Whitney Phillips, one of the most important internet scholars in the field presents, “The Ambivalence Effect.” Her talk will explore how digital media can help and harm, bring together and push apart, and make laugh and make angry in equal measure. Most significant to the current political climate, it will show how these media can equally facilitate and restrict voice. Not only do digital spaces and tools empower hate groups like the white nationalist alt-right and extremist figures like Milo Yiannopoulos, they also empower progressive push back against these same groups and figures – along with a whole range of folkloric play that eludes easy classification. By foregrounding the fundamental ambivalence of digital media, the talk will demonstrate that there are no easy solutions, and no simplistic, one-size-fits-all answers, to pressing questions about free expression, democratic participation, and issues of basic safety on the contemporary internet.
Whitney Phillips has a PhD from the University of Oregon and her book, “This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Mapping the Relationship between Online Trolling and Mainstream Culture” (MIT Press, 2015) was the 2016 winner of the Association of Internet Researcher’s Nancy Baym Book Award.
Please RSVP to the event on the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/events/1876951462584881. Presented by the Culture Club.