Department of Sociology

Dis/connection symposium 27-28 September 2018

Photo: Anna Redmalm

Dis / connection
Conflicts, Activism and Reciprocity 
Online and Beyond
27-28 September 2018
Uppsala University

Registration for the symposium is closed. The keynote lectures are open to the public and take place in the Humanist Theater on September 27, beginning at 13:15.      

You can download the Book of Abstracts for the symposium here.   

Keynote speakers: Annette Markham (Aarhus University and Loyola University) and Adam Fish (Lancaster University). 

The upcoming Dis/connection symposium focuses on a fundamental aspect of social relationships, namely the idea of connection. We invite abstract submissions on the possibilities of connectivity, but also the problems and promises of the act of disconnection. Digital networks embedded in everyday lives have transformed virtually every aspect of social life – from intimate relations to political activism. This is our starting point for a broader discussion of notions of connectivity and how they are developing, multiplying, failing, or simply being reproduced. Therefore, we also focus on the idea of disconnection as a voluntary act to take control over one’s use of digital technologies, as an act of resistance and of saying no to the opaque structures of power and control in the networked society. The goal is to further the discussion on the gains, costs and possibilities of ethical life in the culture of hyperconnectivity. The symposium also aims to address destructive functions of connected living, such as surveillance, trolls, fake news, fake news accusations, sexual harassment, terrorism, viruses, spam, and the colonization of private life. In other words, we are interested in how connectivity and disconnectivity can give rise to and facilitate social inclusion and democratic processes, as well as exclusion, isolation and conflict.

Annette Markham is Professor of Information Studies at Aarhus University, Denmark & Affiliate Professor of Digital Ethics in the School of Communication at Loyola University, Chicago. Markham studies digital identities, relationships and cultures, and has published extensively on the methodology and ethics of digital research. Among her publications are the groundbreaking Life Online (1998, AltaMira) and Internet Inquiry (2009, Sage) written together with Nancy K. Baym.

Adam Fish is a cultural anthropologist and senior Lecturer at the Sociology Department at Lancaster University. His research focuses on the interconnection of media technology and political power, a field he has explored in books, numerous articles, and documentaries. He is the author of the books Technoliberalism and the end of participatory culture in the United States (2017, Palgrave) and After the internet (2017, Polity) with Ramesh Srinivasan. Fish is now working on a book called Hacker States.

Papers address themes such as digital decluttering, online vegans, WhatsApp activism, emoji use in online dating, ICT use (and nonuse) among the Amish, mindfulness/workfulness, profanity in internet forums, digital family work, entrepreneurial storytelling online, the materiality of connectivity, the global challenges of post-mortal society, Fifty Shades of Grey fan fiction, cyberlove between humans and software platforms and other digisexuals, and much more...

The event will take place at Campus Engelska Parken, Uppsala University, Sweden. The symposium is arranged by the Cultural Matters Group at the Department of Sociology, Uppsala University. The event is supported by Uppsala Forum on Democracy, Peace and Justice at Uppsala University.