Tom Boellstorff, "Disability, Online Culture, and Collaboration" Tom Boellstorff, "Disability, Online Culture, and Collaboration" http://www.haverford.edu/calendar/details/259491KINSC Hilles 109 2014-01-28T16:30:002014-01-28T18:00:00
January 28, 4:30PM–6:00PM
KINSC Hilles 109
Distinguished Visitor Tom Boellstorff, P rofessor of Anthropology, University of California - Irvine
"In this talk I will present work in progress with several disability communities engaging in a range of activities in the virtual world, Second Life. This will include examining both everyday social interactions and more organized community and advocacy work. In particular, I will summarize current research with the nonprofit group Virtual Ability, as well as the “Mrs. A and Mr. B Project” with this group and researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. I will examine these collaborations, but also step back to explore how the experiences of persons with disabilities in virtual worlds can intervene in current work on the materiality of information. The example I will address is how their experiences can help us rethink the mind/body dualism and avoid treating the online as “immaterial.” This underscores how effective ethnographic research involves treating interlocutors as sources of theory as well as data, and also how moving the question of disability to the center of current debates in anthropology and other disciplines can lead to exciting new conversations and insights.” Tom Boellstorff
Tom Boellstorff is Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Irvine; from 2007–2012 he was Editor-in-Chief of American Anthropologist. His research projects have focused on questions of virtual worlds and information technologies, sexuality and gender, globalization, nationalism, language, and HIV/AIDS. His publications include The Gay Archipelago, A Coincidence of Desires, Coming of Age in Second Life, and (as coauthor) Ethnography and Virtual Worlds: a Handbook of Method.
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