March 29 (Rescheduled from March 15 )
Recent scholarship has called for greater attention to the ways that technologies are not neutral tools. Rather, these scholars demonstrate how technologies can be both democratic and tyrannical. Much of this scholarship focuses on how the circulation of digital content can be empowering through things like hashtag activism. While helpful, circulation metrics can flatten nuanced power dynamics, which are important for scientific and technical communicators.
In this talk, I will use a circulation studies framework to talk about my current book project, which interrogates the effects of digital content as it “moves” online before turning to larger structural features. Specifically, I ask: How does the circulation and appropriation of media content impact audiences differently, and why does that matter? I will focus on a case study of #NotAgainSU.
I will define a typology of circulation that differs based on how content impacts audiences. Counterpublic circulation is “world-making” and politicizes audiences. Public circulation is “world-maintaining” and sustains the existing status quo. Reactionary circulation invests in oppositionally-oriented collectives. Moreover, rather than blame individual people, I will argue that these different types of circulation are perpetuated by the underlying circulatory features of technologies themselves, as well as social and legal features. Ultimately, I will argue that the digital spaces in which circulation happens cannot be conceptualized as equitable public spheres.
Bio: Corinne Jones is a Howard R. Marsh Postdoc at the University of Michigan in the Communication and Media Department. She completed her Ph.D. in Texts and Technology at the University of Central Florida, which is an interdisciplinary department at the intersection of humanities and technology. Corinne specialized in digital rhetoric and methods, and she completed a professional writing graduate certificate. Corinne’s research interests include social and digital media, digital rhetoric, and technical communications, and she has taught first-year writing, Writing for the Technical Professional, Digital Rhetoric, Big Data Tools and Communication, and Interface Analysis and Design.