes cosmic, interpretive framework” (Seale 29), which may assist healing in relation to loss, even if some non-therapeutic purposes, such as restoration of social and political order, also lie behind both rites and writing. In a critical orthodoxy dating back to the 1920s, it has become accepted wisdom that the Australian literary response to the war was essentially nationalistic, “big-noting” ephemera, and thus of little worth (see Gerster and Caesar, for example). Consequently, as Bruce Clunies Ross points out, most Australian literary output of the period has “dropped into oblivion.” In his view, neglect of writings by First World War combatants is not due to its quality, “for this is not the only, or even the essential, condition” for consideration; rather, it is attributable to a “disjunction between the ideals enshrined in the Anzac legend and the experiences recorded or depicted” (170). The silence, we argue, also encompasses literary responses by non-combatants, many of whom were women, though limited space precludes consideration here of their particular contributions.Although poetry and fiction by those of middling or little literary reputation is not normally subject to critical scrutiny, it is patently not the case that there is no body of literature from the war period worthy of scholarly consideration, or that most works are merely patriotic, jingoistic, sentimental and in service of recruitment, even though these elements are certainly present. Our different proposition is that the “lost literatures” deserve attention for various reasons, including the ways they embody conflicting aims and emotions, as well as overt negotiations with the dead, during a period of unprecedented anguish. This is borne out by our substantial collection of creative writing provoked by the war, much of which was published by newspapers, magazines and journals. As Joy Damousi points out in The Labour of Loss, newspapers were the primary form of communication during the war, and never before or since have they dominated to such a degree; readers formed collective support groups through shared reading and actual or anticipated mourning, and some women commiserated with each other in person and in letters after reading casualty lists and death notices (21). The war produced the largest body count in the history of humanity to that time, including 60,000 Australians: none was returned to Australia for burial. They were placed in makeshift graves close to where they died, where possible marked by wooden crosses. At the end of the war, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) was charged with the responsibility of exhuming and reinterring bodily remains in immaculately curated cemeteries across Europe, at Gallipoli and in the Middle East, as if the peace demanded it. As many as one third of the customary headstones were inscribed with “known unto God,” the euphemism for bodies that could not be identified. The CWGC received numerous requests from families for the crosses, which might embody their loved one and link his sacrificial death with resurrection and immortality. For allegedly logistical reasons, however, all crosses were destroyed on site. Benedict Anderson suggested the importance to nationalism of the print media, which enables private reading of ephemera to generate a sense of communion with thousands or millions of anonymous people understood to be doing likewise. Furthermore, Judith Herman demonstrates in Trauma and Recovery that sharing traumatic experience with others is a “precondition for the restitution of a sense of a meaningful world” (70). Need of community and restitution extends to the dead. The practices of burying the dead together and of returning the dead to their homeland when they die abroad speak to this need, for “in establishing a society of the dead, the society of the living regularly recreates itself” (Hertz qtd. in Searle 66). For Australians, the society of the dead existed elsewhere, in unfamiliar terrain, accentuating the absence inherent in all death. The society of the dead and missing—and thus of the living and wounded—was created and recreated throughout the war via available means, including literature. Writers of war-related poems and fiction helped create and sustain imagined communities. Dominant use of conventional, sometimes archaic, literary forms, devices, language and imagery indicates desire for broadly accessible and purposeful communication; much writing invokes shared grief, resolve, gratitude, and sympathy. Yet, in many stories and poems, there is also ambivalence in relation to sacrifice and the community of the dead.Speaking in the voice of the other is a fundamental task of the creative writer, and the ultimate other, the dead, gaze upon and speak to or about the living in a number of poems. For example, they might vocalise displeasure and plead for reinforcements, as, for example, in Ella M’Fadyen’s poem “The Wardens,” published in the Sydney Mail in 1918, which includes the lines: “Can’t you hear them calling in the night-time’s lonely spaces […] Can’t you see them passing […] Those that strove full strongly, and have laid their lives away?” The speaker hears and conveys the pleading of those who have given their breath in order to make explicit the reader’s responsibility to both the dead and the Allied cause: “‘Thus and thus we battled, we were faithful in endeavour;/Still it lies unfinished—will ye make the deed in vain?’” M’Fadyen focusses on soldierly sacrifice and “drafts that never came,” whereas a poem entitled “Your Country’s Call,” published in the same paper in 1915 by “An Australian Mother, Shirley, Queensland,” refers to maternal sacrifice and the joys and difficulties of birthing and raising her son only to find the country’s claims on him outweigh her own. She grapples with patriotism and resistance: “he must go/forth./Where? Why? Don’t think. Just smother/up the pain./Give him up quickly, for his country’s gain.” The War Precautions Act of October 1914 made it “illegal to publish any material likely to discourage recruiting or undermine the Allied effort” (Damousi 21), which undoubtedly meant that, to achieve publication, critical, depressing or negative views would need to be repressed or cast as inducement to enlist, though evidently many writers also sought to convince themselves as well as others that the cause was noble and the cost redeemable. “Your Country’s Call” concludes uncertainly, “Give him up proudly./You have done your share./There may be recompense—somewhere.”Sociologist Clive Seal argues that “social and cultural life involves turning away from the inevitability of death, which is contained in the fact of our embodiment, and towards life” (1). He contends that “grief for embodiment” is pervasive and perpetual and “extends beyond the obvious manifestations of loss by the dying and bereaved, to incorporate the rituals of everyday interaction” (200), and he goes so far as to suggest that if we recognise that our bodies “give to us both our lives and our deaths” then we can understand that “social and cultural life can, in the last analysis, be understood as a human construction in the face of death” (210). To deal with the grief that comes with “realisation of embodiment,” Searle finds that we engage in various “resurrective practices designed to transform an orientation towards death into one that points towards life” (8). He includes narrative reconstruction as well as funeral lament and everyday conversation as rituals associated with maintenance of the social bond, which is “the most crucial human motive” (Scheff qtd. in Searle 30). Although Seale does not discuss the acts of writing or of reading specifically, his argument can be extended, we believe, to include both as important resurrective practices that contain desire for self-repair and reorientation as well as for inclusion in and creation of an empathic moral community, though this does not imply that such desires can ever be satisfied. In “Reading,” Virginia Woolf reminds that “somewhere, everywhere, now hidden, now apparent in whatever is written down is the form of a human being” (28-29), but her very reminder assumes that this knowledge of embodiment tends to be forgotten or repressed. Writing, by its aura of permanence and resurrective potential, points towards life and connection, even as it signifies absence and disconnection. Christian Riegel explains that the “literary work of mourning,” whether poetry, fiction or nonfiction, often has both a psychic and social function, “partaking of the processes of mourning while simultaneously being a product for public reception.” Such a text is indicative of ways that societies shape and control responses to death, making it “an inherently socio-historical construct” (xviii). Jacques Derrida’s passionate and uneasy enactment of this labour in The Work of Mourning suggests that writing often responds to the death of a known person or their oeuvre, where each death changes and reduces the world, so that the world as one knew it “sinks into an abyss” (115). Of course, writing also wrestles with anonymous, large-scale loss which is similarly capable of shattering our sense of “ontological security” (Riegel xx). Sandra Gilbert proposes that some traumatic events cause “death’s door” to swing “so publicly and dramatically open that we can’t look away” (xxii). Derrida’s work of mourning entails imaginative revival of those he has lost and is a struggle with representation and fidelity, whereas critical silence in respect of the body of literature of the First World War might imply repeated turning from “grief for embodiment” towards myths of immortality and indebtedness. Commemorating the war dead might be regarded as a resurrective practice that forges and fortifies communities of the living, while addressing the imagined demands of those who die for their nation.Riegel observes that in its multiplicity of motivations and functions, the literary work of mourning is always “an attempt to make present that which is irrefutably lost, and within that paradoxical tension lies a central tenet of all writerly endeavour that deals with the representation of death” (xix). The literary work of mourning must remain incomplete: it is “always a limiting attempt at revival and at representation,” because words inevitably “fail to replace a lost one.” Even so, they can assist in the attempt to “work through and understand” loss (xix). But the reader or mourner is caught in a strange situation, for he or she inevitably scrutinises words not the body, a corpus not a corpse, and while this is a form of evasion it is also the only possibility open to us. Even so, Derrida might say that it is “as if, by reading, by observing the signs on the drawn sheet of paper, [readers are] trying to forget, repress, deny, or conjure away death—and the anxiety before death.” But he also concedes (after Sarah Kofman), that this process might involve “a cunning affirmation of life, its irrepressible movement to survive, to live on” (176), which supports Seale’s contention in relation to resurrective practices generally. Atwood points out that the dead have always made demands on the living, but, because there is a risk in negotiating with the dead, there needs to be good reason or reward for doing so. Our reading of war literature written by noncombatants suggests that in many instances writers seek to appease the unsettled dead whose death was meant to mean something for the future: the living owe the dead a debt that can only be paid by changing the way they live. The living, in other words, must not only remember the fallen, but also heed them by their conduct. It becomes the poet’s task to remind people of this, that is, to turn them from death towards life.Arthur H Adams’s 1918 poem “When the Anzac Dead Came Home,” published in the Bulletin, is based on this premise: the souls of the dead— the “failed” and “fallen”—drift uncertainly over their homeland, observing the world to which they cannot return, with its “cheerful throng,” “fair women swathed in fripperies,” and “sweet girls” that cling “round windows like bees on honeycomb.” One soul recognises a soldier, Steve, from his former battalion, a mate who kept his life but lost his arm and, after hovering for a while, again “wafts far”; his homecoming creates a “strange” stabbing pain, an ache in his pal’s “old scar.” In this uncanny scene, irreconcilable and traumatic knowledge expresses itself somatically. The poet conveys the viewpoint of the dead Anzac rather than the returned one. The living soldier, whose body is a site of partial loss, does not explicitly conjure or mourn his dead friend but, rather, is a living extension of his loss. In fact, the empathic connection construed by the poet is not figured as spectral orchestration or as mindful on the part of man or community; rather, it occurs despite bodily death or everyday living and forgetting; it persists as hysterical pain or embodied knowledge. Freud and Breuer’s influential Studies on Hysteria, published in 1895, raised the issue of mind/body relations, given its theory that the hysteric’s body expresses psychic trauma that she or he may not recollect: repressed “memories of aetiological significance” result in “morbid symptoms” (56). They posited that experience leaves traces which, like disinterred archaeological artefacts, inform on the past (57). However, such a theory depends on what Rousseau and Porter refer to as an “almost mystical collaboration between mind and body” (vii), wherein painful or perverse or unspeakable “reminiscences” are converted into symptoms, or “mnemic symbols,” which is to envisage the body as penetrable text. But how can memory return unbidden and in such effective disguise that the conscious mind does not recognise it as memory? How can the body express pain without one remembering or acknowledging its origin? Do these kinds of questions suggest that the Cartesian mind/body split has continued valency despite the challenge that hysteria itself presents to such a theory? Is it possible, rather, that the body itself remembers—and not just its own replete form, as suggested by those who feel the presence of a limb after its removal—but the suffering body of “the other”? In Adam’s poem, as in M’Fadyen’s, intersubjective knowledge subsists between embodied and disembodied subjects, creating an imagined community of sensation.Adams’s poem envisions mourning as embodied knowledge that allows one man to experience another’s pain—or soul—as both “old” and “strange” in the midst of living. He suggests that the dead gaze at us even as they are present “in us” (Derrida). Derrida reminds that ghosts occupy an ambiguous space, “neither life nor death, but the haunting of the one by the other” (41). Human mutability, the possibility of exchanging places in a kind of Socratic cycle of life and death, is posited by Adams, whose next stanzas depict the souls of the war dead reclaiming Australia and displacing the thankless living: blown to land, they murmur to each other, “’Tis we who are the living: this continent is dead.” A significant imputation is that the dead must be reckoned with, deserve better, and will not rest unless the living pay their moral dues. The disillusioned tone and intent of this 1918 poem contrasts with a poem Adams published in the Bulletin in 1915 entitled “The Trojan War,” which suggests even “Great Agamemnon” would “lift his hand” to honour “plain Private Bill,” the heroic, fallen Anzac who ventured forth to save “Some Mother-Helen sad at home. Some obscure Helen on a farm.” The act of war is envisaged as an act of birthing the nation, anticipating the Anzac legend, but simultaneously as its epitaph: “Upon the ancient Dardanelles New peoples write—in blood—their name.” Such a poem arguably invokes, though in ambiguous form, what Derrida (after Lyotard) refers to as the “beautiful death,” which is an attempt to lift death up, make it meaningful, and thereby foreclose or limit mourning, so that what threatens disorder and despair might instead reassure and restore “the body politic,” providing “explicit models of virtue” (Nass 82-83) that guarantee its defence and survival. Adams’ later poem, in constructing Steve as “a living fellow-ghost” of the dead Anzac, casts stern judgement on the society that fails to notice what has been lost even as it profits by it. Ideological and propagandist language is also denounced: “Big word-warriors still played the Party game;/They nobly planned campaigns of words, and deemed/their speeches deeds,/And fought fierce offensives for strange old creeds.” This complaint recalls Ezra Pound’s lines in Hugh Selwyn Mauberley about the dead who “walked eye-deep in hell/believing in old men’s lies, then unbelieving/came home, home to a lie/home to many deceits,/home to old lies and new infamy;/usury age-old and age-thick/and liars in public places,” and it would seem that this is the kind of disillusion and bitterness that Clunies Ross considers to be “incompatible with the Anzac tradition” (178) and thus ignored. The Anzac tradition, though quieted for a time, possibly due to the 1930s Depression, Second World War, Vietnam War and other disabling events has, since the 1980s, been greatly revived, with Anzac Day commemorations in Australia and at Gallipoli growing exponentially, possibly making maintenance of this sacrificial national mythology, or beautiful death, among Australia’s most capacious and costly creative industries. As we approach the centenary of the war and of Gallipoli, this industry will only increase.Elaine Scarry proposes that the imagination invents mechanisms for “transforming the condition of absence into presence” (163). It does not escape us that in turning towards lost literatures we are ourselves engaging in a form of resurrective practice and that this paper, like other forms of social and cultural practice, might be understood as one more human construction motivated by grief for embodiment.Note: An archive and annotated bibliography of the “Lost Literatures of the First World War,” which comprises over 2,000 items, is expected to be published online in 2015.References Adams, Arthur H. “When the Anzac Dead Came Home.” Bulletin 21 Mar. 1918.---. “The Trojan War.” Bulletin 20 May 1915.An Australian Mother. “Your Country’s Call.” Sydney Mail 19 May 1915.Anderson, Benedict. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. 2nd ed. London: Verso, 1991.Atwood, Margaret. Negotiating with the Dead: A Writer on Writing. New York: Random House, 2002.Caesar, Adrian. “National Myths of Manhood: Anzac and Others.” The Oxford Literary History of Australia. Eds. Bruce Bennett and Jennifer Strauss. Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1998. 147-168.Clunies Ross, Bruce. “Silent Heroes.” War: Australia’s Creative Response. Eds. Anna Rutherford and James Wieland. West Yorkshire: Dangaroo Press, 1997. 169-181.Damousi, Joy. The Labour of Loss: Mourning, Memory and Wartime Bereavement in Australia. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1999.Derrida, Jacques. The Work of Mourning. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001.Freud, Sigmund, and Joseph Breuer. Studies on Hysteria. Pelican Freud Library. Vol. 3. Trans. and eds. James Strachey, Alix Strachey, and Angela Richards. London: Penguin, 1988.Gerster, Robin. Big Noting: The Heroic Theme in Australian War Writing. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1992.Gilbert, Sandra M. Death’s Door: Modern Dying and the Ways We Grieve. New York: W.W. Norton, 2006.Herman, Judith. Trauma and Recovery. New York: Basic Books, 1992. M’Fayden, Ella. “The Wardens.” Sydney Mail 17 Apr. 1918.Naas, Michael. “History’s Remains: Of Memory, Mourning, and the Event.” Research in Phenomenology 33 (2003): 76-96.Pound, Ezra. “Hugh Selwyn Mauberly.” iv. 1920. 19 June 2012. ‹http://www.archive.org/stream/hughselwynmauber00pounrich/hughselwynmauber00pounrich_djvu.txt›.Riegal, Christian, ed. Response to Death: The Literary Work of Mourning. Edmonton, Alberta: University of Alberta Press, 2005. Rousseau, G.S., and Roy Porter. “Introduction: The Destinies of Hysteria.” Hysteria beyond Freud. Ed. Sander L. Gilman, Helen King, Roy Porter, G.S. Rousseau, and Elaine Showalter. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993.Scarry, Elaine. The Body in Pain: The Making and Unmaking of the World. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985.Seale, Clive. Constructing Death: The Sociology of Dying and Bereavement. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998.Sutherland, Katherine. “Land of Their Graves: Maternity, Mourning and Nation in Janet Frame, Sara Suleri, and Arundhati Roy.” Riegel 201-16.Woolf, Virginia. Collected Essays Volume 2. London: Hogarth, 1966. 28-29.

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Pendleton, Mark, and Tanya Serisier. "Some Gays and the Queers." M/C Journal 15, no.6 (September25, 2012). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.569.

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Abstract:

Introduction Gore Vidal, the famous writer and literary critic, was recently buried next to his long-term partner, Howard Austen. The couple, who met in the 1950s, had lived together happily for decades. They were in many ways the kind of same-sex couple frequently valorised in contemporary gay marriage campaigns. Vidal and Austen, however, could not serve as emblematic figures for this campaign, and not only because the two men had no interest in marriage. Vidal, who reportedly had over a hundred lovers, both male and female, once attributed the longevity of their relationship to its platonic nature; both men continued to sleep with other people, and they reportedly stopped having sex with each other after they moved in together (Vidal, Palimpsest, 131–32). A relationship that decoupled monogamy, romance, companionship, and sexuality, and reconnected them in a way that challenged the accepted truths of institutionalised marriage, stands as an implicit questioning of the way in which gay marriage campaigns construct the possibilities for life, love, and sex. It is this questioning that we draw out in this article. In his writing, Vidal also offers a perspective that challenges the assumptions and certainties of contemporary politics around gay marriage. In 1981, he wrote “Some Jews and the Gays” in response to an article entitled “The Boys on the Beach” by conservative Jewish writer Midge Decter. Vidal’s riposte to Decter’s depiction of the snide superiority of the “boys” who disturbed her beachside family holidays highlighted the lack of solidarity conservative members of the Jewish community displayed towards another persecuted minority. From Vidal’s perspective, this was because Decter could not conceive of gay identity as anything other than pathological: Since hom*osexualists choose to be the way they are out of idle hatefulness, it has been a mistake to allow them to come out of the closet to the extent that they have, but now that they are out (which most are not), they will have no choice but to face up to their essential hatefulness and abnormality and so be driven to kill themselves with promiscuity, drugs, S-M, and suicide. (Vidal, Some Gays) In response, Vidal made a strong case for solidarity between Jews, African-Americans, and what he termed “hom*osexualists” (or “same-sexers”). More importantly for our argument, he also contested Decter’s depiction of the typical hom*osexual: To begin to get at the truth about hom*osexualists, one must realise that the majority of those millions of Americans who prefer same-sex to other-sex are obliged, sometimes willingly and happily but often not, to marry and have children and to conform to the guidelines set down by the heterosexual dictatorship. (Vidal, Some Gays) According to Vidal, Decter’s article applied only to a relatively privileged section of hom*osexualists who were able to be “self-ghettoized”, and who, despite Decter’s paranoid fantasies, lived lives perfectly “indifferent to the world of the other-sexers.” In the thirty years since the publication of “Some Jews and the Gays” much has clearly changed. It is unlikely that even a conservative publication would publish an article that depicts all hom*osexualists as marked by idle hatefulness. However, Decter’s self-hating hom*osexualist continues to haunt contemporary debates about same-sex marriage, albeit in sublimated form. Critiques of gay marriage campaigns, which are becoming increasingly difficult to ignore, often focus on the politics of inclusion and exclusion, whether on the terrain of gender (non)conformity (Spade), or the campaigns’ implicit and racialised assumption of a white, middle-class hom*osexual couple as the subject of their efforts (Riggs; Farrow). While our article is indebted to these critiques, our argument is focused more specifically on the unintended effect of the Australian debate about same-sex marriage, namely the (re)creation of the married couple’s other in the form of the adolescent, promiscuous, and unhappy hom*osexual. It is here that we find the source of our title, also chosen in tribute to Vidal, who in his life and writing disrupts this dichotomy. We argue that the construction of the respectable white middle-class same-sexer who sits at the centre of gay marriage discourse relies on a contemporary manifestation of the self-hating hom*osexualist – the sexually irresponsible queer constructed in contrast to the responsible gay. The first half of this article traces this construction. In the second section, we argue that this process cannot be divorced from the ways that advocates of same-sex marriage depict the institution of marriage. While critics such as Judith Butler have attempted to separate arguments against hom*ophobic discrimination from the need to advocate for marriage, we argue that the two are intrinsically linked in marriage equality campaigns. These campaigns seek to erase both the explicit critique of marriage found in Vidal’s article and the implicit possibility of living otherwise found in his life. Instead of a heterosexual dictatorship that can be successfully avoided, marriage is proclaimed to be not only benign but the only institution capable of saving self-hating queers from misery by turning them into respectable gay married couples. This is, therefore, not an article about today’s Midge Decters, but about how contemporary same-sex marriage supporters rely on a characterisation of those of us who would or could not choose to marry as, to return to Vidal (Some Jews), “somehow evil or inadequate or dangerous.” As queer people who continue to question both the desirability and inevitability of marriage, we are ultimately concerned with thinking through the political consequences of the same-sex marriage campaign’s obsessive focus on normative sexuality and on the supposedly restorative function of the institution of marriage itself. Hateful Queers and Patient Gays Contemporary supporters of gay marriage, like Vidal so many years earlier, do often oppose conservative attempts to label hom*osexualists as inherently pathological. Tim Wright, the former convenor of “Equal Love,” one of Australia’s primary same-sex marriage campaign groups, directly addressing this in an opinion piece for Melbourne’s The Age newspaper, writes, “Every so often, we hear them in the media calling hom*osexuals promiscuous or sick.” Disputing this characterisation, Wright supplants it with an image of patient lesbians and gay men “standing at the altar.” Unlike Vidal, however, Wright implicitly accepts the link between promiscuity and pathology. For Wright, hom*osexuals are not sick precisely because, and only to the extent that they accept, a forlorn chastity, waiting for their respectable monogamous sexuality to be sanctified through matrimony. A shared moral framework based upon conservative norms is a notable feature of same-sex marriage debates. Former Rainbow Labor convenor Ryan Heath articulates this most clearly in his 2010 Griffith Review article, excerpts of which also appeared in the metropolitan Fairfax newspapers. In this article, Heath argues that marriage equality would provide a much-needed dose of responsibility to “balance” the rights that Australia has accorded to hom*osexuals. For Heath, Australia’s gay and lesbian communities have been given sexual freedoms by an indulgent adult (heterosexual) society, but are not sufficiently mature to develop the social responsibilities that go with them: “Like teenagers getting their hands on booze and cars and freedom from parental surveillance for the first time, Australia’s gay and lesbian communities have enthusiastically taken up their new rights.” For Heath, the immaturity of the (adult) gay community, with its lack of married role models, results in profound effects for same-sex attracted youth: Consider what the absence of role models, development paths, and stability might do to those who cannot marry. Is there no connection between this and the disproportionate numbers of suicides and risky and addictive behaviours found in gay communities? It is this immaturity, rather than the more typically blamed hom*ophobic prejudice, bullying or persecution, that is for Heath the cause of the social problems that disproportionately affect same-sex attracted adolescents. Heath continues, asking why, after journalist Jonathan Rauch, any parent would want to “condemn their child to…‘a partnerless life in a sexual underworld’.” His appeal to well-meaning parental desires for the security and happiness of children echoes countless insidious commentaries about the tragedy of hom*osexual existence, such as Decter’s above. These same commentaries continue to be used to justify exclusionary and even violent reactions by families and communities when children reveal their (non-heterosexual) sexualities. As for so many social conservatives, for Heath it is inconceivable to view a partnerless life as anything other than tragedy. Like Wright, he is also convinced that if one must be partnerless it is far better to be forlornly chaste than to participate in an “underworld” focused primarily on promiscuous sex. The opinions of those condemned to this purgatorial realm, either through compulsion or their own immaturity, are of little interest to Heath. When he states that “No families and couples I have interviewed in my research on the topic want this insecure existence,” we are to understand that it is only the desires of these responsible adults that matter. In this way, Heath explicitly invokes the image of what Mariana Valverde has called the “respectable same-sex couple”, hom*osexualists who are socially acceptable because being “same-sex” is the only thing that differentiates them from the white, middle-class norm that continues to sit at the heart of Australian politics. Heath goes on to describe marriage as the best “social safety net”, adopting the fiscal rhetoric of conservatives such as former federal leader of the Liberal party, Malcolm Turnbull. Turnbull argued in 2012’s annual Michael Kirby lecture (a lecture organised by Southern Cross University’s School of Law and Justice in tribute to the retired gay High Court justice) that same-sex marriage would save the state money, as other relationship recognition such as the 2008 Rudd reforms have. In one of the few passages widely reported from his speech he states: “There will plainly be less demand for social services, medical expenses, hospital care if people, especially older people, like Michael [Kirby] and [partner] Johan, live together as opposed to being in lonely isolation consoled only by their respective cats.” Same-sex marriage is not simply a fight for equality but a fight to rescue hom*osexualists from the immiserated and emotionally impoverished lives that they, through their lack of maturity, have constructed for themselves, and which, after a brief sojourn in the sexual underworld, can only end in a lonely feline-focused existence funded by the responsible citizens that constitute the bulk of society. We are told by gay marriage advocates that the acceptance of proper adult relationships and responsibilities will not only cure the self-hatred of same-sexers, but simultaneously end the hatred expressed through hom*ophobia and bullying. In the most recent Victorian state election, for example, the Greens ran an online Q&A session about their policies and positions in which they wrote the following in response to a question on relationship recognition: “It would create a more harmonious, less discriminatory society, more tolerant of diversity. It would also probably reduce bullying against same-sex attracted teenagers and lower the suicide rate.” This common position has been carefully unpicked by Rob Cover, who argues that while there may be benefits for the health of some adults in recognition of same-sex marriage, there is absolutely no evidence of a connection between this and youth suicide. He writes: “We are yet to have evidence that there are any direct benefits for younger persons who are struggling to cope with being bullied, humiliated, shamed and cannot (yet) envisage a liveable life and a happy future—let alone a marriage ceremony.” While same-sex marriage advocates consider themselves to be speaking for these same-sex attracted youth, offering them a happy future in the form of a wedding, Cover reminds us that these are not the same thing. As we have shown here, this is not a process of simple exclusion, but an erasure of the possibility of a life outside of heteronormative or “respectable”, coupledom. The “respectable same-sex couple”, like its respectable heterosexual counterpart, not only denies the possibility of full participation in adult society to those without partners but also refuses the lived experience of the many people like Vidal and Austen who do not accept the absolute equation of domesticity, responsibility, and sexual monogamy that the institution of marriage represents. A Good Institution? The connection between marriage and the mythical end of hom*ophobia is not about evidence, as Cover rightly points out. Instead it is based on an ideological construction of marriage as an inherently valuable institution. Alongside this characterisation of marriage as a magical solution to hom*ophobia and other social ills, comes the branding of other models of living, loving and having sex as inherently inferior and potentially harmful. In this, the rhetoric of conservatives and same-sex marriage advocates becomes disturbingly similar. Margaret Andrews, the wife of former Howard minister Kevin and a prominent (straight) marriage advocate, featured in the news a couple of years ago after making a public hom*ophobic outburst directed at (queer) writer Benjamin Law. In response, Andrews outlined what for her were the clearly evident benefits of marriage: “For centuries, marriage has provided order, stability, and nurture for both adults and children. Indeed, the status of our marriages influences our well-being at least as much as the state of our finances.” Despite being on the apparent opposite of the debate, Amanda Villis and Danielle Hewitt from Doctors for Marriage Equality agree with Andrews about health benefits, including, significantly, those linked to sexual behaviour: It is also well known that people in long term monogamous relationships engage in far less risky sexual behaviour and therefore have significantly lower rates of sexually transmitted infections. Therefore legalisation of same sex marriage can lead to a reduction in the rates of sexually transmitted disease by decreasing stigma and discrimination and also promoting long term, monogamous relationships as an option for LGBTI persons. Here same-sex marriage is of benefit precisely because it eradicates the social risks of contagion and disease attributed to risky and promiscuous queers. To the extent that queers continue to suffer it can be attributed to the moral deficiency of their current lifestyle. This results in the need to “promote” marriage and marriage-like relationships. However, this need for promotion denies that marriage itself could be subject to discussion or debate and constructs it as both permanent and inevitable. Any discussion which might question the valuation of marriage is forestalled through the rhetoric of choice, as in the following example from a contributor to the “Equal Love” website: We understand that not everyone will want to get married, but there is no denying that marriage is a fundamental institution in Australian society. The right to be married should therefore be available to all those who choose to pursue it. It is a right that we chose to exercise. (Cole) This seemingly innocuous language of choice performs a number of functions. The first is that it seeks to disallow political debates about marriage by simply reducing critiques of the institution to a decision not to partake in it. In a process mirroring the construction of queers as inherently immature and adolescent, as discussed in the previous section, this move brands political critiques of marriage as historical remnants of an immature radicalism that has been trumped by liberal maturity. The contribution of Alyena Mohummadally and Catherine Roberts to Speak Now highlights this clearly. In this piece, Roberts is described as having used “radical feminism” as a teenage attempt to fill a “void” left by the lack of religion in her life. The teenage Roberts considered marriage “a patriarchal institution to be dismantled” (134). However, ten years later, now happily living with her partner, Roberts finds that “the very institutions she once riled against were those she now sought to be a part of” (137). Roberts’ marriage conversion, explained through a desire for recognition from Mohummadally’s Muslim family, is presented as simply a logical part of growing up, leaving behind the teenage commitment to radical politics along with the teenage attraction to “bars and nightclubs.” Not coincidentally, “life and love” taught Roberts to leave both of these things behind (134). The second consequence of arguments based on choice is that the possibility of any other terrain of choice is erased. This rhetoric thus gives marriage a false permanence and stability, failing to recognise that social institutions are vulnerable to change, and potentially to crisis. Beyond the same-sex marriage debates, the last fifty years have demonstrated the vulnerability of marriage to social change. Rising divorce rates, increasing acceptance of de facto relationships and the social recognition of domestic violence and rape within marriage have altered marriage inescapably, and forced questions about its inevitability (see: Stacey). This fact is recognised by conservatives, such as gay marriage opponent Patrick Parkinson who stated in a recent opinion piece in the Sydney Morning Herald that a “heartening aspect” of the “otherwise divisive” debate around gay marriage is that it has marked a “turnaround” in support for marriage, particularly among feminists, gays and other progressives. Malcolm Turnbull also explains his transition to support for same-sex marriage rights on the basis of this very premise: “I am very firmly of the view that families are the foundation of our society and that we would be a stronger society if more people were married, and by that I mean formally, legally married, and fewer were divorced.” He continued, “Are not the gays who seek the right to marry, to formalise their commitment to each other, holding up a mirror to the heterosexuals who are marrying less frequently and divorcing more often?” As Parkinson and Turnbull note, the decision to prioritise marriage is a decision to not only accept the fundamental nature of marriage as a social institution but to further universalise it as a social norm against the historical trends away from such normalisation. This is also acknowledged by campaign group Australian Marriage Equality who suggests that people like Parkinson and Turnbull who are “concerned about the preservation of marriage may do best to focus on ways to increase its appeal amongst the current population, rather than direct their energies towards the exclusion of a select group of individuals from its privileges.” Rather than challenging conservatism then, the gay marriage campaign aligns itself with Turnbull and Parkinson against the possibility of living otherwise embodied in the shadowy figure of the sexually irresponsible queer. The connection between ideological support for marriage and the construction of the “respectable hom*osexual couple” is made explicit by Heath in the essay quoted earlier. It is, he says, part of “the pattern of Western liberal history” to include “in an institution good people who make a good case to join.” The struggle for gay marriage, he argues, is linked to that of “workers to own property, Indigenous Australians to be citizens, women to vote.” By including these examples, Heath implicitly highlights the assimilationist dimension of this campaign, a dimension which has been importantly emphasised by Damien Riggs. Heath’s formulation denies the possibility of Indigenous sovereignty beyond assimilationist incorporation into the Australian state, just as it denies the possibility of a life of satisfying love and sex beyond marriage. More generally, Heath fails to acknowledge that none of these histories have disrupted the fundamental power dynamics at play: the benefits of property ownership accrue disproportionately to the rich, those of citizenship to white Australians, and political power remains primarily in the hands of men. Despite the protestations of gay marriage advocates there is no reason to believe that access to marriage would end hom*ophobia while racism, class-based exploitation, and institutional sexism continue. This too, is part of the pattern of Western liberal history. Conclusion Our intention here is not to produce an anti-marriage manifesto—there are many excellent ones out there (see: Conrad)—but rather to note that gay marriage campaigns are not as historically innocuous as they present themselves to be. We are concerned that the rush to enter fully into institutions that, while changed, remain synonymous with normative (hetero)sexuality, has two unintended but nonetheless concerning consequences. Gay marriage advocates risk not only the discarding of a vision in which people may choose to not worship at the altar of the nuclear family, they also reanimate a new version of Decter’s self-hating gay. Political blogger Tim Dunlop encapsulates the political logic of gay marriage campaigns when he says, rather optimistically, that barring hom*osexualists from marriage “is the last socially acceptable way of saying you are not like us, you do not count, you matter less.” An alternative view proffered here is that saying yes to gay marriage risks abandoning a project that says we do not wish to be like you, not because we matter less, but because we see the possibility of different lives, and we refuse to accept a normative political logic that brands those lives as inferior. In casting this critique as adolescent, as something that a mature community should have grown out of, the same-sex marriage campaign rejects what we see as the most important social contributions that “same-sexers” have made. Where we think Vidal was mistaken back in 1981 was in his assertion that we “same-sexers” have been simply indifferent to the world of the “other-sexers.” We have also turned a critical eye upon “heterosexualist” existence, offering important critiques of a so-called adult or responsible life. It is this history that queer writer Sara Ahmed reminds us of, when she celebrates the angry queer at the family dinner table who refuses to simply succumb to a coercive demand to be happy and pleasant. A similar refusal can be found in queer critiques of the “dead citizenship” of heterosexuality, described by José Esteban Muñoz as: a modality of citizenship that is predicated on negation of liveness or presentness on behalf of a routinized investment in futurity. This narrative of futurity is most familiar to those who live outside of it. It is the story of the [sic] nation's all-consuming investment in the nuclear family, and its particular obsession with the children, an investment that instantly translates into the (monological) future. (399) In the clamour to fully assert their membership in the world of adult citizenship, same-sex marriage advocates negate the potential liveness and presentness of queer experience, opting instead for the routinised futurity that Muñoz warns against. Imagining ourselves as forlorn figures, standing with tear-stained cheeks and quivering lips at the altar, waiting for normative relationships and responsible citizenship is not the only option. Like Vidal and Austen, with whom we began, queers are already living, loving, and f*cking, in and above our sexual underworlds, imagining that just possibly there may be other ways to live, both in the present and in constructing different futures. References Ahmed, Sara. The Promise of Happiness. Durham: Duke UP, 2010. Andrews, Margaret. “A Health Check on Marriage.” The Punch, 13 Aug. 2010. 24 Sept. 2012 ‹http://www.thepunch.com.au/articles/a-health-check-on-marriage/›. Butler, Judith. “Is Kinship Always Already Heterosexual?” differences: A Feminist Journal of Cultural Studies 13.1 (2002): 14–44. Cole, Jules. “Marriage Equality Upholds the rights of all Australians.” Equal Love website, 24 Sept. 2012 ‹http://www.equallove.info/node/83›. Conrad, Ryan, ed. Against Equality: queer critiques of gay marriage. Lewiston: Against Equality Publishing Collective, 2010. Cover, Rob. “Is same-sex marriage an adequate responst to queer youth suicide?”Online Opinion: Australia’s e-journal of social and political debate, 22 Aug. 2012. 24 Sept. 2012 ‹http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=14017›. Dunlop, Tim. “There is no excuse.” ABC The Drum Unleashed, 8 Apr. 2010. 24 Sept. 2012 ‹http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/34402.html›. Farrow, Kenyon, “Why is gay marriage anti-black?” Against Equality: queer critiques of gay marriage. Ed. Ryan Conrad. Lewiston: Against Equality Publishing Collective, 2010. 21–33. Frequently Asked Questions, Australian Marriage Equality, 24 Sept. 2012 ‹http://www.australianmarriageequality.com/faqs.htm›. Grattan, Michelle. “Turnbull’s Gay Marriage Swipe.” The Age. 7 July 2012. 24 Sept. 2012 ‹http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/turnbulls-gay-marriage-swipe-20120706-21mou.html›. Heath, Ryan. “Love in a Cold Climate.” Griffith Review. 29 (2010). 24 Sept. 2012 ‹http://www.griffithreview.com/edition-29-prosper-or-perish/251-essay/949.html›. Mohummadally, Alyena and Catherine Roberts. “When Worlds, Happily, Collide.” Speak Now: Australian Perspectives on Same-Sex Marriage. Ed. Victor Marsh. Thornbury: Clouds of Magellan, 2012, 134–139. Muñoz, José Esteban. “Citizens and Superheroes.” American Quarterly. 52.2 (2000): 397–404. Parkinson, Patrick. “About Time We All Cared More About Marriage.” Sydney Morning Herald, 24 Aug. 2012. 24 Sept. 2012 ‹http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/about-time-we-all-cared-more-about-marriage-20120823-24p2g.html›. Rauch, Jonathan. Gay Marriage: Why It Is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America. New York: Holt Paperbacks, 2004. Riggs, Damien. “The Racial Politics of Marriage Claims.” Speak Now: Australian Perspectives on Gay Marriage. Ed. Victor Marsh. Thornbury: Clouds of Magellan, 2012. 191–201. Stacey, Judith. Brave New Families: Stories of Domestic Upheaval in Late Twentieth-Century America. Berkeley and Los Angeles: U of California P, 1998. Spade, Dean. Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics and the Limits of Law. Cambridge, MA: South End Press, 2011. Turnbull, Malcolm. “Reflections on Gay Marriage: Michael Kirby Lecture 2012.” 24 Sept. 2012 ‹http://www.malcolmturnbull.com.au/media/speeches/reflections-on-the-gay-marriage-issue-michael-kirby-lecture-2012/›. Valverde, Mariana. “A New Entity in the History of Sexuality: The Respectable Same-Sex Couple.” Feminist Studies. 32.1 (2006): 155–162. Vidal, Gore. “Some Jews and the Gays.” The Nation. 14 Nov. 1981. 24 Sept. 2012 ‹http://www.thenation.com/article/169197/some-jews-gays›. —. Palimpsest: A Memoir. New York and London: Random House, 1995. Villis, Amanda, and Danielle Hewitt. “Why Legalising Same Sex Marriage Will Benefit Health.”17 Aug. 2012. 24 Sept. 2012 ‹http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=14004›. Wright, Tim. “Same-Sex Couples Still Waiting at the Altar For a Basic Right.” The Age. 31 July 2009. 12 Sept. 2012 ‹http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/samesex-couples-still-waiting-at-the-altar-for-a-basic-right-20090730-e2xk.html›.

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Abidin, Crystal. "Micro­microcelebrity: Branding Babies on the Internet." M/C Journal 18, no.5 (October14, 2015). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1022.

