IR16 Fame and Microcelebrity on the Web

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Moshimoshi Internet researchers of the world,

We’re less than ten days to IR16.

Are you ready? *throws confetti*

I hope you’re as psyched as I am to be reuniting with fantabulous scholars at the Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR) Conference in Phoenix later this month.

I’ll be chairing a panel on Fame and Microcelebrity on the Web with Angela M. Cirucci (Temple University), Vimviriya Limkangvanmongkol (University of Illinois at Chicago), Megan Lindsay (Arizona State University), and Renee M Powers (University of Illinois-Chicago) – all alumnae of the OIISDP who bonded over our love for #whatwouldwajcmando.

We promise oodles of exciting brainfarts on new research surrounding women and microcelebrity culture online. See you there? Abstracts below!

Thursday, 22 October 2015
Navajo room



The main objective of the panel is to present cross-cultural case studies (Asia and North America) that discuss developing trends of fame on the Internet and expand on existing theories of microcelebrity. Taking an ethnographic approach, our aim is to broaden the methodological and theoretical approaches to the study of self-made celebrity and self- branding on social media, particularly that of young entrepreneurial women professionalizing their craft. Additionally, young women who are not intentionally pursuing celebrity but through online interactions have the potential for celebrity-like experiences will be discussed. We offer new ways of thinking about microcelebrity, identity, and social media.

The five members of this panel sought each other out through academic circles on social media platforms because of their similar research interests and regularly discuss their projects through email chains, Facebook posts, and Twitter conversations. Our mutual interest in social media, celebrity culture, and commercial use prompted us to come together and create a panel for IR16. Although submitting individual papers is also an option, working within a panel allows us to present a dynamic dialogue founded in mediated collaboration and varying experiences and perspectives.


Celebrity culture is a discourse that focuses on individualism, identity, and public transformation, and constituted by a real or imagined audience (Marshall, 2006, p. 635). Reality television brought about the average, everyday celebrity, but new media have taken celebrity culture to another level. ‘Microcelebrity’ was first coined by Theresa Senft in her work on Camgirls (2008) as a burgeoning online trend wherein people attempt to gain popularity by employing digital media technologies – videos, blogs, social media, etc. Microcelebrities are “non-actors as performers” whose narratives take place “without overt manipulation”, and who are “more ‘real’ than television personalities with ‘perfect hair, perfect friends and perfect lives’” (2008, p. 16). Unlike mainstream television and cinema celebrities who are public icons with large scale followings, microcelebrities are famous only within small, niche networks (Marwick, 2013). Senft also foregrounds microcelebrities’ focus on responding to their communities in the ways that maintain open channels of feedback on social media to engage with their audience.In addition, microcelebrity involves the curation of a persona that feels “authentic” to fans (Marwick, 2013, p. 114).

In response to this, our panel offers a discussion on the themes of:

– (re)presentation of the self in the age of social media
– formulaic productions of microcelebrity on social media
– manifestations and experiences of Internet celebrity across different social media platforms
– self-branding techniques by everyday social media users
– case studies of embodied experiential affective work online and offline
– expand existing theories of microcelebrity through cross-cultural case studies
– methodological approaches to studying Internet celebrity
– reifications of microcelebrity status through fan (and anti-fan) texts
– gendered responses to microcelebrity (i.e. “catty” women and hoards of gossip)
– disengagement with internet fame
– accidental celebrity status shaped and influenced by platform affordances
– positive internalization of celebrity experiences


Our five papers are conscientiously ordered to present the unfolding of a metanarrative of microcelebrity in the age of social media, and the evolution of shared concepts of the internet, following the investigation of magic, myth, accidents, the darkside, and structural guides.

We begin with Online red carpet: The magic of instaselfie culture, which investigates self-made microcelebrities and the deliberate affectual and aesthetic work they engage in, thus illuminating the high glamour of Internet fame through methodological explorations of ‘celebrity’ imagery.

I’m not famous famous, I’m Internet famous: The mystification and folklore of microcelebrity fame on social media, moves away from the more obvious reputation work of microcelebrities to look at those whose origins of fame are shrouded in folklore and myth, exploring alternative discourses of celebrification on the Internet circulating in the popular imaginary.

