Pleasures of Violence (Oxford, UK)

Deadline: 31/12/2018

Call for Papers Pleasures of Violence *Conference to be held at Oxford Brookes University * March 7-8,2019

It has become a truism to claim that social media bring out the worst in us. But who gets to be the subjects and the agents of violence in an economy built to repackage violence? In Updating to Remain the Same Habitual New Media, Wendy Chun exposes the hypocritical dissonance between our fantasies about the Internet and our online practices. For instance, we are continually surprised at the leaking of a network that is precisely built to leak; or we project the promiscuousness of networks onto bodies that aren’t supposed to matter. Digitality has become, then, indissociable from questions of injury, aggression and pre-determined targets. Such impulses of violent digitality have further become central spectacles on cinema, television and video game screens. Why does the digital seem so well suited for the most insidious and blatant of death drives?

From misogyny to racism, from trolling to warfare, from disaster porn to revenge porn, to be immersed in popular visual culture is to have to negotiate the circulation, broadcasting and spectacle of violence. Is digital violence the re-enactment of analog modes of violence or a brand new kind of economy? Have digital networks simply brought to the surface the cesspool of destructive desires that whirled beneath surfaces all along, or do they facilitate unprecedented modes of acting out, and suffering from, violence? How might we, scholars and creative practitioners, imagine ways of combating or repairing violence?

This conference aims to consider questions of abuse, misuse of power and aggression in the (post-)digital age from a variety of perspectives and fields, exploring the relationship between violence (physical, psychological, symbolic, et al) and digitality writ large. It also takes seriously the pleasures on offer through such digital violence, whether that is the action cinema’s fight sequence or the trainwreck celebrity. Is “digital violence” a redundant category?

How does violence play out in different national contexts and creative industries: cinema, gaming, photography, music, fashion?

We welcome abstracts that centre on, but are not limited to the following:

* Doxing, firehosing, gaslighting: The New Language of Violence

* Representations of violence in contemporary TV, cinema, series and podcasts

* Bot-enacted gender and racial violence

* The relationships between genre and violence

* Digital terrorisms

* The digital circulation of xenophobia

* Disaster porn, revenge porn and other types of sexual violence

* Online communities of violence and self-harm

* Outing as a form of violence

* Youtube as platform for confessing violence

* Social media, feminism and the exposure of rape culture

* The weaponization of gossip, hearsay, fake news and misinformation

* BDSM online communities: The New Erotic Possibilities of Violence

* Biometric technologies of racial violence

* Necro/Bio-political violence

* Neo-colonial violence

* Glamourization and fetishization of violence

Please send abstracts of 250 – 300 words, with a supporting bio of no more than 100 words, to

*Abstract deadline: Monday 31st of December 2018.*

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