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Babies and toddlers are amassing huge followings on social media, achieving microcelebrity status, and raking in five figure sums. In East Asia, many of these lucrative “micro­-microcelebrities” rise to fame by inheriting exposure and proximate microcelebrification from their social media Influencer mothers. Through self-branding techniques, Influencer mothers’ portrayals of their young’ children’s lives “as lived” are the canvas on which (baby) products and services are marketed to readers as “advertorials”. In turning to investigate this budding phenomenon, I draw on ethnographic case studies in Singapore to outline the career trajectory of these young children (under 4yo) including their social media presence, branding strategies, and engagement with their followers. The chapter closes with a brief discussion on some ethical considerations of such young children’s labour in the social media age.Influencer MothersTheresa Senft first coined the term “microcelebrity” in her work Camgirls as a burgeoning online trend, wherein people attempt to gain popularity by employing digital media technologies, such as videos, blogs, and social media. She describes microcelebrities as “non-actors as performers” whose narratives take place “without overt manipulation”, and who are “more ‘real’ than television personalities with ‘perfect hair, perfect friends and perfect lives’” (Senft 16), foregrounding their active response to their communities in the ways that maintain open channels of feedback on social media to engage with their following.Influencers – a vernacular industry term albeit inspired by Katz & Lazarsfeld’s notion of “personal influence” that predates Internet culture – are one type of microcelebrity; they are everyday, ordinary Internet users who accumulate a relatively large following on blogs and social media through the textual and visual narration of their personal lives and lifestyles, engage with their following in “digital” and “physical” spaces, and monetize their following by integrating “advertorials” into their blog or social media posts and making physical appearances at events. A pastiche of “advertisem*nt” and “editorial”, advertorials in the Influencer industry are highly personalized, opinion-laden promotions of products/services that Influencers personally experience and endorse for a fee. Influencers in Singapore often brand themselves as having “relatability”, or the ability to persuade their followers to identify with them (Abidin). They do so by make consciously visible the backstage (Goffman) of the usually “inaccessible”, “personal”, and “private” aspects of mundane, everyday life to curate personae that feel “authentic” to fans (Marwick 114), and more accessible than traditional celebrity (Senft 16).Historically, the Influencer industry in Singapore can be traced back to the early beginnings of the “blogshop” industry from the mid-2000s and the “commercial blogging” industry. Influencers are predominantly young women, and market products and services from diverse industries, although the most popular have been fashion, beauty, F&B, travel, and electronics. Most prominent Influencers are contracted to management agencies who broker deals in exchange for commission and assist in the production of their vlogs. Since then, the industry has grown, matured, and expanded so rapidly that Influencers developed emergent models of advertorials, with the earliest cohorts moving into different life stages and monetizing several other aspects of their personal lives such as the “micro-microcelebrity” of their young children. What this paper provides is an important analysis of the genesis and normative practices of micro-microcelebrity commerce in Singapore from its earliest years, and future research trajectories in this field.Micro-Microcelebrity and Proximate MicrocelebrificationI define micro-microcelebrities as the children of Influencers who have themselves become proximate microcelebrities, having derived exposure and fame from their prominent Influencer mothers, usually through a more prolific, deliberate, and commercial form of what Blum-Ross defines as “sharenting”: the act of parents sharing images and stores about their children in digital spaces such as social networking sites and blogs. Marwick (116-117), drawing from Rojek’s work on types of celebrity – distinguishes between two types of microcelebrity: “ascribed microcelebrity” where the online personality is made recognizable through the “production of celebrity media” such as paparazzi shots and user-produced online memes, or “achieved microcelebrity” where users engage in “self-presentation strateg[ies]”, such as fostering the illusion of intimacy with fans, maintaining a persona, and selective disclosure about oneself.Micro-microcelebrities lie somewhere between the two: In a process I term “proximate microcelebrification”, micro-microcelebrities themselves inherit celebrity through the preemptive and continuous exposure from their Influencer mothers, many beginning even during the pre-birth pregnancy stages in the form of ultrasound scans, as a form of “achieved microcelebrity”. Influencer mothers whose “presentational strategies” (cf. Marshall, “Promotion” 45) are successful enough (as will be addressed later) gain traction among followers, who in turn further popularize the micro-microcelebrity by setting up fan accounts, tribute sites, and gossip forums through which fame is heightened in a feedback loop as a model of “ascribed microcelebrity”.Here, however, I refrain from conceptualizing these young stars as “micro-Influencers” for unlike Influencers, these children do not yet curate their self-presentation to command the attention of followers, but instead are used, framed, and appropriated by their mothers for advertorials. In other words, Influencer mothers “curate [micro-microcelebrities’] identities into being” (Leaver, “Birth”). Following this, many aspects of their micro-microcelebrities become rapidly commodified and commercialized, with advertisers clamoring to endorse anything from maternity hospital stays to nappy cream.Although children of mommybloggers have the prospect to become micro-microcelebrities, both groups are conceptually distinct. Friedman (200-201) argues that among mommybloggers arose a tension between those who adopt “the raw authenticity of nonmonetized blogging”, documenting the “unglamorous minutiae” of their daily lives and a “more authentic view of motherhood” and those who use mommyblogs “primarily as a source of extra income rather than as a site for memoir”, focusing on “parent-centered products” (cf. Mom Bloggers Club).In contrast, micro-microcelebrities and their digital presence are deliberately commercial, framed and staged by Influencer mothers in order to maximize their advertorial potential, and are often postured to market even non-baby/parenting products such as fast food and vehicles (see later). Because of the overt commerce, it is unclear if micro-microcelebrity displays constitute “intimate surveillance”, an “almost always well-intentioned surveillance of young people by parents” (Leaver, “Born” 4). Furthermore, children are generally peripheral to mommybloggers whose own parenting narratives take precedence as a way to connect with fellow mothers, while micro-microcelebrities are the primary feature whose everyday lives and digital presence enrapture followers.MethodologyThe analysis presented is informed by my original fieldwork with 125 Influencers and related actors among whom I conducted a mixture of physical and digital personal interviews, participant observation, web archaeology, and archival research between December 2011 and October 2014. However, the material presented here is based on my digital participant observation of publicly accessible and intentionally-public digital presence of the first four highly successful micro-microcelebrities in Singapore: “Baby Dash” (b.2013) is the son of Influencer xiaxue, “#HeYurou” (b.2011) is the niece of Influencer bongqiuqiu, “#BabyElroyE” (b.2014) is the son of Influencer ohsofickle, and “@MereGoRound” (b.2015) is the daughter of Influencer bongqiuqiu.The microcelebrity/social media handles of these children take different forms, following the platform on which their parent/aunt has exposed them on the most. Baby Dash appears in all of xiaxue’s digital platforms under a variety of over 30 indexical, ironic, or humourous hashtags (Leaver, “Birth”) including “#pointylipped”, #pineappledash”, and “#面包脸” (trans. “bread face”); “#HeYurou” appears on bongqiuqiu’s Instagram and Twitter; “#BabyElroyE” appears on ohsofickle’s Instagram and blog, and is the central figure of his mother’s new YouTube channel; and “@MereGoRound” appears on all of bongqiuqiu’s digital platforms but also has her own Instagram account and dedicated YouTube channel. The images reproduced here are screenshot from Influencer mothers’ highly public social media: xiaxue, bongqiuqiu, and ohsofickle boast 593k, 277k, and 124k followers on Instagram and 263k, 41k, and 17k followers on Twitter respectively at the time of writing.Anticipation and Digital EstatesIn an exclusive front-pager (Figure 1) on the day of his induced birth, it was announced that Baby Dash had already received up to SGD25,000 worth of endorsem*nt deals brokered by his Influencer mother, xiaxue. As the first micro-microcelebrity in his cohort (his mother was among the pioneer Influencers), Baby Dash’s Caesarean section was even filmed and posted on xiaxue’s YouTube channel in three parts (Figure 2). xiaxue had announced her pregnancy on her blog while in her second trimester, following which she consistently posted mirror selfies of her baby bump.Figure 1 & 2, screenshot April 2013 from ‹instagram.com/xiaxue›In her successful attempt at generating anticipation, the “bump” itself seemed to garner its own following on Twitter and Instagram, with many followers discussing how the Influencer dressed “it”, and how “it” was evolving over the weeks. One follower even compiled a collage of xiaxue’s “bump” chronologically and gifted it to the Influencer as an art image via Twitter on the day she delivered Baby Dash (Figure 3 & 4). Followers also frequently speculated and bantered about how her baby would look, and mused about how much they were going to adore him. Figure 3 & 4, screenshot March 2013 from ‹twitter.com/xiaxue› While Lupton (42) has conceptualized the sharing of images that precede birth as a “rite of passage”, Influencer mothers who publish sonograms deliberately do so in order to claim digital estates for their to-be micro-microcelebrities in the form of “reserved” social media handles, blog URLs, and unique hashtags for self-branding. For instance, at the 3-month mark of her pregnancy, Influencer bongqiuqiu debuted her baby’s dedicated hashtag, “#MereGoRound” in a birth announcement on her on Instagram account. Shortly after, she started an Instagram account, “@MereGoRound”, for her baby, who amassed over 5.5k followers prior to her birth. Figure 5 & 6, screenshot March 2015 from instagram.com/meregoround and instagram.com/bongqiuqiuThe debut picture features a heavily pregnant belly shot of bongqiuqiu (Figure 5), creating much anticipation for the arrival of a new micro-microcelebrity: in the six months leading up to her birth, various family, friends, and fans shared Instagram images of their gifts and welcome party for @MereGoRound, and followers shared congratulations and fan art on the dedicated Instagram hashtag. During this time, bongqiuqiu also frequently updated followers on her pregnancy progress, not without advertising her (presumably sponsored) gynecologist and hospital stay in her pregnancy diaries (Figure 6) – like Baby Dash, even as a foetus @MereGoRound was accumulating advertorials. Presently at six months old, @MereGoRound boasts almost 40k followers on Instagram on which embedded in the narrative of her growth are sponsored products and services from various advertisers.Non-Baby-Related AdvertorialsPrior to her pregnancy, Influencer bongqiuqiu hopped onto the micro-microcelebrity bandwagon in the wake of Baby Dash’s birth, by using her niece “#HeYurou” in her advertorials. Many Influencers attempt to naturalize their advertorials by composing their post as if recounting a family event. With reference to a child, parent, or partner, they may muse or quip about a product being used or an experience being shared in a bid to mask the distinction between their personal and commercial material. bongqiuqiu frequently posted personal, non-sponsored images engaging in daily mundane activities under the dedicated hashtag “#HeYurou”.However, this was occasionally interspersed with pictures of her niece holding on to various products including storybooks (Figure 8) and shopping bags (Figure 9). At first glance, this might have seemed like any mundane daily update the Influencer often posts. However, a close inspection reveals the caption bearing sponsor hashtags, tags, and campaign information. For instance, one Instagram post shows #HeYurou casually holding on to and staring at a burger in KFC wrapping (Figure 7), but when read in tandem with bongqiuqiu’s other KFC-related posts published over a span of a few months, it becomes clear that #HeYurou was in fact advertising for KFC. Figure 7, 8, 9, screenshot December 2014 from ‹instagram.com/bongqiuqiu›Elsewhere, Baby Dash was incorporated into xiaxue’s car sponsorship with over 20 large decals of one of his viral photos – dubbed “pineapple Dash” among followers – plastered all over her vehicle (Figure 10). Followers who spot the car in public are encouraged to photograph and upload the image using its dedicated hashtag, “#xiaxuecar” as part of the Influencer’s car sponsorship – an engagement scarcely related to her young child. Since then, xiaxue has speculated producing offshoots of “pineapple Dash” products including smartphone casings. Figure 10, screenshot December 2014 from ‹instagram.com/xiaxue›Follower EngagementSponsors regularly organize fan meet-and-greets headlined by micro-microcelebrities in order to attract potential customers. Photo opportunities and the chance to see Baby Dash “in the flesh” frequently front press and promotional material of marketing campaigns. Elsewhere on social media, several Baby Dash fan and tribute accounts have also emerged on Instagram, reposting images and related media of the micro-microcelebrity with overt adoration, no doubt encouraged by xiaxue, who began crowdsourcing captions for Baby Dash’s photos.Influencer ohsofickle postures #BabyElroyE’s follower engagement in a more subtle way. In her YouTube channel that debut in the month of her baby’s birth, ohsofickle produces video diaries of being a young, single, mother who is raising a child (Figure 11). In each episode, #BabyElroyE is the main feature whose daily activities are documented, and while there is some advertising embedded, ohsofickle’s approach on YouTube is much less overt than others as it features much more non-monetized personal content (Figure 12). Her blog serves as a backchannel to her vlogs, in which she recounts her struggles with motherhood and explicitly solicits the advice of mothers. However, owing to her young age (she became an Influencer at 17 and gave birth at 24), many of her followers are teenagers and young women who respond to her solicitations by gushing over #BabyElroyE’s images on Instagram. Figure 11 & 12, screenshot September 2015 from ‹instagram.com/ohsofickle›PrivacyAs noted by Holloway et al. (23), children like micro-microcelebrities will be among the first cohorts to inherit “digital profiles” of their “whole lifetime” as a “work in progress”, from parents who habitually underestimate or discount the privacy and long term effects of publicizing information about their children at the time of posting. This matters in a climate where social media platforms can amend privacy policies without user consent (23), and is even more pressing for micro-microcelebrities whose followers store, republish, and recirculate information in fan networks, resulting in digital footprints with persistence, replicability, scalability, searchability (boyd), and extended longevity in public circulation which can be attributed back to the children indefinitely (Leaver, “Ends”).Despite minimum age restrictions and recent concerns with “digital kidnapping” where users steal images of other young children to be re-posted as their own (Whigham), some social media platforms rarely police the proliferation of accounts set up by parents on behalf of their underage children prominently displaying their legal names and life histories, citing differing jurisdictions in various countries (Facebook; Instagram), while others claim to disable accounts if users report an “incorrect birth date” (cf. Google for YouTube). In Singapore, the Media Development Authority (MDA) which governs all print and digital media has no firm regulations for this but suggests that the age of consent is 16 judging by their recommendation to parents with children aged below 16 to subscribe to Internet filtering services (Media Development Authority, “Regulatory” 1). Moreover, current initiatives have been focused on how parents can impart digital literacy to their children (Media Development Authority, “Empowered”; Media Literacy Council) as opposed to educating parents about the digital footprints they may be unwittingly leaving about their children.The digital lives of micro-microcelebrities pose new layers of concern given their publicness and deliberate publicity, specifically hinged on making visible the usually inaccessible, private aspects of everyday life (Marshall, “Persona” 5).Scholars note that celebrities are individuals for whom speculation of their private lives takes precedence over their actual public role or career (Geraghty 100-101; Turner 8). However, the personae of Influencers and their young children are shaped by ambiguously blurring the boundaries of privacy and publicness in order to bait followers’ attention, such that privacy and publicness are defined by being broadcast, circulated, and publicized (Warner 414). In other words, the publicness of micro-microcelebrities is premised on the extent of the intentional publicity rather than simply being in the public domain (Marwick 223-231, emphasis mine).Among Influencers privacy concerns have aroused awareness but not action – Baby Dash’s Influencer mother admitted in a national radio interview that he has received a death threat via Instagram but feels that her child is unlikely to be actually attacked (Channel News Asia) – because privacy is a commodity that is manipulated and performed to advance their micro-microcelebrities’ careers. As pioneer micro-microcelebrities are all under 2-years-old at present, future research warrants investigating “child-centred definitions” (Third et al.) of the transition in which they come of age, grow an awareness of their digital presence, respond to their Influencer mothers’ actions, and potentially take over their accounts.Young LabourThe Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in Singapore, which regulates the employment of children and young persons, states that children under the age of 13 may not legally work in non-industrial or industrial settings (Ministry of Manpower). However, the same document later ambiguously states underaged children who do work can only do so under strict work limits (Ministry of Manpower). Elsewhere (Chan), it is noted that national labour statistics have thus far only focused on those above the age of 15, thus neglecting a true reflection of underaged labour in Singapore. This is despite the prominence of micro-microcelebrities who are put in front of (video) cameras to build social media content. Additionally, the work of micro-microcelebrities on digital platforms has not yet been formally recognized as labour, and is not regulated by any authority including Influencer management firms, clients, the MDA, and the MOM. Brief snippets from my ethnographic fieldwork with Influencer management agencies in Singapore similarly reveal that micro-microcelebrities’ labour engagements and control of their earnings are entirely at their parents’ discretion.As models and actors, micro-microcelebrities are one form of entertainment workers who if between the ages of 15 days and 18 years in the state of California are required to obtain an Entertainment Work Permit to be gainfully employed, adhering to strict work, schooling, and rest hour quotas (Department of Industrial Relations). Furthermore, the Californian Coogan Law affirms that earnings by these minors are their own property and not their parents’, although they are not old enough to legally control their finances and rely on the state to govern their earnings with a legal guardian (Screen Actors Guild). However, this similarly excludes underaged children and micro-microcelebrities engaged in creative digital ecologies. Future research should look into safeguards and instruments among young child entertainers, especially for micro-micrcocelebrities’ among whom commercial work and personal documentation is not always distinct, and are in fact deliberately intertwined in order to better engage with followers for relatabilityGrowing Up BrandedIn the wake of moral panics over excessive surveillance technologies, children’s safety on the Internet, and data retention concerns, micro-microcelebrities and their Influencer mothers stand out for their deliberately personal and overtly commercial approach towards self-documenting, self-presenting, and self-publicizing from the moment of conception. As these debut micro-microcelebrities grow older and inherit digital publics, personae, and careers, future research should focus on the transition of their ownership, engagement, and reactions to a branded childhood in which babies were postured for an initimate public.ReferencesAbidin, Crystal. “Communicative Intimacies: Influencers and Perceived Interconnectedness.” Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media, & Technology. Forthcoming, Nov 2015.Aiello, Marianne. “Mommy Blog Banner Ads Get Results.” Healthcare Marketing Advisor 17 Nov. 2010. HealthLeaders Media. 16 Aug. 2015 ‹http://healthleadersmedia.com/content/MAR-259215/Mommy-Blog-Banner-Ads-Get-Results›.Azzarone, Stephanie. “When Consumers Report: Mommy Blogging Your Way to Success.” Playthings 18 Feb. 2009. 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Losh, Elizabeth. "Artificial Intelligence." M/C Journal 10, no.5 (October1, 2007). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2710.

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On the morning of Thursday, 4 May 2006, the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence held an open hearing entitled “Terrorist Use of the Internet.” The Intelligence committee meeting was scheduled to take place in Room 1302 of the Longworth Office Building, a Depression-era structure with a neoclassical façade. Because of a dysfunctional elevator, some of the congressional representatives were late to the meeting. During the testimony about the newest political applications for cutting-edge digital technology, the microphones periodically malfunctioned, and witnesses complained of “technical problems” several times. By the end of the day it seemed that what was to be remembered about the hearing was the shocking revelation that terrorists were using videogames to recruit young jihadists. The Associated Press wrote a short, restrained article about the hearing that only mentioned “computer games and recruitment videos” in passing. Eager to have their version of the news item picked up, Reuters made videogames the focus of their coverage with a headline that announced, “Islamists Using US Videogames in Youth Appeal.” Like a game of telephone, as the Reuters videogame story was quickly re-run by several Internet news services, each iteration of the title seemed less true to the exact language of the original. One Internet news service changed the headline to “Islamic militants recruit using U.S. video games.” Fox News re-titled the story again to emphasise that this alert about technological manipulation was coming from recognised specialists in the anti-terrorism surveillance field: “Experts: Islamic Militants Customizing Violent Video Games.” As the story circulated, the body of the article remained largely unchanged, in which the Reuters reporter described the digital materials from Islamic extremists that were shown at the congressional hearing. During the segment that apparently most captured the attention of the wire service reporters, eerie music played as an English-speaking narrator condemned the “infidel” and declared that he had “put a jihad” on them, as aerial shots moved over 3D computer-generated images of flaming oil facilities and mosques covered with geometric designs. Suddenly, this menacing voice-over was interrupted by an explosion, as a virtual rocket was launched into a simulated military helicopter. The Reuters reporter shared this dystopian vision from cyberspace with Western audiences by quoting directly from the chilling commentary and describing a dissonant montage of images and remixed sound. “I was just a boy when the infidels came to my village in Blackhawk helicopters,” a narrator’s voice said as the screen flashed between images of street-level gunfights, explosions and helicopter assaults. Then came a recording of President George W. Bush’s September 16, 2001, statement: “This crusade, this war on terrorism, is going to take a while.” It was edited to repeat the word “crusade,” which Muslims often define as an attack on Islam by Christianity. According to the news reports, the key piece of evidence before Congress seemed to be a film by “SonicJihad” of recorded videogame play, which – according to the experts – was widely distributed online. Much of the clip takes place from the point of view of a first-person shooter, seen as if through the eyes of an armed insurgent, but the viewer also periodically sees third-person action in which the player appears as a running figure wearing a red-and-white checked keffiyeh, who dashes toward the screen with a rocket launcher balanced on his shoulder. Significantly, another of the player’s hand-held weapons is a detonator that triggers remote blasts. As jaunty music plays, helicopters, tanks, and armoured vehicles burst into smoke and flame. Finally, at the triumphant ending of the video, a green and white flag bearing a crescent is hoisted aloft into the sky to signify victory by Islamic forces. To explain the existence of this digital alternative history in which jihadists could be conquerors, the Reuters story described the deviousness of the country’s terrorist opponents, who were now apparently modifying popular videogames through their wizardry and inserting anti-American, pro-insurgency content into U.S.-made consumer technology. One of the latest video games modified by militants is the popular “Battlefield 2” from leading video game publisher, Electronic Arts Inc of Redwood City, California. Jeff Brown, a spokesman for Electronic Arts, said enthusiasts often write software modifications, known as “mods,” to video games. “Millions of people create mods on games around the world,” he said. “We have absolutely no control over them. It’s like drawing a mustache on a picture.” Although the Electronic Arts executive dismissed the activities of modders as a “mustache on a picture” that could only be considered little more than childish vandalism of their off-the-shelf corporate product, others saw a more serious form of criminality at work. Testifying experts and the legislators listening on the committee used the video to call for greater Internet surveillance efforts and electronic counter-measures. Within twenty-four hours of the sensationalistic news breaking, however, a group of Battlefield 2 fans was crowing about the idiocy of reporters. The game play footage wasn’t from a high-tech modification of the software by Islamic extremists; it had been posted on a Planet Battlefield forum the previous December of 2005 by a game fan who had cut together regular game play with a Bush remix and a parody snippet of the soundtrack from the 2004 hit comedy film Team America. The voice describing the Black Hawk helicopters was the voice of Trey Parker of South Park cartoon fame, and – much to Parker’s amusem*nt – even the mention of “goats screaming” did not clue spectators in to the fact of a comic source. Ironically, the moment in the movie from which the sound clip is excerpted is one about intelligence gathering. As an agent of Team America, a fictional elite U.S. commando squad, the hero of the film’s all-puppet cast, Gary Johnston, is impersonating a jihadist radical inside a hostile Egyptian tavern that is modelled on the cantina scene from Star Wars. Additional laughs come from the fact that agent Johnston is accepted by the menacing terrorist cell as “Hakmed,” despite the fact that he utters a series of improbable clichés made up of incoherent stereotypes about life in the Middle East while dressed up in a disguise made up of shoe polish and a turban from a bathroom towel. The man behind the “SonicJihad” pseudonym turned out to be a twenty-five-year-old hospital administrator named Samir, and what reporters and representatives saw was nothing more exotic than game play from an add-on expansion pack of Battlefield 2, which – like other versions of the game – allows first-person shooter play from the position of the opponent as a standard feature. While SonicJihad initially joined his fellow gamers in ridiculing the mainstream media, he also expressed astonishment and outrage about a larger politics of reception. In one interview he argued that the media illiteracy of Reuters potentially enabled a whole series of category errors, in which harmless gamers could be demonised as terrorists. It wasn’t intended for the purpose what it was portrayed to be by the media. So no I don’t regret making a funny video . . . why should I? The only thing I regret is thinking that news from Reuters was objective and always right. The least they could do is some online research before publishing this. If they label me al-Qaeda just for making this silly video, that makes you think, what is this al-Qaeda? And is everything al-Qaeda? Although Sonic Jihad dismissed his own work as “silly” or “funny,” he expected considerably more from a credible news agency like Reuters: “objective” reporting, “online research,” and fact-checking before “publishing.” Within the week, almost all of the salient details in the Reuters story were revealed to be incorrect. SonicJihad’s film was not made by terrorists or for terrorists: it was not created by “Islamic militants” for “Muslim youths.” The videogame it depicted had not been modified by a “tech-savvy militant” with advanced programming skills. Of course, what is most extraordinary about this story isn’t just that Reuters merely got its facts wrong; it is that a self-identified “parody” video was shown to the august House Intelligence Committee by a team of well-paid “experts” from the Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), a major contractor with the federal government, as key evidence of terrorist recruitment techniques and abuse of digital networks. Moreover, this story of media illiteracy unfolded in the context of a fundamental Constitutional debate about domestic surveillance via communications technology and the further regulation of digital content by lawmakers. Furthermore, the transcripts of the actual hearing showed that much more than simple gullibility or technological ignorance was in play. Based on their exchanges in the public record, elected representatives and government experts appear to be keenly aware that the digital discourses of an emerging information culture might be challenging their authority and that of the longstanding institutions of knowledge and power with which they are affiliated. These hearings can be seen as representative of a larger historical moment in which emphatic declarations about prohibiting specific practices in digital culture have come to occupy a prominent place at the podium, news desk, or official Web portal. This environment of cultural reaction can be used to explain why policy makers’ reaction to terrorists’ use of networked communication and digital media actually tells us more about our own American ideologies about technology and rhetoric in a contemporary information environment. When the experts come forward at the Sonic Jihad hearing to “walk us through the media and some of the products,” they present digital artefacts of an information economy that mirrors many of the features of our own consumption of objects of electronic discourse, which seem dangerously easy to copy and distribute and thus also create confusion about their intended meanings, audiences, and purposes. From this one hearing we can see how the reception of many new digital genres plays out in the public sphere of legislative discourse. Web pages, videogames, and Weblogs are mentioned specifically in the transcript. The main architecture of the witnesses’ presentation to the committee is organised according to the rhetorical conventions of a PowerPoint presentation. Moreover, the arguments made by expert witnesses about the relationship of orality to literacy or of public to private communications in new media are highly relevant to how we might understand other important digital genres, such as electronic mail or text messaging. The hearing also invites consideration of privacy, intellectual property, and digital “rights,” because moral values about freedom and ownership are alluded to by many of the elected representatives present, albeit often through the looking glass of user behaviours imagined as radically Other. For example, terrorists are described as “modders” and “hackers” who subvert those who properly create, own, legitimate, and regulate intellectual property. To explain embarrassing leaks of infinitely replicable digital files, witness Ron Roughead says, “We’re not even sure that they don’t even hack into the kinds of spaces that hold photographs in order to get pictures that our forces have taken.” Another witness, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy and International Affairs, Peter Rodman claims that “any video game that comes out, as soon as the code is released, they will modify it and change the game for their needs.” Thus, the implication of these witnesses’ testimony is that the release of code into the public domain can contribute to political subversion, much as covert intrusion into computer networks by stealthy hackers can. However, the witnesses from the Pentagon and from the government contractor SAIC often present a contradictory image of the supposed terrorists in the hearing transcripts. Sometimes the enemy is depicted as an organisation of technological masterminds, capable of manipulating the computer code of unwitting Americans and snatching their rightful intellectual property away; sometimes those from the opposing forces are depicted as pre-modern and even sub-literate political innocents. In contrast, the congressional representatives seem to focus on similarities when comparing the work of “terrorists” to the everyday digital practices of their constituents and even of themselves. According to the transcripts of this open hearing, legislators on both sides of the aisle express anxiety about domestic patterns of Internet reception. Even the legislators’ own Web pages are potentially disruptive electronic artefacts, particularly when the demands of digital labour interfere with their duties as lawmakers. Although the subject of the hearing is ostensibly terrorist Websites, Representative Anna Eshoo (D-California) bemoans the difficulty of maintaining her own official congressional site. As she observes, “So we are – as members, I think we’re very sensitive about what’s on our Website, and if I retained what I had on my Website three years ago, I’d be out of business. So we know that they have to be renewed. They go up, they go down, they’re rebuilt, they’re – you know, the message is targeted to the future.” In their questions, lawmakers identify Weblogs (blogs) as a particular area of concern as a destabilising alternative to authoritative print sources of information from established institutions. Representative Alcee Hastings (D-Florida) compares the polluting power of insurgent bloggers to that of influential online muckrakers from the American political Right. Hastings complains of “garbage on our regular mainstream news that comes from blog sites.” Representative Heather Wilson (R-New Mexico) attempts to project a media-savvy persona by bringing up the “phenomenon of blogging” in conjunction with her questions about jihadist Websites in which she notes how Internet traffic can be magnified by cooperative ventures among groups of ideologically like-minded content-providers: “These Websites, and particularly the most active ones, are they cross-linked? And do they have kind of hot links to your other favorite sites on them?” At one point Representative Wilson asks witness Rodman if he knows “of your 100 hottest sites where the Webmasters are educated? What nationality they are? Where they’re getting their money from?” In her questions, Wilson implicitly acknowledges that Web work reflects influences from pedagogical communities, economic networks of the exchange of capital, and even potentially the specific ideologies of nation-states. It is perhaps indicative of the government contractors’ anachronistic worldview that the witness is unable to answer Wilson’s question. He explains that his agency focuses on the physical location of the server or ISP rather than the social backgrounds of the individuals who might be manufacturing objectionable digital texts. The premise behind the contractors’ working method – surveilling the technical apparatus not the social network – may be related to other beliefs expressed by government witnesses, such as the supposition that jihadist Websites are collectively produced and spontaneously emerge from the indigenous, traditional, tribal culture, instead of assuming that Iraqi insurgents have analogous beliefs, practices, and technological awareness to those in first-world countries. The residual subtexts in the witnesses’ conjectures about competing cultures of orality and literacy may tell us something about a reactionary rhetoric around videogames and digital culture more generally. According to the experts before Congress, the Middle Eastern audience for these videogames and Websites is limited by its membership in a pre-literate society that is only capable of abortive cultural production without access to knowledge that is archived in printed codices. Sometimes the witnesses before Congress seem to be unintentionally channelling the ideas of the late literacy theorist Walter Ong about the “secondary orality” associated with talky electronic media such as television, radio, audio recording, or telephone communication. Later followers of Ong extend this concept of secondary orality to hypertext, hypermedia, e-mail, and blogs, because they similarly share features of both speech and written discourse. Although Ong’s disciples celebrate this vibrant reconnection to a mythic, communal past of what Kathleen Welch calls “electric rhetoric,” the defence industry consultants express their profound state of alarm at the potentially dangerous and subversive character of this hybrid form of communication. The concept of an “oral tradition” is first introduced by the expert witnesses in the context of modern marketing and product distribution: “The Internet is used for a variety of things – command and control,” one witness states. “One of the things that’s missed frequently is how and – how effective the adversary is at using the Internet to distribute product. They’re using that distribution network as a modern form of oral tradition, if you will.” Thus, although the Internet can be deployed for hierarchical “command and control” activities, it also functions as a highly efficient peer-to-peer distributed network for disseminating the commodity of information. Throughout the hearings, the witnesses imply that unregulated lateral communication among social actors who are not authorised to speak for nation-states or to produce legitimated expert discourses is potentially destabilising to political order. Witness Eric Michael describes the “oral tradition” and the conventions of communal life in the Middle East to emphasise the primacy of speech in the collective discursive practices of this alien population: “I’d like to point your attention to the media types and the fact that the oral tradition is listed as most important. The other media listed support that. And the significance of the oral tradition is more than just – it’s the medium by which, once it comes off the Internet, it is transferred.” The experts go on to claim that this “oral tradition” can contaminate other media because it functions as “rumor,” the traditional bane of the stately discourse of military leaders since the classical era. The oral tradition now also has an aspect of rumor. A[n] event takes place. There is an explosion in a city. Rumor is that the United States Air Force dropped a bomb and is doing indiscriminate killing. This ends up being discussed on the street. It ends up showing up in a Friday sermon in a mosque or in another religious institution. It then gets recycled into written materials. Media picks up the story and broadcasts it, at which point it’s now a fact. In this particular case that we were telling you about, it showed up on a network television, and their propaganda continues to go back to this false initial report on network television and continue to reiterate that it’s a fact, even though the United States government has proven that it was not a fact, even though the network has since recanted the broadcast. In this example, many-to-many discussion on the “street” is formalised into a one-to many “sermon” and then further stylised using technology in a one-to-many broadcast on “network television” in which “propaganda” that is “false” can no longer be disputed. This “oral tradition” is like digital media, because elements of discourse can be infinitely copied or “recycled,” and it is designed to “reiterate” content. In this hearing, the word “rhetoric” is associated with destructive counter-cultural forces by the witnesses who reiterate cultural truisms dating back to Plato and the Gorgias. For example, witness Eric Michael initially presents “rhetoric” as the use of culturally specific and hence untranslatable figures of speech, but he quickly moves to an outright castigation of the entire communicative mode. “Rhetoric,” he tells us, is designed to “distort the truth,” because it is a “selective” assembly or a “distortion.” Rhetoric is also at odds with reason, because it appeals to “emotion” and a romanticised Weltanschauung oriented around discourses of “struggle.” The film by SonicJihad is chosen as the final clip by the witnesses before Congress, because it allegedly combines many different types of emotional appeal, and thus it conveniently ties together all of the themes that the witnesses present to the legislators about unreliable oral or rhetorical sources in the Middle East: And there you see how all these products are linked together. And you can see where the games are set to psychologically condition you to go kill coalition forces. You can see how they use humor. You can see how the entire campaign is carefully crafted to first evoke an emotion and then to evoke a response and to direct that response in the direction that they want. Jihadist digital products, especially videogames, are effective means of manipulation, the witnesses argue, because they employ multiple channels of persuasion and carefully sequenced and integrated subliminal messages. To understand the larger cultural conversation of the hearing, it is important to keep in mind that the related argument that “games” can “psychologically condition” players to be predisposed to violence is one that was important in other congressional hearings of the period, as well one that played a role in bills and resolutions that were passed by the full body of the legislative branch. In the witness’s testimony an appeal to anti-game sympathies at home is combined with a critique of a closed anti-democratic system abroad in which the circuits of rhetorical production and their composite metonymic chains are described as those that command specific, unvarying, robotic responses. This sharp criticism of the artful use of a presentation style that is “crafted” is ironic, given that the witnesses’ “compilation” of jihadist digital material is staged in the form of a carefully structured PowerPoint presentation, one that is paced to a well-rehearsed rhythm of “slide, please” or “next slide” in the transcript. The transcript also reveals that the members of the House Intelligence Committee were not the original audience for the witnesses’ PowerPoint presentation. Rather, when it was first created by SAIC, this “expert” presentation was designed for training purposes for the troops on the ground, who would be facing the challenges of deployment in hostile terrain. According to the witnesses, having the slide show showcased before Congress was something of an afterthought. Nonetheless, Congressman Tiahrt (R-KN) is so impressed with the rhetorical mastery of the consultants that he tries to appropriate it. As Tiarht puts it, “I’d like to get a copy of that slide sometime.” From the hearing we also learn that the terrorists’ Websites are threatening precisely because they manifest a polymorphously perverse geometry of expansion. For example, one SAIC witness before the House Committee compares the replication and elaboration of digital material online to a “spiderweb.” Like Representative Eshoo’s site, he also notes that the terrorists’ sites go “up” and “down,” but the consultant is left to speculate about whether or not there is any “central coordination” to serve as an organising principle and to explain the persistence and consistency of messages despite the apparent lack of a single authorial ethos to offer a stable, humanised, point of reference. In the hearing, the oft-cited solution to the problem created by the hybridity and iterability of digital rhetoric appears to be “public diplomacy.” Both consultants and lawmakers seem to agree that the damaging messages of the insurgents must be countered with U.S. sanctioned information, and thus the phrase “public diplomacy” appears in the hearing seven times. However, witness Roughhead complains that the protean “oral tradition” and what Henry Jenkins has called the “transmedia” character of digital culture, which often crosses several platforms of traditional print, projection, or broadcast media, stymies their best rhetorical efforts: “I think the point that we’ve tried to make in the briefing is that wherever there’s Internet availability at all, they can then download these – these programs and put them onto compact discs, DVDs, or post them into posters, and provide them to a greater range of people in the oral tradition that they’ve grown up in. And so they only need a few Internet sites in order to distribute and disseminate the message.” Of course, to maintain their share of the government market, the Science Applications International Corporation also employs practices of publicity and promotion through the Internet and digital media. They use HTML Web pages for these purposes, as well as PowerPoint presentations and online video. The rhetoric of the Website of SAIC emphasises their motto “From Science to Solutions.” After a short Flash film about how SAIC scientists and engineers solve “complex technical problems,” the visitor is taken to the home page of the firm that re-emphasises their central message about expertise. The maps, uniforms, and specialised tools and equipment that are depicted in these opening Web pages reinforce an ethos of professional specialisation that is able to respond to multiple threats posed by the “global war on terror.” By 26 June 2006, the incident finally was being described as a “Pentagon Snafu” by ABC News. From the opening of reporter Jake Tapper’s investigative Webcast, established government institutions were put on the spot: “So, how much does the Pentagon know about videogames? Well, when it came to a recent appearance before Congress, apparently not enough.” Indeed, the very language about “experts” that was highlighted in the earlier coverage is repeated by Tapper in mockery, with the significant exception of “independent expert” Ian Bogost of the Georgia Institute of Technology. If the Pentagon and SAIC deride the legitimacy of rhetoric as a cultural practice, Bogost occupies himself with its defence. In his recent book Persuasive Games: The Expressive Power of Videogames, Bogost draws upon the authority of the “2,500 year history of rhetoric” to argue that videogames represent a significant development in that cultural narrative. Given that Bogost and his Watercooler Games Weblog co-editor Gonzalo Frasca were actively involved in the detective work that exposed the depth of professional incompetence involved in the government’s line-up of witnesses, it is appropriate that Bogost is given the final words in the ABC exposé. As Bogost says, “We should be deeply bothered by this. We should really be questioning the kind of advice that Congress is getting.” Bogost may be right that Congress received terrible counsel on that day, but a close reading of the transcript reveals that elected officials were much more than passive listeners: in fact they were lively participants in a cultural conversation about regulating digital media. After looking at the actual language of these exchanges, it seems that the persuasiveness of the misinformation from the Pentagon and SAIC had as much to do with lawmakers’ preconceived anxieties about practices of computer-mediated communication close to home as it did with the contradictory stereotypes that were presented to them about Internet practices abroad. In other words, lawmakers found themselves looking into a fun house mirror that distorted what should have been familiar artefacts of American popular culture because it was precisely what they wanted to see. References ABC News. “Terrorist Videogame?” Nightline Online. 21 June 2006. 22 June 2006 http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=2105341>. Bogost, Ian. Persuasive Games: Videogames and Procedural Rhetoric. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007. Game Politics. “Was Congress Misled by ‘Terrorist’ Game Video? We Talk to Gamer Who Created the Footage.” 11 May 2006. http://gamepolitics.livejournal.com/285129.html#cutid1>. Jenkins, Henry. Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. New York: New York UP, 2006. julieb. “David Morgan Is a Horrible Writer and Should Be Fired.” Online posting. 5 May 2006. Dvorak Uncensored Cage Match Forums. http://cagematch.dvorak.org/index.php/topic,130.0.html>. Mahmood. “Terrorists Don’t Recruit with Battlefield 2.” GGL Global Gaming. 16 May 2006 http://www.ggl.com/news.php?NewsId=3090>. Morgan, David. “Islamists Using U.S. Video Games in Youth Appeal.” Reuters online news service. 4 May 2006 http://today.reuters.com/news/ArticleNews.aspx?type=topNews &storyID=2006-05-04T215543Z_01_N04305973_RTRUKOC_0_US-SECURITY- VIDEOGAMES.xml&pageNumber=0&imageid=&cap=&sz=13&WTModLoc= NewsArt-C1-ArticlePage2>. Ong, Walter J. Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word. London/New York: Methuen, 1982. Parker, Trey. Online posting. 7 May 2006. 9 May 2006 http://www.treyparker.com>. Plato. “Gorgias.” Plato: Collected Dialogues. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1961. Shrader, Katherine. “Pentagon Surfing Thousands of Jihad Sites.” Associated Press 4 May 2006. SonicJihad. “SonicJihad: A Day in the Life of a Resistance Fighter.” Online posting. 26 Dec. 2005. Planet Battlefield Forums. 9 May 2006 http://www.forumplanet.com/planetbattlefield/topic.asp?fid=13670&tid=1806909&p=1>. Tapper, Jake, and Audery Taylor. “Terrorist Video Game or Pentagon Snafu?” ABC News Nightline 21 June 2006. 30 June 2006 http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/Technology/story?id=2105128&page=1>. U.S. Congressional Record. Panel I of the Hearing of the House Select Intelligence Committee, Subject: “Terrorist Use of the Internet for Communications.” Federal News Service. 4 May 2006. Welch, Kathleen E. Electric Rhetoric: Classical Rhetoric, Oralism, and the New Literacy. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1999. Citation reference for this article MLA Style Losh, Elizabeth. "Artificial Intelligence: Media Illiteracy and the SonicJihad Debacle in Congress." M/C Journal 10.5 (2007). echo date('d M. Y'); ?> <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0710/08-losh.php>. APA Style Losh, E. (Oct. 2007) "Artificial Intelligence: Media Illiteracy and the SonicJihad Debacle in Congress," M/C Journal, 10(5). Retrieved echo date('d M. Y'); ?> from <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0710/08-losh.php>.

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Stewart, Jon. "Oh Blessed Holy Caffeine Tree: Coffee in Popular Music." M/C Journal 15, no.2 (May2, 2012). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.462.