Accidental celebrity: Exploration of fame, timing, and response to popularity focuses more on Internet users on the periphery of microcelebrity, and how their accidental stumblings into fame especially at the intersection of Internet imaginaries of race, class, gender, and sexuality.

How does she afford all that?: Rumors, anonymity, and the darkside of being a YouTube microcelebrity takes us over to the flip side of microcelebrity, in pursuit of narratives of the lesser seen ugly and less glamorous backstage of celebrification, which speaks to Internet ethics and the social imaginary.

Finally, we conclude with Identity guides: The implications of Facebook’s affordances and tacit celebrification, that uncovers Internet fact and fiction through the examination of the meta-structures of social media platforms, without which, microcelebrification would not be possible.

Our cross-cultural research material also present comparative examinations of the digital imaginary across cultures. The five papers move from a more traditional South East Asian country, to an extremely cosmopolitan South East Asian country, to marginal peoples and persons of colour in various parts of North America, to vloggers in the Anglophonic West, to investigating the material structures of microcelebrification with supporting interviews from emerging adults in a large, East Coast City in the US. Our panel also collectively presents interpretations and operations of microcelebrity across different social media platforms including Blogger, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube, and social forums.


boyd, d. (2007). Why youth (heart) social network sites: The role of networked publics in teenage social life. In MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Learning – Youth, Identity, and Digital Media Volume (ed. David Buckingham). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Horton, D., & Wohl, R. R. (1956). Mass communication and para-social interaction. Psychiatry 19(3): 215-229. Republished in Particip@tions 3(1), viewed 15 June 2013,

Marshall, P. D. (2006). New media – new self: The changing power of celebrity. In P. D. Marshall (Ed.), The Celebrity Culture Reader (p. 634-644). New York, NY: Routledge.

Marwick, A. E. (2013). Status update: Celebrity, publicity, & branding in the social media age. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Senft, T. M. (2008). Camgirls: Celebrity & community in the age of social networks. New York, NY: Peter Lang.

Solove, D. J. (2006). A taxonomy of privacy. University of Pennsylvania Law Review, 154(3), p. 477-564.

Marwick, A. E. (2015). Instafame: Luxury selfies in the attention economy. Public

Culture, 27(175), p. 137-160.

Online red carpet: The magic of instaselfie culture in Thailand
Vimviriya Limkangvanmongkol, University of Illinois at Chicago

The worldly explosion of selfie culture has occupied the social media landscape in Thailand, shaping the rise of microcelebrity in the attention economy. This research examines the celebrification of the new breed of Thai celebrities driven by the selfie culture and Instagram use. I argue that Thai microcelebrities are instaselfie, referring as a subset of instafame (Marwick, 2015) mind-set and online self-presentation practice but focusing on using selfie posts to gain social capital. Using visual and textual analysis methods to unpack the instaselfie mind-set and practice, publicly available selfie photos of twenty Thai Instagram users who have more than 30,000 followers were qualitatively analyzed. Instaselfie celebrities transcends beyond the showcasing of their faces and bodies by embracing the glamour of an envidious “good” life/look, “luxury” lifestyle and “celebrity”-type personality. The final section illustrates three outstanding examples which are selected according to their unique positioning: a selfie queen, a beauty influencer, and a luxury elitist.

I’m not famous famous, I’m Internet famous: The mystification and folklore of microcelebrity fame on social media
Crystal Abidin, University of Western Australia

The attainment of microcelebrity has been theorized as being ‘achieved’ and ‘ascribed’. However, microcelebrification is seldom as neatly categorized, as demonstrated by folkloric speculations of celebrification in Singapore. To demystify fame on social media, a more nuanced nomenclature for the formulaic geneses of microcelebrity is required. In response, this paper reports on long-term online and offline ethnographic fieldwork among cohorts of social media microcelebrities in Singapore and East Asia. It investigates the folkloric imaginaries of celebrification in the vernacular of everyday users and the press, and introduces the notion of ‘systemic’ and ‘diffuse’ microcelebrification; the former being more constituted with a firm indication of one’s crossover into microcelebrity, and the latter being less organized and contingent on a more organic accumulation of attention before attaining microcelebrity.

