Grant TypeConference Grant
Institutional AffiliationWashington, U. of
Grant numberGr. CONF-866
Approve DateOctober 8, 2021
Project TitleGovindrajan, Radhika (Washington, U. of) The Virtual, Otherwise
Over the past year, the COVID pandemic has markedly intensified attention to and fascination with online, digital, and virtual spaces as panaceas for the maintenance and even expansion of everyday social, economic, and political life. At the same time, the past year has also confirmed what feminist ethnographers of the digital have long argued: that the virtualization of life is deeply uneven, entrenching the power and profits of some while violently excluding and suppressing others. Given the growing power, reach, and violence of techno-utopianism in this current moment, this conference seeks a renewed engagement with questions that have captured anthropological attention in the last decade: What promises and possibilities do virtual spaces, practices, and technologies hold out in everyday social worlds? Where, when, and how do people encounter the limits of virtualization, and with what intimate and collective political forms do they challenge its violence? What can anthropological analysis reveal about the ways in which the digital might be and is inhabited otherwise?