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Introduction This paper offers a survey of familiar popular music performers and songwriters who reference coffee in their work. It examines three areas of discourse: the psychoactive effects of caffeine, coffee and courtship rituals, and the politics of coffee consumption. I claim that coffee carries a cultural and musicological significance comparable to that of the chemical stimulants and consumer goods more readily associated with popular music. Songs about coffee may not be as potent as those featuring drugs and alcohol (Primack; Schapiro), or as common as those referencing commodities like clothes and cars (Englis; McCracken), but they do feature across a wide range of genres, some of which enjoy archetypal associations with this beverage. m.o.m.m.y. Needs c.o.f.f.e.e.: The Psychoactive Effect of Coffee The act of performing and listening to popular music involves psychological elements comparable to the overwhelming sensory experience of drug taking: altered perceptions, repetitive grooves, improvisation, self-expression, and psychological empathy—such as that between musician and audience (Curry). Most popular music genres are, as a result, culturally and sociologically identified with the consumption of at least one mind-altering substance (Lyttle; Primack; Schapiro). While the analysis of lyrics referring to this theme has hitherto focused on illegal drugs and alcoholic beverages (Cooper), coffee and its psychoactive ingredient caffeine have been almost entirely overlooked (Summer). The most recent study of drugs in popular music, for example, defined substance use as “tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, cocaine and other stimulants, heroin and other opiates, hallucinogens, inhalants, prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, and nonspecific substances” (Primack 172), thereby ignoring a chemical stimulant consumed by 90 per cent of adult Americans every day (Lovett). The wide availability of coffee and the comparatively mild effect of caffeine means that its consumption rarely causes harm. One researcher has described it as a ubiquitous and unobtrusive “generalised public activity […] ‘invisible’ to analysts seeking distinctive social events” (Cooper 92). Coffee may provide only a relatively mild “buzz”—but it is now accepted that caffeine is an addictive substance (Juliano) and, due to its universal legality, coffee is also the world’s most extensively traded and enthusiastically consumed psychoactive consumer product (Juliano 1). The musical genre of jazz has a longstanding relationship with marijuana and narcotics (Curry; Singer; Tolson; Winick). Unsurprisingly, given its Round Midnight connotations, jazz standards also celebrate the restorative impact of coffee. Exemplary compositions include Burke/Webster’s insomniac torch song Black Coffee, which provided hits for Sarah Vaughan (1949), Ella Fitzgerald (1953), and Peggy Lee (1960); and Frank Sinatra’s recordings of Hilliard/Dick’s The Coffee Song (1946, 1960), which satirised the coffee surplus in Brazil at a time when this nation enjoyed a near monopoly on production. Sinatra joked that this ubiquitous drink was that country’s only means of liquid refreshment, in a refrain that has since become a headline writer’s phrasal template: “There’s an Awful Lot of Coffee in Vietnam,” “An Awful Lot of Coffee in the Bin,” and “There’s an Awful Lot of Taxes in Brazil.” Ethnographer Aaron Fox has shown how country music gives expression to the lived social experience of blue-collar and agrarian workers (Real 29). Coffee’s role in energising working class America (Cooper) is featured in such recordings as Dolly Parton’s Nine To Five (1980), which describes her morning routine using a memorable “kitchen/cup of ambition” rhyme, and Don't Forget the Coffee Billy Joe (1973) by Tom T. Hall which laments the hardship of unemployment, hunger, cold, and lack of healthcare. Country music’s “tired truck driver” is the most enduring blue-collar trope celebrating coffee’s analeptic powers. Versions include Truck Drivin' Man by Buck Owens (1964), host of the country TV show Hee Haw and pioneer of the Bakersfield sound, and Driving My Life Away from pop-country crossover star Eddie Rabbitt (1980). Both feature characteristically gendered stereotypes of male truck drivers pushing on through the night with the help of a truck stop waitress who has fuelled them with caffeine. Johnny Cash’s A Cup of Coffee (1966), recorded at the nadir of his addiction to pills and alcohol, has an incoherent improvised lyric on this subject; while Jerry Reed even prescribed amphetamines to keep drivers awake in Caffein [sic], Nicotine, Benzedrine (And Wish Me Luck) (1980). Doye O’Dell’s Diesel Smoke, Dangerous Curves (1952) is the archetypal “truck drivin’ country” song and the most exciting track of its type. It subsequently became a hit for the doyen of the subgenre, Red Simpson (1966). An exhausted driver, having spent the night with a woman whose name he cannot now recall, is fighting fatigue and wrestling his hot-rod low-loader around hairpin mountain curves in an attempt to rendezvous with a pretty truck stop waitress. The song’s palpable energy comes from its frenetic guitar picking and the danger implicit in trailing a heavy load downhill while falling asleep at the wheel. Tommy Faile’s Phantom 309, a hit for Red Sovine (1967) that was later covered by Tom Waits (Big Joe and the Phantom 309, 1975), elevates the “tired truck driver” narrative to gothic literary form. Reflecting country music’s moral code of citizenship and its culture of performative storytelling (Fox, Real 23), it tells of a drenched and exhausted young hitchhiker picked up by Big Joe—the driver of a handsome eighteen-wheeler. On arriving at a truck stop, Joe drops the traveller off, giving him money for a restorative coffee. The diner falls silent as the hitchhiker orders up his “cup of mud”. Big Joe, it transpires, is a phantom trucker. After running off the road to avoid a school bus, his distinctive ghost rig now only reappears to rescue stranded travellers. Punk rock, a genre closely associated with recreational amphetamines (McNeil 76, 87), also features a number of caffeine-as-stimulant songs. Californian punk band, Descendents, identified caffeine as their drug of choice in two 1996 releases, Coffee Mug and Kids on Coffee. These songs describe chugging the drink with much the same relish and energy that others might pull at the neck of a beer bottle, and vividly compare the effects of the drug to the intense rush of speed. The host of “New Music News” (a segment of MTV’s 120 Minutes) references this correlation in 1986 while introducing the band’s video—in which they literally bounce off the walls: “You know, while everybody is cracking down on crack, what about that most respectable of toxic substances or stimulants, the good old cup of coffee? That is the preferred high, actually, of California’s own Descendents—it is also the subject of their brand new video” (“New Music News”). Descendents’s Sessions EP (1997) featured an overflowing cup of coffee on the sleeve, while punk’s caffeine-as-amphetamine trope is also promulgated by Hellbender (Caffeinated 1996), Lagwagon (Mr. Coffee 1997), and Regatta 69 (Addicted to Coffee 2005). Coffee in the Morning and Kisses in the Night: Coffee and Courtship Coffee as romantic metaphor in song corroborates the findings of early researchers who examined courtship rituals in popular music. Donald Horton’s 1957 study found that hit songs codified the socially constructed self-image and limited life expectations of young people during the 1950s by depicting conservative, idealised, and traditional relationship scenarios. He summarised these as initial courtship, honeymoon period, uncertainty, and parting (570-4). Eleven years after this landmark analysis, James Carey replicated Horton’s method. His results revealed that pop lyrics had become more realistic and less bound by convention during the 1960s. They incorporated a wider variety of discourse including the temporariness of romantic commitment, the importance of individual autonomy in relationships, more liberal attitudes, and increasingly unconventional courtship behaviours (725). Socially conservative coffee songs include Coffee in the Morning and Kisses in the Night by The Boswell Sisters (1933) in which the protagonist swears fidelity to her partner on condition that this desire is expressed strictly in the appropriate social context of marriage. It encapsulates the restrictions Horton identified on courtship discourse in popular song prior to the arrival of rock and roll. The Henderson/DeSylva/Brown composition You're the Cream in My Coffee, recorded by Annette Hanshaw (1928) and by Nat King Cole (1946), also celebrates the social ideal of monogamous devotion. The persistence of such idealised traditional themes continued into the 1960s. American pop singer Don Cherry had a hit with Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye (1962) that used coffee as a metaphor for undying and everlasting love. Otis Redding’s version of Butler/Thomas/Walker’s Cigarettes and Coffee (1966)—arguably soul music’s exemplary romantic coffee song—carries a similar message as a couple proclaim their devotion in a late night conversation over coffee. Like much of the Stax catalogue, Cigarettes and Coffee, has a distinctly “down home” feel and timbre. The lovers are simply content with each other; they don’t need “cream” or “sugar.” Horton found 1950s blues and R&B lyrics much more sexually explicit than pop songs (567). Dawson (1994) subsequently characterised black popular music as a distinct public sphere, and Squires (2002) argued that it displayed elements of what she defined as “enclave” and “counterpublic” traits. Lawson (2010) has argued that marginalised and/or subversive blues artists offered a form of countercultural resistance against prevailing social norms. Indeed, several blues and R&B coffee songs disregard established courtship ideals and associate the product with non-normative and even transgressive relationship circ*mstances—including infidelity, divorce, and domestic violence. Lightnin’ Hopkins’s Coffee Blues (1950) references child neglect and spousal abuse, while the narrative of Muddy Waters’s scorching Iodine in my Coffee (1952) tells of an attempted poisoning by his Waters’s partner. In 40 Cups of Coffee (1953) Ella Mae Morse is waiting for her husband to return home, fuelling her anger and anxiety with caffeine. This song does eventually comply with traditional courtship ideals: when her lover eventually returns home at five in the morning, he is greeted with a relieved kiss. In Keep That Coffee Hot (1955), Scatman Crothers supplies a counterpoint to Morse’s late-night-abandonment narrative, asking his partner to keep his favourite drink warm during his adulterous absence. Brook Benton’s Another Cup of Coffee (1964) expresses acute feelings of regret and loneliness after a failed relationship. More obliquely, in Coffee Blues (1966) Mississippi John Hurt sings affectionately about his favourite brand, a “lovin’ spoonful” of Maxwell House. In this, he bequeathed the moniker of folk-rock band The Lovin’ Spoonful, whose hits included Do You Believe in Magic (1965) and Summer in the City (1966). However, an alternative reading of Hurt’s lyric suggests that this particular phrase is a metaphorical device proclaiming the author’s sexual potency. Hurt’s “lovin’ spoonful” may actually be a portion of his seminal emission. In the 1950s, Horton identified country as particularly “doleful” (570), and coffee provides a common metaphor for failed romance in a genre dominated by “metanarratives of loss and desire” (Fox, Jukebox 54). Claude Gray’s I'll Have Another Cup of Coffee (Then I’ll Go) (1961) tells of a protagonist delivering child support payments according to his divorce lawyer’s instructions. The couple share late night coffee as their children sleep through the conversation. This song was subsequently recorded by seventeen-year-old Bob Marley (One Cup of Coffee, 1962) under the pseudonym Bobby Martell, a decade prior to his breakthrough as an international reggae star. Marley’s youngest son Damian has also performed the track while, interestingly in the context of this discussion, his older sibling Rohan co-founded Marley Coffee, an organic farm in the Jamaican Blue Mountains. Following Carey’s demonstration of mainstream pop’s increasingly realistic depiction of courtship behaviours during the 1960s, songwriters continued to draw on coffee as a metaphor for failed romance. In Carly Simon’s You’re So Vain (1972), she dreams of clouds in her coffee while contemplating an ostentatious ex-lover. Squeeze’s Black Coffee In Bed (1982) uses a coffee stain metaphor to describe the end of what appears to be yet another dead-end relationship for the protagonist. Sarah Harmer’s Coffee Stain (1998) expands on this device by reworking the familiar “lipstick on your collar” trope, while Sexsmith & Kerr’s duet Raindrops in my Coffee (2005) superimposes teardrops in coffee and raindrops on the pavement with compelling effect. Kate Bush’s Coffee Homeground (1978) provides the most extreme narrative of relationship breakdown: the true story of Cora Henrietta Crippin’s poisoning. Researchers who replicated Horton’s and Carey’s methodology in the late 1970s (Bridges; Denisoff) were surprised to find their results dominated by traditional courtship ideals. The new liberal values unearthed by Carey in the late 1960s simply failed to materialise in subsequent decades. In this context, it is interesting to observe how romantic coffee songs in contemporary soul and jazz continue to disavow the post-1960s trend towards realistic social narratives, adopting instead a conspicuously consumerist outlook accompanied by smooth musical timbres. This phenomenon possibly betrays the influence of contemporary coffee advertising. From the 1980s, television commercials have sought to establish coffee as a desirable high end product, enjoyed by bohemian lovers in a conspicuously up-market environment (Werder). All Saints’s Black Coffee (2000) and Lebrado’s Coffee (2006) identify strongly with the culture industry’s image of coffee as a luxurious beverage whose consumption signifies prominent social status. All Saints’s promotional video is set in a opulent location (although its visuals emphasise the lyric’s romantic disharmony), while Natalie Cole’s Coffee Time (2008) might have been itself written as a commercial. Busting Up a Starbucks: The Politics of Coffee Politics and coffee meet most palpably at the coffee shop. This conjunction has a well-documented history beginning with the establishment of coffee houses in Europe and the birth of the public sphere (Habermas; Love; Pincus). The first popular songs to reference coffee shops include Jaybird Coleman’s Coffee Grinder Blues (1930), which boasts of skills that precede the contemporary notion of a barista by four decades; and Let's Have Another Cup of Coffee (1932) from Irving Berlin’s depression-era musical Face The Music, where the protagonists decide to stay in a restaurant drinking coffee and eating pie until the economy improves. Coffee in a Cardboard Cup (1971) from the Broadway musical 70 Girls 70 is an unambiguous condemnation of consumerism, however, it was written, recorded and produced a generation before Starbucks’ aggressive expansion and rapid dominance of the coffee house market during the 1990s. The growth of this company caused significant criticism and protest against what seemed to be a ruthless hom*ogenising force that sought to overwhelm local competition (Holt; Thomson). In response, Starbucks has sought to be defined as a more responsive and interactive brand that encourages “glocalisation” (de Larios; Thompson). Koller, however, has characterised glocalisation as the manipulative fabrication of an “imagined community”—whose heterogeneity is in fact maintained by the aesthetics and purchasing choices of consumers who make distinctive and conscious anti-brand statements (114). Neat Capitalism is a more useful concept here, one that intercedes between corporate ideology and postmodern cultural logic, where such notions as community relations and customer satisfaction are deliberately and perhaps somewhat cynically conflated with the goal of profit maximisation (Rojek). As the world’s largest chain of coffee houses with over 19,400 stores in March 2012 (Loxcel), Starbucks is an exemplar of this phenomenon. Their apparent commitment to environmental stewardship, community relations, and ethical sourcing is outlined in the company’s annual “Global Responsibility Report” (Vimac). It is also demonstrated in their engagement with charitable and environmental non-governmental organisations such as Fairtrade and Co-operative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere (CARE). By emphasising this, Starbucks are able to interpellate (that is, “call forth”, “summon”, or “hail” in Althusserian terms) those consumers who value environmental protection, social justice and ethical business practices (Rojek 117). Bob Dylan and Sheryl Crow provide interesting case studies of the persuasive cultural influence evoked by Neat Capitalism. Dylan’s 1962 song Talkin’ New York satirised his formative experiences as an impoverished performer in Greenwich Village’s coffee houses. In 1995, however, his decision to distribute the Bob Dylan: Live At The Gaslight 1962 CD exclusively via Starbucks generated significant media controversy. Prominent commentators expressed their disapproval (Wilson Harris) and HMV Canada withdrew Dylan’s product from their shelves (Lynskey). Despite this, the success of this and other projects resulted in the launch of Starbucks’s in-house record company, Hear Music, which released entirely new recordings from major artists such as Ray Charles, Paul McCartney, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon and Elvis Costello—although the company has recently announced a restructuring of their involvement in this venture (O’Neil). Sheryl Crow disparaged her former life as a waitress in Coffee Shop (1995), a song recorded for her second album. “Yes, I was a waitress. I was a waitress not so long ago; then I won a Grammy” she affirmed in a YouTube clip of a live performance from the same year. More recently, however, Crow has become an avowed self-proclaimed “Starbucks groupie” (Tickle), releasing an Artist’s Choice (2003) compilation album exclusively via Hear Music and performing at the company’s 2010 Annual Shareholders’s Meeting. Songs voicing more unequivocal dissatisfaction with Starbucks’s particular variant of Neat Capitalism include Busting Up a Starbucks (Mike Doughty, 2005), and Starbucks Takes All My Money (KJ-52, 2008). The most successful of these is undoubtedly Ron Sexsmith’s Jazz at the Bookstore (2006). Sexsmith bemoans the irony of intense original blues artists such as Leadbelly being drowned out by the cacophony of coffee grinding machines while customers queue up to purchase expensive coffees whose names they can’t pronounce. In this, he juxtaposes the progressive patina of corporate culture against the circ*mstances of African-American labour conditions in the deep South, the shocking incongruity of which eventually cause the old bluesman to turn in his grave. Fredric Jameson may have good reason to lament the depthless a-historical pastiche of postmodern popular culture, but this is no “nostalgia film”: Sexsmith articulates an artfully framed set of subtle, sensitive, and carefully contextualised observations. Songs about coffee also intersect with politics via lyrics that play on the mid-brown colour of the beverage, by employing it as a metaphor for the sociological meta-narratives of acculturation and assimilation. First popularised in Israel Zangwill’s 1905 stage play, The Melting Pot, this term is more commonly associated with Americanisation rather than miscegenation in the United States—a nuanced distinction that British band Blue Mink failed to grasp with their memorable invocation of “coffee-coloured people” in Melting Pot (1969). Re-titled in the US as People Are Together (Mickey Murray, 1970) the song was considered too extreme for mainstream radio airplay (Thompson). Ike and Tina Turner’s Black Coffee (1972) provided a more accomplished articulation of coffee as a signifier of racial identity; first by associating it with the history of slavery and the post-Civil Rights discourse of African-American autonomy, then by celebrating its role as an energising force for African-American workers seeking economic self-determination. Anyone familiar with the re-casting of black popular music in an industry dominated by Caucasian interests and aesthetics (Cashmore; Garofalo) will be unsurprised to find British super-group Humble Pie’s (1973) version of this song more recognisable. Conclusion Coffee-flavoured popular songs celebrate the stimulant effects of caffeine, provide metaphors for courtship rituals, and offer critiques of Neat Capitalism. Harold Love and Guthrie Ramsey have each argued (from different perspectives) that the cultural micro-narratives of small social groups allow us to identify important “ethnographic truths” (Ramsey 22). Aesthetically satisfying and intellectually stimulating coffee songs are found where these micro-narratives intersect with the ethnographic truths of coffee culture. 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Waiting for the Man: The Story of Drugs and Popular Music. London: Quartet Books, 1988. Singer, Merrill, and Greg Mirhej. “High Notes: The Role of Drugs in the Making of Jazz.” Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse 5.4 (2006):1–38. Squires, Catherine R. “Rethinking the Black Public Sphere: An Alternative Vocabulary for Multiple Public Spheres.” Communication Theory 12.4 (2002): 446–68. Thompson, Craig J., and Zeynep Arsel. “The Starbucks Brandscape and Consumers’ (Anticorporate) Experiences of Glocalization.” Journal of Consumer Research 31 (2004.): 631–42. Thompson, Erik. “Secret Stash Records Releases Forgotten Music in Stylish Packages: Meet Founders Cory Wong and Eric Foss.” CityPages 18 Jan. 2012. 1 Feb. 2012 ‹http://www.citypages.com/2012-01-18/music/secret-stash-records-releases-forgotten-music-in-stylish-packages/›.Tickle, Cindy. “Sheryl Crow Performs at Starbucks Annual Shareholders Meeting.” Examiner.com24 Mar. 2010. 1 Feb. 2012 ‹http://www.examiner.com/starbucks-in-national/sheryl-crow-performs-at-starbucks-annual-shareholders-meeting-photos›.Tolson, Gerald H., and Michael J. Cuyjet. “Jazz and Substance Abuse: Road to Creative Genius or Pathway to Premature Death?”. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry 30 (2007): 530–38. Varma, Vivek, and Ben Packard. “Starbucks Global Responsibility Report Goals and Progress 2011”. Starbucks Corporation 1 Apr. 2012 ‹http://assets.starbucks.com/assets/goals-progress-report-2011.pdf›. Werder, Olaf. “Brewing Romance The Romantic Fantasy Theme of the Taster’s Choice ‘Couple’ Advertising Campaign.” Critical Thinking About Sex, Love, And Romance In The Mass Media: Media Literacy Applications. Eds. Mary-Lou Galician and Debra L. Merskin. New Jersey: Taylor & Francis, 2009. 35–48. Wilson, Jeremy “Desolation Row: Dylan Signs With Starbucks.” The Guardian 29 Jun. 2005. 1 Feb. 2012 ‹http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/jun/29/bobdylan.digitalmedia?INTCMP=SRCH›. Winick, Charles. “The Use of Drugs by Jazz Musicians.” Social Problems 7.3 (1959): 240–53.

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Tofts, Darren John. "Why Writers Hate the Second Law of Thermodynamics: Lists, Entropy and the Sense of Unending." M/C Journal 15, no.5 (October12, 2012). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.549.

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If you cannot understand my argument, and declare “It’s Greek to me,” you are quoting Shakespeare.Bernard LevinPsoriatic arthritis, in its acute or “generalised” stage, is unbearably painful. Exacerbating the crippling of the joints, the entire surface of the skin is covered with lesions only moderately salved by anti-inflammatory ointment, the application of which is as painful as the ailment it seeks to relieve: NURSE MILLS: I’ll be as gentle as I can.Marlow’s face again fills the screen, intense concentration, comical strain, and a whispered urgency in the voice over—MARLOW: (Voice over) Think of something boring—For Christ’s sake think of something very very boring—Speech a speech by Ted Heath a sentence long sentence from Bernard Levin a quiz by Christopher Booker a—oh think think—! Really boring! A Welsh male-voice choir—Everything in Punch—Oh! Oh! — (Potter 17-18)Marlow’s collation of boring things as a frantic liturgy is an attempt to distract himself from a tumescence that is both unwanted and out of place. Although bed-ridden and in constant pain, he is still sensitive to erogenous stimulation, even when it is incidental. The act of recollection, of garnering lists of things that bore him, distracts him from his immediate situation as he struggles with the mental anguish of the prospect of a humiliating org*sm. Literary lists do many things. They provide richness of detail, assemble and corroborate the materiality of the world of which they are a part and provide insight into the psyche and motivation of the collator. The sheer desperation of Dennis Potter’s Marlow attests to the arbitrariness of the list, the simple requirement that discrete and unrelated items can be assembled in linear order, without any obligation for topical concatenation. In its interrogative form, the list can serve a more urgent and distressing purpose than distraction:GOLDBERG: What do you use for pyjamas?STANLEY: Nothing.GOLDBERG: You verminate the sheet of your birth.MCCANN: What about the Albigensenist heresy?GOLDBERG: Who watered the wicket in Melbourne?MCCANN: What about the blessed Oliver Plunkett?(Pinter 51)The interrogative non sequitur is an established feature of the art of intimidation. It is designed to exert maximum stress in the subject through the use of obscure asides and the endowing of trivial detail with profundity. Harold Pinter’s use of it in The Birthday Party reveals how central it was to his “theatre of menace.” The other tactic, which also draws on the logic of the inventory to be both sequential and discontinuous, is to break the subject’s will through a machine-like barrage of rhetorical questions that leave no time for answers.Pinter learned from Samuel Beckett the pitiless, unforgiving logic of trivial detail pushed to extremes. Think of Molloy’s dilemma of the sucking stones. In order for all sixteen stones that he carries with him to be sucked at least once to assuage his hunger, a reliable system has to be hit upon:Taking a stone from the right pocket of my greatcoat, and putting it in my mouth, I replaced it in the right pocket of my greatcoat by a stone from the right pocket of my trousers, which I replaced with a stone from the left pocket of my trousers, which I replaced by a stone from the left pocket of my greatcoat, which I replaced with the stone that was in my mouth, as soon as I had finished sucking it. Thus there were still four stones in each of my four pockets, but not quite the same stones. And when the desire to suck took hold of me again, I drew again on the right pocket of my greatcoat, certain of not taking the same stone as the last time. And while I sucked it I rearranged the other stones in the way I have just described. And so on. (Beckett, Molloy 69)And so on for six pages. Exhaustive permutation within a finite lexical set is common in Beckett. In the novel Watt the eponymous central character is charged with serving his unseen master’s dinner as well as tidying up afterwards. A simple and bucolic enough task it would seem. But Beckett’s characters are not satisfied with conjecture, the simple assumption that someone must be responsible for Mr. Knott’s dining arrangements. Like Molloy’s solution to the sucking stone problem, all possible scenarios must be considered to explain the conundrum of how and why Watt never saw Knott at mealtime. Twelve possibilities are offered, among them that1. Mr. Knott was responsible for the arrangement, and knew that he was responsible for the arrangement, and knew that such an arrangement existed, and was content.2. Mr. Knott was not responsible for the arrangement, but knew who was responsible for the arrangement, and knew that such an arrangement existed, and was content.(Beckett, Watt 86)This stringent adherence to detail, absurd and exasperating as it is, is the work of fiction, the persistence of a viable, believable thing called Watt who exists as long as his thought is made manifest on a page. All writers face this pernicious prospect of having to confront and satisfy “fiction’s gargantuan appetite for fact, for detail, for documentation” (Kenner 70). A writer’s writer (Philip Marlow) Dennis Potter’s singing detective struggles with the acute consciousness that words eventually will fail him. His struggle to overcome verbal entropy is a spectre that haunts the entire literary imagination, for when the words stop the world stops.Beckett made this struggle the very stuff of his work, declaring famously that all he wanted to do as a writer was to leave “a stain upon the silence” (quoted in Bair 681). His characters deteriorate from recognisable people (Hamm in Endgame, Winnie in Happy Days) to mere ciphers of speech acts (the bodiless head Listener in That Time, Mouth in Not I). During this process they provide us with the vocabulary of entropy, a horror most eloquently expressed at the end of The Unnamable: I can’t go on, you must go on, I’ll go on, you must say words, as long as there are any, until they find me, until they say me, strange pain, strange sin, you must go on, perhaps it’s done already, perhaps they have said me already, perhaps they have carried me to the threshold of my story, before the door that opens on my story, that would surprise me, if it opens, it will be I, it will be the silence, where I am, I don’t know, I’ll never know, in the silence you don’t know, you must go on, I can’t go on, I’ll go on. (Beckett, Molloy 418)The importance Beckett accorded to pauses in his writing, from breaks in dialogue to punctuation, stresses the pacing of utterance that is in sync with the rhythm of human breath. This is acutely underlined in Jack MacGowran’s extraordinary gramophone recording of the above passage from The Unnamable. There is exhaustion in his voice, but it is inflected by an urgent push for the next words to forestall the last gasp. And what might appear to be parsimony is in fact the very commerce of writing itself. It is an economy of necessity, when any words will suffice to sustain presence in the face of imminent silence.Hugh Kenner has written eloquently on the relationship between writing and entropy, drawing on field and number theory to demonstrate how the business of fiction is forever in the process of generating variation within a finite set. The “stoic comedian,” as he figures the writer facing the blank page, self-consciously practices their art in the full cognisance that they select “elements from a closed set, and then (arrange) them inside a closed field” (Kenner 94). The nouveau roman (a genre conceived and practiced in Beckett’s lean shadow) is remembered in literary history as a rather austere, po-faced formalism that foregrounded things at the expense of human psychology or social interaction. But it is emblematic of Kenner’s portrait of stoicism as an attitude to writing that confronts the nature of fiction itself, on its own terms, as a practice “which is endlessly arranging things” (13):The bulge of the bank also begins to take effect starting from the fifth row: this row, as a matter of fact, also possesses only twenty-one trees, whereas it should have twenty-two for a true trapezoid and twenty-three for a rectangle (uneven row). (Robbe-Grillet 21)As a matter of fact. The nouveau roman made a fine if myopic art of isolating detail for detail’s sake. However, it shares with both Beckett’s minimalism and Joyce’s maximalism the obligation of fiction to fill its world with stuff (“maximalism” is a term coined by Michel Delville and Andrew Norris in relation to the musical scores of Frank Zappa that opposes the minimalism of John Cage’s work). Kenner asks, in The Stoic Comedians, where do the “thousands on thousands of things come from, that clutter Ulysses?” His answer is simple, from “a convention” and this prosaic response takes us to the heart of the matter with respect to the impact on writing of Isaac Newton’s unforgiving Second Law of Thermodynamics. In the law’s strictest physical sense of the dissipation of heat, of the loss of energy within any closed system that moves, the stipulation of the Second Law predicts that words will, of necessity, stop in any form governed by convention (be it of horror, comedy, tragedy, the Bildungsroman, etc.). Building upon and at the same time refining the early work on motion and mass theorised by Aristotle, Kepler, and Galileo, inter alia, Newton refined both the laws and language of classical mechanics. It was from Wiener’s literary reading of Newton that Kenner segued from the loss of energy within any closed system (entropy) to the running silent out of words within fiction.In the wake of Norbert Wiener’s cybernetic turn in thinking in the 1940s, which was highly influenced by Newton’s Second Law, fiction would never again be considered in the same way (metafiction was a term coined in part to recognise this shift; the nouveau roman another). Far from delivering a reassured and reassuring present-ness, an integrated and ongoing cosmos, fiction is an isometric exercise in the struggle against entropy, of a world in imminent danger of running out of energy, of not-being:“His hand took his hat from the peg over his initialled heavy overcoat…” Four nouns, and the book’s world is heavier by four things. One, the hat, “Plasto’s high grade,” will remain in play to the end. The hand we shall continue to take for granted: it is Bloom’s; it goes with his body, which we are not to stop imagining. The peg and the overcoat will fade. “On the doorstep he felt in his hip pocket for the latchkey. Not there. In the trousers I left off.” Four more things. (Kenner 87)This passage from The Stoic Comedians is a tour de force of the conjuror’s art, slowing down the subliminal process of the illusion for us to see the fragility of fiction’s precarious grip on the verge of silence, heroically “filling four hundred empty pages with combinations of twenty-six different letters” (xiii). Kenner situates Joyce in a comic tradition, preceded by Gustave Flaubert and followed by Beckett, of exhaustive fictive possibility. The stoic, he tells us, “is one who considers, with neither panic nor indifference, that the field of possibilities available to him is large perhaps, or small perhaps, but closed” (he is prompt in reminding us that among novelists, gamblers and ethical theorists, the stoic is also a proponent of the Second Law of Thermodynamics) (xiii). If Joyce is the comedian of the inventory, then it is Flaubert, comedian of the Enlightenment, who is his immediate ancestor. Bouvard and Pécuchet (1881) is an unfinished novel written in the shadow of the Encyclopaedia, an apparatus of the literate mind that sought complete knowledge. But like the Encyclopaedia particularly and the Enlightenment more generally, it is fragmentation that determines its approach to and categorisation of detail as information about the world. Bouvard and Pécuchet ends, appropriately, in a frayed list of details, pronouncements and ephemera.In the face of an unassailable impasse, all that is left Flaubert is the list. For more than thirty years he constructed the Dictionary of Received Ideas in the shadow of the truncated Bouvard and Pécuchet. And in doing so he created for the nineteenth century mind “a handbook for novelists” (Kenner 19), a breakdown of all we know “into little pieces so arranged that they can be found one at a time” (3): ACADEMY, FRENCH: Run it down but try to belong to it if you can.GREEK: Whatever one cannot understand is Greek.KORAN: Book about Mohammed, which is all about women.MACHIAVELLIAN: Word only to be spoken with a shudder.PHILOSOPHY: Always snigg*r at it.WAGNER: Snigg*r when you hear his name and joke about the music of the future. (Flaubert, Dictionary 293-330)This is a sample of the exhaustion that issues from the tireless pursuit of categorisation, classification, and the mania for ordered information. The Dictionary manifests the Enlightenment’s insatiable hunger for received ideas, an unwieldy background noise of popular opinion, general knowledge, expertise, and hearsay. In both Bouvard and Pécuchet and the Dictionary, exhaustion was the foundation of a comic art as it was for both Joyce and Beckett after him, for the simple reason that it includes everything and neglects nothing. It is comedy born of overwhelming competence, a sublime impertinence, though not of manners or social etiquette, but rather, with a nod to Oscar Wilde, the impertinence of being definitive (a droll epithet that, not surprisingly, was the title of Kenner’s 1982 Times Literary Supplement review of Richard Ellmann’s revised and augmented biography of Joyce).The inventory, then, is the underlining physio-semiotics of fictional mechanics, an elegiac resistance to the thread of fiction fraying into nothingness. The motif of thermodynamics is no mere literary conceit here. Consider the opening sentence in Borges:Of the many problems which exercised the reckless discernment of Lönnrot, none was so strange—so rigorously strange, shall we say—as the periodic series of bloody events which culminated at the villa of Triste-le-Roy, amid the ceaseless aroma of the eucalypti. (Borges 76)The subordinate clause, as a means of adjectival and adverbial augmentation, implies a potentially infinite sentence through the sheer force of grammatical convention, a machine-like resistance to running out of puff:Under the notable influence of Chesterton (contriver and embellisher of elegant mysteries) and the palace counsellor Leibniz (inventor of the pre-established harmony), in my idle afternoons I have imagined this story plot which I shall perhaps write someday and which already justifies me somehow. (72)In “Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote,” a single adjective charmed with emphasis will do to imply an unseen network:The visible work left by this novelist is easily and briefly enumerated. (Borges 36)The annotation of this network is the inexorable issue of the inflection: “I have said that Menard’s work can be easily enumerated. Having examined with care his personal files, I find that they contain the following items.” (37) This is a sample selection from nineteen entries:a) A Symbolist sonnet which appeared twice (with variants) in the review La conque (issues of March and October 1899).o) A transposition into alexandrines of Paul Valéry’s Le cimitière marin (N.R.F., January 1928).p) An invective against Paul Valéry, in the Papers for the Suppression of Reality of Jacques Reboul. (37-38)Lists, when we encounter them in Jorge Luis Borges, are always contextual, supplying necessary detail to expand upon character and situation. And they are always intertextual, anchoring this specific fictional world to others (imaginary, real, fabulatory or yet to come). The collation and annotation of the literary works of an imagined author (Pierre Menard) of an invented author (Edmond Teste) of an actual author (Paul Valéry) creates a recursive, yet generative, feedback loop of reference and literary progeny. As long as one of these authors continues to write, or write of the work of at least one of the others, a persistent fictional present tense is ensured.Consider Hillel Schwartz’s use of the list in his Making Noise (2011). It not only lists what can and is inevitably heard, in this instance the European 1700s, but what it, or local aural colour, is heard over:Earthy: criers of artichokes, asparagus, baskets, beans, beer, bells, biscuits, brooms, buttermilk, candles, six-pence-a-pound fair cherries, chickens, clothesline, co*ckles, combs, coal, crabs, cucumbers, death lists, door mats, eels, fresh eggs, firewood, flowers, garlic, hake, herring, ink, ivy, jokebooks, lace, lanterns, lemons, lettuce, mackeral, matches […]. (Schwartz 143)The extended list and the catalogue, when encountered as formalist set pieces in fiction or, as in Schwartz’s case, non-fiction, are the expansive equivalent of le mot juste, the self-conscious, painstaking selection of the right word, the specific detail. Of Ulysses, Kenner observes that it was perfectly natural that it “should have attracted the attention of a group of scholars who wanted practice in compiling a word-index to some extensive piece of prose (Miles Hanley, Word Index to Ulysses, 1937). More than any other work of fiction, it suggests by its texture, often by the very look of its pages, that it has been painstakingly assembled out of single words…” (31-32). In a book already crammed with detail, with persistent reference to itself, to other texts, other media, such formalist set pieces as the following from the oneiric “Circe” episode self-consciously perform for our scrutiny fiction’s insatiable hunger for more words, for invention, the Latin root of which also gives us the word inventory:The van of the procession appears headed by John Howard Parnell, city marshal, in a chessboard tabard, the Athlone Poursuivant and Ulster King of Arms. They are followed by the Right Honourable Joseph Hutchinson, lord mayor Dublin, the lord mayor of Cork, their worships the mayors of Limerick, Galway, Sligo and Waterford, twentyeight Irish representative peers, sirdars, grandees and maharajahs bearing the cloth of estate, the Dublin Metropolitan Fire Brigade, the chapter of the saints of finance in their plutocratic order of precedence, the bishop of Down and Connor, His Eminence Michael cardinal Logue archbishop of Armagh, primate of all Ireland, His Grace, the most reverend Dr William Alexander, archbishop of Armagh, primate of all Ireland, the chief rabbi, the Presbyterian moderator, the heads of the Baptist, Anabaptist, Methodist and Moravian chapels and the honorary secretary of the society of friends. (Joyce, Ulysses 602-604)Such examples demonstrate how Joycean inventories break from narrative as architectonic, stand-alone assemblages of information. They are Rabelaisian irruptions, like Philip Marlow’s lesions, that erupt in swollen bas-relief. The exaggerated, at times hysterical, quality of such lists, perform the hallucinatory work of displacement and condensation (the Homeric parallel here is the transformation of Odysseus’s men into swine by the witch Circe). Freudian, not to mention Stindberg-ian dream-work brings together and juxtaposes images and details that only make sense as non-sense (realistic but not real), such as the extraordinary explosive gathering of civic, commercial, political, chivalric representatives of Dublin in this foreshortened excerpt of Bloom’s regal campaign for his “new Bloomusalem” (606).The text’s formidable echolalia, whereby motifs recur and recapitulate into leitmotifs, ensures that the act of reading Ulysses is always cross-referential, suggesting the persistence of a conjured world that is always already still coming into being through reading. And it is of course this forestalling of Newton’s Second Law that Joyce brazenly conducts, in both the textual and physical sense, in Finnegans Wake. The Wake is an impossible book in that it infinitely sustains the circulation of words within a closed system, creating a weird feedback loop of cyclical return. It is a text that can run indefinitely through the force of its own momentum without coming to a conclusion. In a text in which the author’s alter ego is described in terms of the technology of inscription (Shem the Penman) and his craft as being a “punsil shapner,” (Joyce, Finnegans 98) Norbert Wiener’s descriptive example of feedback as the forestalling of entropy in the conscious act of picking up a pencil is apt: One we have determined this, our motion proceeds in such a way that we may say roughly that the amount by which the pencil is not yet picked up is decreased at each stage. (Wiener 7) The Wake overcomes the book’s, and indeed writing’s, struggle with entropy through the constant return of energy into its closed system as a cycle of endless return. Its generative algorithm can be represented thus: “… a long the riverrun …” (628-3). The Wake’s sense of unending confounds and contradicts, in advance, Frank Kermode’s averring to Newton’s Second Law in his insistence that the progression of all narrative fiction is defined in terms of the “sense of an ending,” the expectation of a conclusion, whereby the termination of words makes “possible a satisfying consonance with the origins and with the middle” (Kermode 17). It is the realisation of the novel imagined by Silas Flannery, the fictitious author in Italo Calvino’s If on a winter’s night a traveller, an incipit that “maintains for its whole duration the potentiality of the beginning” (Calvino 140). Finnegans Wake is unique in terms of the history of the novel (if that is indeed what it is) in that it is never read, but (as Joseph Frank observed of Joyce generally) “can only be re-read” (Frank 19). With Wiener’s allegory of feedback no doubt in mind, Jacques Derrida’s cybernetic account of the act of reading Joyce comes, like a form of echolalia, on the heels of Calvino’s incipit, his perpetual sustaining of the beginning: you stay on the edge of reading Joyce—for me this has been going on for twenty-five or thirty years—and the endless plunge throws you back onto the river-bank, on the brink of another possible immersion, ad infinitum … In any case, I have the feeling that I haven’t yet begun to read Joyce, and this “not having begun to read” is sometimes the most singular and active relationship I have with his work. (Derrida 148) Derrida wonders if this process of ongoing immersion in the text is typical of all works of literature and not just the Wake. The question is rhetorical and resonates into silence. And it is silence, ultimately, that hovers as a mute herald of the end when words will simply run out.Post(script)It is in the nature of all writing that it is read in the absence of its author. Perhaps the most typical form of writing, then, is the suicide note. In an extraordinary essay, “Goodbye, Cruel Words,” Mark Dery wonders why it has been “so neglected as a literary genre” and promptly sets about reviewing its decisive characteristics. Curiously, the list features amongst its many forms: I’m done with lifeI’m no goodI’m dead. (Dery 262)And references to lists of types of suicide notes are among Dery’s own notes to the essay. With its implicit generic capacity to intransitively add more detail, the list becomes in the light of the terminal letter a condition of writing itself. The irony of this is not lost on Dery as he ponders the impotent stoicism of the scribbler setting about the mordant task of writing for the last time. Writing at the last gasp, as Dery portrays it, is a form of dogged, radical will. But his concluding remarks are reflective of his melancholy attitude to this most desperate act of writing at degree zero: “The awful truth (unthinkable to a writer) is that eloquent suicide notes are rarer than rare because suicide is the moment when language fails—fails to hoist us out of the pit, fails even to express the unbearable weight” (264) of someone on the precipice of the very last word they will ever think, let alone write. Ihab Hassan (1967) and George Steiner (1967), it would seem, were latecomers as proselytisers of the language of silence. But there is a queer, uncanny optimism at work at the terminal moment of writing when, contra Dery, words prevail on the verge of “endless, silent night.” (264) Perhaps when Newton’s Second Law no longer has carriage over mortal life, words take on a weird half-life of their own. Writing, after Socrates, does indeed circulate indiscriminately among its readers. There is a dark irony associated with last words. When life ceases, words continue to have the final say as long as they are read, and in so doing they sustain an unlikely, and in their own way, stoical sense of unending.ReferencesBair, Deirdre. Samuel Beckett: A Biography. London: Jonathan Cape, 1978.Beckett, Samuel. Molloy Malone Dies. The Unnamable. London: John Calder, 1973.---. Watt. London: John Calder, 1976.Borges, Jorge Luis. Labyrinths. Selected Stories & Other Writings. Ed. Donald A. Yates & James E. Irby. New York: New Directions, 1964.Calvino, Italo. If On A Winter’s Night A Traveller. Trans. William Weaver, London: Picador, 1981.Delville, Michael, and Andrew Norris. “Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart, and the Secret History of Maximalism.” Ed. Louis Armand. Contemporary Poetics: Redefining the Boundaries of Contemporary Poetics, in Theory & Practice, for the Twenty-First Century. Evanston: Northwestern UP, 2007. 126-49.Derrida, Jacques. “Two Words for Joyce.” Post-Structuralist Joyce. Essays from the French. Ed. Derek Attridge and Daniel Ferrer. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1984. 145-59.Dery, Mark. I Must Not think Bad Thoughts: Drive-by Essays on American Dread, American Dreams. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2012.Frank, Joseph, “Spatial Form in Modern Literature.” Sewanee Review, 53, 1945: 221-40, 433-56, 643-53.Flaubert, Gustave. Bouvard and Pécuchet. Trans. A. J. KrailSheimer. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1976.Flaubert, Gustave. Dictionary of Received Ideas. Trans. A. J. KrailSheimer. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1976.Hassan, Ihab. The Literature of Silence: Henry Miller and Samuel Beckett. New York: Knopf, 1967.Joyce, James. Finnegans Wake. London: Faber and Faber, 1975.---. Ulysses. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1992.Kenner, Hugh. The Stoic Comedians. Berkeley: U of California P, 1974.Kermode, Frank. The Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Narrative Fiction. New York: Oxford U P, 1966.‪Levin, Bernard. Enthusiasms. London: Jonathan Cape, 1983.MacGowran, Jack. MacGowran Speaking Beckett. Claddagh Records, 1966.Pinter, Harold. The Birthday Party. London: Methuen, 1968.Potter, Dennis. The Singing Detective. London, Faber and Faber, 1987.Robbe-Grillet, Alain. Jealousy. Trans. Richard Howard. London: John Calder, 1965.Schwartz, Hillel. Making Noise. From Babel to the Big Bang and Beyond. New York: Zone Books, 2011.Steiner, George. Language and Silence: New York: Atheneum, 1967.Wiener, Norbert. Cybernetics, Or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1965.

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Duncan, Pansy Kathleen. "The Uses of Hate: On Hate as a Political Category." M/C Journal 20, no.1 (March15, 2017). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1194.