Accidental celebrity: Exploration of fame, timing, and response to popularity
Megan Lindsay, Arizona State University

Celebrity is often thought of as a person, or individual identity. Within the literature, scholars provide examples of individuals adapting online lives to enhance their popularity and pursue an achievement of status. According to Marwick (2011), celebrity may also come through cultural phenomena. A study of young adult women in the US provides examples of the daily lived experiences when individuals are exposed to some form of internet fame or popularity, because they identified and capitalized on an ongoing cultural phenomenon. However, the narratives, motives, and intentions of these heterogeneous (e.g. race/ethnicity, age, sexuality, and socioeconomic status) users varied, and the daily lived experiences of certain women complicate the idea of celebrity as a pursuit. I will examine four case examples of young women who happened to gain traction online and elaborate on the ways they chose to (dis)engage, further pursue, and interact with their online presence, post-fame.

How does she afford all that?: Rumors, anonymity, and the darkside of being a YouTube microcelebrity
Renee M Powers, University of Illinois-Chicago

This paper explores the world of YouTube beauty vloggers and the people who love to hate them. Using discourse analysis, I focus on a forum created specifically for discussing the content and lives of popular YouTube beauty vloggers. The forum participants hide behind anonymity to discuss and dissect the lives of the most popular vloggers in the beauty industry. These forum discussions point to a darkside of microcelebrity unique to online spaces and to the darkside of boyd’s (2007) characteristics of networked publics. When a microcelebrity’s communication is persistent, searchable, and replicable to an invisible audience, it can easily be aggregated to be used against him or her (Solove, 2006). The invisible audience uses this aggregated information to create or support rumors about the vlogger. All digital footprints have the potential to become proof of feminine transgressions. This includes not conforming to an appropriate economic class performance, not policing one’s body in correct ways through postfeminist consumption practices, and violating the trust of the audiences. Ultimately, forum participants ‘hate-watch’ these popular beauty vloggers to find more apparent evidence to support the rumors and opinions that the other forum participants have perpetuated.

Identity guides: The implications of Facebook’s affordances and tacit celebrification
Angela M. Cirucci, Temple University

In defining microcelebrity, media technologies are often described as integral to the self-branding process. This paper argues that social networking platforms are not social utilities, but, in fact, celebrification utilities. That is, they are programmed to necessarily brand users by extracting and filtering identifications to be easily consumed by advertisers, just as celebrities and microcelebrities promote specific, “authentic” aspects of self that can be easily consumed by fans. Through a discourse analysis of Facebook’s affordances and in depth interviews with emerging adult women (n=30), I present a meta-analysis of celebrity culture through the narratives of everyday women who are not actively involved in self-branding but are instead compelled by the site’s inherent design to tacitly brand — they unknowingly align with corporation-like mission statements, ignore multiple, dynamic selves, and discard their right to anonymity.

Academic genealogies, networks, and affect: team #CCIWS13 ftw

Team CCIWS13 <3 I know all you see is drinks but I promise we had lots and lots of food coming.

[Note: Extremely wordy and somewhat convoluted personal map to follow. More for my personal catharsis and memory. Not very useful information in life. Updated on 29Nov14 to include more recently discovered ties. Link heavy; good luck! If you’re lazy, the tl;dr is right at the bottom of the post.]

I spent this evening’s procrastination hour sending out another batch of postcards, knick knacks, and other quirky things to the next bunch of loved ones on my list. It is my third favourite hobby after music-making and wordsmith-ing. All this correspondence got me nostalgic for team CCIWS13 and I intended to affectdump my wistful hyper-sentimentality here to get it out of my system.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized how I owe a significant portion of my academic development, personal networks, and affectual ties to that weeklong experience back in June 2013. My OCDish tendencies led me to some rough sketching that ended up in an epic 11-column mindmap of how my academic life has progressed since then. I thought my CCIWS13 cohort was basically a circulatory system with a life of its own, breathing knowledge and people into us postgrad organisms. But then I made all the links with the internetacad (I totally coined this, right?) army that is OIISDP, which I’m now convinced is the academic version of the X-Mansion (does that make Vicki Nash Professor Xavier? I mean, the lady can recite OIISDP alumnus and their corresponding cohorts and research projects by heart. Maybe she is an X-woman.) The result of this interbreeding? Whoa.

