Speaker Series | Susanna Paasonen: "Intimate governance and the value of sex in social media"

Thursday, January 23, 2020 16:00to18:00
Arts Building W-215, 853 rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montreal, QC, H3A 0G5, CA

Professor of Media Studies, University of Turku, Finland

Intimate Governance and the Value of Sex in Social Media

As networked media have grown infrastructural in how everyday lives are managed, devices and apps have also grown into infrastructures of intimacy on which, following Lauren Berlant, we depend on for living. Intimate connections are established, severed, and maintained through commercial platforms that collect and repurpose data while delimiting the boundaries of acceptable sociability through corporate community standards and terms of use, many of which explicitly and forcefully exclude all sexual content in the name of safety – a notion that is as ephemeral as it is expansive. This talk inquires after the broader implications of excluding sexuality from the realm of acceptable sociability on social media platforms. What are the underlying understandings of sexuality and sociability at play? What happens to sexual rights on social media platforms?

Susanna Paasonen is Professor of Media Studies at University of Turku, Finland. With an interest in studies of sexuality, networked media and affect, she is the PI of the Academy of Finland research project, Sexuality and Play in Media Culture (2017–2021) and the Strategic Research Council consortium, Intimacy in Data-Driven Culture (2019–2022). Her book-length projects include Who's Laughing Now? Feminist Tactics in Social Media (with Jenny Sundén, MITP forthcoming), NSFW: Sex, Humor and Risk in Social Media (with Kylie Jarrett and Ben Light. MITP 2019, Many Splendored Things: Thinking Sex and Play (Goldsmiths Press 2018), Networked Affect (MITP 2015, co-edited with Ken Hillis and Michael Petit), and Carnal Resonance: Affect and Online Pornography (MITP 2011).

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