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I. First Brexit, then Trump: Has the past year or so ushered in a “wave” (Weisberg), a “barrage” (Desmond-Harris) or a “deluge” (Sidahmed) of that notoriously noxious affect, hate? It certainly feels that way to those of us identified with progressive social and political causes—those of us troubled, not just by Trump’s recent electoral victory, but by the far-right forces to which that victory has given voice. And yet the questions still hanging over efforts to quantify emotional or affective states leaves the claim that there has been a clear spike in hate moot (Ngai 26; Massumi 136-7; Ahmed, Promise 3-8). So let’s try asking a different question. Has this same period seen a rise, across liberal media platforms, in the rhetorical work of “hate-attribution”? Here, at least, an answer seems in readier reach. For no one given to scrolling distractedly through liberal Anglophone media outlets, from The New York Times, to The Guardian, to Slate, will be unfamiliar with a species of journalism that, in reporting the appalling activities associated with what has become known as the “alt-right” (Main; Wallace-Wells; Gourarie), articulates those activities in the rubric of a calculable uptick in hate itself.Before the U.S. Presidential election, this fledgling journalistic genre was already testing its wings, its first shudderings felt everywhere from Univision anchor Jorge Ramos’s widely publicized documentary, Hate Rising (2016), which explores the rise of white supremacist movements across the South-West U.S, to an edition of Slate’s Trumpcast entitled “The Alt-Right and a Deluge of Hate,” which broached the torment-by-Twitter of left-wing journalist David French. In the wake of the election, and the appalling acts of harassment and intimidation it seemed to authorize, the genre gained further momentum—leading to the New Yorker’s “Hate Is on the Rise After Trump’s Election,” to The Guardian’s “Trump’s Election led to Barrage of Hate,” and to Vox’s “The Wave of Post-Election Hate Reportedly Sweeping the Nation, Explained.” And it still has traction today, judging not just by James King’s recent year-in-review column, “The Year in Hate: From Donald Trump to the Rise of the Alt-Right,” but by Salon’s “A Short History of Hate” which tracks the alt-right’s meteoric 2016 rise to prominence, and the New York Times’ recently launched hate-speech aggregator, “This Week in Hate.”As should already be clear from these brisk, thumbnail accounts of the texts in question, the phenomena alluded to by the titular term “hate” are not instances of hate per se, but rather instances of “hate-speech.” The word “hate,” in other words, is being deployed here not literally, to refer to an emotional state, but metonymically, as a shorthand for “hate-speech”—a by-now widely conventionalized and legally codified parlance originating with the U.N. Declaration to describe “violent or violence-inciting speech or acts that “aim or intend to inflict injury, or incite prejudice or hatred, against persons of groups” because of their ethnic, religious, sexual or social affiliation. And there is no doubt that, beyond the headlines, these articles do incredibly important work, drawing connections between, and drawing attention to, a host of harmful activities associated with the so-called “alt-right”—from a pair of mangled, pretzel-shaped swastikas graffiti-ed in a children’s playground, to acts of harassment, intimidation and violence against women, African-Americans, Latinos, Muslims, Jews, and LGBTQ people, to Trump’s own racist, xenophobic and misogynistic tweets. Yet the fact that an emotion-term like hate is being mobilized across these texts as a metonym for the “alt-right” is no oratorical curio. Rather, it perpetuates a pervasive way of thinking about the relationship between the alt-right (a political phenomenon) and hate (an emotional phenomenon) that should give pause to those of us committed to mining that vein of cultural symptomatology now consigned, across the social sciences and critical humanities, to affect theory. Specifically, these headlines inscribe, in miniature, a kind of micro-assessment, a micro-geography and micro-theory of hate. First, they suggest that, even prior to its incarnation in specific, and dangerous, forms of speech or action, hate is in and of itself anathema, a phenomenon so unquestioningly dangerous that a putative “rise” or “spike” in its net presence provides ample pretext for a news headline. Second, they propose that hate may be localized to a particular social or political group—a group subsisting, unsurprisingly, on that peculiarly contested frontier between the ideological alt-right and the American Midwest. And third, they imply that hate is so indubitably the single most significant source of the xenophobic, racist and sexist activities they go on to describe that it may be casually used as these activities’ lexical proxy. What is crystallizing here, I suggest, is what scholars of rhetoric dub a rhetorical “constellation” (Campbell and Jamieson 332)—a constellation from which hate emerges as, a) inherently problematic, b) localizable to the “alt-right,” and, c) the primary engine of the various activities and expressions we associate with them. This constellation of conventions for thinking about hate and its relationship to the activities of right-wing extremist movement has coalesced into a “genre” we might dub the genre of “hate-attribution.” Yet while it’s far from clear that the genre is an effective one in a political landscape that’s fast becoming a political battleground, it hasn’t appeared by chance. Treating “hate,” then, less as a descriptive “grid of analysis” (Sedgwick 152), than as a rhetorical projectile, this essay opens by interrogating the “hate-attribution” genre’s logic and querying its efficacy. Having done so, it approaches the concept of “alternatives” by asking: how might calling time on the genre help us think differently about both hate itself and about the forces catalyzing, and catalyzed by, Trump’s presidential campaign? II.The rhetorical power of the genre of hate-attribution, of course, isn’t too difficult to pin down. An emotion so thoroughly discredited that its assignment is now in and of itself a term of abuse (see, for example, the O.E.D’s freshly-expanded definition of the noun “hater”), hate is an emotion the Judeo-Christian tradition deems not just responsible for but practically akin to murder (John 3:1). In part as a result of this tradition, hate has proven thoroughly resistant to efforts to elevate it from the status of an expression of a subject’s pestiferous inner life to the status of a polemical response to an object in the world. Indeed, while a great deal of the critical energy amassing under the rubric of “affect theory” has recently been put into recuperating the strategic or diagnostic value of emotions long scorned as irrelevant to oppositional struggle—from irritation and envy, to depression, anger and shame (Ngai; Cvetkovich; Gould; Love)—hate has notably not been among them. In fact, those rare scholarly accounts of affect that do address “hate,” notably Ahmed’s excellent work on right-wing extremist groups in the United Kingdom, display an understandable reluctance to rehabilitate it for progressive thought (Cultural Politics). It should come as no surprise, then, that the genre of “hate-attribution” has a rare rhetorical power. In identifying “hate” as the source of a particular position, gesture or speech-act, we effectively drain said position, gesture or speech-act of political agency or representational power—reducing it from an at-least-potentially polemical action in or response to the world, to the histrionic expression of a reprehensible personhood. Yet because hate’s near-taboo status holds across the ideological and political spectrum, what is less clear is why the genre of hate-attribution has achieved such cachet in the liberal media in particular. The answer, I would argue, lies in the fact that the work of hate-attribution dovetails all too neatly with liberal political theory’s longstanding tendency to laminate its social and civic ideals to affective ideals like “love,” “sympathy,” “compassion,” and, when in a less demonstrative humor, “tolerance”. As Martha Nussbaum’s Political Emotions has recently shown, this tradition has an impressive philosophical pedigree, running from Aristotle’s philia (16), John Locke’s “toleration” and David Hume’s “sympathy” (69-75), to the twentieth century’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, with its promotion of “tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups.” And while the labour of what Lauren Berlant calls “liberal sentimentality” (“Poor Eliza”, 636) has never quite died away, it does seem to have found new strength with the emergence of the “intimate public sphere” (Berlant, Queen)—from its recent popular apotheosis in the Clinton campaign’s notorious “Love Trumps Hate” (a slogan in which “love,” unfortunately, came to look a lot like resigned technocratic quietism in the face of ongoing economic and environmental crisis [Zizek]), to its revival as a philosophical project among progressive scholars, many of them under the sway of the so-called “affective turn” (Nussbaum; Hardt; Sandoval; hooks). No surprise, then, that liberalism’s struggle to yoke itself to “love” should have as its eerie double a struggle to locate among its ideological and political enemies an increasingly reified “hate”. And while the examples of this project we’ve touched on so far have hailed from popular media, this set of protocols for thinking about hate and its relationship to the activities of right-wing extremist movements is not unique to media circles. It’s there in political discourse, as in ex-DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s announcement, on MSNBC, that “Americans will unite against [Trump’s] hatred.” And it’s there, too, in academic media studies, from FLOW journal’s November 2016 call for papers inviting respondents to comment, among other things, on “the violence and hatred epitomized by Trump and his supporters,” to the SCMS conference’s invitation to members to participate in a pop-up panel entitled “Responding to Hate, Disenfranchisem*nt and the Loss of the Commons.” Yet while the labor of hate-attribution to which many progressive forces have become attached carries an indisputable rhetorical force, it also has some profound rhetorical flaws. The very same stigma, after all, that makes “hate” such a powerful explanatory grenade to throw also makes it an incredibly tough one to land. As Ahmed’s analysis of the online rhetoric of white supremacist organizations should remind us (Cultural Politics), most groups structured around inciting and promoting violence against women and minorities identify, perversely, not as hate groups, but as movements propelled by the love of race and nation. And while left-wing pundits pronounce “hate” the signature emotion of a racist, misogynist Trump-voting right, supporters of Trump ascribe it, just as routinely, to the so-called “liberal elite,” a group whose mythical avatars—from the so-called “Social Justice Warrior” or “SJW,” to the supercilious Washington politico—are said to brand “ordinary [white, male] Americans” indiscriminately as racist, misogynistic, hom*ophobic buffoons. Thus, for example, The Washington Post’s uncanny, far-right journalistic alter-ego, The Washington Times, dubs the SPLC a “liberal hate group”; the Wikipedia mirror-site, Conservapedia, recasts liberal objections to gun violence as “liberal hate speech” driven by an “irrational aversion to weapons”; while one blood-curdling sub-genre of reportage on Steve Bannon’s crypto-fascist soapbox, Breitbart News, is devoted to denouncing what it calls “ ‘anti-White Racism.’” It’s easy enough, of course, to defend the hate-attribution genre’s liberal incarnations while dismissing its right-wing variants as cynical, opportunistic shams, as Ahmed does (Cultural Politics)—thereby re-establishing the wellspring of hate where we are most comfortable locating it: among our political others. Yet to do so seems, in some sense, to perpetuate a familiar volley of hate-attribution. And to the extent that, as many media scholars have shown (Philips; Reed; Tett; Turow), our digital, networked political landscape is in danger of being reduced to a silo-ed discursive battleground, the ritual exchange of terminological grenades that everyone seems eager to propel across ideological lines, but that no one, understandably, seems willing to pick up, seems counter-productive to say the least.Even beyond the genre’s ultimate ineffectiveness, what should strike anyone used to reflecting on affect is how little justice it does to the ubiquity and intricacy of “hate” as an affective phenomenon. Hate is not and cannot be the exclusive property or preserve of one side of the political spectrum. One doesn’t have to stretch one’s critical faculties too far to see the extent to which the genre of hate-attribution participates in the emotional ballistics it condemns or seeks to redress. While trafficking in a relatively simple hate-paradigm (as a subjective emotional state that may be isolated to a particular person or group), the genre itself incarnates a more complex, socially dynamic model of hate in which the emotion operates through logics of projection perhaps best outlined by Freud. In the “hate-attribution” genre, that is, hate—like those equally abjected categories “sentimentality,” “worldliness” or “knowingness” broached by Sedgwick in her bravura analyses of “scapegoating attribution” (150-158)—finds its clearest expression in and through the labor of its own adscription. And it should come as no surprise that an emotion so widely devalued, where it is not openly prohibited, might also find expression in less overt form.Yet to say as much is by no means to discredit the genre. As legal scholar Jeremy Waldron has recently pointed out, there’s no particular reason why “the passions and emotions that lie behind a particular speech act” (34)—even up to and including hate—should devalue the speech acts they rouse. On the contrary, to pin the despicable and damaging activities of the so-called “alt right” on “hate” is, if anything, to do an injustice to a rich and complex emotion that can be as generative as it can be destructive. As Freud suggests in “Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego,” for example, hate may be the very seed of love, since the forms of “social feeling” (121) celebrated under the liberal rubric of “tolerance,” “love,” and “compassion,” are grounded in “the reversal of what was first a hostile feeling into a positively-toned tie in the nature of an identification” (121; italics mine). Indeed, Freud projects this same argument across a larger, historical canvas in Civilization and its Discontents, which contends that it is in our very struggle to combat our “aggressive instincts” that human communities have developed “methods intended to incite people into identifications and aim-inhibited relationships of love” (31). For Freud, that is, the practice of love is a function of ongoing efforts to see hate harnessed, commuted and transformed. III.What might it mean, then, to call time on this round of hate-attribution? What sort of “alternatives” might emerge when we abandon the assumption that political engagement entails a “struggle over who has the right to declare themselves as acting out of love” (Ahmed, Cultural Politics 131), and thus, by that same token, a struggle over the exact location and source of hate? One boon, I suggest, is the license it gives those of us on the progressive left to simply own our own hate. There’s little doubt that reframing the dangerous and destructive forms of speech fomented by Trump’s campaign, not as eruptions of hate, or even as “hate-speech,” but as speech we hate would be more consistent with what once seemed affect theory’s first commandment: to take our own affective temperature before launching headlong into critical analysis. After all, when Lauren Berlant (“Trump”) takes a stab at economist Paul Krugman’s cautions against “the Danger of Political Emotions” with the timely reminder that “all the messages are emotional,” the “messages” she’s pointing to aren’t just those of our political others, they’re ours; and the “emotions” she’s pointing to aren’t just the evacuated, insouciant versions of love championed by the Clinton campaign, they’re of the messier, or as Ngai might put it, “uglier” (2) variety—from shame, depression and anger, to, yes, I want to insist, hate.By way of jump-starting this program of hate-avowal, then, let me just say it: this essay was animated, in part, by a certain kind of hate. The social critic in me hates the breathtaking simplification of the complex social, economic and emotional forces animating Trump voters that seem to actuate some liberal commentary; the psychologist in me hates the self-mystification palpable in the left’s insistence on projecting and thus disowning its own (often very well justified) aggressions; and the human being in me, hating the kind of toxic speech to which Trump’s campaign has given rise, wishes to be able to openly declare that hatred. Among its other effects, hate is characterized by hypervigilance for lapses or failings in an object it deems problematic, a hypervigilance that—sometimes—animates analysis (Zeki and Romoya). In this sense, “hate” seems entitled to a comfortable place in the ranks of what Nick Salvato has recently dubbed criticism’s creative “obstructions”—phenomena that, while “routinely identified as detriments” to critical inquiry, may also “form the basis for … critical thinking” (1).Yet while one boon associated with this disclosure might be a welcome intellectual honesty, a more significant boon, I’d argue, is what getting this disclosure out of the way might leave room for. Opting out of the game of hurling “hate” back and forth across a super-charged political arena, that is, we might devote our column inches and Facebook posts to the less sensational but more productive task of systematically challenging the specious claims, and documenting the damaging effects, of a species of utterance (Butler; Matsuda; Waldron) we’ve grown used to simply descrying as pure, distilled “hate”. And we also might do something else. Relieved of the confident conviction that we can track “Trumpism” to a spontaneous outbreak of a single, localizable emotion, we might be able to offer a fuller account of the economic, social, political and affective forces that energize it. Certainly, hate plays a part here—although the process by which, as Isabelle Stengers puts it, affect “make[s] present, vivid and mattering … a worldly world” (371) demands that we scrutinize that hate as a syndrome, rather than simply moralize it as a sin, addressing its mainsprings in a moment marked by the nerve-fraying and life-fraying effects of what has become known across the social sciences and critical humanities as conditions of social and economic “precarity” (Muehlebach; Neil and Rossiter; Stewart).But perhaps hate’s not the only emotion tucked away under the hood. Here’s something affect theory knows today: affect moves not, as more traditional theorists of political emotion have it, “unambiguously and predictably from one’s cognitive processing,” but in ways that are messy, muddled and indirect (Gould 24). That form of speech is speech we hate. But it may not be “hate speech.” That crime is a crime we hate. But it may not be a “hate-crime.” One of the critical tactics we might crib from Berlant’s work in Cruel Optimism is that of decoding and decrypting, in even the most hateful acts, an instance of what Berlant, herself optimistically, calls “optimism.” For Berlant, after all, optimism is very often cruel, attaching itself, as it seems to have done in 2016, to scenes, objects and people that, while ultimately destined to “imped[e] the aim that brought [it to them] initially,” nevertheless came to seem, to a good portion of the electorate, the only available exponent of that classic good-life genre, “the change that’s gonna come” (“Trump” 1-2) at a moment when the Democratic party’s primary campaign promise was more of the free-market same. And in a recent commentary on Trump’s rise in The New Inquiry (“Trump”), Berlant exemplified the kind of critical code-breaking this hypothesis might galvanize, deciphering a twisted, self-mutilating optimism in even the most troublesome acts, claims or positions. Here’s one translation: “Anti-P.C. means: I feel unfree.” And here’s another: “people react negatively, reactively and literally to Black Lives Matter, reeling off the other ‘lives’ that matter.” Berlant’s transcription? “They feel that they don’t matter, and they’re not wrong.”ReferencesAhmed, Sara. The Promise of Happiness. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2010.———. The Cultural Politics of Emotion. London: Routledge, 2004.Aristotle. Rhetoric. Trans. W. Rhys Roberts. New York: Cosimo Classics, 2010.———. Politics. Trans. Ernest Barker. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995.Berlant, Lauren. Cruel Optimism. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2011.———. “Trump, or Political Emotions.” The New Inquiry 5 Aug. 2016. <http://thenewinquiry.com/features/trump-or-political-emotions/>.———. “Poor Eliza.” American Literature 70.3 (1998): 635-668.———. The Queen of America Goes to Washington City. Durham, NC: Duke UP: 1998.Butler, Judith. Excitable Speech: A Politics of the Performative. New York and London: Routledge, 1997.Campbell, Karlyn Kohrs, and Kathleen Hall Jamieson. “Introduction to Form and Genre.” Methods of Rhetorical Criticism: A Twentieth Century Perspective. Eds. Bernard Brock, Robert L. Scott, and James W. Chesebro. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1990. 331-242.Conservapedia. “Liberal Hate Speech.” <http://www.conservapedia.com/Liberal_hate_speech>.Cvetkovich, Ann. Depression. 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New York: Routledge, 2010.Gourarie, Chava. “How the Alt-Right Checkmated the Media.” Columbia Journalism Review 30 Aug. 2016. <http://www.cjr.org/analysis/alt_right_media_clinton_trump.php>.Hardt, Michael. “For Love or Money.” Cultural Anthropology 26. 4 (2011): 676-82.hooks, bell. All about Love: New Visions. New York: Harper Collins, 2001. Horowitz, David. “Anti-White Racism: The Hate That Dares Not Speak Its Name.” Breitbart News 26 Apr. 2016. <http://www.breitbart.com/big-journalism/2016/04/26/anti-white-racism-hate-dares-not-speak-name-2/>.Hume, David. A Treatise of Human Nature: Being an Attempt to Introduce the Experimental Method of Reasoning into Moral Subjects. London: Thomas and Joseph Allman, 1817.KCRW. “The Rise of Hate and the Right Wing.” <http://www.kcrw.com/news-culture/shows/press-play->.King, James. “This Year in Hate.” Vocativ 12 Dec. 2016. <http://www.vocativ.com/383234/hate-crime-donald-trump-alt-right-2016/>.Locke, John. A Letter Concerning Toleration. London: Huddersfield, 1796.Main, Thomas J. “What’s the Alt-Right?” Los Angeles Times 25 Aug. 2016. <http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-main-alt-right-trump-20160825-snap-story.html>.Massumi, Brian. Parables for the Virtual: Movement, Affect, Sensation. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2002.Matsuda, Mari. Words That Wound: Critical Race Theory, Assaultive Speech, and the First Amendment. Westview Press 1993.Muehlebach, Andrea. “On Precariousness and the Ethical Imagination: The Year in Sociocultural Anthropology.” American Anthropologist 115. 2 (2013): 297-311.Neilson, Brett, and Ned Rossiter. “From Precarity to Precariousness and Back Again: Labour, Life and Unstable Networks.” Fibreculture 5 (2005). <http://five.fibreculturejournal.org/fcj-022-from-precarity-to-precariousness-and-back-again-labour-life-and-unstable-networks/1>.Ngai, Sianne. Ugly Feelings. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2005.Nussbaum, Martha. Political Emotions: Why Love Matters for Justice. 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Wallace-Wells, Benjamin, “Is the Alt-Right for Real?” New Yorker 5 May 2016. <http://www.newyorker.com/news/benjamin-wallace-wells/is-the-alt-right-for-real>.Washington Times. “Editorial: The FBI Dumps a ‘Hate Group’.” 28 Mar. 2014. <http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/mar/28/editorial-the-fbi-dumps-a-hate- group/>.Weisberg, Jacob. “The Alt-Right and a Deluge of Hate.” Slate 1 Nov. 2016. <http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/trumpcast/2016/11/how_the_alt_right_harassed_david_french_on_twitter_and_at_home.html>.Zeki, S., and J.P. Romaya. “Neural Correlates of Hate.” PLoS ONE 1.3 (2008). <http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0003556>.Zizek, Slavoj. “Love as a Political Category.” Paper presented to the 6th Subversive Festival, 16 May 2013. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b44IhiCuNw4>.

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Bruns, Axel. "Invading the Ivory Tower." M/C Journal 2, no.2 (March1, 1999). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1742.

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One of the most frequent comments about Internet-based media, particularly about newsgroups and the Web, is that they provide a forum for everyone, no matter how obscure or specific their interest -- you'll find dedicated fora for every field, from high-energy physics to learning Klingon, from the campaign for an independent country in Northern Italy to Indonesian cooking. This is seen as a positive development as often as it is regarded as a negative force -- optimists see these fora as potential bases for the formation of virtual communities which may be able to reinvigorate previously neglected niche groupings, while pessimists predict a further shattering of societies into disparate fragments with mutually almost unintelligible cultural attitudes. Examples supporting either view can be found amongst the multitudes of newsgroups and Websites available on the Net, but let us skip this debate for the moment; instead, let's focus on some of the potential consequences this situation may have for academia. It requires little prescience to predict that the next few years will see an increasing use of the Web and, to a smaller extent, newsgroups in academic teaching and research. Continuously updated Websites will enable students and scholars to work with the latest developments in their disciplines, rather than limiting themselves to whatever recent books and journals their university library has managed to acquire, and newsgroups can help put interested academics in touch with each other in order to exchange news and pointers to information on the Web, as well as discuss recent research. For anyone with a computer, much of this information will also be accessible more easily electronically, via the Internet, than physically through libraries, bookstores, and photocopies. If it is organised efficiently on the Web, interested researchers may also come to be able to better target precisely the information they need, avoiding the need to leaf through volumes of journals to find the one useful article they might contain. Such research isn't limited only to academics and university students anymore, though. As hypertext scholar George P. Landow notes, "hypertext provides the individualistic learner with the perfect means for exploration and enrichment of particular areas of study. By permitting one to move from relatively familiar areas to less familiar ones, a hypertext corpus encourages the autodidact, the continuing education student, and the student with little access to instructors" (Hypertext 129-30) -- particularly the ethos of information freedom that is widespread on the Internet means that any amateur enthusiast may conduct their own self-education with the materials available on the Web. This was already possible, after a fashion, in pre-Web times, of course, but the Net increases the amount of information available, and removes the physical and psychological barrier of entering a university library as a non-student, and facilitates connections to other (self-taught as well as 'official') students through newsgroups and email. What's more, the Web also allows adding one's own voice to academic debates: "in a book one can always move one's finger or pencil across the printed page, but one's intrusion always remains physically separate from the text. One may make a mark on the page, but one's intrusion does not affect the text itself" (Landow, Hypertext 44). By creating a Web page displaying one's own thoughts on the matter, providing links to related sites, and ideally receiving links from those sites, too, any outsider may now invade the discourse in an academic discipline. In most cases, such invasions may go largely unnoticed -- but nothing's to stop a self-taught enthusiast from creating a highly useful Website that even 'proper' academics may consider relevant, and so from adding own articles to the discipline's body of knowledge. As a side-effect of such presentation on the Web, then, texts by students are no longer so easily subordinated to those by revered authors, and disparities between them are less visible. The text as a site of authority can also become a site of resistance: in hypertext, indeed, opposition to the canonised texts is more likely to succeed in conditions of hypertextuality than in the print culture, if only because hypertext makes it easier to expose the contradictions and power moves in such texts, and the multiply constructed positions from which they might be read. (Snyder 77) Both these points pose a major problem for the currently prevalent conventions of academic debate, of course, which (despite post-structuralism's argument for the "death of the author") still evaluate the relevance of academic work partly based on its authorial source. Canonisation of particular scholars and their works (a process which is not limited only to literary disciplines) must ultimately fail -- "because all electronic texts are interrelated, none has well-defined borders; instead, each text reaches out to link up with past, present and future texts. It therefore becomes difficult to cordon off and to canonise a few great texts and authors" (Snyder 75). And generally, Nunberg notes, "media like the Web tend to resist attempts to impose the sort of solutions that enable us to manage (even imperfectly) the steady increase in the number of print documents -- the ramification of discourses and forms of publication, the imposition of systems of screening or refereeing, the restriction of the right to speak to 'qualified' participants" ("Farewell" 126). The freely accessible information on the Web includes texts by revered researchers as well as badly-informed beginners, and elaborate essays as well as superficial scribblings. This realisation has caused many academics who grew up with the apparent simplicities of print to regard Internet-based media with despair and, frequently, with contempt; Nunberg himself provides a good example by stating that "any undergraduate student is free to post her night thoughts on Mary Shelley or the Klingon verb to a 'potential audience' of millions (a quick search of the Web turns up numerous examples of both), and there will be nothing in its mode of circulation to distinguish it from communications from better-qualified contributors" ("Farewell" 127). Such remarkably condescending prose indicates more than anything a paralysing fear of an invasion of the proverbial academic ivory tower by the uncouth hordes of self-taught dilettantes who have no respect for scholarly authority: Nunberg's insistence that a notion of academic 'qualification' (expressed no doubt in degrees and positions) could do any more than indicate vaguely that an author might have something valuable to say, and that anybody not 'qualified' this way cannot possibly contribute anything worth one's while, is surprisingly hierarchistic. Surely, in reality the onus for determining a text's worth should (and must) always eventually lie with the individual reader; the sense a text makes, not the source that made the text, should determine its quality. It's easy to see that this emphasis which Nunberg and others place on a text's source is in fact determined by print as the still-prevalent technology of information dissemination. As Bolter describes it, "the idea of a relatively stable canon made sense in a culture dominated by printed books. ... But the notion of a standard has now collapsed, and the collapse is mirrored in the shift from the printed to the electronic writing space, in which a stable canon of works and authors is meaningless" (237). Landow elaborates that hypertext's effects are so basic, so radical, that it reveals that many of our most cherished, most commonplace ideas and attitudes toward literature and literary production turn out to be the result of that particular form of information technology and technology of cultural memory that has provided the setting for them. This technology -- that of the printed book and of its close relations, which include the typed or printed page -- engenders certain notions of authorial property, authorial uniqueness, and a physically isolated text that hypertext makes untenable. The evidence of hypertext, in other words, historicises many of our most commonplace assumptions, thereby forcing them to descend from the ethereality of abstraction and appear as corollaries to a particular technology rooted in specific times and places. (33) Today, on the Web, however, where anyone can participate by adding their own texts or simply rearranging others', we lose once and for all notions of the author or the text as a stable entity. Thus, Nunberg claims, "on the Web ... you can never have the kind of experience that you can have with the informational genres of print, the experience of interpreting a text simply as a newspaper or encyclopedia article without attending to its author, its publisher, or the reliability of its recommender. We read Web documents, that is, not as information but as intelligence, which requires an explicit warrant of one form or another" ("Farewell" 127-8). Again, however, Nunberg claims a simplicity of the print media which simply doesn't exist: he goes on to say that "we should look to electronic discourse to provide a counter and complement to the informational forms of print -- a domain that privileges the personal, the private, and the subjective against the impersonal, the public, and the objective" (133). In reality, though, anyone who today still reads a newspaper or any other form of printed information as an 'objective' source, without an awareness of its publisher's or its journalists' political and economic agenda, must certainly be regarded as a naïve fool -- not just in Australia, with its atrocious standards of print journalism. If the modern media have taught us anything, it is that there is no such thing as 'objective truth'; the Web, with its unprecedented opportunities for world-wide publication, just makes this fact particularly obvious. While they may contribute to more openness in dealing with contributions from non-traditionally qualified sources, however, such realisations won't completely eradicate academia's fear of an invasion by the self-trained and the untrained. Some hope is at hand, though: "at the very moment indeed when the new technologies of memory can make us fear an alarming glut of traces -- a true change of scale in the collective accumulation of archives, at once written, audio, visual, and audiovisual -- these same technologies increasingly lighten its load, at almost the same pace, by facilitating individualised retrieval" (Debray 146); more elaborate search engines and resource listings on the Web can help point interested researchers to useful contributions both from within and without the ivory tower, and multiple alternative engines and listings may cater for various definitions of what constitutes 'useful'. "In the future, it seems, there will be no fixed canons of texts and no fixed epistemological boundaries between disciplines, only paths of inquiry, modes of integration, and moments of encounter" (Hesse 31). This may also have negative implications, though. On the one hand, as Bazin writes, "the digital empire puts too much emphasis on relation and circulation per se, rather than on the acquisition of content. Instead of the substantialist metaphysics of the hidden meaning which a 'vertical' reading would attempt to reveal, it prefers the rhetoric of exchange and conversation. It counters the aesthetics of depth with a pragmatics of interface" (163-4), and researchers on the Web may stay on the surface of a discipline rather than explore the very depths of its discourse -- they may stick with digests, digest-digests, digest-digest-digests, to borrow from Ray Bradbury (55). "Electronic linking almost inevitably tends to lead to blending and mixing of genres and modes ... . Hypertextualising a text produces not an electronic book but a miniature electronic library" (Landow, "Twenty Minutes" 226-7), and sticking to one's research topic may prove difficult. On the other end of the scale, the Net's tendency to group interests off into niches may lead to specific deeply involved research being done without any awareness of related disciplines that may offer alternative approaches to a subject -- in short, without any knowledge of the bigger picture one's discipline fits into. To avoid both pitfalls demands a researcher's discipline and attention. On the positive side, the invasion of the ivory tower allows for unprecedented public involvement (as Net theorists have often promised it): we are witnessing the appearance ... of a 'dynamic textuality' ... that by freeing itself from the straitjacket of the book is transforming not only the individual's relation to the text but also the traditional model of producing and transmitting learning and practical knowledge. In the place vacated by a linear transmission, inherited from forebears and relatively individualised, a system for the coemergence of bodies of knowledge is tending to be progressively substituted -- a system in which instruction, self-apprenticing, intellectual creation, and diffusion all closely cooperate. (Bazin 163) Naturally, this process won't mean that anybody can now easily become a nuclear scientist, economic expert, or cultural historian -- in most fields, to make it to the very top of the profession will still require a level of access to materials and equipment that only academic and professional institutions can offer. Nonetheless, more self-trained amateur enthusiasts will now be able to make meaningful contributions to their discipline -- a development we already begin to see in fields as diverse as astronomy, computer sciences, and some forms of literary studies. At the very least, it will create among the participants a more interested, more informed and more involved public, thinking for themselves and questioning the commonplaces of a print-based culture. "We are promised ... less of the dogmatic and more of the ludic, less of the canonical and more of the festive. Fewer arguments from authority, though more juxtaposition of authorities" (Debray 146). The invasion of the ivory tower is no attack on the Bastille -- the new dilettante invaders come to learn and share, not to destroy. References Bazin, Patrick. "Toward Metareading." Nunberg 153-68. Bolter, Jay David. Writing Space: The Computer, Hypertext, and the History of Writing. Hillsdale, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1991. Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451. Berlin: Cornelsen-Velhagen & Klasing, 1985. Debray, Régis. "The Book as Symbolic Object." Nunberg 139-51. Hesse, Carla. "Books in Time." Nunberg 21-36. Landow, George P. Hypertext: The Convergence of Contemporary Critical Theory and Technology. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1992. ---. "Twenty Minutes into the Future, or How Are We Moving beyond the Book?" Nunberg 209-37. Nunberg, Geoffrey. "Farewell to the Information Age." Nunberg 103-38. ---, ed. The Future of the Book. Berkeley: U of California P, 1996. Snyder, Ilana. Hypertext: The Electronic Labyrinth. Carlton South: Melbourne UP, 1996. Citation reference for this article MLA style: Axel Bruns. "Invading the Ivory Tower: Hypertext and the New Dilettante Scholars." M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 2.2 (1999). [your date of access] <http://www.uq.edu.au/mc/9903/ivory.php>. Chicago style: Axel Bruns, "Invading the Ivory Tower: Hypertext and the New Dilettante Scholars," M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 2, no. 2 (1999), <http://www.uq.edu.au/mc/9903/ivory.php> ([your date of access]). APA style: Axel Bruns. (1999) Invading the ivory tower: hypertext and the new dilettante scholars. M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture 2(2). <http://www.uq.edu.au/mc/9903/ivory.php> ([your date of access]).

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Allatson, Paul. "The Virtualization of Elián González." M/C Journal 7, no.5 (November1, 2004). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2449.

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For seven months in 1999/2000, six-year old Cuban Elián González was embroiled in a family feud plotted along rival national and ideological lines, and relayed televisually as soap opera across the planet. In Miami, apparitions of the Virgin Mary were reported after Elián’s arrival; adherents of Afro-Cuban santería similarly regarded Elián as divinely touched. In Cuba, Elián’s “kidnapping” briefly reinvigorated a torpid revolutionary project. He was hailed by Fidel Castro as the symbolic descendant of José Martí and Che Guevara, and of the patriotic rigour they embodied. Cubans massed to demand his return. In the U.S.A., Elián’s case was arbitrated at every level of the juridical system. The “Save Elián” campaign generated widespread debate about godless versus godly family values, the contours of the American Dream, and consumerist excess. By the end of 2000 Elián had generated the second largest volume of TV news coverage to that date in U.S. history, surpassed only by the O. J. Simpson case (Fasulo). After Fidel Castro, and perhaps the geriatric music ensemble manufactured by Ry Cooder, the Buena Vista Social Club, Elián became the most famous Cuban of our era. Elián also emerged as the unlikeliest of popular-cultural icons, the focus and subject of cyber-sites, books, films, talk-back radio programs, art exhibits, murals, statues, documentaries, a South Park episode, poetry, songs, t-shirts, posters, newspaper editorials in dozens of languages, demonstrations, speeches, political cartoons, letters, legal writs, U.S. Congress records, opinion polls, prayers, and, on both sides of the Florida Strait, museums consecrated in his memory. Confronted by Elián’s extraordinary renown and historical impact, John Carlos Rowe suggests that the Elián story confirms the need for a post-national and transdisciplinary American Studies, one whose practitioners “will have to be attentive to the strange intersections of politics, law, mass media, popular folklore, literary rhetoric, history, and economics that allow such events to be understood.” (204). I share Rowe’s reading of Elián’s story and the clear challenges it presents to analysis of “America,” to which I would add “Cuba” as well. But Elián’s story is also significant for the ways it challenges critical understandings of fame and its construction. No longer, to paraphrase Leo Braudy (566), definable as an accidental hostage of the mass-mediated eye, Elián’s fame has no certain relation to the child at its discursive centre. Elián’s story is not about an individuated, conscious, performing, desiring, and ambivalently rewarded ego. Elián was never what P. David Marshall calls “part of the public sphere, essentially an actor or, … a player” in it (19). The living/breathing Elián is absent from what I call the virtualizing drives that famously reproduced him. As a result of this virtualization, while one Elián now attends school in Cuba, many other Eliáns continue to populate myriad popular-cultural texts and to proliferate away from the states that tried to contain him. According to Jerry Everard, “States are above all cultural artefacts” that emerge, virtually, “as information produced by and through practices of signification,” as bits, bites, networks, and flows (7). All of us, he claims, reside in “virtual states,” in “legal fictions” based on the elusive and contested capacity to generate national identities in an imaginary bounded space (152). Cuba, the origin of Elián, is a virtual case in point. To augment Nicole Stenger’s definition of cyberspace, Cuba, like “Cyberspace, is like Oz — it is, we get there, but it has no location” (53). As a no-place, Cuba emerges in signifying terms as an illusion with the potential to produce and host Cubanness, as well as rival ideals of nation that can be accessed intact, at will, and ready for ideological deployment. Crude dichotomies of antagonism — Cuba/U.S.A., home/exile, democracy/communism, freedom/tyranny, North/South, godlessness/blessedness, consumption/want — characterize the hegemonic struggle over the Cuban nowhere. Split and splintered, hypersensitive and labyrinthine, guarded and hysterical, and always active elsewhere, the Cuban cultural artefact — an “atmospheric depression in history” (Stenger 56) — very much conforms to the logics that guide the appeal, and danger, of cyberspace. Cuba occupies an inexhaustible “ontological time … that can be reintegrated at any time” (Stenger 55), but it is always haunted by the prospect of ontological stalling and proliferation. The cyber-like struggle over reintegration, of course, evokes the Elián González affair, which began on 25 November 1999, when five-year old Elián set foot on U.S. soil, and ended on 28 June 2000, when Elián, age six, returned to Cuba with his father. Elián left one Cuba and found himself in another Cuba, in the U.S.A., each national claimant asserting virtuously that its other was a no-place and therefore illegitimate. For many exiles, Elián’s arrival in Miami confirmed that Castro’s Cuba is on the point of collapse and hence on the virtual verge of reintegration into the democratic fold as determined by the true upholders of the nation, the exile community. It was also argued that Elián’s biological father could never be the boy’s true father because he was a mere emasculated puppet of Castro himself. The Cuban state, then, had forfeited its claims to generate and host Cubanness. Succoured by this logic, the “Save Elián” campaign began, with organizations like the Cuban American National Foundation (CANF) bankrolling protests, leaflet and poster production, and official “Elián” websites, providing financial assistance to and arranging employment for some of Elián’s Miami relatives, lobbying the U.S. Congress and the Florida legislature, and contributing funds to the legal challenges on behalf of Elián at state and federal levels. (Founded in 1981, the CANF is the largest and most powerful Cuban exile organization, and one that regards itself as the virtual government-in-waiting. CANF emerged with the backing of the Reagan administration and the C.I.A. as a “private sector initiative” to support U.S. efforts against its long-time ideological adversary across the Florida Strait [Arboleya 224-5].) While the “Save Elián” campaign failed, the result of a Cuban American misreading of public opinion and overestimation of the community’s lobbying power with the Clinton administration, the struggle continues in cyberspace. CANF.net.org registers its central role in this intense period with silence; but many of the “Save Elián” websites constructed after November 1999 continue to function as sad memento moris of Elián’s shipwreck in U.S. virtual space. (The CANF website does provide links to articles and opinion pieces about Elián from the U.S. media, but its own editorializing on the Elián affair has disappeared. Two keys to this silence were the election of George W. Bush, and the events of 11 Sep. 2001, which have enabled a revision of the Elián saga as a mere temporary setback on the Cuban-exile historical horizon. Indeed, since 9/11, the CANF website has altered the terms of its campaign against Castro, posting photos of Castro with Arab leaders and implicating him in a world-wide web of terrorism. Elián’s return to Cuba may thus be viewed retrospectively as an act that galvanized Cuban-exile support for the Republican Party and their disdain for the Democratic rival, and this support became pivotal in the Republican electoral victory in Florida and in the U.S.A. as a whole.) For many months after Elián’s return to Cuba, the official Liberty for Elián site, established in April 2000, was urging visitors to make a donation, volunteer for the Save Elián taskforce, send email petitions, and “invite a friend to help Elián.” (Since I last accessed “Liberty for Elián” in March 2004 it has become a gambling site.) Another site, Elian’s Home Page, still implores visitors to pray for Elián. Some of the links no longer function, and imperatives to “Click here” lead to that dead zone called “URL not found on this server.” A similar stalling of the exile aspirations invested in Elián is evident on most remaining Elián websites, official and unofficial, the latter including The Sad Saga of Elian Gonzalez, which exhorts “Cuban Exiles! Now You Can Save Elián!” In these sites, a U.S. resident Elián lives on as an archival curiosity, a sign of pathos, and a reminder of what was, for a time, a Cuban-exile PR disaster. If such cybersites confirm the shipwrecked coordinates of Elián’s fame, the “Save Elián” campaign also provided a focus for unrestrained criticism of the Cuban exile community’s imbrication in U.S. foreign policy initiatives and its embrace of American Dream logics. Within weeks of Elián’s arrival in Florida, cyberspace was hosting myriad Eliáns on sites unbeholden to Cuban-U.S. antagonisms, thus consolidating Elián’s function as a disputed icon of virtualized celebrity and focus for parody. A sense of this carnivalesque proliferation can be gained from the many doctored versions of the now iconic photograph of Elián’s seizure by the INS. Still posted, the jpegs and flashes — Elián and Michael Jackson, Elián and Homer Simpson, Elián and Darth Vader, among others (these and other doctored versions are archived on Hypercenter.com) — confirm the extraordinary domestication of Elián in local pop-cultural terms that also resonate as parodies of U.S. consumerist and voyeuristic excess. Indeed, the parodic responses to Elián’s fame set the virtual tone in cyberspace where ostensibly serious sites can themselves be approached as send ups. One example is Lois Rodden’s Astrodatabank, which, since early 2000, has asked visitors to assist in interpreting Elián’s astrological chart in order to confirm whether or not he will remain in the U.S.A. To this end the site provides Elián’s astro-biography and birth chart — a Sagittarius with a Virgo moon, Elián’s planetary alignments form a bucket — and conveys such information as “To the people of Little Havana [Miami], Elian has achieved mystical status as a ‘miracle child.’” (An aside: Elián and I share the same birthday.) Elián’s virtual reputation for divinely sanctioned “blessedness” within a Cuban exile-meets-American Dream typology provided Tom Tomorrow with the target in his 31 January 2000, cartoon, This Modern World, on Salon.com. Here, six-year old Arkansas resident Allen Consalis loses his mother on the New York subway. His relatives decide to take care of him since “New York has much more to offer him than Arkansas! I mean get real!” A custody battle ensues in which Allan’s heavily Arkansas-accented father requires translation, and the case inspires heated debate: “can we really condemn him to a life in Arkansas?” The cartoon ends with the relatives tempting Allan with the delights offered by the Disney Store, a sign of Elián’s contested insertion into an American Dreamscape that not only promises an endless supply of consumer goods but provides a purportedly safe venue for the alternative Cuban nation. The illusory virtuality of that nation also animates a futuristic scenario, written in Spanish by Camilo Hernández, and circulated via email in May 2000. In this text, Elián sparks a corporate battle between Firestone and Goodyear to claim credit for his inner-tubed survival. Cuban Americans regard Elián as the Messiah come to lead them to the promised land. His ability to walk on water is scientifically tested: he sinks and has to be rescued again. In the ensuing custody battle, Cuban state-run demonstrations allow mothers of lesbians and of children who fail maths to have their say on Elián. Andrew Lloyd Weber wins awards for “Elián the Musical,” and for the film version, Madonna plays the role of the dolphin that saved Elián. Laws are enacted to punish people who mispronounce “Elián” but these do not help Elián’s family. All legal avenues exhausted, the entire exile community moves to Canada, and then to North Dakota where a full-scale replica of Cuba has been built. Visa problems spark another migration; the exiles are welcomed by Israel, thus inspiring a new Intifada that impels their return to the U.S.A. Things settle down by 2014, when Elián, his wife and daughter celebrate his 21st birthday as guests of the Kennedys. The text ends in 2062, when the great-great-grandson of Ry Cooder encounters an elderly Elián in Wyoming, thus providing Elián with his second fifteen minutes of fame. Hernández’s text confirms the impatience with which the Cuban-exile community was regarded by other U.S. Latino sectors, and exemplifies the loss of control over Elián experienced by both sides in the righteous Cuban “moral crusade” to save or repatriate Elián (Fernández xv). (Many Chicanos, for example, were angered at Cuban-exile arguments that Elián should remain in the U.S.A. when, in 1999 alone, 8,000 Mexican children were repatriated to Mexico (Ramos 126), statistical confirmation of the favored status that Cubans enjoy, and Mexicans do not, vis-à-vis U.S. immigration policy. Tom Tomorrow’s cartoon and Camilo Hernández’s email text are part of what I call the “What-if?” sub-genre of Elián representations. Another example is “If Elián Gonzalez was Jewish,” archived on Lori’s Mishmash Humor page, in which Eliat Ginsburg is rescued after floating on a giant matzoh in the Florida Strait, and his Florida relatives fight to prevent his return to Israel, where “he had no freedom, no rights, no tennis lessons”.) Nonetheless, that “moral crusade” has continued in the Cuban state. During the custody battle, Elián was virtualized into a hero of national sovereignty, an embodied fix for a revolutionary project in strain due to the U.S. embargo, the collapse of Soviet socialism, and the symbolic threat posed by the virtual Cuban nation-in-waiting in Florida. Indeed, for the Castro regime, the exile wing of the national family is virtual precisely because it conveniently overlooks two facts: the continued survival of the Cuban state itself; and the exile community’s forty-plus-year slide into permanent U.S. residency as one migrant sector among many. Such rhetoric has not faded since Elián’s return. On December 5, 2003, Castro visited Cárdenas for Elián’s tenth birthday celebration and a quick tour of the Museo a la batalla de ideas (Museum for the Battle of Ideas), the museum dedicated to Elián’s “victory” over U.S. imperialism and opened by Castro on July 14, 2001. At Elián’s school Castro gave a speech in which he recalled the struggle to save “that little boy, whose absence caused everyone, and the whole people of Cuba, so much sorrow and such determination to struggle.” The conflation of Cuban state rhetoric and an Elián mnemonic in Cárdenas is repeated in Havana’s “Plaza de Elián,” or more formally Tribuna Anti-imperialista José Martí, where a statue of José Martí, the nineteenth-century Cuban nationalist, holds Elián in his arms while pointing to Florida. Meanwhile, in Little Havana, Miami, a sun-faded set of photographs and hand-painted signs, which insist God will save Elián yet, hang along the front fence of the house — now also a museum and site of pilgrimage — where Elián once lived in a state of siege. While Elián’s centrality in a struggle between virtuality and virtue continues on both sides of the Florida Strait, the Cuban nowhere could not contain Elián. During his U.S. sojourn many commentators noted that his travails were relayed in serial fashion to an international audience that also claimed intimate knowledge of the boy. Coming after the O.J. Simpson saga and the Clinton-Lewinsky affair, the Elián story confirmed journalist Rick Kushman’s identification of a ceaseless, restless U.S. media attention shift from one story to the next, generating an “übercoverage” that engulfs the country “in mini-hysteria” (Calvert 107). But In Elián’s case, the voyeuristic media-machine attained unprecedented intensity because it met and worked with the virtualities of the Cuban nowhere, part of it in the U.S.A. Thus, a transnational surfeit of Elián-narrative options was guaranteed for participants, audiences and commentators alike, wherever they resided. In Cuba, Elián was hailed as the child-hero of the Revolution. In Miami he was a savior sent by God, the proof supplied by the dolphins that saved him from sharks, and the Virgins who appeared in Little Havana after his arrival (De La Torre 3-5). Along the U.S.A.-Mexico border in 2000, Elián’s name was given to hundreds of Mexican babies whose parents thought the gesture would guarantee their sons a U.S. future. Day by day, Elián’s story was propelled across the globe by melodramatic plot devices familiar to viewers of soap opera: doubtful paternities; familial crimes; identity secrets and their revelation; conflicts of good over evil; the reuniting of long-lost relatives; and the operations of chance and its attendant “hand of Destiny, arcane and vaguely supernatural, transcending probability of doubt” (Welsh 22). Those devices were also favored by the amateur author, whose narratives confirm that the delirious parameters of cyberspace are easily matched in the worldly text. In Michael John’s self-published “history,” Betrayal of Elian Gonzalez, Elián is cast as the victim of a conspiracy traceable back to the hydra-headed monster of Castro-Clinton and the world media: “Elian’s case was MANIPULATED to achieve THEIR OVER-ALL AGENDA. Only time will bear that out” (143). His book is now out of print, and the last time I looked (August 2004) one copy was being offered on Amazon.com for US$186.30 (original price, $9.95). Guyana-born, Canadian-resident Frank Senauth’s eccentric novel, A Cry for Help: The Fantastic Adventures of Elian Gonzalez, joins his other ventures into vanity publishing: To Save the Titanic from Disaster I and II; To Save Flight 608 From Disaster; A Wish to Die – A Will to Live; A Time to Live, A Time to Die; and A Day of Terror: The Sagas of 11th September, 2001. In A Cry for Help, Rachel, a white witch and student of writing, travels back in time in order to save Elián’s mother and her fellow travelers from drowning in the Florida Strait. As Senauth says, “I was only able to write this dramatic story because of my gift for seeing things as they really are and sharing my mystic imagination with you the public” (25). As such texts confirm, Elián González is an aberrant addition to the traditional U.S.-sponsored celebrity roll-call. He had no ontological capacity to take advantage of, intervene in, comment on, or be known outside, the parallel narrative universe into which he was cast and remade. He was cast adrift as a mere proper name that impelled numerous authors to supply the boy with the biography he purportedly lacked. Resident of an “atmospheric depression in history” (Stenger 56), Elián was battled over by virtualized national rivals, mass-mediated, and laid bare for endless signification. Even before his return to Cuba, one commentator noted that Elián had been consumed, denied corporeality, and condemned to “live out his life in hyper-space” (Buzachero). That space includes the infamous episode of South Park from May 2000, in which Kenny, simulating Elián, is killed off as per the show’s episodic protocols. Symptomatic of Elián’s narrative dispersal, the Kenny-Elián simulation keeps on living and dying whenever the episode is re-broadcast on TV sets across the world. Appropriated and relocated to strange and estranging narrative terrain, one Elián now lives out his multiple existences in the Cuban-U.S. “atmosphere in history,” and the Elián icon continues to proliferate virtually anywhere. References Arboleya, Jesús. The Cuban Counter-Revolution. Trans. Rafael Betancourt. Research in International Studies, Latin America Series no. 33. Athens, OH: Ohio Center for International Studies, 2000. Braudy, Leo. The Frenzy of Renown: Fame and Its History. New York and Oxford: Oxford UP, 1986. Buzachero, Chris. “Elian Gonzalez in Hyper-Space.” Ctheory.net 24 May 2000. 19 Aug. 2004: http://www.ctheory.net/text_file.asp?pick=222>. Calvert, Clay. Voyeur Nation: Media, Privacy, and Peering in Modern Culture. Boulder: Westview, 2000. Castro, Fidel. “Speech Given by Fidel Castro, at the Ceremony Marking the Birthday of Elian Gonzalez and the Fourth Anniversary of the Battle of Ideas, Held at ‘Marcello Salado’ Primary School in Cardenas, Matanzas on December 5, 2003.” 15 Aug. 2004 http://www.revolutionarycommunist.org.uk/fidel_castro3.htm>. Cuban American National Foundation. Official Website. 2004. 20 Aug. 2004 http://www.canf.org/2004/principal-ingles.htm>. De La Torre, Miguel A. La Lucha For Cuba: Religion and Politics on the Streets of Miami. Berkeley: U of California P, 2003. “Elian Jokes.” Hypercenter.com 2000. 19 Aug. 2004 http://www.hypercenter.com/jokes/elian/index.shtml>. “Elian’s Home Page.” 2000. 19 Aug. 2004 http://elian.8k.com>. Everard, Jerry. Virtual States: The Internet and the Boundaries of the Nation-State. London and New York, Routledge, 2000. Fernández, Damián J. Cuba and the Politics of Passion. Austin: U of Texas P, 2000. Hernández, Camilo. “Cronología de Elián.” E-mail. 2000. Received 6 May 2000. “If Elian Gonzalez Was Jewish.” Lori’s Mishmash Humor Page. 2000. 10 Aug. 2004 http://www.geocities.com/CollegePark/6174/jokes/if-elian-was-jewish.htm>. John, Michael. Betrayal of Elian Gonzalez. MaxGo, 2000. “Liberty for Elián.” Official Save Elián Website 2000. June 2003 http://www.libertyforelian.org>. Marshall, P. David. Celebrity and Power: Fame in Contemporary Culture. Minneapolis and London: U of Minnesota P, 1997. Ramos, Jorge. La otra cara de América: Historias de los inmigrantes latinoamericanos que están cambiando a Estados Unidos. México, DF: Grijalbo, 2000. Rodden, Lois. “Elian Gonzalez.” Astrodatabank 2000. 20 Aug. 2004 http://www.astrodatabank.com/NM/GonzalezElian.htm>. Rowe, John Carlos. 2002. The New American Studies. Minneapolis and London: U of Minnesota P, 2002. “The Sad Saga of Elian Gonzalez.” July 2004. 19 Aug. 2004 http://www.revlu.com/Elian.html>. Senauth, Frank. A Cry for Help: The Fantastic Adventures of Elian Gonzalez. Victoria, Canada: Trafford, 2000. Stenger, Nicole. “Mind Is a Leaking Rainbow.” Cyberspace: First Steps. Ed. Michael Benedikt. Cambridge, MA: MIT P, 1991. 49-58. Welsh, Alexander. George Eliot and Blackmail. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1985. Citation reference for this article MLA Style Allatson, Paul. "The Virtualization of Elián González." M/C Journal 7.5 (2004). echo date('d M. Y'); ?> <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0411/16-allatson.php>. APA Style Allatson, P. (Nov. 2004) "The Virtualization of Elián González," M/C Journal, 7(5). Retrieved echo date('d M. Y'); ?> from <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0411/16-allatson.php>.