Going to attempt some memorydumping to make sense of the magic of CCIWS13 before I return to thesis writing, because want to submit, because want to graduate, because job, because want to do other kickass things in life soon. Here goes a literal trace of my recent networks and the opportunities that have come my way, thanks to the most generous of academics in my life.

Order of events for my sanity:

  • Jun13: Centre for Creative Industries Winter School (CCIWS13), QUT
  • Nov13: Consumption, Lifestyles, and Asian Modernities (CLAM13) symposium, RMIT
  • Nov13: Australian Anthropological Society (AAS) Conference, ANU
  • Dec13: Digital Interventions (DI), ECU
  • Dec13: Mobile Innovation and Network Aotearoa (MINA13), RMIT
  • Apr14: Cultural Studies Association of Australiasia (CSAA) Intermezzo, UNSW
  • Jul14: Media Management and Transformations Center (MMTC), JIBS
  • Jul14: Oxford Internet Institute Summer Doctoral Programme (OIISDP14), OII
  • Sep14: The Selfies Research Network (TSRN)
  • Oct14: Tembusu College (link), NUS
  • Oct14: Association of Internet Research Conference (IR15), AoIR
  • Oct14: Making Digital Cultures of Gender and Sexuality (Digcult14), QUT
  • Nov14: Disorder symposium (link), UniSyd
  • Dec14: Identity Research Network (IRN14), Swinburne
  • Jan15: MMTC, JIBS
  • Jun15: Digital Ethnography Research Center (DERC), RMIT
  • Beyond Jul15: Tembusu College, Mobile Life Centre (MLC), University of Bern (UB), Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)
Team CCIWS13 workshopping. Also, Brendan has some serious talent for being able to write upside down.

I had the privilege of attending the Centre for Creative Industries Winter School at QUT in June 2013 (CCIWS13). There, I met several postgrads and mentors whom I’m still grateful for today. Let’s start with Paul Byron (UNSW) whom I’ve grown to love and deeply appreciate for his company, kindness, wit, and our shared deadpan sense of humour (ily, Paul. My chocolate fast is fast failing btw). Paul invited me to the ECU leg of Digital Interventions (DI) in December 2013, where his supervisor Kath Albury (UNSW) was giving a paper. I also met my current supervisor, Rob Cover (UWA) for the first time at DI (Hi Rob!). Fiona Andreallo (UTS), who presented in the same panel as Kath and I, would later join TSRN as well. I enjoyed Kath’s work on young people’s sexual literacies and shared some of my research on sexbaiting on commercial social media with her. She later invited me to participate in the Cultural Studies Association of Australasia Intermezzo (CSAA) at UNSW in April 2014, where I secretly coveted her red Melissa shoes (okay, not so secret anymore).

Team CCIWS13 being very serious academics feat yours truly, Sara, and Laureline.

Sara Ekberg
(JIBS, QUT) is another precious friend from CCIWS13. We kept in touch post-CCIWS13, and I spent a week with her in Sweden in July 2014 when I was en route to Oxford for the Oxford Internet Institute Summer Doctoral Programme (OIISDP14). In my time there, Sara invited me to give a talk at her institution, the Media Management and Transformation Center (MMTC) in Jonkoping International Business School (JIBS) where I got to know Mart Ots (JIBS). I loved the collegiality of the department and am grateful to be returning to the MMTC at JIBS in January 2015 for a three-month visiting doctoral fellowship under Mart. Sara’s supervisor, Patrik Wikstroms (JIBS, QUT) also served as one of our mentors at CCIWS13, which coincided with his outposting from JIBS to QUT. I had the honour of meeting with Patrik again when I attended his student Anette Johansson‘s (JIBS) dissertation defense and graduation party as Sara’s guest in July 2014. I had a short weekend in Stockholm, where I spent a day with Mathilde Aarvold Bakke (UniOslo), whom I contacted from TSRN list. Mathilde completed her Honours on selfie culture and is now pursuing an MA at the University of Oslo. We are also working on a series of blogposts on commercial blogging in Scandinavia at the moment.

