Social Media and the (Dis)connected Subject (NeMLA 2020, Boston)

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Social Media and the (Dis)connected Subject / NeMLA 2020
contact email: 

In a recent investigation replicating findings in many Western nations, Canada’s Globe and Mail analyzed a trove of social media messages to reveal “a movement, energized by the rise of white ethnonationalism in the United States, that aims to upend a decades-old multicultural consensus in this country.”

Not-so-long-ago, social media was justifiably lauded as a liberation technology and a preeminent tool of democratization. In the wake of Brexit and the election of Donald Trump, of Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal and YouTube’s and Twitter’s lack of willingness to censor white supremacists, however, the perception of social media has drastically shifted. From fake news purveyors to conspiracy theorists and white supremacists masking as defenders of free speech, from social justice warriors to social media mobs, from anti-vaxxers and supplement hucksters to lobster aficionados, social media has revealed and (re)structured the way contemporary subjects relate to one another, to social institutions, and to power.

You are invited to critically explore aspects of the way social media has interpellated the contemporary subject and reconfigured the meaning of community. Topics of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Social media and the contemporary subject in literature and art, 
  • Contemporary realism as a means of capturing this contemporary socio-political moment,
  • Social media and the contemporary subject in cultural theory (e.g. Foucault’s disciplinary society; Deleuze’s societies of control; Hardt and Negri’s empire, multitude, and commonwealth; Agamben’s homo sacer, etc.),
  • The functions of information/disinformation,
  • Social media bubbles and the dissolution of (the myth of) community,
  • The meaning and function of contemporary communities,
  • Identity politics and social media,
  • Techno-, digital, and/or surveillance capitalism,
  • Accelerationism and neo-reactionary philosophy,
  • Contemporary humanism and social media,
  • Speculative realism and the search for the Real in a virtual world.

To submit a proposal, please go to the NeMLA website, register, and complete the submission process:

Organizer/Chair: Nemanja Protic, York University, Toronto, Canada