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Digital Unsettling: Decoloniality and Dispossession in the Age of Social Media

With Professor Sahana Udupa
16 Oct 2023
With Professor Sahana Udupa

In this talk, Prof Sahana Udupa presents key arguments developed in the just published book, “Digital Unsettling: Decoloniality and Dispossession in the Age of Social Media” (co-authored with Ethiraj Gabriel Dattatreyan, New York University Press, 2023). Digital Unsettling is a critical exploration of digitalization that puts contemporary “decolonizing” movements into conversation with theorizations of digital communication. Throughout the book, we interrogate the forms, forces, and processes that have reinforced neocolonial relations within contemporary digital environments, at a time when digital networks—and the agendas and actions they proffer—have unsettled entrenched hierarchies in unforeseen ways.  The talk will focus on two chapters from the book, “Extreme” and “Capture”, arguing that extreme forms of online speech commonly engaged by right-wing groups reflect and reinforce longer historical processes of coloniality. They flow through the affective infrastructures of digital capitalism and contemporary data relations that have problematic parallels to how anthropology emerged as the science of the colonizer.



Professor Sahana Udupa

Professor of media anthropology at the University of Munich (LMU), teaching and researching online extreme speech, politics of artificial intelligence, critical digital studies, news and journalism...