New Media and Colonialism: New Colonial Media?

A special issue of Humanities (ISSN 2076-0787). This special issue belongs to the section "Film, Television, and Media Studies in the Humanities".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2023) | Viewed by 22247

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of English, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA
Interests: postcolonial studies; settler narratives

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Guest Editor
School of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, VIC 3122, Australia
Interests: history; historiography; colonialism; settler colonialism

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This proposed Special Issue for the journal Humanities will focus on new media, colonialism, settler colonialism, and global studies, with the aim of bringing together a variety of scholarly approaches.

Recent global scholarly debates have brought increased attention to the question of the ‘coloniality’ of new media. Indigeneity and colonial subjection alike are both being discussed in these ‘new’ arenas.

We are interested in the following questions, and more:

  • Have new media become a battleground where digital colonialism is being enforced?
  • In what ways are new media used to articulate and protect indigeneity? Are they being used to create a global indigenous community?
  • Have new media contributed to real-world decolonization, beyond a few celebrated examples, and have these decolonizing passages been more than transitory?
  • Has the emerging field of critical data studies faced the question of the coloniality that is inherent to datafication processes but neglected to explore the futurity of “digital natives”?
  • Have new media opened spaces for expression by colonized subjects, or have they deepened the digital divide that re-enshrines the division separating colonizer and colonized?
  • Are some “new media” more conducive to decolonial ends than others?
  • How do digital technologies differ across the globe? Why might some technologies be more useful to some communities than to others?

Please send an abstract of 250 words describing your work on new media and coloniality by January 10, 2022.  Accepted papers will need to be completed by mid 2022.  An initial presentation of these ideas will take place at the ACLA annual conference at the National Taiwan Normal University, June 15-18, 2022.

Prof. Dr. Rebecca Weaver-Hightower
Dr. Lorenzo Veracini
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Humanities is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • new media
  • colonialism
  • settler colonialism
  • global studies

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Editorial

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4 pages, 141 KiB  
Editorial
‘New’ Media: Decolonial Opportunities or Digital Colonialism?
by Lorenzo Veracini and Rebecca Weaver-Hightower
Humanities 2024, 13(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/h13010002 - 21 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1465
Abstract
Can one colonise or liberate cyberspace, space that is not actually space [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Media and Colonialism: New Colonial Media?)