CCIWS13 — CLAM13 — Tembusu/AAS13 — beyond
Two CCIWS13, mentors Ramon Labato (QUT) and Heather Horst (RMIT), introduced me to John Postills (RMIT) work on media anthropology. Months later, Ramon also introduced me to the Consumption, Lifestyle, and Asian Modernities symposium (CLAM13) spearheaded by Tania Lewis (RMIT) and Fran Martin (UniMelb) at RMIT. I met John there in November 2013 when he and I were assigned to be co-discussants of a paper. At CLAM13, I also met Jolynna Sinanan (UCL, UniMelb) and found out that she and Connor Graham (Tembusu, ARI) were conducting research in my fieldsite. It was the first time I had known of any other scholar working on commercial blogging in Singapore. All the magical things were happening! I was introduced to Connor when I gave a talk to undergraduates at Tembusu college in October 2014. It was there that I also met John van Wyhe (Tembusu, DBS) and Gregory Clancey (Tembusu). Connor and I are planning a visit to Tembusu post-submission. In Singapore, I also met up with Shobha Vadrevu (NUS, NIE) again. We first got to know each other online on TSRN. The week after CLAM13, Jolynna and I were off to the Australian Anthropological Society (AAS) conference in Canberra where she introduced me to Alexia Maddox (Deakin). I spent a night dissecting some PhD woes with these two wonderfully patient agony aunts, whose advice later shaped some major decisions I had to make.

Team CCIWS13 on our last Saturday brunch feat Brendan, Laureline, Paul, Sara, yours truly, Helen, and Emily.

CCIWS13 — MINA13 — IR15/IRN14 — beyond
I met with Heather again when I was back in Melbourne to present at the Mobile Innovation Network Aotearoa (MINA13) organized by Marsha Berry (RMIT) and Max Schleser (MU) in December 2013 (you guys, I am having MINA14 envy right now). Our conversations and my very embarrassing fangirling over RMIT’s Digital Ethnography Research Centre (DERC) eventually resulted in arrangements for my short stint there planned for June 2015. I also bumped into Jessica Noske-Turner (RMIT, QUT), fellow CCIWS13 alumnus, who was working on a project with Heather at that time. At MINA13, I got to know fellow presenter, Dean Keep (Swinburne), who later invited me to submit to the Identity Research Network symposium (IRN14) he is co-organizing in December 2014. Coincidentally enough, the IRN14 is currently being coordinated by Helen Berents (QUT, UQ) who is the partner of CCIWS13 alumnus Brendan Keogh (RMIT) (sneaky clickbaiters!). A bunch of us got to spend time with Helen at CCIWS13 when she came down to Brisbane to collect her graduation transcripts! There was much envious eyeballing of her official papers and things. Another person I got to know at MINA13 was Emma Witkowski (RMIT, ITUC) who was an audience member at our symposium. We later met again at the Association of Internet Researchers Conference (IR15) in October 2014, where we shared very spontaneous, exciting, and (unmentionable) memorable days and nights with Kristine Ask (NTNU) and Jill Walker Rettberg (UBern). Kristine, Jill, and I are planning to work out a visit in Norway some day post-submission. Emma and I plan to catch up in Melbourne when I visit, and hope to exercise restraint around karaoke bars.

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Team Digcult14 feat Matilda, Tim, Emily, yours truly, Stefanie, and Paul.

