Digital Ethnic Studies
Contact: Claire Chun, Jaskirat Hothi and Sierra Edd
Email: claire.chun@berkeley.edu, kirat@berkeley.edu, sierra_edd@berkeley.edu

Digital Ethnic Studies is an undergraduate and graduate student-led working group oriented around digital media and technology, and will explore themes of war and empire, settler-colonialism, racial capitalism, and gender and sexuality. Our diverse scholarly backgrounds bring together a wealth of knowledge across geographies, histories, and cultural traditions. Our conversations will therefore be guided by an intersectional framework and use of interdisciplinary methodological approaches to explore urgent questions related to such issues and themes. We seek to elucidate how discursive subjectivities simultaneously construct, and are constructed by, digital media and technology. 

Our aim is to question how common (mis)conceptions of the Internet as a space of neutrality or a digital commons is implicated within the nation state and empire. This group prioritizes a relational investigation of technology that centers the ties between the state and the Internet, and our objects of study will arise through collaborative discussion. In order to trouble the binarization of digital and material in scholarly formulations of various media, we will explicitly focus on the intersections between the digital and the corporeal to illuminate how they mutually constitute one another. Our focus on technology considers how interconnectivity with digital logics and practices substantially transforms Ethnic Studies discourses around bodies, communities, histories, power, and movement(s). 

Some central questions we will ask are: 

  • How does a critical interrogation of the (de)territoriality of cyberspace disrupt the dominant paradigms of space, place, and movement? 
  • What is the relationship between critical digital media studies and theorizations of knowledge production and relations of power? 
  • How does digital media and technology reconfigure our relationships to bodies, environment(s), temporality, and matter?
  •  How does digital media and technology complicate discussions of state power, violence, and surveillance?