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Brien, Donna Lee. "Climate Change and the Contemporary Evolution of Foodways." M/C Journal 12, no.4 (September5, 2009). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.177.

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Abstract:

Introduction Eating is one of the most quintessential activities of human life. Because of this primacy, eating is, as food anthropologist Sidney Mintz has observed, “not merely a biological activity, but a vibrantly cultural activity as well” (48). This article posits that the current awareness of climate change in the Western world is animating such cultural activity as the Slow Food movement and is, as a result, stimulating what could be seen as an evolutionary change in popular foodways. Moreover, this paper suggests that, in line with modelling provided by the Slow Food example, an increased awareness of the connections of climate change to the social injustices of food production might better drive social change in such areas. This discussion begins by proposing that contemporary foodways—defined as “not only what is eaten by a particular group of people but also the variety of customs, beliefs and practices surrounding the production, preparation and presentation of food” (Davey 182)—are changing in the West in relation to current concerns about climate change. Such modification has a long history. Since long before the inception of modern hom*o sapiens, natural climate change has been a crucial element driving hominidae evolution, both biologically and culturally in terms of social organisation and behaviours. Macroevolutionary theory suggests evolution can dramatically accelerate in response to rapid shifts in an organism’s environment, followed by slow to long periods of stasis once a new level of sustainability has been achieved (Gould and Eldredge). There is evidence that ancient climate change has also dramatically affected the rate and course of cultural evolution. Recent work suggests that the end of the last ice age drove the cultural innovation of animal and plant domestication in the Middle East (Zeder), not only due to warmer temperatures and increased rainfall, but also to a higher level of atmospheric carbon dioxide which made agriculture increasingly viable (McCorriston and Hole, cited in Zeder). Megadroughts during the Paleolithic might well have been stimulating factors behind the migration of hominid populations out of Africa and across Asia (Scholz et al). Thus, it is hardly surprising that modern anthropogenically induced global warming—in all its’ climate altering manifestations—may be driving a new wave of cultural change and even evolution in the West as we seek a sustainable homeostatic equilibrium with the environment of the future. In 1962, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring exposed some of the threats that modern industrial agriculture poses to environmental sustainability. This prompted a public debate from which the modern environmental movement arose and, with it, an expanding awareness and attendant anxiety about the safety and nutritional quality of contemporary foods, especially those that are grown with chemical pesticides and fertilizers and/or are highly processed. This environmental consciousness led to some modification in eating habits, manifest by some embracing wholefood and vegetarian dietary regimes (or elements of them). Most recently, a widespread awareness of climate change has forced rapid change in contemporary Western foodways, while in other climate related areas of socio-political and economic significance such as energy production and usage, there is little evidence of real acceleration of change. Ongoing research into the effects of this expanding environmental consciousness continues in various disciplinary contexts such as geography (Eshel and Martin) and health (McMichael et al). In food studies, Vileisis has proposed that the 1970s environmental movement’s challenge to the polluting practices of industrial agri-food production, concurrent with the women’s movement (asserting women’s right to know about everything, including food production), has led to both cooks and eaters becoming increasingly knowledgeable about the links between agricultural production and consumer and environmental health, as well as the various social justice issues involved. As a direct result of such awareness, alternatives to the industrialised, global food system are now emerging (Kloppenberg et al.). The Slow Food (R)evolution The tenets of the Slow Food movement, now some two decades old, are today synergetic with the growing consternation about climate change. In 1983, Carlo Petrini formed the Italian non-profit food and wine association Arcigola and, in 1986, founded Slow Food as a response to the opening of a McDonalds in Rome. From these humble beginnings, which were then unashamedly positing a return to the food systems of the past, Slow Food has grown into a global organisation that has much more future focused objectives animating its challenges to the socio-cultural and environmental costs of industrial food. Slow Food does have some elements that could be classed as reactionary and, therefore, the opposite of evolutionary. In response to the increasing hom*ogenisation of culinary habits around the world, for instance, Slow Food’s Foundation for Biodiversity has established the Ark of Taste, which expands upon the idea of a seed bank to preserve not only varieties of food but also local and artisanal culinary traditions. In this, the Ark aims to save foods and food products “threatened by industrial standardization, hygiene laws, the regulations of large-scale distribution and environmental damage” (SFFB). Slow Food International’s overarching goals and activities, however, extend far beyond the preservation of past foodways, extending to the sponsoring of events and activities that are attempting to create new cuisine narratives for contemporary consumers who have an appetite for such innovation. Such events as the Salone del Gusto (Salon of Taste) and Terra Madre (Mother Earth) held in Turin every two years, for example, while celebrating culinary traditions, also focus on contemporary artisanal foods and sustainable food production processes that incorporate the most current of agricultural knowledge and new technologies into this production. Attendees at these events are also driven by both an interest in tradition, and their own very current concerns with health, personal satisfaction and environmental sustainability, to change their consumer behavior through an expanded self-awareness of the consequences of their individual lifestyle choices. Such events have, in turn, inspired such events in other locations, moving Slow Food from local to global relevance, and affecting the intellectual evolution of foodway cultures far beyond its headquarters in Bra in Northern Italy. This includes in the developing world, where millions of farmers continue to follow many traditional agricultural practices by necessity. Slow Food Movement’s forward-looking values are codified in the International Commission on the Future of Food and Agriculture 2006 publication, Manifesto on the Future of Food. This calls for changes to the World Trade Organisation’s rules that promote the globalisation of agri-food production as a direct response to the “climate change [which] threatens to undermine the entire natural basis of ecologically benign agriculture and food preparation, bringing the likelihood of catastrophic outcomes in the near future” (ICFFA 8). It does not call, however, for a complete return to past methods. To further such foodway awareness and evolution, Petrini founded the University of Gastronomic Sciences at Slow Food’s headquarters in 2004. The university offers programs that are analogous with the Slow Food’s overall aim of forging sustainable partnerships between the best of old and new practice: to, in the organisation’s own words, “maintain an organic relationship between gastronomy and agricultural science” (UNISG). In 2004, Slow Food had over sixty thousand members in forty-five countries (Paxson 15), with major events now held each year in many of these countries and membership continuing to grow apace. One of the frequently cited successes of the Slow Food movement is in relation to the tomato. Until recently, supermarkets stocked only a few mass-produced hybrids. These cultivars were bred for their disease resistance, ease of handling, tolerance to artificial ripening techniques, and display consistency, rather than any culinary values such as taste, aroma, texture or variety. In contrast, the vine ripened, ‘farmer’s market’ tomato has become the symbol of an “eco-gastronomically” sustainable, local and humanistic system of food production (Jordan) which melds the best of the past practice with the most up-to-date knowledge regarding such farming matters as water conservation. Although the term ‘heirloom’ is widely used in relation to these tomatoes, there is a distinctively contemporary edge to the way they are produced and consumed (Jordan), and they are, along with other organic and local produce, increasingly available in even the largest supermarket chains. Instead of a wholesale embrace of the past, it is the connection to, and the maintenance of that connection with, the processes of production and, hence, to the environment as a whole, which is the animating premise of the Slow Food movement. ‘Slow’ thus creates a gestalt in which individuals integrate their lifestyles with all levels of the food production cycle and, hence to the environment and, importantly, the inherently related social justice issues. ‘Slow’ approaches emphasise how the accelerated pace of contemporary life has weakened these connections, while offering a path to the restoration of a sense of connectivity to the full cycle of life and its relation to place, nature and climate. In this, the Slow path demands that every consumer takes responsibility for all components of his/her existence—a responsibility that includes becoming cognisant of the full story behind each of the products that are consumed in that life. The Slow movement is not, however, a regime of abstention or self-denial. Instead, the changes in lifestyle necessary to support responsible sustainability, and the sensual and aesthetic pleasure inherent in such a lifestyle, exist in a mutually reinforcing relationship (Pietrykowski 2004). This positive feedback loop enhances the potential for promoting real and long-term evolution in social and cultural behaviour. Indeed, the Slow zeitgeist now informs many areas of contemporary culture, with Slow Travel, Homes, Design, Management, Leadership and Education, and even Slow Email, Exercise, Shopping and Sex attracting adherents. Mainstreaming Concern with Ethical Food Production The role of the media in “forming our consciousness—what we think, how we think, and what we think about” (Cunningham and Turner 12)—is self-evident. It is, therefore, revealing in relation to the above outlined changes that even the most functional cookbooks and cookery magazines (those dedicated to practical information such as recipes and instructional technique) in Western countries such as the USA, UK and Australian are increasingly reflecting and promoting an awareness of ethical food production as part of this cultural change in food habits. While such texts have largely been considered as useful but socio-politically relatively banal publications, they are beginning to be recognised as a valid source of historical and cultural information (Nussel). Cookbooks and cookery magazines commonly include discussion of a surprising range of issues around food production and consumption including sustainable and ethical agricultural methods, biodiversity, genetic modification and food miles. In this context, they indicate how rapidly the recent evolution of foodways has been absorbed into mainstream practice. Much of such food related media content is, at the same time, closely identified with celebrity mass marketing and embodied in the television chef with his or her range of branded products including their syndicated articles and cookbooks. This commercial symbiosis makes each such cuisine-related article in a food or women’s magazine or cookbook, in essence, an advertorial for a celebrity chef and their named products. Yet, at the same time, a number of these mass media food celebrities are raising public discussion that is leading to consequent action around important issues linked to climate change, social justice and the environment. An example is Jamie Oliver’s efforts to influence public behaviour and government policy, a number of which have gained considerable traction. Oliver’s 2004 exposure of the poor quality of school lunches in Britain (see Jamie’s School Dinners), for instance, caused public outrage and pressured the British government to commit considerable extra funding to these programs. A recent study by Essex University has, moreover, found that the academic performance of 11-year-old pupils eating Oliver’s meals improved, while absenteeism fell by 15 per cent (Khan). Oliver’s exposé of the conditions of battery raised hens in 2007 and 2008 (see Fowl Dinners) resulted in increased sales of free-range poultry, decreased sales of factory-farmed chickens across the UK, and complaints that free-range chicken sales were limited by supply. Oliver encouraged viewers to lobby their local councils, and as a result, a number banned battery hen eggs from schools, care homes, town halls and workplace cafeterias (see, for example, LDP). The popular penetration of these ideas needs to be understood in a historical context where industrialised poultry farming has been an issue in Britain since at least 1848 when it was one of the contributing factors to the establishment of the RSPCA (Freeman). A century after Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle (published in 1906) exposed the realities of the slaughterhouse, and several decades since Peter Singer’s landmark Animal Liberation (1975) and Tom Regan’s The Case for Animal Rights (1983) posited the immorality of the mistreatment of animals in food production, it could be suggested that Al Gore’s film An Inconvenient Truth (released in 2006) added considerably to the recent concern regarding the ethics of industrial agriculture. Consciousness-raising bestselling books such as Jim Mason and Peter Singer’s The Ethics of What We Eat and Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma (both published in 2006), do indeed ‘close the loop’ in this way in their discussions, by concluding that intensive food production methods used since the 1950s are not only inhumane and damage public health, but are also damaging an environment under pressure from climate change. In comparison, the use of forced labour and human trafficking in food production has attracted far less mainstream media, celebrity or public attention. It could be posited that this is, in part, because no direct relationship to the environment and climate change and, therefore, direct link to our own existence in the West, has been popularised. Kevin Bales, who has been described as a modern abolitionist, estimates that there are currently more than 27 million people living in conditions of slavery and exploitation against their wills—twice as many as during the 350-year long trans-Atlantic slave trade. Bales also chillingly reveals that, worldwide, the number of slaves is increasing, with contemporary individuals so inexpensive to purchase in relation to the value of their production that they are disposable once the slaveholder has used them. Alongside sex slavery, many other prevalent examples of contemporary slavery are concerned with food production (Weissbrodt et al; Miers). Bales and Soodalter, for example, describe how across Asia and Africa, adults and children are enslaved to catch and process fish and shellfish for both human consumption and cat food. Other campaigners have similarly exposed how the cocoa in chocolate is largely produced by child slave labour on the Ivory Coast (Chalke; Off), and how considerable amounts of exported sugar, cereals and other crops are slave-produced in certain countries. In 2003, some 32 per cent of US shoppers identified themselves as LOHAS “lifestyles of health and sustainability” consumers, who were, they said, willing to spend more for products that reflected not only ecological, but also social justice responsibility (McLaughlin). Research also confirms that “the pursuit of social objectives … can in fact furnish an organization with the competitive resources to develop effective marketing strategies”, with Doherty and Meehan showing how “social and ethical credibility” are now viable bases of differentiation and competitive positioning in mainstream consumer markets (311, 303). In line with this recognition, Fair Trade Certified goods are now available in British, European, US and, to a lesser extent, Australian supermarkets, and a number of global chains including Dunkin’ Donuts, McDonalds, Starbucks and Virgin airlines utilise Fair Trade coffee and teas in all, or parts of, their operations. Fair Trade Certification indicates that farmers receive a higher than commodity price for their products, workers have the right to organise, men and women receive equal wages, and no child labour is utilised in the production process (McLaughlin). Yet, despite some Western consumers reporting such issues having an impact upon their purchasing decisions, social justice has not become a significant issue of concern for most. The popular cookery publications discussed above devote little space to Fair Trade product marketing, much of which is confined to supermarket-produced adverzines promoting the Fair Trade products they stock, and international celebrity chefs have yet to focus attention on this issue. In Australia, discussion of contemporary slavery in the press is sparse, having surfaced in 2000-2001, prompted by UNICEF campaigns against child labour, and in 2007 and 2008 with the visit of a series of high profile anti-slavery campaigners (including Bales) to the region. The public awareness of food produced by forced labour and the troubling issue of human enslavement in general is still far below the level that climate change and ecological issues have achieved thus far in driving foodway evolution. This may change, however, if a ‘Slow’-inflected connection can be made between Western lifestyles and the plight of peoples hidden from our daily existence, but contributing daily to them. Concluding Remarks At this time of accelerating techno-cultural evolution, due in part to the pressures of climate change, it is the creative potential that human conscious awareness brings to bear on these challenges that is most valuable. Today, as in the caves at Lascaux, humanity is evolving new images and narratives to provide rational solutions to emergent challenges. As an example of this, new foodways and ways of thinking about them are beginning to evolve in response to the perceived problems of climate change. The current conscious transformation of food habits by some in the West might be, therefore, in James Lovelock’s terms, a moment of “revolutionary punctuation” (178), whereby rapid cultural adaption is being induced by the growing public awareness of impending crisis. It remains to be seen whether other urgent human problems can be similarly and creatively embraced, and whether this trend can spread to offer global solutions to them. References An Inconvenient Truth. Dir. Davis Guggenheim. Lawrence Bender Productions, 2006. Bales, Kevin. Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004 (first published 1999). Bales, Kevin, and Ron Soodalter. The Slave Next Door: Human Trafficking and Slavery in America Today. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009. Carson, Rachel. Silent Spring. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1962. Chalke, Steve. “Unfinished Business: The Sinister Story behind Chocolate.” The Age 18 Sep. 2007: 11. Cunningham, Stuart, and Graeme Turner. The Media and Communications in Australia Today. Crows Nest: Allen & Unwin, 2002. Davey, Gwenda Beed. “Foodways.” The Oxford Companion to Australian Folklore. Ed. Gwenda Beed Davey, and Graham Seal. Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1993. 182–85. Doherty, Bob, and John Meehan. “Competing on Social Resources: The Case of the Day Chocolate Company in the UK Confectionery Sector.” Journal of Strategic Marketing 14.4 (2006): 299–313. Eshel, Gidon, and Pamela A. Martin. “Diet, Energy, and Global Warming.” Earth Interactions 10, paper 9 (2006): 1–17. Fowl Dinners. Exec. Prod. Nick Curwin and Zoe Collins. Dragonfly Film and Television Productions and Fresh One Productions, 2008. Freeman, Sarah. Mutton and Oysters: The Victorians and Their Food. London: Gollancz, 1989. Gould, S. J., and N. Eldredge. “Punctuated Equilibrium Comes of Age.” Nature 366 (1993): 223–27. (ICFFA) International Commission on the Future of Food and Agriculture. Manifesto on the Future of Food. Florence, Italy: Agenzia Regionale per lo Sviluppo e l’Innovazione nel Settore Agricolo Forestale and Regione Toscana, 2006. Jamie’s School Dinners. Dir. Guy Gilbert. Fresh One Productions, 2005. Jordan, Jennifer A. “The Heirloom Tomato as Cultural Object: Investigating Taste and Space.” Sociologia Ruralis 47.1 (2007): 20-41. Khan, Urmee. “Jamie Oliver’s School Dinners Improve Exam Results, Report Finds.” Telegraph 1 Feb. 2009. 24 Aug. 2009 < http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/4423132/Jamie-Olivers-school-dinners-improve-exam-results-report-finds.html >. Kloppenberg, Jack, Jr, Sharon Lezberg, Kathryn de Master, G. W. Stevenson, and John Henrickson. ‘Tasting Food, Tasting Sustainability: Defining the Attributes of an Alternative Food System with Competent, Ordinary People.” Human Organisation 59.2 (Jul. 2000): 177–86. (LDP) Liverpool Daily Post. “Battery Farm Eggs Banned from Schools and Care Homes.” Liverpool Daily Post 12 Jan. 2008. 24 Aug. 2009 < http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/liverpool-news/regional-news/2008/01/12/battery-farm-eggs-banned-from-schools-and-care-homes-64375-20342259 >. Lovelock, James. The Ages of Gaia: A Biography of Our Living Earth. New York: Bantam, 1990 (first published 1988). Mason, Jim, and Peter Singer. The Ethics of What We Eat. Melbourne: Text Publishing, 2006. McLaughlin, Katy. “Is Your Grocery List Politically Correct? Food World’s New Buzzword Is ‘Sustainable’ Products.” The Wall Street Journal 17 Feb. 2004. 29 Aug. 2009 < http://www.globalexchange.org/campaigns/fairtrade/coffee/1732.html >. McMichael, Anthony J, John W Powles, Colin D Butler, and Ricardo Uauy. “Food, Livestock Production, Energy, Climate Change, and Health.” The Lancet 370 (6 Oct. 2007): 1253–63. Miers, Suzanne. “Contemporary Slavery”. A Historical Guide to World Slavery. Ed. Seymour Drescher, and Stanley L. Engerman. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998. Mintz, Sidney W. Tasting Food, Tasting Freedom: Excursions into Eating, Culture, and the Past. Boston: Beacon Press, 1994. Nussel, Jill. “Heating Up the Sources: Using Community Cookbooks in Historical Inquiry.” History Compass 4/5 (2006): 956–61. Off, Carol. Bitter Chocolate: Investigating the Dark Side of the World's Most Seductive Sweet. St Lucia: U of Queensland P, 2008. Paxson, Heather. “Slow Food in a Fat Society: Satisfying Ethical Appetites.” Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture 5.1 (2005): 14–18. Pietrykowski, Bruce. “You Are What You Eat: The Social Economy of the Slow Food Movement.” Review of Social Economy 62:3 (2004): 307–21. Pollan, Michael. The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. New York: The Penguin Press, 2006. Regan, Tom. The Case for Animal Rights. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983. Scholz, Christopher A., Thomas C. Johnson, Andrew S. Cohen, John W. King, John A. Peck, Jonathan T. Overpeck, Michael R. Talbot, Erik T. Brown, Leonard Kalindekafe, Philip Y. O. Amoako, Robert P. Lyons, Timothy M. Shanahan, Isla S. Castañeda, Clifford W. Heil, Steven L. Forman, Lanny R. McHargue, Kristina R. Beuning, Jeanette Gomez, and James Pierson. “East African Megadroughts between 135 and 75 Thousand Years Ago and Bearing on Early-modern Human Origins.” PNAS: Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences of the United States of America 104.42 (16 Oct. 2007): 16416–21. Sinclair, Upton. The Jungle. New York: Doubleday, Jabber & Company, 1906. Singer, Peter. Animal Liberation. New York: HarperCollins, 1975. (SFFB) Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity. “Ark of Taste.” 2009. 24 Aug. 2009 < http://www.fondazioneslowfood.it/eng/arca/lista.lasso >. (UNISG) University of Gastronomic Sciences. “Who We Are.” 2009. 24 Aug. 2009 < http://www.unisg.it/eng/chisiamo.php >. Vileisis, Ann. Kitchen Literacy: How We Lost Knowledge of Where Food Comes From and Why We Need to Get It Back. Washington: Island Press/Shearwater Books, 2008. Weissbrodt, David, and Anti-Slavery International. Abolishing Slavery and its Contemporary Forms. New York and Geneva: Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations, 2002. Zeder, Melinda A. “The Neolithic Macro-(R)evolution: Macroevolutionary Theory and the Study of Culture Change.” Journal of Archaeological Research 17 (2009): 1–63.

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Savic, Milovan, Anthony McCosker, and Paula Geldens. "Cooperative Mentorship: Negotiating Social Media Use within the Family." M/C Journal 19, no.2 (May4, 2016). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1078.

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Abstract:

IntroductionAccounts of mentoring relationships inevitably draw attention to hierarchies of expertise, knowledge and learning. While public concerns about both the risks and benefits for young people of social media, little attention has been given to the nature of the mentoring role that parents and families play alongside of schools. This conceptual paper explores models of mentorship in the context of family dynamics as they are affected by social media use. This is a context that explicitly disrupts hierarchical structures of mentoring in that new media, and particularly social media use, tends to be driven by youth cultural practices, identity formation, experimentation and autonomy-seeking practices (see for example: Robards; boyd; Campos-Holland et al.; Hodkinson). A growing body of research supports the notion that young people are more skilled in navigating social media platforms than their parents (FOSI; Campos-Holland et al.). This research establishes that uncertainty and tension derived from parents’ impression that their children know more about social media they do (FOSI; Sorbring) has brought about a market for advice and educational programs. In the content of this paper it is notable that when family dynamics and young people’s social media use are addressed through notions of digital citizenship or cyber safety programs, a hierarchical mentorship is assumed, but also problematised; thus the expertise hierarchy is inverted. This paper argues that use of social media platforms, networks, and digital devices challenges traditional hierarchies of expertise in family environments. Family members, parents and children in particular, are involved in ongoing, complex conversations and negotiations about expertise in relation to technology and social media use. These negotiations open up an alternative space for mentorship, challenging traditional roles and suggesting the need for cooperative processes. And this, in turn, can inspire new ways of relating with and through social media and mobile technologies within the family.Inverting Expertise: Social Media, Family and MentoringSocial media are deeply embedded in everyday routines for the vast majority of the population. The emergence of the ‘networked society’, characterised by increasing and pervasive digital and social connectivity, has the potential to create new forms of social interactions within and across networks (Rainie and Wellman), but also to reconfigure intergenerational and family relations. In this way, social media introduces new power asymmetries that affect family dynamics and in particular relationships between young people and their parents. This relatively new mediated environment, by default, exposes young people to social contexts well beyond family and immediate peers making their lived experiences individual, situational and contextual (Swist et al.). The perceived risks this introduces can provoke tensions within families looking to manage those uncertain social contexts, in the process problematising traditional structures of mentorship. Mentoring is a practice predominantly understood within educational and professional workplace settings (Ambrosetti and Dekkers). Although different definitions can be found across disciplines, most models position a mentor as a more experienced knowledge holder, implying a hierarchical relationship between a mentor and mentee (Ambrosetti and Dekkers). Stereotypically, a mentor is understood to be older, wiser and more experienced, while a mentee is, in turn, younger and in need of guidance – a protégé. Alternative models of mentorship see mentoring as a reciprocal process (Eby, Rhodes and Allen; Naweed and Ambrosetti).This “reciprocal” perspective on mentorship recognises the opportunity both sides in the process have to contribute and benefit from the relationship. However, in situations where one party in the relationship does not have the expected knowledge, skills or confidence, this reciprocity becomes more difficult. Thus, as an alternative, asymmetrical or cooperative mentorship lies between the hierarchical and reciprocal (Naweed and Ambrosetti). It suggests that the more experienced side (whichever it is) takes a lead while mentoring is negotiated in a way that meets both sides’ needs. The parent-child relationship is generally understood in hierarchical terms. Traditionally, parents are considered to be mentors for their children, particularly in acquiring new skills and facilitating transitions towards adult life. Such perspectives on parent-child relationships are based on a “deficit” approach to youth, “whereby young people are situated as citizens-in-the-making” (Collin). Social media further problematises the hierarchical dynamic with the role of knowledge holder varying between and within the family members. In many contemporary mediated households, across developed and wealthy nations, technologically savvy children are actively tailoring their own childhoods. This is a context that requires a reconceptualisation of traditional mentoring models within the family context and recognition of each stakeholder’s expertise, knowledge and agency – a position that is markedly at odds with traditional deficit models. Negotiating Social Media Use within the FamilyIn the early stages of the internet and social media research, a generational gap was often at the centre of debates. Although highly contested, Prensky’s metaphor of digital natives and digital immigrants persists in both the popular media and academic literature. This paradigm portrays young people as tech savvy in contrast with their parents. However, such assumptions are rarely grounded in empirical evidence (Hargittai). Nonetheless, while parents are active users of social media, they find it difficult to negotiate social media use with their children (Sorbring). Some studies suggest that parental concerns arise from impressions that their children know more about social media than they do (FOSI; Wang, Bianchi and Raley). Additionally, parental concern with a child’s social media use is positively correlated with the child’s age; parents of older children are less confident in their skills and believe that their child is more digitally skillful (FOSI). However, it may be more productive to understand social media expertise within the family as shared: intermittently fluctuating between parents and children. In developed and wealthy countries, children are already using digital media by the age of five and throughout their pre-teen years predominantly for play and learning, and as teenagers they are almost universally avid social media users (Nansen; Nansen et al.; Swist et al.). Smartphone ownership has increased significantly among young people in Australia, reaching almost 80% in 2015, a proportion nearly identical to the adult population (Australian Communications and Media Authority). In addition, most young people are using multiple devices switching between them according to where, when and with whom they connect (Australian Communications and Media Authority). The locations of internet use have also diversified. While the home remains the most common site, young people make use of mobile devices to access the internet at school, friend’s homes, and via public Wi-Fi hotspots (Australian Communications and Media Authority). As a result, social media access and engagement has become more frequent and personalised and tied to processes of socialisation and well-being (Sorbring; Swist et al.). These developments have been rapid, introducing asymmetry into the parent-child mentoring dynamic along with family tensions about rules, norms and behaviours of media use. Negotiating an appropriate balance between emerging autonomy and parental oversight has always featured as a primary parenting challenge and social media seem to have introduced a new dimension in this context. A 2016 Pew report on parents, teens, and digital monitoring reveals that social media use has become central to the establishment of family rules and disciplinary practices, with over two thirds of parents reporting the use of “digital grounding” as punishment (Pew). As well as restricting social media use, the majority of parents report limiting the amount of time and times of day their children can be online. Interestingly, while parents engage in a variety of hands-on approaches to monitoring and regulating children’s social media use, they are less likely to use monitoring software, blocking/filtering online content, tracking locations and the like (Pew). These findings suggest that parents may lack confidence in technology-based restrictions or prefer pro-active, family based approaches involving discussion about appropriate social media use. This presents an opportunity to explore how social media produces new forms of parent-child relationships that might be best understood through the lens of cooperative models of mentorship. Digital Parenting: Technological and Pedagogical Interventions Parents along with educators and policy makers are looking for technological solutions to the knowledge gap, whether perceived or real, associated with concerns regarding young people’s social media use. Likewise, technology and social media companies are rushing to develop and sell advice, safety filters and resources of all kinds to meet such parental needs (Clark; McCosker). This relatively under-researched field requires further exploration and dissociation from the discourse of risk and fear (Livingstone). Furthermore, in order to develop opportunities modelled on concepts of cooperative mentoring, such programs and interventions need to move away from hierarchical assumptions about the nature of expertise within family contexts. As Collin and Swist point out, online campaigns aimed at addressing young people and children’s safety and wellbeing “are often still designed by adult ‘experts’” (Collin and Swist). A cooperative mentoring approach within family contexts would align with recent use of co-design or participatory design within social and health research and policy (Collin and Swist). In order to think through the potential of cooperative mentorship approaches in relation to social media use within the family, we examine some of the digital resources available to parents.Prominent US cyber safety and digital citizenship program Cyberwise is a commercial website founded by Diana Graber and Cynthia Lieberman, with connections to Verizon Wireless, Google and iKeepSafe among many other partnerships. In addition to learning resources around topics like “Being a Responsible Citizen of the Digital World”, Cyberwise offers online and face to face workshops on “cyber civics” in California, emphasising critical thinking, ethical discussion and decision making about digital media issues. The organisation aims to educate and support parents and teachers in their endeavor to guide young people in civil and safe social media use. CyberWise’s slogan “No grown up left behind!”, and its program of support and education is underpinned by and maintains the notion of adults as lacking expertise and lagging behind young people in digital literacy and social media skills. In the process, it introduces an additional level of expertise in the cyber safety expert and software-based interventions. Through a number of software partners, CyberWise provides a suite of tools that offer parents some control in preventing cyberbullying and establishing norms for cyber safety. For example, Frienedy is a dedicated social media platform that fosters a more private mode of networking for closed groups of mutually known people. It enables users to control completely what they share and with whom they share it. The tool does not introduce any explicit parental monitoring mechanisms, but seeks to impose an exclusive online environment divested of broader social influences and risks – an environment in which parents can “introduce kids to social media on their terms when they are ready”. Although Frienedy does not explicitly present itself as a monitoring tool, it does perpetuate hierarchical forms of mentorship and control for parents. On the other hand, PocketGuardian is a parental monitoring service for tracking children’s social media use, with an explicit emphasis on parental control: “Parents receive notification when cyberbullying or sexting is detected, plus resources to start a conversation with their child without intruding child’s privacy” (the software notifies parents when it detects an issue but without disclosing the content). The tool promotes its ability to step in on behalf of parents, removing “the task of manually inspecting your child's device and accounts”. The software claims that it analyses the content rather than merely catching “keywords” in its detection algorithms. Obviously, tools such as PocketGuardian reflect a hierarchical mentorship model (and recognise the expertise asymmetry) by imposing technological controls. The software, in a way, fosters a fear of expertise deficiency, while enabling technological controls to reassert the parent-child hierarchy. A different approach is exemplified by the Australian based Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre, a “living lab” experiment – this is an overt attempt to reverse deliberate asymmetry. This pedagogical intervention, initially taking the form of an research project, involved four young people designing and delivering a three-hour workshop on social networking and cyber safety for adult participants (Third et al.). The central aim was to disrupt the traditional way adults and young people relate to each other in relation to social media and technology use and attempted to support learning by reversing traditional roles of adult teacher and young student. In this way ‘a non-hierarchical space of intergenerational learning’ was created (Third et al.). The result was to create a setting where intergenerational conversation helped to demystify social media and technology, generate familiarity with sites, improve adult’s understanding of when they should assist young people, and deliver agency and self-efficacy for the young people involved (7-8). In this way, young people’s expertise was acknowledged as a reflection of a cooperative or asymmetrical mentoring relationship in which adult’s guidance and support could also play a part. These lessons have been applied and developed further through a participatory design approach to producing apps and tools such as Appreciate-a-mate (Collin and Swist). In that project “the inclusion of young people’s contexts became a way of activating and sustaining attachments in regard to the campaign’s future use”(313).In stark contrast to the CyberWise tools, the cooperative mentoring (or participatory design) approach, exemplified in this second example, has multiple positive outcomes: first it demystifies social media use and increases understanding of the role it plays in young people’s (and adults’) lives. Second, it increases adults’ familiarity and comfort in navigating their children’s social media use. Finally, for the young people involved, it supports a sense of achievement and acknowledges their expertise and agency. To build sustainability into these processes, we would argue that it is important to look at the family context and cooperative mentorship as an additional point of intervention. Understood in this sense, cooperative and asymmetrical mentoring between a parent and child echoes an authoritative parenting style which is proven to have the best outcome for children (Baumrind), but in a way that accommodates young people’s technology expertise.Both programs analysed target adults (parents) as less skilful than young people (their children) in relation to social media use. However, while first case study, the technology based interventions endorses hierarchical model, the Living Lab example (a pedagogical intervention) attempts to create an environment without hierarchical obstacles to learning and knowledge exchange. Although the parent-child relationship is indubitably characterised by the hierarchy to some extent, it also assumes continuous negotiation and role fluctuation. A continuous process, negotiation intensifies as children age and transition to more independent media use. In the current digital environment, this negotiation is often facilitated (or even led) by social media platforms as additional agents in the process. Unarguably, digital parenting might implicate both technological and pedagogical interventions; however, there should be a dialogue between the two. Without presumed expertise roles, non-hierarchical, cooperative environment for negotiating social media use can be developed. Cooperative mentorship, as a concept, offers an opportunity to connect research and practice through participatory design and it deserves further consideration.ConclusionsPrevailing approaches to cyber safety education tend to focus on risk management and in doing so, they maintain hierarchical forms of parental control. Adhering to such methods fails to acknowledge young people’s expertise and further deepens generational misunderstanding over social media use. Rather than insisting on hierarchical and traditional roles, there is a need to recognise and leverage asymmetrical expertise within the family in regards to social media.Cooperative and asymmetrical mentorship happens naturally in the family and can be facilitated by and through social media. The inverted hierarchy of expertise we have described here puts both parents and children, in a position of constant negotiation over social media use. This negotiation is complex, relational, unpredictable, open toward emergent possibilities and often intensive. Unquestionably, it is clear that social media provides opportunities for negotiation over, and inversion of, traditional family roles. Whether this inversion of expertise is real or only perceived, however, deserves further investigation. This article formulates some of the conceptual groundwork for an empirical study of family dynamics in relation to social media use and rulemaking. The study aims to continue to probe the positive potential of cooperative and asymmetrical mentorship and participatory design concepts and practices. The idea of cooperative mentorship does not necessarily provide a universal solution to how families negotiate social media use, but it does provide a new lens through which this dynamic can be observed. Clearly family dynamics, and the parent-child relationship, in particular, can play a vital part in supporting effective digital citizenship and wellbeing processes. Learning about this spontaneous and natural process of family negotiations might equip us with tools to inform policy and practices that can help parents and children to collaboratively create ‘a networked world in which they all want to live’ (boyd). ReferencesAmbrosetti, Angelina, and John Dekkers. "The Interconnectedness of the Roles of Mentors and Mentees in Pre-Service Teacher Education Mentoring Relationships." Australian Journal of Teacher Education 35.6 (2010): 42-55. Naweed, Anjum, and Ambrosetti Angelina. "Mentoring in the Rail Context: The Influence of Training, Style, and Practicenull." Journal of Workplace Learning 27.1 (2015): 3-18.Australian Communications and Media Authority, Office of the Childrens eSafety Commissioner. Aussie Teens and Kids Online. Australian Communications and Media Authority, 2016. Baumrind, Diana. "Effects of Authoritative Parental Control on Child Behavior." Child Development 37.4 (1966): 887. boyd, danah. It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014. Campos-Holland, Ana, Brooke Dinsmore, Gina Pol, Kevin Zevalios. "Keep Calm: Youth Navigating Adult Authority across Networked Publics." Technology and Youth: Growing Up in a Digital World. Eds. Sampson Lee Blair, Patricia Neff Claster, and Samuel M. Claster. 2015. 163-211. Clark, Lynn Schofield. The Parent App: Understanding Families in the Digital Age. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013. Collin, Philippa. Young Citizens and Political Participation in a Digital Society: Addressing the Democratic Disconnect. Palgrave Macmillan, 2015. Collin, Philippa, and Teresa Swist. "From Products to Publics? The Potential of Participatory Design for Research on Youth, Safety and Well-Being." Journal of Youth Studies 19.3 (2016): 305-18. Eby, Lillian T., Jean E. Rhodes, and Tammy D. Allen. "Definition and Evolution of Mentoring." The Blackwell Handbook of Mentoring: A Multiple Perspectives Approach. Eds. Tammy D. Allen and Lillian T. Eby. Malden, Mass.: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010. 7-20.FOSI. Parents, Privacy & Technology Use. Washington: Family Online Safety Institute, 2015. Hargittai, Eszter. "Digital Na(t)ives? Variation in Internet Skills and Uses among Members of the 'Net Generation'." Sociological Inquiry 80.1 (2010): 92-113.Hodkinson, Paul. "Bedrooms and Beyond: Youth, Identity and Privacy on Social Network Sites." New Media & Society (2015). Livingstone, Sonia. "More Online Risks for Parents to Worry About, Says New Safer Internet Day Research." Parenting for a Digital Future 2016.McCosker, Anthony. "Managing Digital Citizenship: Cyber Safety as Three Layers of Contro." Negotiating Digital Citizenship: Control, Contest and Culture. Eds. A. McCosker, S. Vivienne, and A. Johns. London: Rowman & Littlefield, forthcoming 2016. Nansen, Bjorn. "Accidental, Assisted, Automated: An Emerging Repertoire of Infant Mobile Media Techniques." M/C Journal 18.5 (2015). Nansen, Bjorn, et al. "Children and Digital Wellbeing in Australia: Online Regulation, Conduct and Competence." Journal of Children and Media 6.2 (2012): 237-54. Pew, Research Center. Parents, Teens and Digital Monitoring: Pew Research Center, 2016. Prensky, Marc. "Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants Part 1." On the Horizon 9.5 (2001): 1-6. Rainie, Harrison, and Barry Wellman. Networked: The New Social Operating System. Cambridge, Mass.: Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2012. Robards, Brady. "Leaving Myspace, Joining Facebook: ‘Growing up’ on Social Network Sites." Continuum 26.3 (2012): 385-98. Sorbring, Emma. "Parents’ Concerns about Their Teenage Children’s Internet Use." Journal of Family Issues 35.1 (2014): 75-96.Swist, Teresa, et al. Social Media and Wellbeing of Children and Young People: A Literature Review. Perth, WA: Prepared for the Commissioner for Children and Young People, Western Australia, 2015. Third, Amanda, et al. Intergenerational Attitudes towards Social Networking and Cybersafety: A Living Lab. Melbourne: Cooperative Research Centre for Young People, Technology and Wellbeing, 2011.Wang, Rong, Suzanne M. Bianchi, and Sara B. Raley. "Teenagers’ Internet Use and Family Rules: A Research Note." Journal of Marriage and Family 67.5 (2005): 1249-58.

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Haupt, Adam. "Queering Hip-Hop, Queering the City: Dope Saint Jude’s Transformative Politics." M/C Journal 19, no.4 (August31, 2016). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1125.