CCIWS13 — IR15/Digcult14 — beyond
Ben Light (QUT) was another incoming faculty mentor at CCIWS13. His presentation on the folklore surrounding a prominent town character (Ben, was it a juggler? a clown? help me, I forget!) was secretly my favourite at that time, but alas my memory is failing me and I am reluctant to plough through my conference notebook right now. There was a mini CCIWS13 reunion when the IR15 was attended by mentors Ben, CCI mothership (and possibly the Magneto to Vicki but sans bad X-men blood) Jean Burgess (QUT), Tama Leaver (Curtin), Axel Bruns (QUT), and Darryl Woodford (QUT), and mentees Paul, Emily van der Nagel (Swinburne), Sandra Hanchard (Swinburne), and myself in October 2014 (hey team #CCIWS13, just how exactly did we pass up on a reunion photograph?). I got to meet Florence Chee (LUC) to chat about racial hegemony in academia; we earlier corresponded online via introductions by Kelly Bergstrom (YorkU) from my OIISDP14 days. At the IR15 Doctoral Colloquium which Emily also attended, I was mentored by Sharif Mowlabocus (Sussex), Airi Lampinen (MLC), Nancy Baym (MSR), and Jean. Airi and I are planning a visit to the Mobile Life Centre where she is currently based at, when I embark on my MMTC stint. (Sharif is secretly gifted with humourous talents that sometimes I just can’t even.) Ben, Jean, Paul, Emily, Sharif, and I moved our bodies from Daegu to Brisbane the following week to attend the Making Digital Cultures of Gender and Sexuality (Digcult14) organized by Ben. Sharif, Susanna Paasonen (UTurku), and Kath served as mentors at the session (promise I’m not stalking you, Kath). At Digcult14, CCIWS13 alumnus, Avijit Paul (QUT), kindly arranged for me to put up with Meg Zeng (QUT, OII), a PhD candidate at QUT who earlier completed her MA at OII. Like Meg, Digcult14 presenter, Stefanie Duguay (QUT, OII) similarly moved to QUT after her MA at OII. At Digcult14, Paul introduced me to Frances Shaw (UniSyd), whom I caught up with later in November 2014 when I was in Sydney for the Disorder symposium. I even got to have a mini playdate with her adorable bub, Holly <3 <3 <3 There, I took the opportunity to introduce Paul and Frances to Audrey Koh (UniSyd, NUS). Audrey and I pursued our undergraduate degree in Sociology at the National University of Singapore (hi bb). She is now pursuing an MA at UniSyd. I also introduced Audrey to fellow Disorder symposium presenter Siobhan Irving (Macquarie). I knew Siobhan during my undergraduate days through her partner, Gabriele Marranci (Macquarie, NUS), who taught me and was one of my closest mentors in NUS. Digcult14 fruitfully saw catchups with more amazing people, including Matilda Tudor (Sodertorn Uni) whom I will see again in Sweden next year (over sobering Anna Ternheim wine nights), and Tim Highfield (QUT, UWA) whom I got to know the week before at IR15. (PS: Tim just clinched a postdoc at QUT! Send him your congratulations!) Over drinks, I introduced the whole crew to Sander Schwartz (ITUC) from OIISDP14 who was completing a visiting doctoral position at QUT during Digcult14. A month later, Sander caught up with Sara who was beginning the QUT leg of her PhD (all your BNE pictures are making me jelly stahp). Sander has promised me a “royal Danish treatment” when I eventually make my way to Scandinavia (public evidence now, no backing out). My CCIWS13 and OIISDP14 worlds were colliding and brewing much happiness inside. I also managed to catch CCIWS13 mentor Michael Keane in between Digcult14 shenanigans to get some advice on a budding project on Fei Cheng Wu Rao (If You Are The One), a mainland Chinese reality TV dating programme with a cult following in Australia. Michael runs the Asian Creative Transformations research node and has strong expertise in Chinese media culture.

IR15 selfies feat Kristine and yours truly.

At CCIWS13, my main mentor, Tama, introduced me to Theresa Senft‘s (NYU) work on Camgirls. I followed on this research trajectory and discovered Alice Marwick‘s (Fordham, NYU) work on microcelebrity. This was one of the *ding ding ding* moments of my PhD life, where I started to learn to tame my over-ambitious-potentially-seven-dissertations-long research project (thanks, Tama!). Towards the end of 2013, Heather kindly introduced me to Theresa’s upcoming project on global girl culture, Hey Girl!, that I eagerly put my hand up for (Terri, when?!?!). In mid 2014, Tama introduced Emily and I to Theresa’s Selfies Research Network (TSRN) Facebook group. I had the opportunity to co-write our very first selfies pedagogy syllabus, and got to work with Theresa, Alice, Jill, and Kath personally for the first time. Our seven-person transnational Skype calls were equal parts fascinating (the blending of all our accents, waiting for audio cues to take turns to speak, etc) and amusing (0100hrs and 0300hrs Skype sessions because Australia). When the TSRN team finally took to our preconference workshop at IR15, I had the privilege of finally meeting with the team IRL, including Gaby David (EHESS), Fatima Aziz (EHESS), and Katrin Tiidenberg (Tallinn U) (apparently many selfies sticks were bought and experimented with in the name of science).

