On Criticality and Care

Melissa Gregg

November 01 2012, 4:30 pm

Social Science Tea Room

Professor Gregg will discuss the ways in which online media have transformed traditional avenues for intimacy in at least two crucial ways: in the preference for surface (brevity) over depth (length) in self-broadcasts and in the capacity to project oneself beyond immediate physical surroundings. As we enter a third wave of pervasive, social computing, the affective qualities of network culture include a host of ‘ambient’ relationships that suggest new communities of participation, pleasure, witnessing and care. The significance of this everyday virtual companionship requires ongoing emphasis, in light of broader conditions that place limits on normative aspiration.

Melissa Gregg is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Gender and Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney. Her research uses empirical methods, popular media analysis and critical theory to explain changing labour conditions in post-Fordist work cultures. Using a range of feminist cultural studies techniques - textual analysis, online and offline ethnography, visual empiricism and fieldwork - Gregg’s research draws attention to the affective dimensions of everyday life. She is the author of  Cultural Studies' Affective Voices (2006), The Affect Theory Reader (co-edited with Gregory J. Seigworth, 2010), and, most recently, of Work’s Intimacy (2011).

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