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This paper argues that artist Dope Saint Jude is transforming South African hip-hop by queering a genre that has predominantly been male and heteronormative. Specifically, I analyse the opening skit of her music video “Keep in Touch” in order to unpack the ways which she revives Gayle, a gay language that adopted double-coded forms of speech during the apartheid era—a context in which hom*osexuals were criminalised. The use of Gayle and spaces close to the city centre of Cape Town (such as Salt River and Woodstock) speaks to the city as it was before it was transformed by the decline of industries due to the country’s adoption of neoliberal economics and, more recently, by the gentrification of these spaces. Dope Saint Jude therefore reclaims these city spaces through her use of gay modes of speech that have a long history in Cape Town and by positioning her work as hip-hop, which has been popular in the city for well over two decades. Her inclusion of transgender MC and DJ Angel Ho pushes the boundaries of hegemonic and binary conceptions of gender identity even further. In essence, Dope Saint Jude is transforming local hip-hop in a context that is shaped significantly by US cultural imperialism. The artist is also transforming our perspective of spaces that have been altered by neoliberal economics.Setting the SceneDope Saint Jude (DSJ) is a queer MC from Elsies River, a working class township located on Cape Town's Cape Flats in South Africa. Elsies River was defined as a “coloured” neighbourhood under the apartheid state's Group Areas Act, which segregated South Africans racially. With the aid of the Population Registration Act, citizens were classified, not merely along the lines of white, Asian, or black—black subjects were also divided into further categories. The apartheid state also distinguished between black and “coloured” subjects. Michael MacDonald contends that segregation “ordained blacks to be inferior to whites; apartheid cast them to be indelibly different” (11). Apartheid declared “African claims in South Africa to be inferior to white claims” and effectively claimed that black subjects “belonged elsewhere, in societies of their own, because their race was different” (ibid). The term “coloured” defined people as “mixed race” to separate communities that might otherwise have identified as black in the broad and inclusive sense (Erasmus 16). Racial categorisation was used to create a racial hierarchy with white subjects at the top of that hierarchy and those classified as black receiving the least resources and benefits. This frustrated attempts to establish broad alliances of black struggles against apartheid. It is in this sense that race is socially and politically constructed and continues to have currency, despite the fact that biologically essentialist understandings of race have been discredited (Yudell 13–14). Thanks to apartheid town planning and resource allocation, many townships on the Cape Flats were poverty-stricken and plagued by gang violence (Salo 363). This continues to be the case because post-apartheid South Africa's embrace of neoliberal economics failed to address racialised class inequalities significantly (Haupt, Static 6–8). This is the '90s context in which socially conscious hip-hop crews, such as Prophets of da City or Black Noise, came together. They drew inspiration from Black Consciousness philosophy via their exposure to US hip-hop crews such as Public Enemy in order to challenge apartheid policies, including their racial interpellation as “coloured” as distinct from the more inclusive category, black (Haupt, “Black Thing” 178). Prophets of da City—whose co-founding member, Shaheen Ariefdien, also lived in Elsies River—was the first South African hip-hop outfit to record an album. Whilst much of their work was performed in English, they quickly transformed the genre by rapping in non-standard varieties of Afrikaans and by including MCs who rap in African languages (ibid). They therefore succeeded in addressing key issues related to race, language, and class disparities in relation to South Africa's transition to democracy (Haupt, “Black Thing”; Haupt, Stealing Empire). However, as is the case with mainstream US hip-hop, specifically gangsta rap (Clay 149), South African hip-hop has been largely dominated by heterosexual men. This includes the more commercial hip-hop scene, which is largely perceived to be located in Johannesburg, where male MCs like AKA and Cassper Nyovest became celebrities. However, certain female MCs have claimed the genre, notably EJ von Lyrik and Burni Aman who are formerly of Godessa, the first female hip-hop crew to record and perform locally and internationally (Haupt, Stealing Empire 166; Haupt, “Can a Woman in Hip-Hop”). DSJ therefore presents the exception to a largely heteronormative and male-dominated South African music industry and hip-hop scene as she transforms it with her queer politics. While queer hip-hop is not new in the US (Pabón and Smalls), this is new territory for South Africa. Writing about the US MC Jean Grae in the context of a “male-dominated music industry and genre,” Shanté Paradigm Smalls contends,Heteronormativity blocks the materiality of the experiences of Black people. Yet, many Black people strive for a heteronormative effect if not “reality”. In hip hop, there is a particular emphasis on maintaining the rigidity of categories, even if those categories fail [sic]. (87) DSJ challenges these rigid categories. Keep in TouchDSJ's most visible entry onto the media landscape to date has been her appearance in an H&M recycling campaign with British Sri Lankan artist MIA (H&M), some fashion shoots, her new EP—Reimagine (Dope Saint Jude)—and recent Finnish, US and French tours as well as her YouTube channel, which features her music videos. As the characters’ theatrical costumes suggest, “Keep in Touch” is possibly the most camp and playful music video she has produced. It commences somewhat comically with Dope Saint Jude walking down Salt River main road to a public telephone, where she and a young woman in pig tails exchange dirty looks. Salt River is located at the foot of Devil's Peak not far from Cape Town's CBD. Many factories were located there, but the area is also surrounded by low-income housing, which was designated a “coloured” area under apartheid. After apartheid, neighbourhoods such as Salt River, Woodstock, and the Bo-Kaap became increasingly gentrified and, instead of becoming more inclusive, many parts of Cape Town continued to be influenced by policies that enable racialised inequalities. Dope Saint Jude calls Angel Ho: DSJ: Awêh, Angie! Yoh, you must check this kak sturvy girl here by the pay phone. [Turns to the girl, who walks away as she bursts a chewing gum bubble.] Ja, you better keep in touch. Anyway, listen here, what are you wys?Angel Ho: Ah, just at the salon getting my hair did. What's good? DSJ: Wanna catch on kak today?Angel Ho: Yes, honey. But, first, let me Gayle you this. By the jol by the art gallery, this Wendy, nuh. This Wendy tapped me on the shoulder and wys me, “This is a place of decorum.”DSJ: What did she wys?Angel Ho: De-corum. She basically told me this is not your house. DSJ: I know you told that girl to keep in touch!Angel Ho: Yes, Mama! I'm Paula, I told that bitch, “Keep in touch!” [Points index finger in the air.](Saint Jude, Dope, “Keep in Touch”)Angel Ho's name is a play on the male name Angelo and refers to the trope of the ho (whor*) in gangsta rap lyrics and in music videos that present objectified women as secondary to male, heterosexual narratives (Sharpley-Whiting 23; Collins 27). The queering of Angelo, along with Angel Ho’s non-binary styling in terms of hair, make-up, and attire, appropriates a heterosexist, sexualised stereotype of women in order to create room for a gender identity that operates beyond heteronormative male-female binaries. Angel Ho’s location in a hair salon also speaks to stereotypical associations of salons with women and gay subjects. In a discussion of gender stereotypes about hair salons, Kristen Barber argues that beauty work has traditionally been “associated with women and with gay men” and that “the body beautiful has been tightly linked to the concept of femininity” (455–56). During the telephonic exchange, Angel Ho and Dope Saint Jude code-switch between standard and non-standard varieties of English and Afrikaans, as the opening appellation, “Awêh,” suggests. In this context, the term is a friendly greeting, which intimates solidarity. “Sturvy” means pretentious, whilst “kak” means sh*t, but here it is used to qualify “sturvy” and means that the girl at the pay phone is very pretentious or “full of airs.” To be “wys” means to be wise, but it can also mean that you are showing someone something or educating them. The meanings of these terms shift, depending on the context. The language practices in this skit are in line with the work of earlier hip-hop crews, such as Prophets of da City and Brasse vannie Kaap, to validate black, multilingual forms of speech and expression that challenge the linguistic imperialism of standard English and Afrikaans in South Africa, which has eleven official languages (Haupt, “Black Thing”; Haupt, Stealing Empire; Williams). Henry Louis Gates’s research on African American speech varieties and literary practices emerging from the repressive context of slavery is essential to understanding hip-hop’s language politics. Hip-hop artists' multilingual wordplay creates parallel discursive universes that operate both on the syntagmatic axis of meaning-making and the paradigmatic axis (Gates 49; Haupt, “Stealing Empire” 76–77). Historically, these discursive universes were those of the slave masters and the slaves, respectively. While white hegemonic meanings are produced on the syntagmatic axis (which is ordered and linear), black modes of speech as seen in hip-hop word play operate on the paradigmatic axis, which is connotative and non-linear (ibid). Distinguishing between Signifyin(g) / Signification (upper case, meaning black expression) and signification (lower case, meaning white dominant expression), he argues that “the signifier ‘Signification’ has remained identical in spelling to its white counterpart to demonstrate [. . .] that a simultaneous, but negated, parallel discursive (ontological, political) universe exists within the larger white discursive universe” (Gates 49). The meanings of terms and expressions can change, depending on the context and manner in which they are used. It is therefore the shared experiences of speech communities (such as slavery or racist/sexist oppression) that determine the negotiated meanings of certain forms of expression. Gayle as a Parallel Discursive UniverseDSJ and Angel Ho's performance of Gayle takes these linguistic practices further. Viewers are offered points of entry into Gayle via the music video’s subtitles. We learn that Wendy is code for a white person and that to keep in touch means exactly the opposite. Saint Jude explains that Gayle is a very fun queer language that was used to kind of mask what people were saying [. . .] It hides meanings and it makes use of women's names [. . . .] But the thing about Gayle is it's constantly changing [. . .] So everywhere you go, you kind of have to pick it up according to the context that you're in. (Ovens, Saint Jude and Haupt)According to Kathryn Luyt, “Gayle originated as Moffietaal [gay language] in the coloured gay drag culture of the Western Cape as a form of slang amongst Afrikaans-speakers which over time, grew into a stylect used by gay English and Afrikaans-speakers across South Africa” (Luyt 8; Cage 4). Given that the apartheid state criminalised hom*osexuals, Gayle was coded to evade detection and to seek out other members of this speech community (Luyt 8). Luyt qualifies the term “language” by arguing, “The term ‘language’ here, is used not as a constructed language with its own grammar, syntax, morphology and phonology, but in the same way as linguists would discuss women’s language, as a way of speaking, a kind of sociolect” (Luyt 8; Cage 1). However, the double-coded nature of Gayle allows one to think of it as creating a parallel discursive universe as Gates describes it (49). Whereas African American and Cape Flats discursive practices function parallel to white, hegemonic discourses, gay modes of speech run parallel to heteronormative communication. Exclusion and MicroaggressionsThe skit brings both discursive practices into play by creating room for one to consider that DSJ queers a male-dominated genre that is shaped by US cultural imperialism (Haupt, Stealing Empire 166) as a way of speaking back to intersectional forms of marginalisation (Crenshaw 1244), which are created by “white supremacist capitalist patriarchy” (hooks 116). This is significant in South Africa where “curative rape” of lesbians and other forms of hom*ophobic violence are prominent (cf. Gqola; Hames; Msibi). Angel Ho's anecdote conveys a sense of the extent to which black individuals are subject to scrutiny. Ho's interpretation of the claim that the gallery “is a place of decorum” is correct: it is not Ho's house. Black queer subjects are not meant to feel at home or feel a sense of ownership. This functions as a racial microaggression: “subtle insults (verbal, nonverbal, and/or visual) directed toward people of color, often automatically or unconsciously” (Solorzano, Ceja, and Yosso 60). This speaks to DSJ's use of Salt River, Woodstock, and Bo-Kaap for the music video, which features black queer bodies in performance—all of these spaces are being gentrified, effectively pushing working class people of colour out of the city (cf. Didier, Morange, and Peyroux; Lemanski). Gustav Visser explains that gentrification has come to mean a unit-by-unit acquisition of housing which replaces low-income residents with high-income residents, and which occurs independent of the structural condition, architecture, tenure or original cost level of the housing (although it is usually renovated for or by the new occupiers). (81–82) In South Africa this inequity plays out along racial lines because its neoliberal economic policies created a small black elite without improving the lives of the black working class. Instead, the “new African bourgeoisie, because it shares racial identities with the bulk of the poor and class interests with white economic elites, is in position to mediate the reinforcing cleavages between rich whites and poor blacks without having to make more radical changes” (MacDonald 158). In a news article about a working class Salt River family of colour’s battle against an eviction, Christine Hogg explains, “Gentrification often means the poor are displaced as the rich move in or buildings are upgraded by new businesses. In Woodstock and Salt River both are happening at a pace.” Angel Ho’s anecdote, as told from a Woodstock hair salon, conveys a sense of what Woodstock’s transformation from a coloured, working class Group Area to an upmarket, trendy, and arty space would mean for people of colour, including black, queer subjects. One could argue that this reading of the video is undermined by DSJ’s work with global brand H&M. Was she was snared by neoliberal economics? Perhaps, but one response is that the seeds of any subculture’s commercial co-option lie in the fact it speaks through commodities (for example clothing, make-up, CDs, vinyl, or iTunes / mp3 downloads (Hebdige 95; Haupt, Stealing Empire 144–45). Subcultures have a window period in which to challenge hegemonic ideologies before they are delegitimated or commercially co-opted. Hardt and Negri contend that the means that extend the reach of corporate globalisation could be used to challenge it from within it (44–46; Haupt, Stealing Empire 26). DSJ utilises her H&M work, social media, the hip-hop genre, and international networks to exploit that window period to help mainstream black queer identity politics.ConclusionDSJ speaks back to processes of exclusion from the city, which was transformed by apartheid and, more recently, gentrification, by claiming it as a creative and playful space for queer subjects of colour. She uses Gayle to lay claim to the city as it has a long history in Cape Town. In fact, she says that she is not reviving Gayle, but is simply “putting it on a bigger platform” (Ovens, Saint Jude, and Haupt). The use of subtitles in the video suggests that she wants to mainstream queer identity politics. Saint Jude also transforms hip-hop heteronormativity by queering the genre and by locating her work within the history of Cape hip-hop’s multilingual wordplay. ReferencesBarber, Kristin. “The Well-Coiffed Man: Class, Race, and Heterosexual Masculinity in the Hair Salon.” Gender and Society 22.4 (2008): 455–76.Cage, Ken. “An Investigation into the Form and Function of Language Used by Gay Men in South Africa.” Rand Afrikaans University: MA thesis, 1999.Clay, Andreana. “‘I Used to Be Scared of the Dick’: Queer Women of Color and Hip-Hop Masculinity.” Home Girls Make Some Noise: Hip Hop Feminism Anthology. Ed. Gwendolyn D. Pough, Elain Richardson, Aisha Durham, and Rachel Raimist. California: Sojourns, 2007.Collins, Patricia Hill. Black Sexual Politics: African Americans, Gender, and the New Racism. New York: Routledge, 2005. Crenshaw, Kimberle. “Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence against Women of Color”. Stanford Law Review 43.6 (1991): 1241–299.Didier, Sophie, Marianne Morange, and Elisabeth Peyroux. “The Adaptative Nature of Neoliberalism at the Local Scale: Fifteen Years of City Improvement Districts in Cape Town and Johannesburg.” Antipode 45.1 (2012): 121–39.Erasmus, Zimitri. “Introduction.” Coloured by History, Shaped by Place. Ed. Zimitri Erasmus. Cape Town: Kwela Books & SA History Online, 2001. Gates, Henry Louis. The Signifying Monkey: A Theory of Afro-American Literary Criticism. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1988.Gqola, Pumla Dineo. Rape: A South African Nightmare. Johannesburg: Jacana, 2015.Hames, Mary. “Violence against Black Lesbians: Minding Our Language.” Agenda 25.4 (2011): 87–91.Hardt, Michael, and Antonio Negri. Empire. London: Harvard UP, 2000.Haupt, Adam. “Can a Woman in Hip Hop Speak on Her Own Terms?” Africa Is a Country. 23 Mar. 2015. <http://africasacountry.com/2015/03/the-double-consciousness-of-burni-aman-can-a-woman-in-hip-hop-speak-on-her-own-terms/>.Haupt, Adam. Static: Race & Representation in Post-Apartheid Music, Media & Film. Cape Town: HSRC Press, 2012. Haupt, Adam. Stealing Empire: P2P, Intellectual Property and Hip-Hop Subversion. Cape Town: HSRC Press, 2008. Haupt, Adam. “Black Thing: Hip-Hop Nationalism, ‘Race’ and Gender in Prophets of da City and Brasse vannie Kaap.” Coloured by History, Shaped by Place. Ed. Zimitri Erasmus. Cape Town: Kwela Books & SA History Online, 2001. Hebdige, Dick. Subculture: The Meaning of Style. London: Routledge, 1979.Hogg, Christine. “In Salt River Gentrification Often Means Eviction: Family Set to Lose Their Home of 11 Years.” Ground Up. 15 June 2016. <http://www.groundup.org.za/article/salt-river-gentrification-often-means-eviction/>.hooks, bell. Outlaw: Culture: Resisting Representations. New York: Routledge, 1994.Lemanski, Charlotte. “Hybrid Gentrification in South Africa: Theorising across Southern and Northern Cities.” Urban Studies 51.14 (2014): 2943–60.Luyt, Kathryn. “Gay Language in Cape Town: A Study of Gayle – Attitudes, History and Usage.” University of Cape Town: MA thesis, 2014.MacDonald, Michael. Why Race Matters in South Africa. University of Kwazulu-Natal Press: Scottsville, 2006.Msibi, Thabo. “Not Crossing the Line: Masculinities and hom*ophobic Violence in South Africa”. Agenda. 23.80 (2009): 50–54.Pabón, Jessica N., and Shanté Paradigm Smalls. “Critical Intimacies: Hip Hop as Queer Feminist Pedagogy.” Women & Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory (2014): 1–7.Salo, Elaine. “Negotiating Gender and Personhood in the New South Africa: Adolescent Women and Gangsters in Manenberg Township on the Cape Flats.” Journal of European Cultural Studies 6.3 (2003): 345–65.Solórzano, Daniel, Miguel Ceja, and Tara Yosso. “Critical Race Theory, Racial Microaggressions, and Campus Racial Climate: The Experiences of African American College Students.” Journal of Negro Education 69.1/2 (2000): 60–73.Sharpley-Whiting, T. Denean. Pimps Up, Ho’s Down: Hip Hop’s Hold on Young Black Women. New York: New York UP, 2007.Smalls, Shanté Paradigm. “‘The Rain Comes Down’: Jean Grae and Hip Hop Heteronormativity.” American Behavioral Scientist 55.1 (2011): 86–95.Visser, Gustav. “Gentrification: Prospects for Urban South African Society?” Acta Academica Supplementum 1 (2003): 79–104.Williams, Quentin E. “Youth Multilingualism in South Africa’s Hip-Hop Culture: a Metapragmatic Analysis.” Sociolinguistic Studies 10.1 (2016): 109–33.Yudell, Michael. “A Short History of the Race Concept.” Race and the Genetic Revolution: Science, Myth, and Culture. Ed. Sheldon Krimsky and Kathleen Sloan. New York: Columbia UP, 2011.InterviewsOvens, Neil, Dope Saint Jude, and Adam Haupt. One FM Radio interview. Cape Town. 21 Apr. 2016.VideosSaint Jude, Dope. “Keep in Touch.” YouTube. 23 Feb. 2015. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2ux9R839lE>. H&M. “H&M World Recycle Week Featuring M.I.A.” YouTube. 11 Apr. 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7MskKkn2Jg>. MusicSaint Jude, Dope. Reimagine. 15 June 2016. <https://dopesaintjude.bandcamp.com/album/reimagine>.

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Ryan, Robin Ann. "Forest as Place in the Album "Canopy": Culturalising Nature or Naturalising Culture?" M/C Journal 19, no.3 (June22, 2016). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1096.

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Every act of art is able to reveal, balance and revive the relations between a territory and its inhabitants (François Davin, Southern Forest Sculpture Walk Catalogue)Introducing the Understory Art in Nature TrailIn February 2015, a colossal wildfire destroyed 98,300 hectares of farm and bushland surrounding the town of Northcliffe, located 365 km south of Perth, Western Australia (WA). As the largest fire in the recorded history of the southwest region (Southern Forest Arts, After the Burn 8), the disaster attracted national attention however the extraordinary contribution of local knowledge in saving a town considered by authorities to be “undefendable” (Kennedy) is yet to be widely appreciated. In accounting for a creative scene that survived the conflagration, this case study sees culture mobilised as a socioeconomic resource for conservation and the healing of community spirit.Northcliffe (population 850) sits on a coastal plain that hosts majestic old-growth forest and lush bushland. In 2006, Southern Forest Arts (SFA) dedicated a Southern Forest Sculpture Walk for creative professionals to develop artworks along a 1.2 km walk trail through pristine native forest. It was re-branded “Understory—Art in Nature” in 2009; then “Understory Art in Nature Trail” in 2015, the understory vegetation layer beneath the canopy being symbolic of Northcliffe’s deeply layered caché of memories, including “the awe, love, fear, and even the hatred that these trees have provoked among the settlers” (Davin in SFA Catalogue). In the words of the SFA Trailguide, “Every place (no matter how small) has ‘understories’—secrets, songs, dreams—that help us connect with the spirit of place.”In the view of forest arts ecologist Kumi Kato, “It is a sense of place that underlies the commitment to a place’s conservation by its community, broadly embracing those who identify with the place for various reasons, both geographical and conceptual” (149). In bioregional terms such communities form a terrain of consciousness (Berg and Dasmann 218), extending responsibility for conservation across cultures, time and space (Kato 150). A sustainable thematic of place must also include livelihood as the third party between culture and nature that establishes the relationship between them (Giblett 240). With these concepts in mind I gauge creative impact on forest as place, and, in turn, (altered) forest’s impact on people. My abstraction of physical place is inclusive of humankind moving in dialogic engagement with forest. A mapping of Understory’s creative activities sheds light on how artists express physical environments in situated creative practices, clusters, and networks. These, it is argued, constitute unique types of community operating within (and beyond) a foundational scene of inspiration and mystification that is metaphorically “rising from the ashes.” In transcending disconnectedness between humankind and landscape, Understory may be understood to both culturalise nature (as an aesthetic system), and naturalise culture (as an ecologically modelled system), to build on a trope introduced by Feld (199). Arguably when the bush is cultured in this way it attracts consumers who may otherwise disconnect from nature.The trail (henceforth Understory) broaches the histories of human relations with Northcliffe’s natural systems of place. Sub-groups of the Noongar nation have inhabited the southwest for an estimated 50,000 years and their association with the Northcliffe region extends back at least 6,000 years (SFA Catalogue; see also Crawford and Crawford). An indigenous sense of the spirit of forest is manifest in Understory sculpture, literature, and—for the purpose of this article—the compilation CD Canopy: Songs for the Southern Forests (henceforth Canopy, Figure 1).As a cultural and environmental construction of place, Canopy sustains the land with acts of seeing, listening to, and interpreting nature; of remembering indigenous people in the forest; and of recalling the hardships of the early settlers. I acknowledge SFA coordinator and Understory custodian Fiona Sinclair for authorising this investigation; Peter Hill for conservation conversations; Robyn Johnston for her Canopy CD sleeve notes; Della Rae Morrison for permissions; and David Pye for discussions. Figure 1. Canopy: Songs for the Southern Forests (CD, 2006). Cover image by Raku Pitt, 2002. Courtesy Southern Forest Arts, Northcliffe, WA.Forest Ecology, Emotion, and ActionEstablished in 1924, Northcliffe’s ill-founded Group Settlement Scheme resulted in frontier hardship and heartbreak, and deforestation of the southwest region for little economic return. An historic forest controversy (1992-2001) attracted media to Northcliffe when protesters attempting to disrupt logging chained themselves to tree trunks and suspended themselves from branches. The signing of the Western Australian Regional Forest Agreement in 1999 was followed, in 2001, by deregulation of the dairy industry and a sharp decline in area population.Moved by the gravity of this situation, Fiona Sinclair won her pitch to the Manjimup Council for a sound alternative industry for Northcliffe with projections of jobs: a forest where artists could work collectively and sustainably to reveal the beauty of natural dimensions. A 12-acre pocket of allocated Crown Land adjacent to the town was leased as an A-Class Reserve vested for Education and Recreation, for which SFA secured unified community ownership and grants. Conservation protocols stipulated that no biomass could be removed from the forest and that predominantly raw, natural materials were to be used (F. Sinclair and P. Hill, personal interview, 26 Sep. 2014). With forest as prescribed image (wider than the bounded chunk of earth), Sinclair invited the artists to consider the themes of spirituality, creativity, history, dichotomy, and sensory as a basis for work that was to be “fresh, intimate, and grounded in place.” Her brief encouraged artists to work with humanity and imagination to counteract residual community divisiveness and resentment. Sinclair describes this form of implicit environmentalism as an “around the back” approach that avoids lapsing into political commentary or judgement: “The trail is a love letter from those of us who live here to our visitors, to connect with grace” (F. Sinclair, telephone interview, 6 Apr. 2014). Renewing community connections to local place is essential if our lives and societies are to become more sustainable (Pedelty 128). To define Northcliffe’s new community phase, artists respected differing associations between people and forest. A structure on a karri tree by Indigenous artist Norma MacDonald presents an Aboriginal man standing tall and proud on a rock to become one with the tree and the forest: as it was for thousands of years before European settlement (MacDonald in SFA Catalogue). As Feld observes, “It is the stabilizing persistence of place as a container of experiences that contributes so powerfully to its intrinsic memorability” (201).Adhering to the philosophy that nature should not be used or abused for the sake of art, the works resonate with the biorhythms of the forest, e.g. functional seats and shelters and a cascading retainer that directs rainwater back to the resident fauna. Some sculptures function as receivers for picking up wavelengths of ancient forest. Forest Folk lurk around the understory, while mysterious stone art represents a life-shaping force of planet history. To represent the reality of bushfire, Natalie Williamson’s sculpture wraps itself around a burnt-out stump. The work plays with scale as small native sundew flowers are enlarged and a subtle beauty, easily overlooked, becomes apparent (Figure 2). The sculptor hopes that “spiders will spin their webs about it, incorporating it into the landscape” (SFA Catalogue).Figure 2. Sundew. Sculpture by Natalie Williamson, 2006. Understory Art in Nature Trail, Northcliffe, WA. Image by the author, 2014.Memory is naturally place-oriented or at least place-supported (Feld 201). Topaesthesia (sense of place) denotes movement that connects our biography with our route. This is resonant for the experience of regional character, including the tactile, olfactory, gustatory, visual, and auditory qualities of a place (Ryan 307). By walking, we are in a dialogue with the environment; both literally and figuratively, we re-situate ourselves into our story (Schine 100). For example, during a summer exploration of the trail (5 Jan. 2014), I intuited a personal attachment based on my grandfather’s small bush home being razed by fire, and his struggle to support seven children.Understory’s survival depends on vigilant controlled (cool) burns around its perimeter (Figure 3), organised by volunteer Peter Hill. These burns also hone the forest. On 27 Sept. 2014, the charred vegetation spoke a spring language of opportunity for nature to reassert itself as seedpods burst and continue the cycle; while an autumn walk (17 Mar. 2016) yielded a fresh view of forest colour, patterning, light, shade, and sound.Figure 3. Understory Art in Nature Trail. Map Created by Fiona Sinclair for Southern Forest Sculpture Walk Catalogue (2006). Courtesy Southern Forest Arts, Northcliffe, WA.Understory and the Melody of CanopyForest resilience is celebrated in five MP3 audio tours produced for visitors to dialogue with the trail in sensory contexts of music, poetry, sculptures and stories that name or interpret the setting. The trail starts in heathland and includes three creek crossings. A zone of acacias gives way to stands of the southwest signature trees karri (Eucalyptus diversicolor), jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata), and marri (Corymbia calophylla). Following a sheoak grove, a riverine environment re-enters heathland. Birds, insects, mammals, and reptiles reside around and between the sculptures, rendering the earth-embedded art a fusion of human and natural orders (concept after Relph 141). On Audio Tour 3, Songs for the Southern Forests, the musician-composers reflect on their regionally focused items, each having been birthed according to a personal musical concept (the manner in which an individual artist holds the totality of a composition in cultural context). Arguably the music in question, its composers, performers, audiences, and settings, all have a role to play in defining the processes and effects of forest arts ecology. Local musician Ann Rice billeted a cluster of musicians (mostly from Perth) at her Windy Harbour shack. The energy of the production experience was palpable as all participated in on-site forest workshops, and supported each other’s items as a musical collective (A. Rice, telephone interview, 2 Oct. 2014). Collaborating under producer Lee Buddle’s direction, they orchestrated rich timbres (tone colours) to evoke different musical atmospheres (Table 1). Composer/Performer Title of TrackInstrumentation1. Ann RiceMy Placevocals/guitars/accordion 2. David PyeCicadan Rhythmsangklung/violin/cello/woodblocks/temple blocks/clarinet/tapes 3. Mel RobinsonSheltervocal/cello/double bass 4. DjivaNgank Boodjakvocals/acoustic, electric and slide guitars/drums/percussion 5. Cathie TraversLamentaccordion/vocals/guitar/piano/violin/drums/programming 6. Brendon Humphries and Kevin SmithWhen the Wind First Blewvocals/guitars/dobro/drums/piano/percussion 7. Libby HammerThe Gladevocal/guitar/soprano sax/cello/double bass/drums 8. Pete and Dave JeavonsSanctuaryguitars/percussion/talking drum/cowbell/soprano sax 9. Tomás FordWhite Hazevocal/programming/guitar 10. David HyamsAwakening /Shaking the Tree /When the Light Comes guitar/mandolin/dobro/bodhran/rainstick/cello/accordion/flute 11. Bernard CarneyThe Destiny Waltzvocal/guitar/accordion/drums/recording of The Destiny Waltz 12. Joel BarkerSomething for Everyonevocal/guitars/percussion Table 1. Music Composed for Canopy: Songs for the Southern Forests.Source: CD sleeve and http://www.understory.com.au/art.php. Composing out of their own strengths, the musicians transformed the geographic region into a living myth. As Pedelty has observed of similar musicians, “their sounds resonate because they so profoundly reflect our living sense of place” (83-84). The remainder of this essay evidences the capacity of indigenous song, art music, electronica, folk, and jazz-blues to celebrate, historicise, or re-imagine place. Firstly, two items represent the phenomenological approach of site-specific sensitivity to acoustic, biological, and cultural presence/loss, including the materiality of forest as a living process.“Singing Up the Land”In Aboriginal Australia “there is no place that has not been imaginatively grasped through song, dance and design, no place where traditional owners cannot see the imprint of sacred creation” (Rose 18). Canopy’s part-Noongar language song thus repositions the ancient Murrum-Noongar people within their life-sustaining natural habitat and spiritual landscape.Noongar Yorga woman Della Rae Morrison of the Bibbulmun and Wilman nations co-founded The Western Australian Nuclear Free Alliance to campaign against the uranium mining industry threatening Ngank Boodjak (her country, “Mother Earth”) (D.R. Morrison, e-mail, 15 July 2014). In 2004, Morrison formed the duo Djiva (meaning seed power or life force) with Jessie Lloyd, a Murri woman of the Guugu Yimidhirr Nation from North Queensland. After discerning the fundamental qualities of the Understory site, Djiva created the song Ngank Boodjak: “This was inspired by walking the trail […] feeling the energy of the land and the beautiful trees and hearing the birds. When I find a spot that I love, I try to feel out the lay-lines, which feel like vortexes of energy coming out of the ground; it’s pretty amazing” (Morrison in SFA Canopy sleeve) Stanza 1 points to the possibilities of being more fully “in country”:Ssh!Ni dabarkarn kooliny, ngank boodja kookoorninyListen, walk slowly, beautiful Mother EarthThe inclusion of indigenous language powerfully implements an indigenous interpretation of forest: “My elders believe that when we leave this life from our physical bodies that our spirit is earthbound and is living in the rocks or the trees and if you listen carefully you might hear their voices and maybe you will get some answers to your questions” (Morrison in SFA Catalogue).Cicadan Rhythms, by composer David Pye, echoes forest as a lively “more-than-human” world. Pye took his cue from the ambient pulsing of male cicadas communicating in plenum (full assembly) by means of airborne sound. The species were sounding together in tempo with individual rhythm patterns that interlocked to create one fantastic rhythm (Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Composer David Pye). The cicada chorus (the loudest known lovesong in the insect world) is the unique summer soundmark (term coined by Truax Handbook, Website) of the southern forests. Pye chased various cicadas through Understory until he was able to notate the rhythms of some individuals in a patch of low-lying scrub.To simulate cicada clicking, the composer set pointillist patterns for Indonesian anklung (joint bamboo tubes suspended within a frame to produce notes when the frame is shaken or tapped). Using instruments made of wood to enhance the rich forest imagery, Pye created all parts using sampled instrumental sounds placed against layers of pre-recorded ambient sounds (D. Pye, telephone interview, 3 Sept. 2014). He takes the listener through a “geographical linear representation” of the trail: “I walked around it with a stopwatch and noted how long it took to get through each section of the forest, and that became the musical timing of the various parts of the work” (Pye in SFA Canopy sleeve). That Understory is a place where reciprocity between nature and culture thrives is, likewise, evident in the remaining tracks.Musicalising Forest History and EnvironmentThree tracks distinguish Canopy as an integrative site for memory. Bernard Carney’s waltz honours the Group Settlers who battled insurmountable terrain without any idea of their destiny, men who, having migrated with a promise of owning their own dairy farms, had to clear trees bare-handedly and build furniture from kerosene tins and gelignite cases. Carney illuminates the culture of Saturday night dancing in the schoolroom to popular tunes like The Destiny Waltz (performed on the Titanic in 1912). His original song fades to strains of the Victor Military Band (1914), to “pay tribute to the era where the inspiration of the song came from” (Carney in SFA Canopy sleeve). Likewise Cathie Travers’s Lament is an evocation of remote settler history that creates a “feeling of being in another location, other timezone, almost like an endless loop” (Travers in SFA Canopy sleeve).An instrumental medley by David Hyams opens with Awakening: the morning sun streaming through tall trees, and the nostalgic sound of an accordion waltz. Shaking the Tree, an Irish jig, recalls humankind’s struggle with forest and the forces of nature. A final title, When the Light Comes, defers to the saying by conservationist John Muir that “The wrongs done to trees, wrongs of every sort, are done in the darkness of ignorance and unbelief, for when the light comes the heart of the people is always right” (quoted by Hyams in SFA Canopy sleeve). Local musician Joel Barker wrote Something for Everyone to personify the old-growth karri as a king with a crown, with “wisdom in his bones.”Kevin Smith’s father was born in Northcliffe in 1924. He and Brendon Humphries fantasise the untouchability of a maiden (pre-human) moment in a forest in their song, When the Wind First Blew. In Libby Hammer’s The Glade (a lover’s lament), instrumental timbres project their own affective languages. The jazz singer intended the accompanying double bass to speak resonantly of old-growth forest; the cello to express suppleness and renewal; a soprano saxophone to impersonate a bird; and the drums to imitate the insect community’s polyrhythmic undercurrent (after Hammer in SFA Canopy sleeve).A hybrid aural environment of synthetic and natural forest sounds contrasts collision with harmony in Sanctuary. The Jeavons Brothers sampled rustling wind on nearby Mt Chudalup to absorb into the track’s opening, and crafted a snare groove for the quirky eco-jazz/trip-hop by banging logs together, and banging rocks against logs. This imaginative use of percussive found objects enhanced their portrayal of forest as “a living, breathing entity.”In dealing with recent history in My Place, Ann Rice cameos a happy childhood growing up on a southwest farm, “damming creeks, climbing trees, breaking bones and skinning knees.” The rich string harmonies of Mel Robinson’s Shelter sculpt the shifting environment of a brewing storm, while White Haze by Tomás Ford describes a smoky controlled burn as “a kind of metaphor for the beautiful mystical healing nature of Northcliffe”: Someone’s burning off the scrubSomeone’s making sure it’s safeSomeone’s whiting out the fearSomeone’s letting me breathe clearAs Sinclair illuminates in a post-fire interview with Sharon Kennedy (Website):When your map, your personal map of life involves a place, and then you think that that place might be gone…” Fiona doesn't finish the sentence. “We all had to face the fact that our little place might disappear." Ultimately, only one house was lost. Pasture and fences, sheds and forest are gone. Yet, says Fiona, “We still have our town. As part of SFA’s ongoing commission, forest rhythm workshops explore different sound properties of potential materials for installing sound sculptures mimicking the surrounding flora and fauna. In 2015, SFA mounted After the Burn (a touring photographic exhibition) and Out of the Ashes (paintings and woodwork featuring ash, charcoal, and resin) (SFA, After the Burn 116). The forthcoming community project Rising From the Ashes will commemorate the fire and allow residents to connect and create as they heal and move forward—ten years on from the foundation of Understory.ConclusionThe Understory Art in Nature Trail stimulates curiosity. It clearly illustrates links between place-based social, economic and material conditions and creative practices and products within a forest that has both given shelter and “done people in.” The trail is an experimental field, a transformative locus in which dedicated physical space frees artists to culturalise forest through varied aesthetic modalities. Conversely, forest possesses agency for naturalising art as a symbol of place. Djiva’s song Ngank Boodjak “sings up the land” to revitalise the timelessness of prior occupation, while David Pye’s Cicadan Rhythms foregrounds the seasonal cycle of entomological music.In drawing out the richness and significance of place, the ecologically inspired album Canopy suggests that the community identity of a forested place may be informed by cultural, economic, geographical, and historical factors as well as endemic flora and fauna. Finally, the musical representation of place is not contingent upon blatant forms of environmentalism. The portrayals of Northcliffe respectfully associate Western Australian people and forests, yet as a place, the town has become an enduring icon for the plight of the Universal Old-growth Forest in all its natural glory, diverse human uses, and (real or perceived) abuses.ReferencesAustralian Broadcasting Commission. “Canopy: Songs for the Southern Forests.” Into the Music. Prod. Robyn Johnston. Radio National, 5 May 2007. 12 Aug. 2014 <http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/intothemusic/canopy-songs-for-the-southern-forests/3396338>.———. “Composer David Pye.” Interview with Andrew Ford. The Music Show, Radio National, 12 Sep. 2009. 30 Jan. 2015 <http://canadapodcasts.ca/podcasts/MusicShowThe/1225021>.Berg, Peter, and Raymond Dasmann. “Reinhabiting California.” Reinhabiting a Separate Country: A Bioregional Anthology of Northern California. Ed. Peter Berg. San Francisco: Planet Drum, 1978. 217-20.Crawford, Patricia, and Ian Crawford. Contested Country: A History of the Northcliffe Area, Western Australia. Perth: UWA P, 2003.Feld, Steven. 2001. “Lift-Up-Over Sounding.” The Book of Music and Nature: An Anthology of Sounds, Words, Thoughts. Ed. David Rothenberg and Marta Ulvaeus. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan UP, 2001. 193-206.Giblett, Rod. People and Places of Nature and Culture. Bristol: Intellect, 2011.Kato, Kumi. “Addressing Global Responsibility for Conservation through Cross-Cultural Collaboration: Kodama Forest, a Forest of Tree Spirits.” The Environmentalist 28.2 (2008): 148-54. 15 Apr. 2014 <http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10669-007-9051-6#page-1>.Kennedy, Sharon. “Local Knowledge Builds Vital Support Networks in Emergencies.” ABC South West WA, 10 Mar. 2015. 26 Mar. 2015 <http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2015/03/09/4193981.htm?site=southwestwa>.Morrison, Della Rae. E-mail. 15 July 2014.Pedelty, Mark. Ecomusicology: Rock, Folk, and the Environment. Philadelphia, PA: Temple UP, 2012.Pye, David. Telephone interview. 3 Sep. 2014.Relph, Edward. Place and Placelessness. London: Pion, 1976.Rice, Ann. Telephone interview. 2 Oct. 2014.Rose, Deborah Bird. Nourishing Terrains: Australian Aboriginal Views of Landscape and Wilderness. Australian Heritage Commission, 1996.Ryan, John C. Green Sense: The Aesthetics of Plants, Place and Language. Oxford: Trueheart Academic, 2012.Schine, Jennifer. “Movement, Memory and the Senses in Soundscape Studies.” Canadian Acoustics: Journal of the Canadian Acoustical Association 38.3 (2010): 100-01. 12 Apr. 2016 <http://jcaa.caa-aca.ca/index.php/jcaa/article/view/2264>.Sinclair, Fiona. Telephone interview. 6 Apr. 2014.Sinclair, Fiona, and Peter Hill. Personal Interview. 26 Sep. 2014.Southern Forest Arts. Canopy: Songs for the Southern Forests. CD coordinated by Fiona Sinclair. Recorded and produced by Lee Buddle. Sleeve notes by Robyn Johnston. West Perth: Sound Mine Studios, 2006.———. Southern Forest Sculpture Walk Catalogue. Northcliffe, WA, 2006. Unpaginated booklet.———. Understory—Art in Nature. 2009. 12 Apr. 2016 <http://www.understory.com.au/>.———. Trailguide. Understory. Presented by Southern Forest Arts, n.d.———. After the Burn: Stories, Poems and Photos Shared by the Local Community in Response to the 2015 Northcliffe and Windy Harbour Bushfire. 2nd ed. Ed. Fiona Sinclair. Northcliffe, WA., 2016.Truax, Barry, ed. Handbook for Acoustic Ecology. 2nd ed. Cambridge Street Publishing, 1999. 10 Apr. 2016 <http://www.sfu.ca/sonic-studio/handbook/Soundmark.html>.

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Ward, Christopher Grant. "Stock Images, Filler Content and the Ambiguous Corporate Message." M/C Journal 10, no.5 (October1, 2007). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.2706.

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A central concern of media studies is to understand the transactions of meaning that are established between the encoders and decoders of media messages: senders and receivers, authors and audiences, producers and consumers. More precisely, this discipline has aimed to describe the semantic disconnects that occur when organisations, governments, businesses, and people communicate and interact across media, and, further, to understand the causes of these miscommunications and to theorise their social and cultural implications. As the media environment becomes complicated by increasingly multimodal messages broadcast to diverse languages and cultures, it is no surprise that misunderstanding seems to occur more (and not less) frequently, forcing difficult questions of society’s ability to refine mass communication into a more streamlined, more effective, and less error-prone system. The communication of meaning to mass audiences has long been theorised (e.g.: Shannon and Weaver; Schramm; Berlo) using the metaphor of a “transmitted message.” While these early researchers varied in their approaches to the study of mass communication, common to their theoretical models is to characterise miscommunication as a dysfunction of the pure transmission process: interference that prevents the otherwise successful relay of meaning from a “sender” to a “receiver.” For example, Schramm’s communication model is based upon two individuals sharing “fields of experience”; error and misunderstanding occur to the extent that these fields do not overlap. For Shannon and Weaver, these disconnects were described explicitly as semantic noise: distortions of meaning that resulted in the message received being different from what was being transmitted. While much of this early research in mass communication continues to be relevant to students of communication and media studies, the transmission metaphor has been called into question for the way it frames miscommunication as a distortion of otherwise clear and stable “meaning,” and not as an inevitable result of the gray area that lies between every sender’s intention and a receiver’s interpretation. It is precisely this problem with the transmission metaphor that Derrida calls into question. For Derrida (as well as for many post-structuralists, linguists, and cultural theorists) what we communicate cannot necessarily be intended or interpreted in any stable fashion. Rather, Derrida describes communication as inherently “iterable … able to break with every given context, and engender infinitely new contexts in an absolutely unsaturable fashion” (“Signature” 320). Derrida is concerned that the transmission metaphor doesn’t account for the fact that all signs (words, images, and so on) can signify a multitude of things to different individuals in different contexts, at different points in time. Further, he reminds us that any perceived signification (and thus, meaning) is produced finally, not by the sender, but by the receiver. Within Derrida’s conception of communication as a perpetually open-ended system, the concept of noise takes on a new shape. Perhaps ambiguous meaning is not the “noise” of an otherwise pure system, but rather, perhaps it is only noise that constitutes all acts of communication. Indeed, while Derrida agrees that the consistency and repetition of language help to limit the effects of iterability, he believes that all meaning is ambiguous and never final. Therefore, to communicate is to perpetually negotiate this semantic ambiguity, not to overcome it, constrain it, or push it aside. With these thoughts in mind, when I return to a focus on mass media and media communication, it becomes readily apparent that there do exist sites of cultural production where noise is not only prolific, but where it is also functional—and indeed crucial to a communicator’s goals. Such sites are what Mark Nunes describes as “cultures of noise”: a term I specify in this paper to describe those organised media practices that seem to negotiate, function, and thrive by communicating ambiguously, or at the very least, by resisting the urge to signify explicitly. Cultures of noise are important to the study of media precisely for the ways they call into question our existing paradigms of what it means to communicate. By suggesting that aberrant interpretations of meaning are not dysfunctions of what would be an otherwise efficient system, cultures of noise reveal how certain “asignifying poetics” might be productive and generative for our communication goals. The purpose of this paper is to understand how cultures of noise function by exploring one such case study: the pervasive use of commercial stock images throughout mass media. I will describe how the semantic ambiguity embedded into the construction and sale of stock images is productive both to the stock photography industry and to certain practices of advertising, marketing, and communicating corporate identity. I will begin by discussing the stock image’s dependence upon semantic ambiguity and the productive function this ambiguity serves in supporting the success of the stock photography industry. I will then describe how this ambiguity comes to be employed by corporations and advertisers as “filler content,” enabling these producers to elide the accountability and risk that is involved with more explicit communication. Ambiguous Raw Material: The Stock Industry as a Culture of Noise The photographic image has been a staple of corporate identity for as long as identity has been a concern of corporations. It is estimated that more than 70% of the photographic images used in today’s corporate marketing and advertising have been acquired from a discrete group of stock image firms and photography stock houses (Frosh 5). In fact, since its inception in the 1970’s, increasing global dependence on stock imagery has grown the practice of commercial stock photography into a billion dollar a year industry. Commercial stock images are somewhat peculiar. Unlike other non-fiction genres of stock photography (e.g., editorial and journalistic) commercial stock images present explicitly fictive, constructed scenes. Indeed, many of the images of business workers, doctors, and soccer moms that one finds through a Google Image search are actually actors hired to stage a scene. In this way, commercial stock images share much more in common with the images produced for advertising campaigns, in that they are designed to support branding and corporate identity messages. However, unlike traditional advertising images, which are designed to deliver a certain message for a quite specific application (think ‘Tide stain test’ or ‘posh woman in the Lexus’), commercial stock images have been purposely constructed with no particular application in mind. On the contrary, stock images must be designed to anticipate the diverse needs of cultural intermediaries—design firms, advertising agencies, and corporate marketing teams—who will ultimately purchase the majority of these images. (Frosh 57) To achieve these goals, every commercial stock image is designed to be somewhat open-ended, in order to offer up a field of potential meanings, and yet these images also seem to anticipate the applications of use that will likely appeal to the discourses of corporate marketing and advertising. In this way, the commercial stock image might best be understood as undefined raw material, as a set of likely potentialities still lacking a final determination—what Derrida describes as “undecided” meaning: “I want to recall that undecidability is always a determinate oscillation between possibilities (for example, of meaning, but also of acts). These possibilities are highly determined in strictly concerned situations … they are pragmatically determined. The analyses that I have devoted to undecidability concern just these determinations and these definitions, not at all some vague “indeterminacy”. I say “undecidability” rather than “indeterminacy” because I am interested more in relations of force, in everything that allows, precisely, determinations in given situations to be stabilised through a decision … .” (Limited 148) A stock image’s ambiguity is the result of an intentional design process whereby the stock photography industry presents the maximum range of possible meanings, and yet, falls artfully short of “deciding” any of them. Rather, it is the advertisers, designers, and marketers who ultimately make these decisions by finding utility for the image in a certain context. The more customers that can find a use for a certain image, the more this image will be purchased, and the more valuable that particular stock image becomes. It is precisely in this way that the stock photography industry functions as a culture of noise and raises questions of the traditional sender-to-receiver model of communication. Cultures of noise not only embrace semantic ambiguity; they rely upon this ambiguity for their success. Indeed, the success of the stock photography industry quite literally depends upon the aberrant and unpredictable interpretations of buyers. It is now quite explicitly the “receiver,” and not the “sender,” who controls meaning by imbuing the image with meaning for a specific context and specific need. Once purchased, the “potentialities” of meaning within a stock image become somewhat determined by its placement within a certain context of circulation, such as its use for a banking advertisem*nt or healthcare brochure. In many cases, the meaning of a given stock image is also specified by the text with which it is paired. (Fig. 1) Using text to control the meaning of an image is what Roland Barthes describes as anchorage, “the creator’s (and hence society’s) right of inspection over the image; anchorage is a control, bearing a responsibility in the face of the projective power of pictures-for the use of the message” (156). By using text to constrain how an image should be interpreted, the subjects, forms, and composition of a stock image work to complement the textual message in a clear and defined way. Fig. 1: Courtesy of Washington Mutual. Used by permission. Barthes’ textual anchorage: In advertising and marketing, the subject, form and composition of a stock image are made specific by the text with which the image is paired. Filler Content: Advertising and Marketing as a Culture of Noise In other marketing and advertising messages, I observe that stock images are used in quite a different way, as filler content: open-ended material that takes the place of more explicit, message-oriented elements. As a culture of noise, filler content opposes the goal of generating a clear and specific message. Rather, the goal of filler content is to present an ambiguous message to consumers. When stock images are used as filler content, they are placed into advertising and marketing messages with virtually the same degree of ambiguity as when the image was originally constructed. Such images receive only vague specificity from textual anchorage, and little effort is made by the message producer to explicitly “decide” a message’s meaning. Consider the image (Fig. 2) used in a certain marketing design. Compared with Figure 1, this design makes little attempt to specify the meaning of the image through text. On the contrary, the image is purposely left open to our individual interpretations. Without textual anchorage, the image is markedly “undecided.” As such, it stages the same ambiguous potential for final consumers as it did for the advertiser who originally purchased the image from the stock image house. Fig. 2: Courtesy of VISA.com. Used by permission. Filler content: What meaning(s) does the image have for you? Love? Happiness? Leisure? Freedom? The Outdoors? Perhaps you rode your bike today? While filler content relies upon audiences to fill in the blanks, it also inserts meaning by leveraging the cultural reinforcement of other, similar images. Consider the way that the image of “a woman with a headset” has come to signify customer service (Fig. 3). The image doesn’t represent this meaning on its own, but it works as part of a larger discourse, what Paul Frosh describes as an “image repertoire” (91). By bombarding us incessantly with a repetition of similar images, the media continues to bolster the iconic value that certain stock images possess. The woman with the headset has become an icon of a “Customer Service Representative” because we are exposed to a repetition of images that repeatedly stage the same or similar scene of this idea. As Frosh suggests, “this is the essence of the concept-based stock image: it constitutes a pre-formed, generically familiar visual symbol that calls forth relevant connotations from the social experience of viewers…” (79). Fig. 3: The image repertoire: All filler content depends upon the iconic status of certain stock photography clichés, categories and familiar scenes. Perhaps you have seen these images before? As a culture of noise, stock images in advertising and marketing function as filler content in two ways: 1) meaning is left undecided by the advertiser who intends for customers to create their own interpretations of an advertisem*nt; 2) meaning is generated by the ideological constructs of an “image repertoire” that is itself promulgated by the stock photography industry. As such, filler content signals a shift in the goals of modern advertising and marketing, where corporate messages are designed to be increasingly ambiguous, and meaning seems to be decided more than ever by the final audience. As marketing psychologists Kim and Kahle suggest: Advertising strategy … may need to be changed. Instead of providing the “correct” consumption episodes, marketers could give … an open-ended status, thereby allowing consumers to create the image on their own and to decide the appropriateness of the product for a given need or situation. (63) The potentiality of meanings that was initially embedded into stock images in order to make them more attractive to cultural intermediaries, is also being “passed on” to the final audiences by these same advertisers and marketers. The same noisy signification that supported the sale of stock photos from the stock industry to advertisers now also seems to support the “sale” of messages that advertisers pass on to their audiences. In the same way as the stock photography industry, practices of filler content in advertising also create a culture of noise, by relying upon ambiguous messages that end customers are now forced to both produce and consume. Safe and Vague: The Corporate Imperative Ambiguous communication is not, by itself, egregious. On the contrary, many designers believe that creating a space for thoughtful, open-ended discovery is one of the best ways to provide a meaningful experience to end users. Interaction designer and professor Philip Van Allen describes one such approach to ambiguous design as “productive interaction”: “an open mode of communication where people can form their own outcomes and meanings … sharing insights, dilemmas and questions, and creating new opportunities for synthesis” (56). The critical difference between productive interaction and filler content is one of objective. While media designers embrace open-ended design as a way to create deeper, more meaningful connections with users, modern advertising employs ambiguous design elements, such as stock images, to elide a responsibility to message. Indeed, many marketing and organisational communication researchers (e.g.: Chreim; Elsbach and Kramer; Cheney) suggest that as corporations manage their identities to increasingly disparate and diverse media audiences, misunderstandings are more likely to bring about identity dissonance: that is, “disconnections” between the identity projected by the organisation and the identity attributed to an organisation by its customer-public. To grapple with identity dissonance, Samia Chreim suggests that top managers may choose to engage in the practice of dissonance avoidance: the use of ambiguous messages to provide flexibility in the interpretations of how customers can define a brand or organisation: Dissonance avoidance can be achieved through the use of ambiguous terms … organisations use ambiguity to unite stakeholders under one corporate banner and to stretch the interpretation of how the organisation, or a product or a message can be defined. (76) Corporations forgo the myriad disconnects and pitfalls of mass communication by choosing never to craft an explicit message, hold a position, or express a belief that customers could demur or discount. In such instances, it appears that cultures of noise, such as filler content, may service a shrewd corporate strategy that works to mitigate their responsibility to message. A Responsibility to Message This discussion of “cultures of noise” contributes to media studies by situating semantic noise as productive, and indeed, sometimes vital, to practices of media communication. Understanding the role of semantic noise in communication is an important corner for media scholars to turn, especially as today’s message producers rely and thrive upon certain productive aspects of ambiguous communication. However, this discussion also suggests that all media messages must be critically evaluated in quite a different way. While past analyses of media messages have sought to root out the subversive and manipulative factors that resided deep down in our culture, cultures of noise suggest that it is now also important for media studies to consider the deleterious effects of media’s noisy, diluted, and facile surface. Jean Baudrillard was deeply concerned that the images used in media are too often “used for delusion, for the elusion of communication … for absolving face-to-face relations and social responsibilities. They don’t really lead to action, they substitute for it most of the time” (203). Indeed, while the stock image as filler content may solve the problems faced by corporate message producers in a highly ramified media environment, there is an increasing need to question the depth of meaning in our visual culture. What is the purpose of a given image? What is the producer trying to say? Is it relying on end users to find meaning? Are the images relying an iconic repertoire? Is the producer actually making a statement? And if not, why not? As advertising and marketing continues to shape the visual ground of our culture, Chreim also warns us of our responsibility to message: What is gained in avoiding [identity dissonance] can be lost in the ability to create meaning for stakeholders. Over-reliance on abstract terms may well leave the organisation with a hollow core, one that cannot be appropriated by [customers] in their quest for meaning and identification with the organisation. (88) While cultures of noise may be productive in mitigating the problems of dissonance and miscommunication, and while they may signal new opportunity spaces for design, media, and mass communication, we must also remember that a reliance on ambiguity can sometimes cripple our ability to say anything meaningful at all. References Barthes, Roland. “The Rhetoric of the Image”. The Rhetoric of the Image. Trans. Richard Howard. Berkeley: U of California P, 1977. Baudrillard, Jean. “Aesthetic Illusion and Virtual Reality.” Reading Images. Ed. Julia Thomas. Houndmills: Macmillan, 2000. Berlo, David K. The Process of Communication. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 1960. Chreim, Samia. “Reducing Dissonance: Closing the Gap between Projected and Attributed Identity”. Corporate and Organizational Identities: Integrating Strategy, Marketing, Communication and Organizational Perspectives. Eds. B. Moingeon and G. Soenen. Chicago: Routledge, 2002. Derrida, Jacques. “Signature, Event. Context.” Derrida, Jacques: Margins of Philosophy. Trans. Alan Bass. Chicago: 1982. Derrida, Jacques. Limited Inc. Evanston, Ill.: Northwestern UP, 1988. Frosh, Paul. The Image Factory. New York: Berg, 2003. Gettyimages.com. Getty Images. 20 Oct. 2007 http://gettyimages.mediaroom.com>. Kahle, Lynn R., and Kim Chung-Hyun, eds. Creating Images and the Psychology of Marketing Communication. New Jersey: Lawrence Elbaum Associates, 2006 Shannon, Claude F., and Warren Weaver. The Mathematical Theory of Communication. Urbana, Ill.: The University of Illinois Press, 1964. Schramm, Wilbur. “How Communication Works”. The Process and Effects of Mass Communication, ed. Wilbur Schramm. Urbana, Ill.: U of Illinois P, 1961. Van Allen, Philip. “Models”. The New Ecology of Things. Pasadena: Media Design Program, Art Center College of Design, 2007. Citation reference for this article MLA Style Ward, Christopher Grant. "Stock Images, Filler Content and the Ambiguous Corporate Message." M/C Journal 10.5 (2007). echo date('d M. Y'); ?> <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0711/04-ward.php>. APA Style Ward, C. (Oct. 2007) "Stock Images, Filler Content and the Ambiguous Corporate Message," M/C Journal, 10(5). Retrieved echo date('d M. Y'); ?> from <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/0711/04-ward.php>.