Team OIISDP14 questioning the scientific citations of some magic.

OIISDP X-Mansion
Many of the academics mentioned above, and several others who similarly experienced overlapping lifeworlds have passed through the OIISDP. I only found this out an hour ago while Googling our web presence to hyperlink our names in this post. I guess this list might reveal our ages but hey, if Professor X Patrick Stewart never ages then I’m guessing we academic X-men have some stake in that gene pool. And things. OIISDP Class of

2004: Jean Burgess (CCIWS13, IR15, Digcult14)
2008: Alice Marwick (IR15, TSRN)
2009: Tim Highfield (IR15), Julian Hopkins (Monash, IR15)
2011: Frances Shaw (Digcult14), Sonja Vivienne (UQ, QUT, IR15, Digcult14)
2012: Lisa Newon (UCLA, CCIWS13), Sandra Hanchard (CCIWS13, IR15), Darryl (CCIWS13, IR15)
2013: Kim Osman (QUT, CCIWS13)
2014: Sander Schwartz (QUT, ITUC), Stacy Blasiola (UIC, CCIWS13, IR15 sort of!), Wilfred Wang (QUT, CLAM13)


The more important things
Networks and mappings and outcomes aside, I have to admit that my biggest takeaway from CCIWS13 to date is still the friendships (hey, cliché but still true!) we have miraculously forged over a week of intense brainfood, suspicious pubfoods, and alcoholic pseudofoods. And we’ve lasted pretty solidly for 18 months and counting. With some of you post-CCIWS13, I have slept on your couches, eaten food off your plate, finished your drinks, traded international postcards, survived shopping sprees, played cupid, and negotiated awkward academic contexts. The insomniac in me secretly likes that a few of us are scattered across the globe, because your awkwardly timed Snapchats of utterly senseless things, or texts with pictures of your obese cats poised next to giant mutant vegetables (*CANADA*) are sometimes the highlight of my struggling nights (I am a nocturnal writer!). Sure, some of these relations are vaguely thin solidarities sustained by rampant and frivolous Twitter chats, Instagram posts, and Facebook comments. But I’ve also shared in some of your joy, tears, and angst through PhD battles, relationship woes, and other tricky things in life. Insert melodramatic OIISDP14 recap here. I want to grow old with you; please want to grow old with me.

All this is just to say, I am really missing CCIWS13 a little bit more than usual tonight and would do it all over again. Lucky for you, the Summer School edition of CCI Digital Methods is happening in Melbourne in February (CCIDMS14). The 2015 edition of the OII Summer Doctoral Programme (OIISDP15) is also happening in Oxford in July. This blogpost is totes #notsponsored. I would sign up again but I highly doubt the mothership/Professor X will let me in because of reasons, PLUS I have a thesis to complete because want to submit, because want to graduate, because job, because want to do other kickass things in life soon.

Tl;dr? In the academic world of internet research, everyone knows everyone IRL! That, or my social world is shrinking rapidly but I’m super cool with it because all of you are lovely people with good life advice. Also, I have a pretty awesome memory for the frivolous things in life, no?

Modern Art Oxford Visuals: Twelve.

More jarring societal critique from Barbara Kruger at Modern Art Oxford.

These people are idiots./

She’s a vampire./

I’m right and you’re wrong./

Talk is cheap./

Stop texting./

Don’t tell me what to do./

Get off my case./

You’ve been bitching about him for years./

Why am I listening to this./

Starve yourself./

We belong together. Maybe not./

Don’t leave me. Don’t turn me inside out./

Go get me a beer./

How can I not become her?/

How can I escape?/

Who are they?/

Why am I here?/

We are the slaves of the objects around us./