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February in Stockholm.


Dear good people of Stockholm, I’ll be lurking around your city to give three talks on various aspects of Internet culture. See you there?

PS: Thank you magical fairies, Rebekah, Asta, Airi, and Moira for making this happen :)

See you in a bit!

Selfie culture in Singapore​

Media Technology and Interaction Design MID Morning Seminar
Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan (Royal Institute of Technology)

23 Feb 2015, Monday, 0930-1000hrs
IxD studio, Lindstedtsvägen 5, 6th Floor
(event link)

Celebrity selfies, politician selfies, sponsored selfies, and transgressive selfies have made international news since ‘selfie’ was named word of the year by Oxford Dictionaries in 2013. But what is in a selfie? How can one understand selfie culture beyond a mere frivolous pop-­internet fad? Steering away from psychological discourses of selfie culture as narcissism, this talk demonstrates the productive potential of commercial selfies among microcelebrities on social media. It draws on Crystal’s work on social media entrepreneurship in Singapore and East Asia since 2010, and presents a snapshot of selfie culture among its most productive makers in Singapore.

(En)gendering cuteness and pastiching East Asia: Singaporean web cute as The Doll, The Darling and The Dear

Department of Social Anthropology Research Seminar,
in conjunction with the Media Cluster
Stockholm University

23 February 2015, Monday, 1300-1430hrs
Department of Social Anthropology, B600
(event link)

There has yet to be a definitive study of cute culture that is organically Singaporean. Drawing on existing work on East Asian cute culture and the regional popularity of commercial social media microcelebrities in Singapore, this article annotates three modes of agentic cute used to obscure the soft power that microcelebrity bloggers hold. Through the qualitative textual and visual analysis of content from three popular Singaporean commercial lifestyle blogs and their associated Instagram and Twitter feeds, this article examines how The Doll, The Darling, and The Dear are enacted as ‘cute femininities’. It argues that the subversive power of this performative cute is obscured by the corresponding sensual delight, romantic docility, and homosocial desire that the bloggers develop in tandem with their cute. By continually emphasizing stereotypical gendered relations with their male partners, and fan relations with their readers, these bloggers are able to position themselves as non-threatening and submissive, when they are in fact quietly subverting these hierarchies for personal gain.

Public coupling: Imageries of domestic intimacy among social media microcelebrities

Mobile Life Center Seminar Series

25 February 2015, Wednesday, 1100-1200hrs
Kistagången 16/Isafjordsgatan 22 Floor 6, elevator B (SICS reception)

In Singapore, young couples who wish to apply for the heavily subsidized public housing, which accommodates over 80% of the national population, have to meet tight stipulations as regulated by the government. At the same time, predominantly female commercial lifestyle bloggers have increasingly been cast as role models among young people, given the extent of their influence over cohorts of Internet users on various social media platforms since 2005. This presentation draws together these two phenomena to investigate the emerging hyper-publicity of domestic intimacy between young couples as negotiated on social media. It investigates some of the early discourse and imageries staged, circulated, and contested in the life course of a romantic relationship including homemaking in third spaces, the materiality of love tokens, and the spectacle of dating milestones.

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