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Pearce, Lynne. "Diaspora." M/C Journal 14, no.2 (May1, 2011). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.373.

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For the past twenty years, academics and other social commentators have, by and large, shared the view that the phase of modernity through which we are currently passing is defined by two interrelated catalysts of change: the physical movement of people and the virtual movement of information around the globe. As we enter the second decade of the new millennium, it is certainly a timely moment to reflect upon the ways in which the prognoses of the scholars and scientists writing in the late twentieth century have come to pass, especially since—during the time this special issue has been in press—the revolutions that are gathering pace in the Arab world appear to be realising the theoretical prediction that the ever-increasing “flows” of people and information would ultimately bring about the end of the nation-state and herald an era of transnationalism (Appadurai, Urry). For writers like Arjun Appadurai, moreover, the concept of diaspora was key to grasping how this new world order would take shape, and how it would operate: Diasporic public spheres, diverse amongst themselves, are the crucibles of a postnational political order. The engines of their discourse are mass media (both interactive and expressive) and the movement of refugees, activists, students, laborers. It may be that the emergent postnational order proves not to be a system of hom*ogeneous units (as with the current system of nation-states) but a system based on relations between heterogeneous units (some social movements, some interest groups, some professional bodies, some non-governmental organizations, some armed constabularies, some judicial bodies) ... In the short run, as we can see already, it is likely to be a world of increased incivility and violence. In the longer run, free from the constraints of the nation form, we may find that cultural freedom and sustainable justice in the world do not presuppose the uniform and general existence of the nation-state. This unsettling possibility could be the most exciting dividend of living in modernity at large. (23) In this editorial, we would like to return to the “here and now” of the late 1990s in which theorists like Arjun Appaduri, Ulrich Beck, John Urry, Zygmunt Bauman, Robert Robertson and others were “imagining” the consequences of both globalisation and glocalisation for the twenty-first century in order that we may better assess what is, indeed, coming to pass. While most of their prognoses for this “second modernity” have proven remarkably accurate, it is their—self-confessed—inability to forecast either the nature or the extent of the digital revolution that most vividly captures the distance between the mid-1990s and now; and it is precisely the consequences of this extraordinary technological revolution on the twin concepts of “glocality” and “diaspora” that the research featured in this special issue seeks to capture. Glocal Imaginaries Appadurai’s endeavours to show how globalisation was rapidly making itself felt as a “structure of feeling” (Williams in Appadurai 189) as well as a material “fact” was also implicit in our conceptualisation of the conference, “Glocal Imaginaries: Writing/Migration/Place,” which gave rise to this special issue. This conference, which was the culmination of the AHRC-funded project “Moving Manchester: Literature/Migration/Place (2006-10)”, constituted a unique opportunity to gain an international, cross-disciplinary perspective on urgent and topical debates concerning mobility and migration in the early twenty-first century and the strand “Networked Diasporas” was one of the best represented on the program. Attracting papers on broadcast media as well as the new digital technologies, the strand was strikingly international in terms of the speakers’ countries of origin, as is this special issue which brings together research from six European countries, Australia and the Indian subcontinent. The “case-studies” represented in these articles may therefore be seen to constitute something of a “state-of-the-art” snapshot of how Appadurai’s “glocal imaginary” is being lived out across the globe in the early years of the twenty-first century. In this respect, the collection proves that his hunch with regards to the signal importance of the “mass-media” in redefining our spatial and temporal coordinates of being and belonging was correct: The third and final factor to be addressed here is the role of the mass-media, especially in its electronic forms, in creating new sorts of disjuncture between spatial and virtual neighborhoods. This disjuncture has both utopian and dystopian potentials, and there is no easy way to tell how these may play themselves out in the future of the production of locality. (194) The articles collected here certainly do serve as testament to the “bewildering plethora of changes in ... media environments” (195) that Appadurai envisaged, and yet it can clearly also be argued that this agent of glocalisation has not yet brought about the demise of the nation-state in the way (or at the speed) that many commentators predicted. Digital Diasporas in a Transnational World Reviewing the work of the leading social science theorists working in the field during the late 1990s, it quickly becomes evident that: (a) the belief that globalisation presented a threat to the nation-state was widely held; and (b) that the “jury” was undecided as to whether this would prove a good or bad thing in the years to come. While the commentators concerned did their best to complexify both their analysis of the present and their view of the future, it is interesting to observe, in retrospect, how the rhetoric of both utopia and dystopia invaded their discourse in almost equal measure. We have already seen how Appadurai, in his 1996 publication, Modernity at Large, looks beyond the “increased incivility and violence” of the “short term” to a world “free from the constraints of the nation form,” while Roger Bromley, following Agamben and Deleuze as well as Appadurai, typifies a generation of literary and cultural critics who have paid tribute to the way in which the arts (and, in particular, storytelling) have enabled subjects to break free from their national (af)filiations (Pearce, Devolving 17) and discover new “de-territorialised” (Deleuze and Guattari) modes of being and belonging. Alongside this “hope,” however, the forces and agents of globalisation were also regarded with a good deal of suspicion and fear, as is evidenced in Ulrich Beck’s What is Globalization? In his overview of the theorists who were then perceived to be leading the debate, Beck draws distinctions between what was perceived to be the “engine” of globalisation (31), but is clearly most exercised by the manner in which the transformation has taken shape: Without a revolution, without even any change in laws or constitutions, an attack has been launched “in the normal course of business”, as it were, upon the material lifelines of modern national societies. First, the transnational corporations are to export jobs to parts of the world where labour costs and workplace obligations are lowest. Second, the computer-generation of worldwide proximity enables them to break down and disperse goods and services, and produce them through a division of labour in different parts of the world, so that national and corporate labels inevitably become illusory. (3; italics in the original) Beck’s concern is clearly that all these changes have taken place without the nation-states of the world being directly involved in any way: transnational corporations began to take advantage of the new “mobility” available to them without having to secure the agreement of any government (“Companies can produce in one country, pay taxes in another and demand state infrastructural spending in yet another”; 4-5); the export of the labour market through the use of digital communications (stereotypically, call centres in India) was similarly unregulated; and the world economy, as a consequence, was in the process of becoming detached from the processes of either production or consumption (“capitalism without labour”; 5-7). Vis-à-vis the dystopian endgame of this effective “bypassing” of the nation-state, Beck is especially troubled about the fate of the human rights legislation that nation-states around the world have developed, with immense effort and over time (e.g. employment law, trade unions, universal welfare provision) and cites Zygmunt Bauman’s caution that globalisation will, at worst, result in widespread “global wealth” and “local poverty” (31). Further, he ends his book with a fully apocalyptic vision, “the Brazilianization of Europe” (161-3), which unapologetically calls upon the conventions of science fiction to imagine a worst-case scenario for a Europe without nations. While fourteen or fifteen years is evidently not enough time to put Beck’s prognosis to the test, most readers would probably agree that we are still some way away from such a Europe. Although the material wealth and presence of the transnational corporations strikes a chord, especially if we include the world banks and finance organisations in their number, the financial crisis that has rocked the world for the past three years, along with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the ascendancy of Al-Qaida (all things yet to happen when Beck was writing in 1997), has arguably resulted in the nations of Europe reinforcing their (respective and collective) legal, fiscal, and political might through rigorous new policing of their physical borders and regulation of their citizens through “austerity measures” of an order not seen since World War Two. In other words, while the processes of globalisation have clearly been instrumental in creating the financial crisis that Europe is presently grappling with and does, indeed, expose the extent to which the world economy now operates outside the control of the nation-state, the nation-state still exists very palpably for all its citizens (whether permanent or migrant) as an agent of control, welfare, and social justice. This may, indeed, cause us to conclude that Bauman’s vision of a world in which globalisation would make itself felt very differently for some groups than others came closest to what is taking shape: true, the transnationals have seized significant political and economic power from the nation-state, but this has not meant the end of the nation-state; rather, the change is being experienced as a re-trenching of whatever power the nation-state still has (and this, of course, is considerable) over its citizens in their “local”, everyday lives (Bauman 55). If we now turn to the portrait of Europe painted by the articles that constitute this special issue, we see further evidence of transglobal processes and practices operating in a realm oblivious to local (including national) concerns. While our authors are generally more concerned with the flows of information and “identity” than business or finance (Appaduri’s “ethnoscapes,” “technoscapes,” and “ideoscapes”: 33-7), there is the same impression that this “circulation” (Latour) is effectively bypassing the state at one level (the virtual), whilst remaining very materially bound by it at another. In other words, and following Bauman, we would suggest that it is quite possible for contemporary subjects to be both the agents and subjects of globalisation: a paradox that, as we shall go on to demonstrate, is given particularly vivid expression in the case of diasporic and/or migrant peoples who may be able to bypass the state in the manufacture of their “virtual” identities/communities) but who (Cohen) remain very much its subjects (or, indeed, “non-subjects”) when attempting movement in the material realm. Two of the articles in the collection (Leurs & Ponzanesi and Marcheva) deal directly with the exponential growth of “digital diasporas” (sometimes referred to as “e-diasporas”) since the inception of Facebook in 2004, and both provide specific illustrations of the way in which the nation-state both has, and has not, been transcended. First, it quickly becomes clear that for the (largely) “youthful” (Leurs & Ponzanesi) participants of nationally inscribed networking sites (e.g. “discovernikkei” (Japan), “Hyves” (Netherlands), “Bulgarians in the UK” (Bulgaria)), shared national identity is a means and not an end. In other words, although the participants of these sites might share in and actively produce a fond and nostalgic image of their “homeland” (Marcheva), they are rarely concerned with it as a material or political entity and an expression of their national identities is rapidly supplemented by the sharing of other (global) identity markers. Leurs & Ponzanesi invoke Deleuze and Guattari’s concept of the “rhizome” to describe the way in which social networkers “weave” a “rhizomatic path” to identity, gradually accumulating a hybrid set of affiliations. Indeed, the extent to which the “nation” disappears on such sites can be remarkable as was also observed in our investigation of the digital storytelling site, “Capture Wales” (BBC) (Pearce, "Writing"). Although this BBC site was set up to capture the voices of the Welsh nation in the early twenty-first century through a collection of (largely) autobiographical stories, very few of the participants mention either Wales or their “Welshness” in the stories that they tell. Further, where the “home” nation is (re)imagined, it is generally in an idealised, or highly personalised, form (e.g. stories about one’s own family) or through a sharing of (perceived and actual) cultural idiosyncrasies (Marcheva on “You know you’re a Bulgarian when …”) rather than an engagement with the nation-state per se. As Leurs & Ponzanesi observe: “We can see how the importance of the nation-state gets obscured as diasporic youth, through cultural hybridisation of youth culture and ethnic ties initiate subcultures and offer resistance to mainstream cultural forms.” Both the articles just discussed also note the shading of the “national” into the “transnational” on the social networking sites they discuss, and “transnationalism”—in the sense of many different nations and their diasporas being united through a common interest or cause—is also a focus of Pikner’s article on “collective actions” in Europe (notably, “EuroMayDay” and “My Estonia”) and Harb’s highly topical account of the role of both broadcast media (principally, Al-Jazeera) and social media in the revolutions and uprisings currently sweeping through the Arab world (spring 2011). On this point, it should be noted that Harb identifies this as the moment when Facebook’s erstwhile predominantly social function was displaced by a manifestly political one. From this we must conclude that both transnationalism and social media sites can be put to very different ends: while young people in relatively privileged democratic countries might embrace transnationalism as an expression of their desire to “rise above” national politics, the youth of the Arab world have engaged it as a means of generating solidarity for nationalist insurgency and liberation. Another instance of “g/local” digital solidarity exceeding national borders is to be found in Johanna Sumiala’s article on the circulatory power of the Internet in the Kauhajoki school shooting which took place Finland in 2008. As well as using the Internet to “stage manage” his rampage, the Kauhajoki shooter (whose name the author chose to withhold for ethical reasons) was subsequently found to have been a member of numerous Web-based “hate groups”, many of them originating in the United States and, as a consequence, may be understood to have committed his crime on behalf of a transnational community: what Sumiala has defined as a “networked community of destruction.” It must also be noted, however, that the school shootings were experienced as a very local tragedy in Finland itself and, although the shooter may have been psychically located in a transnational hyper-reality when he undertook the killings, it is his nation-state that has had to deal with the trauma and shame in the long term. Woodward and Brown & Rutherford, meanwhile, show that it remains the tendency of public broadcast media to uphold the raison d’être of the nation-state at the same time as embracing change. Woodward’s feature article (which reports on the AHRC-sponsored “Tuning In” project which has researched the BBC World Service) shows how the representation of national and diasporic “voices” from around the world, either in opposition to or in dialogue with the BBC’s own reporting, is key to the way in which the Commission has changed and modernised in recent times; however, she is also clear that many of the objectives that defined the service in its early days—such as its commitment to a distinctly “English” brand of education—still remain. Similarly, Brown & Rutherford’s article on the innovative Australian ABC children’s television series, My Place (which has combined traditional broadcasting with online, interactive websites) may be seen to be positively promoting the Australian nation by making visible its commitment to multiculturalism. Both articles nevertheless reveal the extent to which these public service broadcasters have recognised the need to respond to their nations’ changing demographics and, in particular, the fact that “diaspora” is a concept that refers not only to their English and Australian audiences abroad but also to their now manifestly multicultural audiences at home. When it comes to commercial satellite television, however, the relationship between broadcasting and national and global politics is rather harder to pin down. Subramanian exposes a complex interplay of national and global interests through her analysis of the Malayalee “reality television” series, Idea Star Singer. Exported globally to the Indian diaspora, the show is shamelessly exploitative in the way in which it combines residual and emergent ideologies (i.e. nostalgia for a traditional Keralayan way of life vs aspirational “western lifestyles”) in pursuit of its (massive) audience ratings. Further, while the ISS series is ostensibly a g/local phenomenon (the export of Kerala to the rest of the world rather than “India” per se), Subramanian passionately laments all the progressive national initiatives (most notably, the campaign for “women’s rights”) that the show is happy to ignore: an illustration of one of the negative consequences of globalisation predicted by Beck (31) noted at the start of this editorial. Harb, meanwhile, reflects upon a rather different set of political concerns with regards to commercial satellite broadcasting in her account of the role of Al-Jazeera and Al Arabiya in the recent (2011) Arab revolutions. Despite Al-Jazeera’s reputation for “two-sided” news coverage, recent events have exposed its complicity with the Qatari government; further, the uprisings have revealed the speed with which social media—in particular Facebook and Twitter—are replacing broadcast media. It is now possible for “the people” to bypass both governments and news corporations (public and private) in relaying the news. Taken together, then, what our articles would seem to indicate is that, while the power of the nation-state has notionally been transcended via a range of new networking practices, this has yet to undermine its material power in any guaranteed way (witness recent counter-insurgencies in Libya, Bahrain, and Syria).True, the Internet may be used to facilitate transnational “actions” against the nation-state (individual or collective) through a variety of non-violent or violent actions, but nation-states around the world, and especially in Western Europe, are currently wielding immense power over their subjects through aggressive “austerity measures” which have the capacity to severely compromise the freedom and agency of the citizens concerned through widespread unemployment and cuts in social welfare provision. This said, several of our articles provide evidence that Appadurai’s more utopian prognoses are also taking shape. Alongside the troubling possibility that globalisation, and the technologies that support it, is effectively eroding “difference” (be this national or individual), there are the ever-increasing (and widely reported) instances of how digital technology is actively supporting local communities and actions around the world in ways that bypass the state. These range from the relatively modest collective action, “My Estonia”, featured in Pikner’s article, to the ways in which the Libyan diaspora in Manchester have made use of social media to publicise and support public protests in Tripoli (Harb). In other words, there is compelling material evidence that the heterogeneity that Appadurai predicted and hoped for has come to pass through the people’s active participation in (and partial ownership of) media practices. Citizens are now able to “interfere” in the representation of their lives as never before and, through the digital revolution, communicate with one another in ways that circumvent state-controlled broadcasting. We are therefore pleased to present the articles that follow as a lively, interdisciplinary and international “state-of-the-art” commentary on how the ongoing revolution in media and communication is responding to, and bringing into being, the processes and practices of globalisation predicted by Appadurai, Beck, Bauman, and others in the 1990s. The articles also speak to the changing nature of the world’s “diasporas” during this fifteen year time frame (1996-2011) and, we trust, will activate further debate (following Cohen) on the conceptual tensions that now manifestly exist between “virtual” and “material” diasporas and also between the “transnational” diasporas whose objective is to transcend the nation-state altogether and those that deploy social media for specifically local or national/ist ends. Acknowledgements With thanks to the Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK) for their generous funding of the “Moving Manchester” project (2006-10). Special thanks to Dr Kate Horsley (Lancaster University) for her invaluable assistance as ‘Web Editor’ in the production of this special issue (we could not have managed without you!) and also to Gail Ferguson (our copy-editor) for her expertise in the preparation of the final typescript. References Appadurai, Arjun. Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalisation. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1996. Bauman, Zygmunt. Globalization. Cambridge: Polity, 1998. Beck, Ulrich. What is Globalization? Trans. Patrick Camiller. Cambridge: Polity, 2000 (1997). Bromley, Roger. Narratives for a New Belonging: Diasporic Cultural Fictions. Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 2000. Cohen, Robin. Global Diasporas. 2nd ed. London and New York: Routledge, 2008. Deleuze, Gilles, and Felix Guattari. A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Trans. Brian Massumi. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1987. Latour, Bruno. Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network Theory. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1995. Pearce, Lynne, ed. Devolving Identities: Feminist Readings in Home and Belonging. London: Ashgate, 2000. Pearce, Lynne. “‘Writing’ and ‘Region’ in the Twenty-First Century: Epistemological Reflections on Regionally Located Art and Literature in the Wake of the Digital Revolution.” European Journal of Cultural Studies 13.1 (2010): 27-41. Robertson, Robert. Globalization: Social Theory and Global Culture. London: Sage, 1992. Urry, John. Sociology beyond Societies. London: Routledge, 1999. Williams, Raymond. Dream Worlds: Mass Consumption in Late Nineteenth-Century France. Berkeley: U of California P, 1982.

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Allen, Rob. "Lost and Now Found: The Search for the Hidden and Forgotten." M/C Journal 20, no.5 (October13, 2017). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1290.

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The Digital TurnMuch of the 19th century disappeared from public view during the 20th century. Historians recovered what they could from archives and libraries, with the easy pickings-the famous and the fortunate-coming first. Latterly, social and political historians of different hues determinedly sought out the more hidden, forgotten, and marginalised. However, there were always limitations to resources-time, money, location, as well as purpose, opportunity, and permission. 'History' was principally a professionalised and privileged activity dominated by academics who had preferential access to, and significant control over, the resources, technologies and skills required, as well as the social, economic and cultural framework within which history was recovered, interpreted, approved and disseminated.Digitisation and the broader development of new communication technologies has, however, transformed historical research processes and practice dramatically, removing many constraints, opening up many opportunities, and allowing many others than the professional historian to trace and track what would have remained hidden, forgotten, or difficult to find, as well as verify (or otherwise), what has already been claimed and concluded. In the 21st century, the SEARCH button has become a dominant tool of research. This, along with other technological and media developments, has altered the practice of historians-professional or 'public'-who can now range deep and wide in the collection, portrayal and dissemination of historical information, in and out of the confines of the traditional institutional walls of retained information, academia, location, and national boundaries.This incorporation of digital technologies into academic historical practice generally, has raised, as Cohen and Rosenzweig, in their book Digital History, identified a decade ago, not just promises, but perils. For the historian, there has been the move, through digitisation, from the relative scarcity and inaccessibility of historical material to its (over) abundance, but also the emerging acceptance that, out of both necessity and preference, a hybridity of sources will be the foreseeable way forward. There has also been a significant shift, as De Groot notes in his book Consuming History, in the often conflicted relationship between popular/public history and academic history, and the professional and the 'amateur' historian. This has brought a potentially beneficial democratization of historical practice but also an associated set of concerns around the loss of control of both practice and product of the professional historian. Additionally, the development of digital tools for the collection and dissemination of 'history' has raised fears around the commercialised development of the subject's brand, products and commodities. This article considers the significance and implications of some of these changes through one protracted act of recovery and reclamation in which the digital made the difference: the life of a notorious 19th century professional agitator on both sides of the Atlantic, John De Morgan. A man thought lost, but now found."Who Is John De Morgan?" The search began in 1981, linked to the study of contemporary "race riots" in South East London. The initial purpose was to determine whether there was a history of rioting in the area. In the Local History Library, a calm and dusty backwater, an early find was a fading, but evocative and puzzling, photograph of "The Plumstead Common Riots" of 1876. It showed a group of men and women, posing for the photographer on a hillside-the technology required stillness, even in the middle of a riot-spades in hand, filling in a Mr. Jacob's sandpits, illegally dug from what was supposed to be common land. The leader of this, and other similar riots around England, was John De Morgan. A local journalist who covered the riots commented: "Of Mr. De Morgan little is known before or since the period in which he flashed meteorlike through our section of the atmosphere, but he was indisputably a remarkable man" (Vincent 588). Thus began a trek, much interrupted, sometimes unmapped and haphazard, to discover more about this 'remarkable man'. "Who is John De Morgan" was a question frequently asked by his many contemporary antagonists, and by subsequent historians, and one to which De Morgan deliberately gave few answers. The obvious place to start the search was the British Museum Reading Room, resplendent in its Victorian grandeur, the huge card catalogue still in the 1980s the dominating technology. Together with the Library's newspaper branch at Colindale, this was likely to be the repository of all that might then easily be known about De Morgan.From 1869, at the age of 21, it appeared that De Morgan had embarked on a life of radical politics that took him through the UK, made him notorious, lead to accusations of treasonable activities, sent him to jail twice, before he departed unexpectedly to the USA in 1880. During that period, he was involved with virtually every imaginable radical cause, at various times a temperance advocate, a spiritualist, a First Internationalist, a Republican, a Tichbornite, a Commoner, an anti-vaccinator, an advanced Liberal, a parliamentary candidate, a Home Ruler. As a radical, he, like many radicals of the period, "zigzagged nomadically through the mayhem of nineteenth century politics fighting various foes in the press, the clubs, the halls, the pulpit and on the street" (Kazin 202). He promoted himself as the "People's Advocate, Champion and Friend" (Allen). Never a joiner or follower, he established a variety of organizations, became a professional agitator and orator, and supported himself and his politics through lecturing and journalism. Able to attract huge crowds to "monster meetings", he achieved fame, or more correctly notoriety. And then, in 1880, broke and in despair, he disappeared from public view by emigrating to the USA.LostThe view of De Morgan as a "flashing meteor" was held by many in the 1870s. Historians of the 20th century took a similar position and, while considering him intriguing and culturally interesting, normally dispatched him to the footnotes. By the latter part of the 20th century, he was described as "one of the most notorious radicals of the 1870s yet remains a shadowy figure" and was generally dismissed as "a swashbuckling demagogue," a "democratic messiah," and" if not a bandit … at least an adventurer" (Allen 684). His politics were deemed to be reactionary, peripheral, and, worst of all, populist. He was certainly not of sufficient interest to pursue across the Atlantic. In this dismissal, he fell foul of the highly politicised professional culture of mid-to-late 20th-century academic historians. In particular, the lack of any significant direct linkage to the story of the rise of a working class, and specifically the British Labour party, left individuals like De Morgan in the margins and footnotes. However, in terms of historical practice, it was also the case that his mysterious entry into public life, his rapid rise to brief notability and notoriety, and his sudden disappearance, made the investigation of his career too technically difficult to be worthwhile.The footprints of the forgotten may occasionally turn up in the archived papers of the important, or in distant public archives and records, but the primary sources are the newspapers of the time. De Morgan was a regular, almost daily, visitor to the pages of the multitude of newspapers, local and national, that were published in Victorian Britain and Gilded Age USA. He also published his own, usually short-lived and sometimes eponymous, newspapers: De Morgan's Monthly and De Morgan's Weekly as well as the splendidly titled People's Advocate and National Vindicator of Right versus Wrong and the deceptively titled, highly radical, House and Home. He was highly mobile: he noted, without too much hyperbole, that in the 404 days between his English prison sentences in the mid-1870s, he had 465 meetings, travelled 32,000 miles, and addressed 500,000 people. Thus the newspapers of the time are littered with often detailed and vibrant accounts of his speeches, demonstrations, and riots.Nonetheless, the 20th-century technologies of access and retrieval continued to limit discovery. The white gloves, cradles, pencils and paper of the library or archive, sometimes supplemented by the century-old 'new' technology of the microfilm, all enveloped in a culture of hallowed (and pleasurable) silence, restricted the researcher looking to move into the lesser known and certainly the unknown. The fact that most of De Morgan's life was spent, it was thought, outside of England, and outside the purview of the British Library, only exacerbated the problem. At a time when a historian had to travel to the sources and then work directly on them, pencil in hand, it needed more than curiosity to keep searching. Even as many historians in the late part of the century shifted their centre of gravity from the known to the unknown and from the great to the ordinary, in any form of intellectual or resource cost-benefit analysis, De Morgan was a non-starter.UnknownOn the subject of his early life, De Morgan was tantalisingly and deliberately vague. In his speeches and newspapers, he often leaked his personal and emotional struggles as well as his political battles. However, when it came to his biographical story, he veered between the untruthful, the denial, and the obscure. To the twentieth century observer, his life began in 1869 at the age of 21 and ended at the age of 32. His various political campaign "biographies" gave some hints, but what little he did give away was often vague, coy and/or unlikely. His name was actually John Francis Morgan, but he never formally acknowledged it. He claimed, and was very proud, to be Irish and to have been educated in London and at Cambridge University (possible but untrue), and also to have been "for the first twenty years of his life directly or indirectly a railway servant," and to have been a "boy orator" from the age of ten (unlikely but true). He promised that "Some day-nay any day-that the public desire it, I am ready to tell the story of my strange life from earliest recollection to the present time" (St. Clair 4). He never did and the 20th century could unearth little evidence in relation to any of his claims.The blend of the vague, the unlikely and the unverifiable-combined with an inclination to self-glorification and hyperbole-surrounded De Morgan with an aura, for historians as well as contemporaries, of the self-seeking, untrustworthy charlatan with something to hide and little to say. Therefore, as the 20th century moved to closure, the search for John De Morgan did so as well. Though interesting, he gave most value in contextualising the lives of Victorian radicals more generally. He headed back to the footnotes.Now FoundMeanwhile, the technologies underpinning academic practice generally, and history specifically, had changed. The photocopier, personal computer, Internet, and mobile device, had arrived. They formed the basis for both resistance and revolution in academic practices. For a while, the analytical skills of the academic community were concentrated on the perils as much as the promises of a "digital history" (Cohen and Rosenzweig Digital).But as the Millennium turned, and the academic community itself spawned, inter alia, Google, the practical advantages of digitisation for history forced themselves on people. Google enabled the confident searching from a neutral place for things known and unknown; information moved to the user more easily in both time and space. The culture and technologies of gathering, retrieval, analysis, presentation and preservation altered dramatically and, as a result, the traditional powers of gatekeepers, institutions and professional historians was redistributed (De Groot). Access and abundance, arguably over-abundance, became the platform for the management of historical information. For the search for De Morgan, the door reopened. The increased global electronic access to extensive databases, catalogues, archives, and public records, as well as people who knew, or wanted to know, something, opened up opportunities that have been rapidly utilised and expanded over the last decade. Both professional and "amateur" historians moved into a space that made the previously difficult to know or unknowable now accessible.Inevitably, the development of digital newspaper archives was particularly crucial to seeking and finding John De Morgan. After some faulty starts in the early 2000s, characterised as a "wild west" and a "gold rush" (Fyfe 566), comprehensive digitised newspaper archives became available. While still not perfect, in terms of coverage and quality, it is a transforming technology. In the UK, the British Newspaper Archive (BNA)-in pursuit of the goal of the digitising of all UK newspapers-now has over 20 million pages. Each month presents some more of De Morgan. Similarly, in the US, Fulton History, a free newspaper archive run by retired computer engineer Tom Tryniski, now has nearly 40 million pages of New York newspapers. The almost daily footprints of De Morgan's radical life can now be seen, and the lives of the social networks within which he worked on both sides of the Atlantic, come easily into view even from a desk in New Zealand.The Internet also allows connections between researchers, both academic and 'public', bringing into reach resources not otherwise knowable: a Scottish genealogist with a mass of data on De Morgan's family; a Californian with the historian's pot of gold, a collection of over 200 letters received by De Morgan over a 50 year period; a Leeds Public Library blogger uncovering spectacular, but rarely seen, Victorian electoral cartoons which explain De Morgan's precipitate departure to the USA. These discoveries would not have happened without the infrastructure of the Internet, web site, blog, and e-mail. Just how different searching is can be seen in the following recent scenario, one of many now occurring. An addition in 2017 to the BNA shows a Master J.F. Morgan, aged 13, giving lectures on temperance in Ledbury in 1861, luckily a census year. A check of the census through Ancestry shows that Master Morgan was born in Lincolnshire in England, and a quick look at the 1851 census shows him living on an isolated blustery hill in Yorkshire in a railway encampment, along with 250 navvies, as his father, James, works on the construction of a tunnel. Suddenly, literally within the hour, the 20-year search for the childhood of John De Morgan, the supposedly Irish-born "gentleman who repudiated his class," has taken a significant turn.At the end of the 20th century, despite many efforts, John De Morgan was therefore a partial character bounded by what he said and didn't say, what others believed, and the intellectual and historiographical priorities, technologies, tools and processes of that century. In effect, he "lived" historically for a less than a quarter of his life. Without digitisation, much would have remained hidden; with it there has been, and will still be, much to find. De Morgan hid himself and the 20th century forgot him. But as the technologies have changed, and with it the structures of historical practice, the question that even De Morgan himself posed – "Who is John De Morgan?" – can now be addressed.SearchingDigitisation brings undoubted benefits, but its impact goes a long way beyond the improved search and detection capabilities, into a range of technological developments of communication and media that impact on practice, practitioners, institutions, and 'history' itself. A dominant issue for the academic community is the control of "history." De Groot, in his book Consuming History, considers how history now works in contemporary popular culture and, in particular, examines the development of the sometimes conflicted relationship between popular/public history and academic history, and the professional and the 'amateur' historian.The traditional legitimacy of professional historians has, many argue, been eroded by shifts in technology and access with the power of traditional cultural gatekeepers being undermined, bypassing the established control of institutions and professional historian. While most academics now embrace the primary tools of so-called "digital history," they remain, De Groot argues, worried that "history" is in danger of becoming part of a discourse of leisure, not a professionalized arena (18). An additional concern is the role of the global capitalist market, which is developing, or even taking over, 'history' as a brand, product and commodity with overt fiscal value. Here the huge impact of newspaper archives and genealogical software (sometimes owned in tandem) is of particular concern.There is also the new challenge of "navigating the chaos of abundance in online resources" (De Groot 68). By 2005, it had become clear that:the digital era seems likely to confront historians-who were more likely in the past to worry about the scarcity of surviving evidence from the past-with a new 'problem' of abundance. A much deeper and denser historical record, especially one in digital form seems like an incredible opportunity and a gift. But its overwhelming size means that we will have to spend a lot of time looking at this particular gift horse in mouth. (Cohen and Rosenzweig, Web).This easily accessible abundance imposes much higher standards of evidence on the historian. The acceptance within the traditional model that much could simply not be done or known with the resources available meant that there was a greater allowance for not knowing. But with a search button and public access, democratizing the process, the consumer as well as the producer can see, and find, for themselves.Taking on some of these challenges, Zaagsma, having reminded us that the history of digital humanities goes back at least 60 years, notes the need to get rid of the "myth that historical practice can be uncoupled from technological, and thus methodological developments, and that going digital is a choice, which, I cannot emphasis strongly enough, it is not" (14). There is no longer a digital history which is separate from history, and with digital technologies that are now ubiquitous and pervasive, historians have accepted or must quickly face a fundamental break with past practices. However, also noting that the great majority of archival material is not digitised and is unlikely to be so, Zaagsma concludes that hybridity will be the "new normal," combining "traditional/analogue and new/digital practices at least in information gathering" (17).ConclusionA decade on from Cohen and Rozenzweig's "Perils and Promises," the digital is a given. Both historical practice and historians have changed, though it is a work in progress. An early pioneer of the use of computers in the humanities, Robert Busa wrote in 1980 that "the principal aim is the enhancement of the quality, depth and extension of research and not merely the lessening of human effort and time" (89). Twenty years later, as Google was launched, Jordanov, taking on those who would dismiss public history as "mere" popularization, entertainment or propaganda, argued for the "need to develop coherent positions on the relationships between academic history, the media, institutions…and popular culture" (149). As the digital turn continues, and the SEARCH button is just one part of that, all historians-professional or "amateur"-will take advantage of opportunities that technologies have opened up. Looking across the whole range of transformations in recent decades, De Groot concludes: "Increasingly users of history are accessing the past through complex and innovative media and this is reconfiguring their sense of themselves, the world they live in and what history itself might be about" (310). ReferencesAllen, Rob. "'The People's Advocate, Champion and Friend': The Transatlantic Career of Citizen John De Morgan (1848-1926)." Historical Research 86.234 (2013): 684-711.Busa, Roberto. "The Annals of Humanities Computing: The Index Thomisticus." Computers and the Humanities 14.2 (1980): 83-90.Cohen, Daniel J., and Roy Rosenzweig. Digital History: A Guide to Gathering, Preserving, and Presenting the Past on the Web. Philadelphia, PA: U Pennsylvania P, 2005.———. "Web of Lies? Historical Knowledge on the Internet." First Monday 10.12 (2005).De Groot, Jerome. Consuming History: Historians and Heritage in Contemporary Popular Culture. 2nd ed. Abingdon: Routledge, 2016.De Morgan, John. Who Is John De Morgan? A Few Words of Explanation, with Portrait. By a Free and Independent Elector of Leicester. London, 1877.Fyfe, Paul. "An Archaeology of Victorian Newspapers." Victorian Periodicals Review 49.4 (2016): 546-77."Interchange: The Promise of Digital History." Journal of American History 95.2 (2008): 452-91.Johnston, Leslie. "Before You Were Born, We Were Digitizing Texts." The Signal 9 Dec. 2012, Library of Congress. <https://blogs.loc.gov/thesignal/292/12/before-you-were-born-we-were-digitizing-texts>.Jordanova, Ludmilla. History in Practice. 2nd ed. London: Arnold, 2000.Kazin, Michael. A Godly Hero: The Life of William Jennings Bryan. New York: Anchor Books, 2006.Saint-Clair, Sylvester. Sketch of the Life and Labours of J. De Morgan, Elocutionist, and Tribune of the People. Leeds: De Morgan & Co., 1880.Vincent, William T. The Records of the Woolwich District, Vol. II. Woolwich: J.P. Jackson, 1890.Zaagsma, Gerban. "On Digital History." BMGN-Low Countries Historical Review 128.4 (2013): 3-29.

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Leaver, Tama. "The Social Media Contradiction: Data Mining and Digital Death." M/C Journal 16, no.2 (March8, 2013). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.625.

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Introduction Many social media tools and services are free to use. This fact often leads users to the mistaken presumption that the associated data generated whilst utilising these tools and services is without value. Users often focus on the social and presumed ephemeral nature of communication – imagining something that happens but then has no further record or value, akin to a telephone call – while corporations behind these tools tend to focus on the media side, the lasting value of these traces which can be combined, mined and analysed for new insight and revenue generation. This paper seeks to explore this social media contradiction in two ways. Firstly, a cursory examination of Google and Facebook will demonstrate how data mining and analysis are core practices for these corporate giants, central to their functioning, development and expansion. Yet the public rhetoric of these companies is not about the exchange of personal information for services, but rather the more utopian notions of organising the world’s information, or bringing everyone together through sharing. The second section of this paper examines some of the core ramifications of death in terms of social media, asking what happens when a user suddenly exists only as recorded media fragments, at least in digital terms. Death, at first glance, renders users (or post-users) without agency or, implicitly, value to companies which data-mine ongoing social practices. Yet the emergence of digital legacy management highlights the value of the data generated using social media, a value which persists even after death. The question of a digital estate thus illustrates the cumulative value of social media as media, even on an individual level. The ways Facebook and Google approach digital death are examined, demonstrating policies which enshrine the agency and rights of living users, but become far less coherent posthumously. Finally, along with digital legacy management, I will examine the potential for posthumous digital legacies which may, in some macabre ways, actually reanimate some aspects of a deceased user’s presence, such as the Lives On service which touts the slogan “when your heart stops beating, you'll keep tweeting”. Cumulatively, mapping digital legacy management by large online corporations, and the affordances of more focussed services dealing with digital death, illustrates the value of data generated by social media users, and the continued importance of the data even beyond the grave. Google While Google is universally synonymous with search, and is the world’s dominant search engine, it is less widely understood that one of the core elements keeping Google’s search results relevant is a complex operation mining user data. Different tools in Google’s array of services mine data in different ways (Zimmer, “Gaze”). Gmail, for example, uses algorithms to analyse an individual’s email in order to display the most relevant related advertising. This form of data mining is comparatively well known, with most Gmail users knowingly and willingly accepting more personalised advertising in order to use Google’s email service. However, the majority of people using Google’s search engine are unaware that search, too, is increasingly driven by the tracking, analysis and refining of results on the basis of user activity (Zimmer, “Externalities”). As Alexander Halavais (160–180) quite rightly argues, recent focus on the idea of social search – the deeper integration of social network information in gauging search results – is oxymoronic; all search, at least for Google, is driven by deep analysis of personal and aggregated social data. Indeed, the success of Google’s mining of user data has led to concerns that often invisible processes of customisation and personalisation will mean that the supposedly independent or objective algorithms producing Google’s search results will actually yield a different result for every person. As Siva Vaidhyanathan laments: “as users in a diverse array of countries train Google’s algorithms to respond to specialized queries with localised results, each place in the world will have a different list of what is important, true, or ‘relevant’ in response to any query” (138). Personalisation and customisation are not inherently problematic, and frequently do enhance the relevance of search results, but the main objection raised by critics is not Google’s data mining, but the lack of transparency in the way data are recorded, stored and utilised. Eli Pariser, for example, laments the development of a ubiquitous “filter bubble” wherein all search results are personalised and subjective but are hidden behind the rhetoric of computer-driven algorithmic objectivity (Pariser). While data mining informs and drives many of Google’s tools and services, the cumulative value of these captured fragments of information is best demonstrated by the new service Google Now. Google Now is a mobile app which delivers an ongoing stream of search results but without the need for user input. Google Now extrapolates the rhythms of a person’s life, their interests and their routines in order to algorithmically determine what information will be needed next, and automatically displays it on a user’s mobile device. Clearly Google Now is an extremely valuable and clever tool, and the more information a user shares, the better the ongoing customised results will be, demonstrating the direct exchange value of personal data: total personalisation requires total transparency. Each individual user will need to judge whether they wish to share with Google the considerable amount of personal information needed to make Google Now work. The pressing ethical question that remains is whether Google will ensure that users are sufficiently aware of the amount of data and personal privacy they are exchanging in order to utilise such a service. Facebook Facebook began as a closed network, open only to students at American universities, but has transformed over time to a much wider and more open network, with over a billion registered users. Facebook has continually reinvented their interface, protocols and design, often altering both privacy policies and users’ experience of privacy, and often meeting significant and vocal resistance in the process (boyd). The data mining performed by social networking service Facebook is also extensive, although primarily aimed at refining the way that targeted advertising appears on the platform. In 2007 Facebook partnered with various retail loyalty services and combined these records with Facebook’s user data. This information was used to power Facebook’s Beacon service, which added details of users’ retail history to their Facebook news feed (for example, “Tama just purchased a HTC One”). The impact of all of these seemingly unrelated purchases turning up in many people’s feeds suddenly revealed the complex surveillance, data mining and sharing of these data that was taking place (Doyle and Fraser). However, as Beacon was turned on, without consultation, for all Facebook users, there was a sizable backlash that meant that Facebook had to initially switch the service to opt-in, and then discontinue it altogether. While Beacon has been long since erased, it is notable that in early 2013 Facebook announced that they have strengthened partnerships with data mining and profiling companies, including Datalogix, Epsilon, Acxiom, and BlueKai, which harness customer information from a range of loyalty cards, to further refine the targeting ability offered to advertisers using Facebook (Hof). Facebook’s data mining, surveillance and integration across companies is thus still going on, but no longer directly visible to Facebook users, except in terms of the targeted advertisem*nts which appear on the service. Facebook is also a platform, providing a scaffolding and gateway to many other tools and services. In order to use social games such as Zynga’s Farmville, Facebook users agree to allow Zynga to access their profile information, and use Facebook to authenticate their identity. Zynga has been unashamedly at the forefront of user analytics and data mining, attempting to algorithmically determine the best way to make virtual goods within their games attractive enough for users to pay for them with real money. Indeed, during a conference presentation, Zynga Vice President Ken Rudin stated outright that Zynga is “an analytics company masquerading as a games company” (Rudin). I would contend that this masquerade succeeds, as few Farmville players are likely to consider how their every choice and activity is being algorithmically scrutinised in order to determine what virtual goods they might actually buy. As an instance of what is widely being called ‘big data’, the data miing operations of Facebook, Zynga and similar services lead to a range of ethical questions (boyd and Crawford). While users may have ostensibly agreed to this data mining after clicking on Facebook’s Terms of Use agreement, the fact that almost no one reads these agreements when signing up for a service is the Internet’s worst kept secret. Similarly, the extension of these terms when Facebook operates as a platform for other applications is a far from transparent process. While examining the recording of user data leads to questions of privacy and surveillance, it is important to note that many users are often aware of the exchange to which they have agreed. Anders Albrechtslund deploys the term ‘social surveillance’ to usefully emphasise the knowing, playful and at times subversive approach some users take to the surveillance and data mining practices of online service providers. Similarly, E.J. Westlake notes that performances of self online are often not only knowing but deliberately false or misleading with the aim of exploiting the ways online activities are tracked. However, even users well aware of Facebook’s data mining on the site itself may be less informed about the social networking company’s mining of offsite activity. The introduction of ‘like’ buttons on many other Websites extends Facebook’s reach considerably. The various social plugins and ‘like’ buttons expand both active recording of user activity (where the like button is actually clicked) and passive data mining (since a cookie is installed or updated regardless of whether a button is actually pressed) (Gerlitz and Helmond). Indeed, because cookies – tiny packets of data exchanged and updated invisibly in browsers – assign each user a unique identifier, Facebook can either combine these data with an existing user’s profile or create profiles about non-users. If that person even joins Facebook, their account is connected with the existing, data-mined record of their Web activities (Roosendaal). As with Google, the significant issue here is not users knowingly sharing their data with Facebook, but the often complete lack of transparency in terms of the ways Facebook extracts and mines user data, both on Facebook itself and increasingly across applications using Facebook as a platform and across the Web through social plugins. Google after Death While data mining is clearly a core element in the operation of Facebook and Google, the ability to scrutinise the activities of users depends on those users being active; when someone dies, the question of the value and ownership of their digital assets becomes complicated, as does the way companies manage posthumous user information. For Google, the Gmail account of a deceased person becomes inactive; the stored email still takes up space on Google’s servers, but with no one using the account, no advertising is displayed and thus Google can earn no revenue from the account. However, the process of accessing the Gmail account of a deceased relative is an incredibly laborious one. In order to even begin the process, Google asks that someone physically mails a series of documents including a photocopy of a government-issued ID, the death certificate of the deceased person, evidence of an email the requester received from the deceased, along with other personal information. After Google have received and verified this information, they state that they might proceed to a second stage where further documents are required. Moreover, if at any stage Google decide that they cannot proceed in releasing a deceased relative’s Gmail account, they will not reveal their rationale. As their support documentation states: “because of our concerns for user privacy, if we determine that we cannot provide the Gmail content, we will not be able to share further details about the account or discuss our decision” (Google, “Accessing”). Thus, Google appears to enshrine the rights and privacy of individual users, even posthumously; the ownership or transfer of individual digital assets after death is neither a given, nor enshrined in Google’s policies. Yet, ironically, the economic value of that email to Google is likely zero, but the value of the email history of a loved one or business partner may be of substantial financial and emotional value, probably more so than when that person was alive. For those left behind, the value of email accounts as media, as a lasting record of social communication, is heightened. The question of how Google manages posthumous user data has been further complicated by the company’s March 2012 rationalisation of over seventy separate privacy policies for various tools and services they operate under the umbrella of a single privacy policy accessed using a single unified Google account. While this move was ostensibly to make privacy more understandable and transparent at Google, it had other impacts. For example, one of the side effects of a singular privacy policy and single Google identity is that deleting one of a recently deceased person’s services may inadvertently delete them all. Given that Google’s services include Gmail, YouTube and Picasa, this means that deleting an email account inadvertently erases all of the Google-hosted videos and photographs that individual posted during their lifetime. As Google warns, for example: “if you delete the Google Account to which your YouTube account is linked, you will delete both the Google Account AND your YouTube account, including all videos and account data” (Google, “What Happens”). A relative having gained access to a deceased person’s Gmail might sensibly delete the email account once the desired information is exported. However, it seems less likely that this executor would realise that in doing so all of the private and public videos that person had posted on YouTube would also permanently disappear. While material possessions can be carefully dispersed to specific individuals following the instructions in someone’s will, such affordances are not yet available for Google users. While it is entirely understandable that the ramification of policy changes are aimed at living users, as more and more online users pass away, the question of their digital assets becomes increasingly important. Google, for example, might allow a deceased person’s executor to elect which of their Google services should be kept online (perhaps their YouTube videos), which traces can be exported (perhaps their email), and which services can be deleted. At present, the lack of fine-grained controls over a user’s digital estate at Google makes this almost impossible. While it violates Google’s policies to transfer ownership of an account to another person, if someone does leave their passwords behind, this provides their loved ones with the best options in managing their digital legacy with Google. When someone dies and their online legacy is a collection of media fragments, the value of those media is far more apparent to the loved ones left behind rather than the companies housing those media. Facebook Memorialisation In response to users complaining that Facebook was suggesting they reconnect with deceased friends who had left Facebook profiles behind, in 2009 the company instituted an official policy of turning the Facebook profiles of departed users into memorial pages (Kelly). Technically, loved ones can choose between memorialisation and erasing an account altogether, but memorialisation is the default. This entails setting the account so that no one can log into it, and that no new friends (connections) can be made. Existing friends can access the page in line with the user’s final privacy settings, meaning that most friends will be able to post on the memorialised profile to remember that person in various ways (Facebook). Memorialised profiles (now Timelines, after Facebook’s redesign) thus become potential mourning spaces for existing connections. Since memorialised pages cannot make new connections, public memorial pages are increasingly popular on Facebook, frequently set up after a high-profile death, often involving young people, accidents or murder. Recent studies suggest that both of these Facebook spaces are allowing new online forms of mourning to emerge (Marwick and Ellison; Carroll and Landry; Kern, Forman, and Gil-Egui), although public pages have the downside of potentially inappropriate commentary and outright trolling (Phillips). Given Facebook has over a billion registered users, estimates already suggest that the platform houses 30 million profiles of deceased people, and this number will, of course, continue to grow (Kaleem). For Facebook, while posthumous users do not generate data themselves, the fact that they were part of a network means that their connections may interact with a memorialised account, or memorial page, and this activity, like all Facebook activities, allows the platform to display advertising and further track user interactions. However, at present Facebook’s options – to memorialise or delete accounts of deceased people – are fairly blunt. Once Facebook is aware that a user has died, no one is allowed to edit that person’s Facebook account or Timeline, so Facebook literally offers an all (memorialisation) or nothing (deletion) option. Given that Facebook is essentially a platform for performing identities, it seems a little short-sighted that executors cannot clean up or otherwise edit the final, lasting profile of a deceased Facebook user. As social networking services and social media become more ingrained in contemporary mourning practices, it may be that Facebook will allow more fine-grained control, positioning a digital executor also as a posthumous curator, making the final decision about what does and does not get kept in the memorialisation process. Since Facebook is continually mining user activity, the popularity of mourning as an activity on Facebook will likely mean that more attention is paid to the question of digital legacies. While the user themselves can no longer be social, the social practices of mourning, and the recording of a user as a media entity highlights the fact that social media can be about interactions which in significant ways include deceased users. Digital Legacy Services While the largest online corporations have fairly blunt tools for addressing digital death, there are a number of new tools and niche services emerging in this area which are attempting to offer nuanced control over digital legacies. Legacy Locker, for example, offers to store the passwords to all of a user’s online services and accounts, from Facebook to Paypal, and to store important documents and other digital material. Users designate beneficiaries who will receive this information after the account holder passes away, and this is confirmed by preselected “verifiers” who can attest to the account holder’s death. Death Switch similarly provides the ability to store and send information to users after the account holder dies, but tests whether someone is alive by sending verification emails; fail to respond to several prompts and Death Switch will determine a user has died, or is incapacitated, and executes the user’s final instructions. Perpetu goes a step further and offers the same tools as Legacy Locker but also automates existing options from social media services, allowing users to specify, for example, that their Facebook, Twitter or Gmail data should be downloaded and this archive should be sent to a designated recipient when the Perpetu user dies. These tools attempt to provide a more complex array of choices in terms of managing a user’s digital legacy, providing similar choices to those currently available when addressing material possessions in a formal will. At a broader level, the growing demand for these services attests to the ongoing value of online accounts and social media traces after a user’s death. Bequeathing passwords may not strictly follow the Terms of Use of the online services in question, but it is extremely hard to track or intervene when a user has the legitimate password, even if used by someone else. More to the point, this finely-grained legacy management allows far more flexibility in the utilisation and curation of digital assets posthumously. In the process of signing up for one of these services, or digital legacy management more broadly, the ongoing value and longevity of social media traces becomes more obvious to both the user planning their estate and those who ultimately have to manage it. The Social Media Afterlife The value of social media beyond the grave is also evident in the range of services which allow users to communicate in some fashion after they have passed away. Dead Social, for example, allows users to schedule posthumous social media activity, including the posting of tweets, sending of email, Facebook messages, or the release of online photos and videos. The service relies on a trusted executor confirming someone’s death, and after that releases these final messages effectively from beyond the grave. If I Die is a similar service, which also has an integrated Facebook application which ensures a user’s final message is directly displayed on their Timeline. In a bizarre promotional campaign around a service called If I Die First, the company is promising that the first user of the service to pass away will have their posthumous message delivered to a huge online audience, via popular blogs and mainstream press coverage. While this is not likely to appeal to everyone, the notion of a popular posthumous performance of self further complicates that question of what social media can mean after death. Illustrating the value of social media legacies in a quite different but equally powerful way, the Lives On service purports to algorithmically learn how a person uses Twitter while they are live, and then continue to tweet in their name after death. Internet critic Evgeny Morozov argues that Lives On is part of a Silicon Valley ideology of ‘solutionism’ which casts every facet of society as a problem in need of a digital solution (Morozov). In this instance, Lives On provides some semblance of a solution to the problem of death. While far from defeating death, the very fact that it might be possible to produce any meaningful approximation of a living person’s social media after they die is powerful testimony to the value of data mining and the importance of recognising that value. While Lives On is an experimental service in its infancy, it is worth wondering what sort of posthumous approximation might be built using the robust data profiles held by Facebook or Google. If Google Now can extrapolate what a user wants to see without any additional input, how hard would it be to retool this service to post what a user would have wanted after their death? Could there, in effect, be a Google After(life)? Conclusion Users of social media services have differing levels of awareness regarding the exchange they are agreeing to when signing up for services provided by Google or Facebook, and often value the social affordances without necessarily considering the ongoing media they are creating. Online corporations, by contrast, recognise and harness the informatic traces users generate through complex data mining and analysis. However, the death of a social media user provides a moment of rupture which highlights the significant value of the media traces a user leaves behind. More to the point, the value of these media becomes most evident to those left behind precisely because that individual can no longer be social. While beginning to address the issue of posthumous user data, Google and Facebook both have very blunt tools; Google might offer executors access while Facebook provides the option of locking a deceased user’s account as a memorial or removing it altogether. Neither of these responses do justice to the value that these media traces hold for the living, but emerging digital legacy management tools are increasingly providing a richer set of options for digital executors. While the differences between material and digital assets provoke an array of legal, spiritual and moral issues, digital traces nevertheless clearly hold significant and demonstrable value. For social media users, the death of someone they know is often the moment where the media side of social media – their lasting, infinitely replicable nature – becomes more important, more visible, and casts the value of the social media accounts of the living in a new light. For the larger online corporations and service providers, the inevitable increase in deceased users will likely provoke more fine-grained controls and responses to the question of digital legacies and posthumous profiles. It is likely, too, that the increase in online social practices of mourning will open new spaces and arenas for those same corporate giants to analyse and data-mine. References Albrechtslund, Anders. “Online Social Networking as Participatory Surveillance.” First Monday 13.3 (2008). 21 Apr. 2013 ‹http://firstmonday.org/article/view/2142/1949›. boyd, danah. “Facebook’s Privacy Trainwreck: Exposure, Invasion, and Social Convergence.” Convergence 14.1 (2008): 13–20. ———, and Kate Crawford. “Critical Questions for Big Data.” Information, Communication & Society 15.5 (2012): 662–679. Carroll, Brian, and Katie Landry. “Logging On and Letting Out: Using Online Social Networks to Grieve and to Mourn.” Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society 30.5 (2010): 341–349. Doyle, Warwick, and Matthew Fraser. “Facebook, Surveillance and Power.” Facebook and Philosophy: What’s on Your Mind? Ed. D.E. Wittkower. Chicago, IL: Open Court, 2010. 215–230. Facebook. “Deactivating, Deleting & Memorializing Accounts.” Facebook Help Center. 2013. 7 Mar. 2013 ‹http://www.facebook.com/help/359046244166395/›. Gerlitz, Carolin, and Anne Helmond. “The Like Economy: Social Buttons and the Data-intensive Web.” New Media & Society (2013). Google. “Accessing a Deceased Person’s Mail.” 25 Jan. 2013. 21 Apr. 2013 ‹https://support.google.com/mail/answer/14300?hl=en›. ———. “What Happens to YouTube If I Delete My Google Account or Google+?” 8 Jan. 2013. 21 Apr. 2013 ‹http://support.google.com/youtube/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=69961&rd=1›. Halavais, Alexander. Search Engine Society. Polity, 2008. Hof, Robert. “Facebook Makes It Easier to Target Ads Based on Your Shopping History.” Forbes 27 Feb. 2013. 1 Mar. 2013 ‹http://www.forbes.com/sites/roberthof/2013/02/27/facebook-makes-it-easier-to-target-ads-based-on-your-shopping-history/›. Kaleem, Jaweed. “Death on Facebook Now Common as ‘Dead Profiles’ Create Vast Virtual Cemetery.” Huffington Post. 7 Dec. 2012. 7 Mar. 2013 ‹http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/07/death-facebook-dead-profiles_n_2245397.html›. Kelly, Max. “Memories of Friends Departed Endure on Facebook.” The Facebook Blog. 27 Oct. 2009. 7 Mar. 2013 ‹http://www.facebook.com/blog/blog.php?post=163091042130›. Kern, Rebecca, Abbe E. Forman, and Gisela Gil-Egui. “R.I.P.: Remain in Perpetuity. Facebook Memorial Pages.” Telematics and Informatics 30.1 (2012): 2–10. Marwick, Alice, and Nicole B. Ellison. “‘There Isn’t Wifi in Heaven!’ Negotiating Visibility on Facebook Memorial Pages.” Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media 56.3 (2012): 378–400. Morozov, Evgeny. “The Perils of Perfection.” The New York Times 2 Mar. 2013. 4 Mar. 2013 ‹http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/03/opinion/sunday/the-perils-of-perfection.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0›. Pariser, Eli. The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You. London: Viking, 2011. Phillips, Whitney. “LOLing at Tragedy: Facebook Trolls, Memorial Pages and Resistance to Grief Online.” First Monday 16.12 (2011). 21 Apr. 2013 ‹http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/3168›. Roosendaal, Arnold. “We Are All Connected to Facebook … by Facebook!” European Data Protection: In Good Health? Ed. Serge Gutwirth et al. Dordrecht: Springer, 2012. 3–19. Rudin, Ken. “Actionable Analytics at Zynga: Leveraging Big Data to Make Online Games More Fun and Social.” San Diego, CA, 2010. Vaidhyanathan, Siva. The Googlization of Everything. 1st ed. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011. Westlake, E.J. “Friend Me If You Facebook: Generation Y and Performative Surveillance.” TDR: The Drama Review 52.4 (2008): 21–40. Zimmer, Michael. “The Externalities of Search 2.0: The Emerging Privacy Threats When the Drive for the Perfect Search Engine Meets Web 2.0.” First Monday 13.3 (2008). 21 Apr. 2013 ‹http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2136/1944›. ———. “The Gaze of the Perfect Search Engine: Google as an Infrastructure of Dataveillance.” Web Search. Eds. Amanda Spink & Michael Zimmer. Berlin: Springer, 2008. 77–99.

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See, Pamela Mei-Leng. "Branding: A Prosthesis of Identity." M/C Journal 22, no.5 (October9, 2019). http://dx.doi.org/10.5204/mcj.1590.

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This article investigates the prosthesis of identity through the process of branding. It examines cross-cultural manifestations of this phenomena from sixth millennium BCE Syria to twelfth century Japan and Britain. From the Neolithic Era, humanity has sort to extend their identities using pictorial signs that were characteristically simple. Designed to be distinctive and instantly recognisable, the totemic symbols served to signal the origin of the bearer. Subsequently, the development of branding coincided with periods of increased in mobility both in respect to geography and social strata. This includes fifth millennium Mesopotamia, nineteenth century Britain, and America during the 1920s.There are fewer articles of greater influence on contemporary culture than A Theory of Human Motivation written by Abraham Maslow in 1943. Nearly seventy-five years later, his theories about the societal need for “belongingness” and “esteem” remain a mainstay of advertising campaigns (Maslow). Although the principles are used to sell a broad range of products from shampoo to breakfast cereal they are epitomised by apparel. This is with refence to garments and accessories bearing corporation logos. Whereas other purchased items, imbued with abstract products, are intended for personal consumption the public display of these symbols may be interpreted as a form of signalling. The intention of the wearers is to literally seek the fulfilment of the aforementioned social needs. This article investigates the use of brands as prosthesis.Coats and Crests: Identity Garnered on Garments in the Middle Ages and the Muromachi PeriodA logo, at its most basic, is a pictorial sign. In his essay, The Visual Language, Ernest Gombrich described the principle as reducing images to “distinctive features” (Gombrich 46). They represent a “simplification of code,” the meaning of which we are conditioned to recognise (Gombrich 46). Logos may also be interpreted as a manifestation of totemism. According to anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss, the principle exists in all civilisations and reflects an effort to evoke the power of nature (71-127). Totemism is also a method of population distribution (Levi-Strauss 166).This principle, in a form garnered on garments, is manifested in Mon Kiri. The practice of cutting out family crests evolved into a form of corporate branding in Japan during the Meiji Period (1868-1912) (Christensen 14). During the Muromachi period (1336-1573) the crests provided an integral means of identification on the battlefield (Christensen 13). The adorning of crests on armour was also exercised in Europe during the twelfth century, when the faces of knights were similarly obscured by helmets (Family Crests of Japan 8). Both Mon Kiri and “Coat[s] of Arms” utilised totemic symbols (Family Crests of Japan 8; Elven 14; Christensen 13). The mon for the imperial family (figs. 1 & 2) during the Muromachi Period featured chrysanthemum and paulownia flowers (Goin’ Japaneque). “Coat[s] of Arms” in Britain featured a menagerie of animals including lions (fig. 3), horses and eagles (Elven).The prothesis of identity through garnering symbols on the battlefield provided “safety” through demonstrating “belongingness”. This constituted a conflation of two separate “needs” in the “hierarchy of prepotency” propositioned by Maslow. Fig. 1. The mon symbolising the Imperial Family during the Muromachi Period featured chrysanthemum and paulownia. "Kamon (Japanese Family Crests): Ancient Key to Samurai Culture." Goin' Japaneque! 15 Nov. 2015. 27 July 2019 <http://goinjapanesque.com/05983/>.Fig. 2. An example of the crest being utilised on a garment can be found in this portrait of samurai Oda Nobunaga. "Japan's 12 Most Famous Samurai." All About Japan. 27 Aug. 2018. 27 July 2019 <https://allabout-japan.com/en/article/5818/>.Fig. 3. A detail from the “Index of Subjects of Crests.” Elven, John Peter. The Book of Family Crests: Comprising Nearly Every Family Bearing, Properly Blazoned and Explained, Accompanied by Upwards of Four Thousand Engravings. Henry Washbourne, 1847.The Pursuit of Prestige: Prosthetic Pedigree from the Late Georgian to the Victorian Eras In 1817, the seal engraver to Prince Regent, Alexander Deuchar, described the function of family crests in British Crests: Containing The Crest and Mottos of The Families of Great Britain and Ireland; Together with Those of The Principal Cities and Heraldic Terms as follows: The first approach to civilization is the distinction of ranks. So necessary is this to the welfare and existence of society, that, without it, anarchy and confusion must prevail… In an early stage, heraldic emblems were characteristic of the bearer… Certain ordinances were made, regulating the mode of bearing arms, and who were entitled to bear them. (i-v)The partitioning of social classes in Britain had deteriorated by the time this compendium was published, with displays of “conspicuous consumption” displacing “heraldic emblems” as a primary method of status signalling (Deuchar 2; Han et al. 18). A consumerism born of newfound affluence, and the desire to signify this wealth through luxury goods, was as integral to the Industrial Revolution as technological development. In Rebels against the Future, published in 1996, Kirkpatrick Sale described the phenomenon:A substantial part of the new population, though still a distinct minority, was made modestly affluent, in some places quite wealthy, by privatization of of the countryside and the industrialization of the cities, and by the sorts of commercial and other services that this called forth. The new money stimulated the consumer demand… that allowed a market economy of a scope not known before. (40)This also reflected improvements in the provision of “health, food [and] education” (Maslow; Snow 25-28). With their “physiological needs” accommodated, this ”substantial part” of the population were able to prioritised their “esteem needs” including the pursuit for prestige (Sale 40; Maslow).In Britain during the Middle Ages laws “specified in minute detail” what each class was permitted to wear (Han et al. 15). A groom, for example, was not able to wear clothing that exceeded two marks in value (Han et al. 15). In a distinct departure during the Industrial Era, it was common for the “middling and lower classes” to “ape” the “fashionable vices of their superiors” (Sale 41). Although mon-like labels that were “simplified so as to be conspicuous and instantly recognisable” emerged in Europe during the nineteenth century their application on garments remained discrete up until the early twentieth century (Christensen 13-14; Moore and Reid 24). During the 1920s, the French companies Hermes and Coco Chanel were amongst the clothing manufacturers to pioneer this principle (Chaney; Icon).During the 1860s, Lincolnshire-born Charles Frederick Worth affixed gold stamped labels to the insides of his garments (Polan et al. 9; Press). Operating from Paris, the innovation was consistent with the introduction of trademark laws in France in 1857 (Lopes et al.). He would become known as the “Father of Haute Couture”, creating dresses for royalty and celebrities including Empress Eugene from Constantinople, French actress Sarah Bernhardt and Australian Opera Singer Nellie Melba (Lopes et al.; Krick). The clothing labels proved and ineffective deterrent to counterfeit, and by the 1890s the House of Worth implemented other measures to authenticate their products (Press). The legitimisation of the origin of a product is, arguably, the primary function of branding. This principle is also applicable to subjects. The prothesis of brands, as totemic symbols, assisted consumers to relocate themselves within a new system of population distribution (Levi-Strauss 166). It was one born of commerce as opposed to heraldry.Selling of Self: Conferring Identity from the Neolithic to Modern ErasIn his 1817 compendium on family crests, Deuchar elaborated on heraldry by writing:Ignoble birth was considered as a stain almost indelible… Illustrious parentage, on the other hand, constituted the very basis of honour: it communicated peculiar rights and privileges, to which the meaner born man might not aspire. (v-vi)The Twinings Logo (fig. 4) has remained unchanged since the design was commissioned by the grandson of the company founder Richard Twining in 1787 (Twining). In addition to reflecting the heritage of the family-owned company, the brand indicated the origin of the tea. This became pertinent during the nineteenth century. Plantations began to operate from Assam to Ceylon (Jones 267-269). Amidst the rampant diversification of tea sources in the Victorian era, concerns about the “unhygienic practices” of Chinese producers were proliferated (Wengrow 11). Subsequently, the brand also offered consumers assurance in quality. Fig. 4. The Twinings Logo reproduced from "History of Twinings." Twinings. 24 July 2019 <https://www.twinings.co.uk/about-twinings/history-of-twinings>.The term ‘brand’, adapted from the Norse “brandr”, was introduced into the English language during the sixteenth century (Starcevic 179). At its most literal, it translates as to “burn down” (Starcevic 179). Using hot elements to singe markings onto animals been recorded as early as 2700 BCE in Egypt (Starcevic 182). However, archaeologists concur that the modern principle of branding predates this practice. The implementation of carved seals or stamps to make indelible impressions of handcrafted objects dates back to Prehistoric Mesopotamia (Starcevic 183; Wengrow 13). Similar traditions developed during the Bronze Age in both China and the Indus Valley (Starcevic 185). In all three civilisations branding facilitated both commerce and aspects of Totemism. In the sixth millennium BCE in “Prehistoric” Mesopotamia, referred to as the Halaf period, stone seals were carved to emulate organic form such as animal teeth (Wengrow 13-14). They were used to safeguard objects by “confer[ring] part of the bearer’s personality” (Wengrow 14). They were concurrently applied to secure the contents of vessels containing “exotic goods” used in transactions (Wengrow 15). Worn as amulets (figs. 5 & 6) the seals, and the symbols they produced, were a physical extension of their owners (Wengrow 14).Fig. 5. Recreation of stamp seal amulets from Neolithic Mesopotamia during the sixth millennium BCE. Wengrow, David. "Prehistories of Commodity Branding." Current Anthropology 49.1 (2008): 14.Fig. 6. “Lot 25Y: Rare Syrian Steatite Amulet – Fertility God 5000 BCE.” The Salesroom. 27 July 2019 <https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-gb/auction-catalogues/artemis-gallery-ancient-art/catalogue-id-srartem10006/lot-a850d229-a303-4bae-b68c-a6130005c48a>. Fig. 7. Recreation of stamp seal designs from Mesopotamia from the late fifth to fourth millennium BCE. Wengrow, David. "Prehistories of Commodity Branding." Current Anthropology 49. 1 (2008): 16.In the following millennia, the seals would increase exponentially in application and aesthetic complexity (fig. 7) to support the development of household cum cottage industries (Wengrow 15). In addition to handcrafts, sealed vessels would transport consumables such as wine, aromatic oils and animal fats (Wengrow 18). The illustrations on the seals included depictions of rituals undertaken by human figures and/or allegories using animals. It can be ascertained that the transition in the Victorian Era from heraldry to commerce, from family to corporation, had precedence. By extension, consumers were able to participate in this process of value attribution using brands as signifiers. The principle remained prevalent during the modern and post-modern eras and can be respectively interpreted using structuralist and post-structuralist theory.Totemism to Simulacrum: The Evolution of Advertising from the Modern to Post-Modern Eras In 2011, Lisa Chaney wrote of the inception of the Coco Chanel logo (fig. 8) in her biography Chanel: An Intimate Life: A crucial element in the signature design of the Chanel No.5 bottle is the small black ‘C’ within a black circle set as the seal at the neck. On the top of the lid are two more ‘C’s, intertwined back to back… from at least 1924, the No5 bottles sported the unmistakable logo… these two ‘C’s referred to Gabrielle, – in other words Coco Chanel herself, and would become the logo for the House of Chanel. Chaney continued by describing Chanel’s fascination of totemic symbols as expressed through her use of tarot cards. She also “surrounded herself with objects ripe with meaning” such as representations of wheat and lions in reference prosperity and to her zodiac symbol ‘Leo’ respectively. Fig. 8. No5 Chanel Perfume, released in 1924, featured a seal-like logo attached to the bottle neck. “No5.” Chanel. 25 July 2019 <https://www.chanel.com/us/fragrance/p/120450/n5-parfum-grand-extrait/>.Fig. 9. This illustration of the bottle by Georges Goursat was published in a women’s magazine circa 1920s. “1921 Chanel No5.” Inside Chanel. 26 July 2019 <http://inside.chanel.com/en/timeline/1921_no5>; “La 4éme Fête de l’Histoire Samedi 16 et dimache 17 juin.” Ville de Perigueux. Musée d’art et d’archéologie du Périgord. 28 Mar. 2018. 26 July 2019 <https://www.perigueux-maap.fr/category/archives/page/5/>. This product was considered the “financial basis” of the Chanel “empire” which emerged during the second and third decades of the twentieth century (Tikkanen). Chanel is credited for revolutionising Haute Couture by introducing chic modern designs that emphasised “simplicity and comfort.” This was as opposed to the corseted highly embellished fashion that characterised the Victorian Era (Tikkanen). The lavish designs released by the House of Worth were, in and of themselves, “conspicuous” displays of “consumption” (Veblen 17). In contrast, the prestige and status associated with the “poor girl” look introduced by Chanel was invested in the story of the designer (Tikkanen). A primary example is her marinière or sailor’s blouse with a Breton stripe that epitomised her ascension from café singer to couturier (Tikkanen; Burstein 8). This signifier might have gone unobserved by less discerning consumers of fashion if it were not for branding. Not unlike the Prehistoric Mesopotamians, this iteration of branding is a process which “confer[s]” the “personality” of the designer into the garment (Wengrow 13 -14). The wearer of the garment is, in turn, is imbued by extension. Advertisers in the post-structuralist era embraced Levi-Strauss’s structuralist anthropological theories (Williamson 50). This is with particular reference to “bricolage” or the “preconditioning” of totemic symbols (Williamson 173; Pool 50). Subsequently, advertising creatives cum “bricoleur” employed his principles to imbue the brands with symbolic power. This symbolic capital was, arguably, transferable to the product and, ultimately, to its consumer (Williamson 173).Post-structuralist and semiotician Jean Baudrillard “exhaustively” critiqued brands and the advertising, or simulacrum, that embellished them between the late 1960s and early 1980s (Wengrow 10-11). In Simulacra and Simulation he wrote,it is the reflection of a profound reality; it masks and denatures a profound reality; it masks the absence of a profound reality; it has no relation to any reality whatsoever: it is its own pure simulacrum. (6)The symbolic power of the Chanel brand resonates in the ‘profound reality’ of her story. It is efficiently ‘denatured’ through becoming simplified, conspicuous and instantly recognisable. It is, as a logo, physically juxtaposed as simulacra onto apparel. This simulacrum, in turn, effects the ‘profound reality’ of the consumer. In 1899, economist Thorstein Veblen wrote in The Theory of the Leisure Class:Conspicuous consumption of valuable goods it the means of reputability to the gentleman of leisure… costly entertainments, such as potlatch or the ball, are peculiarly adapted to serve this end… he consumes vicariously for his host at the same time that he is witness to the consumption… he is also made to witness his host’s facility in etiquette. (47)Therefore, according to Veblen, it was the witnessing of “wasteful” consumption that “confers status” as opposed the primary conspicuous act (Han et al. 18). Despite television being in its experimental infancy advertising was at “the height of its powers” during the 1920s (Clark et al. 18; Hill 30). Post-World War I consumers, in America, experienced an unaccustomed level of prosperity and were unsuspecting of the motives of the newly formed advertising agencies (Clark et al. 18). Subsequently, the ‘witnessing’ of consumption could be constructed across a plethora of media from the newly emerged commercial radio to billboards (Hill viii–25). The resulting ‘status’ was ‘conferred’ onto brand logos. Women’s magazines, with a legacy dating back to 1828, were a primary locus (Hill 10).Belonging in a Post-Structuralist WorldIt is significant to note that, in a post-structuralist world, consumers do not exclusively seek upward mobility in their selection of brands. The establishment of counter-culture icon Levi-Strauss and Co. was concurrent to the emergence of both The House of Worth and Coco Chanel. The Bavarian-born Levi Strauss commenced selling apparel in San Francisco in 1853 (Levi’s). Two decades later, in partnership with Nevada born tailor Jacob Davis, he patented the “riveted-for-strength” workwear using blue denim (Levi’s). Although the ontology of ‘jeans’ is contested, references to “Jene Fustyan” date back the sixteenth century (Snyder 139). It involved the combining cotton, wool and linen to create “vestments” for Geonese sailors (Snyder 138). The Two Horse Logo (fig. 10), depicting them unable to pull apart a pair of jeans to symbolise strength, has been in continuous use by Levi Strauss & Co. company since its design in 1886 (Levi’s). Fig. 10. The Two Horse Logo by Levi Strauss & Co. has been in continuous use since 1886. Staff Unzipped. "Two Horses. One Message." Heritage. Levi Strauss & Co. 1 July 2011. 25 July 2019 <https://www.levistrauss.com/2011/07/01/two-horses-many-versions-one-message/>.The “rugged wear” would become the favoured apparel amongst miners at American Gold Rush (Muthu 6). Subsequently, between the 1930s – 1960s Hollywood films cultivated jeans as a symbol of “defiance” from Stage Coach staring John Wayne in 1939 to Rebel without A Cause staring James Dean in 1955 (Muthu 6; Edgar). Consequently, during the 1960s college students protesting in America (fig. 11) against the draft chose the attire to symbolise their solidarity with the working class (Hedarty). Notwithstanding a 1990s fashion revision of denim into a diversity of garments ranging from jackets to skirts, jeans have remained a wardrobe mainstay for the past half century (Hedarty; Muthu 10). Fig. 11. Although the brand label is not visible, jeans as initially introduced to the American Goldfields in the nineteenth century by Levi Strauss & Co. were cultivated as a symbol of defiance from the 1930s – 1960s. It documents an anti-war protest that occurred at the Pentagon in 1967. Cox, Savannah. "The Anti-Vietnam War Movement." ATI. 14 Dec. 2016. 16 July 2019 <https://allthatsinteresting.com/vietnam-war-protests#7>.In 2003, the journal Science published an article “Does Rejection Hurt? An Fmri Study of Social Exclusion” (Eisenberger et al.). The cross-institutional study demonstrated that the neurological reaction to rejection is indistinguishable to physical pain. Whereas during the 1940s Maslow classified the desire for “belonging” as secondary to “physiological needs,” early twenty-first century psychologists would suggest “[social] acceptance is a mechanism for survival” (Weir 50). In Simulacra and Simulation, Jean Baudrillard wrote: Today abstraction is no longer that of the map, the double, the mirror or the concept. Simulation is no longer that of a territory, a referential being or a substance. It is the generation by models of a real without origin or reality: a hyperreal… (1)In the intervening thirty-eight years since this document was published the artifice of our interactions has increased exponentially. In order to locate ‘belongness’ in this hyperreality, the identities of the seekers require a level of encoding. Brands, as signifiers, provide a vehicle.Whereas in Prehistoric Mesopotamia carved seals, worn as amulets, were used to extend the identity of a person, in post-digital China WeChat QR codes (fig. 12), stored in mobile phones, are used to facilitate transactions from exchanging contact details to commerce. Like other totems, they provide access to information such as locations, preferences, beliefs, marital status and financial circ*mstances. These individualised brands are the most recent incarnation of a technology that has developed over the past eight thousand years. The intermediary iteration, emblems affixed to garments, has remained prevalent since the twelfth century. Their continued salience is due to their visibility and, subsequent, accessibility as signifiers. Fig. 12. It may be posited that Wechat QR codes are a form individualised branding. Like other totems, they store information pertaining to the owner’s location, beliefs, preferences, marital status and financial circ*mstances. “Join Wechat groups using QR code on 2019.” Techwebsites. 26 July 2019 <https://techwebsites.net/join-wechat-group-qr-code/>.Fig. 13. Brands function effectively as signifiers is due to the international distribution of multinational corporations. This is the shopfront of Chanel in Dubai, which offers customers apparel bearing consistent insignia as the Parisian outlet at on Rue Cambon. Customers of Chanel can signify to each other with the confidence that their products will be recognised. “Chanel.” The Dubai Mall. 26 July 2019 <https://thedubaimall.com/en/shop/chanel>.Navigating a post-structuralist world of increasing mobility necessitates a rudimental understanding of these symbols. Whereas in the nineteenth century status was conveyed through consumption and witnessing consumption, from the twentieth century onwards the garnering of brands made this transaction immediate (Veblen 47; Han et al. 18). The bricolage of the brands is constructed by bricoleurs working in any number of contemporary creative fields such as advertising, filmmaking or song writing. They provide a system by which individuals can convey and recognise identities at prima facie. They enable the prosthesis of identity.ReferencesBaudrillard, Jean. Simulacra and Simulation. Trans. Sheila Faria Glaser. United States: University of Michigan Press, 1994.Burstein, Jessica. Cold Modernism: Literature, Fashion, Art. United States: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2012.Chaney, Lisa. Chanel: An Intimate Life. United Kingdom: Penguin Books Limited, 2011.Christensen, J.A. Cut-Art: An Introduction to Chung-Hua and Kiri-E. New York: Watson-Guptill Publications, 1989. Clark, Eddie M., Timothy C. Brock, David E. Stewart, David W. Stewart. Attention, Attitude, and Affect in Response to Advertising. United Kingdom: Taylor & Francis Group, 1994.Deuchar, Alexander. British Crests: Containing the Crests and Mottos of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland Together with Those of the Principal Cities – Primary So. London: Kirkwood & Sons, 1817.Ebert, Robert. “Great Movie: Stage Coach.” Robert Ebert.com. 1 Aug. 2011. 10 Mar. 2019 <https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/great-movie-stagecoach-1939>.Elven, John Peter. The Book of Family Crests: Comprising Nearly Every Family Bearing, Properly Blazoned and Explained, Accompanied by Upwards of Four Thousand Engravings. London: Henry Washbourne, 1847.Eisenberger, Naomi I., Matthew D. Lieberman, and Kipling D. Williams. "Does Rejection Hurt? An Fmri Study of Social Exclusion." Science 302.5643 (2003): 290-92.Family Crests of Japan. California: Stone Bridge Press, 2007.Gombrich, Ernst. "The Visual Image: Its Place in Communication." Scientific American 272 (1972): 82-96.Hedarty, Stephanie. "How Jeans Conquered the World." BBC World Service. 28 Feb. 2012. 26 July 2019 <https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-17101768>. Han, Young Jee, Joseph C. Nunes, and Xavier Drèze. "Signaling Status with Luxury Goods: The Role of Brand Prominence." Journal of Marketing 74.4 (2010): 15-30.Hill, Daniel Delis. Advertising to the American Woman, 1900-1999. United States of Ame: Ohio State University Press, 2002."History of Twinings." Twinings. 24 July 2019 <https://www.twinings.co.uk/about-twinings/history-of-twinings>. icon-icon: Telling You More about Icons. 18 Dec. 2016. 26 July 2019 <http://www.icon-icon.com/en/hermes-logo-the-horse-drawn-carriage/>. Jones, Geoffrey. Merchants to Multinationals: British Trading Companies in the 19th and 20th Centuries. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2002.Kamon (Japanese Family Crests): Ancient Key to Samurai Culture." Goin' Japaneque! 15 Nov. 2015. 27 July 2019 <http://goinjapanesque.com/05983/>. Krick, Jessa. "Charles Frederick Worth (1825-1895) and the House of Worth." Heilburnn Timeline of Art History. The Met. Oct. 2004. 23 July 2019 <https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/wrth/hd_wrth.htm>. Levi’s. "About Levis Strauss & Co." 25 July 2019 <https://www.levis.com.au/about-us.html>. Lévi-Strauss, Claude. Totemism. London: Penguin, 1969.Lopes, Teresa de Silva, and Paul Duguid. Trademarks, Brands, and Competitiveness. Abingdon: Routledge, 2010.Maslow, Abraham. "A Theory of Human Motivation." British Journal of Psychiatry 208.4 (1942): 313-13.Moore, Karl, and Susan Reid. "The Birth of Brand: 4000 Years of Branding History." Business History 4.4 (2008).Muthu, Subramanian Senthikannan. Sustainability in Denim. Cambridge Woodhead Publishing, 2017.Polan, Brenda, and Roger Tredre. The Great Fashion Designers. Oxford: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2009.Pool, Roger C. Introduction. Totemism. New ed. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1969.Press, Claire. Wardrobe Crisis: How We Went from Sunday Best to Fast Fashion. Melbourne: Schwartz Publishing, 2016.Sale, K. Rebels against the Future: The Luddites and Their War on the Industrial Revolution: Lessons for the Computer Age. Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley, 1996.Snow, C.P. The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1959. Snyder, Rachel Louise. Fugitive Denim: A Moving Story of People and Pants in the Borderless World of Global Trade. New York: W.W. Norton, 2008.Starcevic, Sladjana. "The Origin and Historical Development of Branding and Advertising in the Old Civilizations of Africa, Asia and Europe." Marketing 46.3 (2015): 179-96.Tikkanen, Amy. "Coco Chanel." Encyclopaedia Britannica. 19 Apr. 2019. 25 July 2019 <https://www.britannica.com/biography/Coco-Chanel>.Veblen, Thorstein. The Theory of the Leisure Class: An Economic Study in the Evolution of Institutions. London: Macmillan, 1975.Weir, Kirsten. "The Pain of Social Rejection." American Psychological Association 43.4 (2012): 50.Williamson, Judith. Decoding Advertisem*nts: Ideology and Meaning in Advertising. Ideas in Progress. London: Boyars, 1978.

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