Research

Jump to: Editorial

11 pages, 252 KiB  
Article
Mobile Film Festival Africa and Postcolonial Activism
by Rebecca Weaver-Hightower
Humanities 2023, 12(6), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12060140 - 28 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1165
Abstract
This paper enters into a debate of how new and potentially more accessible technologies might affect freedom of expression for heretofore disenfranchised peoples and postcolonial social and political development. This essay examines short films produced on camera phones by amateur African filmmakers for [...] Read more.
This paper enters into a debate of how new and potentially more accessible technologies might affect freedom of expression for heretofore disenfranchised peoples and postcolonial social and political development. This essay examines short films produced on camera phones by amateur African filmmakers for one of the many existent mobile phone film festivals: Mobile Film Festival Africa held in 2021. Mobile Film Festival, an annual and international festival of short-length movies, was founded in 2005 based on the principle “1 Mobile, 1 Minute, 1 Film”. Because of the highly destructive mining in Africa required to obtain the minerals necessary for mobile phone production, because of the Western narratives of progress mobile phone sales build upon, and because of the fact that mobile phones are instruments of capitalism that largely feed big Western countries, mobile phones are themselves tools of neocolonialism and digital colonialism. Thus, a film festival that markets itself as a means of social progress but that relies upon mobile phones in Africa provides an interesting and quite complicated case study. Two of the award-winning films from this festival recognize in different ways the complicated relationship between mobile phones and postcolonial activism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Media and Colonialism: New Colonial Media?)
12 pages, 295 KiB  
Article
Israeli and Palestinian Settler Colonialism in New Media: The Case of Roots
by Magdalena Pycińska
Humanities 2023, 12(5), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12050124 - 17 Oct 2023
Viewed by 2917
Abstract
Israeli settler colonialism, in time, became highly linked to the idea of a state, culminating in an institution that defends the past, present, and future practises maintaining the relations between the “native” and “settlers”. Settler colonial ideas and practises sustaining binary opposition between [...] Read more.
Israeli settler colonialism, in time, became highly linked to the idea of a state, culminating in an institution that defends the past, present, and future practises maintaining the relations between the “native” and “settlers”. Settler colonial ideas and practises sustaining binary opposition between the “native” and the “settler” are reproduced not only by Israeli state broadcasters, but also by settler colonial social media. This article proposes media analysis that goes beyond the usual national and conflict narrative and links “settler colonial common sense” with social media impacts and state ideas/sovereign ideas of property that strive to eliminate native people or transfer them outside Israel’s perceived land ownership and sovereignty. This article also shows how Israeli settler colonial politics and narratives are supported by other settler colonial states (especially the United States). New media and settler common sense cannot be disassociated from the Israeli state and global politics, even though some settlers may have their own strategies regarding the relations with native Palestinians. The State of Israel, through massive surveillance technologies and support from other states that view militarisation and population management as crucial to maintaining its power, holds a great deal of influence over how it frames the “conflict” with Palestinians. We witness how both state violence and institutionalised Jewish privilege are recreated on the ground and globally through the new media. This issue is analysed through the “Roots” (a grassroots movement for understanding among Israelis and Palestinians) case study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Media and Colonialism: New Colonial Media?)
15 pages, 1585 KiB  
Article
So-Called Sovereign Settlers: Settler Conspirituality and Nativism in the Australian Anti-Vax Movement
by Madi Day and Bronwyn Carlson
Humanities 2023, 12(5), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12050112 - 1 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 4722
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic, and the social and economic instability that followed, has given new life to conspirituality and far-right ideology in so-called Australia. This article discusses how politico-spiritual communities invested in both conspiracy theories and New Age spirituality have pieced together settler narratives [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic, and the social and economic instability that followed, has given new life to conspirituality and far-right ideology in so-called Australia. This article discusses how politico-spiritual communities invested in both conspiracy theories and New Age spirituality have pieced together settler narratives about a New World Order and external threats to Western society from far-right and white supremacist Christian ideology circulated via new media. Using anti-colonial discourse analysis, we elucidate the undercurrent of white supremacist ideology in the Australian anti-vax movement, and highlight the misuse of Indigeneity in far-right and anti-vax narratives. We discuss how these narratives are settler-colonial and how conspiritualists co-opt and perform Indigeneity as a form of settler nativism. As a case study, we analyse the use of the term sovereignty by settlers attached to Muckadda Camp—a camp of ‘Original Sovereigns’ occupying the lawn outside Old Parliament house from December 2021 to February 2022. Using Indigenous critique from both new media and academia, we argue that although settlers may perform Indigeneity, they are exercising white supremacist settler narratives, and not Indigenous sovereignty. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Media and Colonialism: New Colonial Media?)
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16 pages, 280 KiB  
Article
Divide and the Rules: A Study on the Colonial Inheritance of Digital Games
by Prabhash Ranjan Tripathy
Humanities 2023, 12(4), 83; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12040083 - 14 Aug 2023
Viewed by 869
Abstract
The current article is an exploration into the colonial inheritance of digital games. It argues that the pervasiveness and persistence of discursive practices, like imagining the play world as the otherworld and valuing the play world for its pedagogical potential, are tied to [...] Read more.
The current article is an exploration into the colonial inheritance of digital games. It argues that the pervasiveness and persistence of discursive practices, like imagining the play world as the otherworld and valuing the play world for its pedagogical potential, are tied to the colonial logic of exclusion, extraction and exploitation. Perpetuation of these colonial conceptualizations in the discourse surrounding digital games makes attempts at decolonization ineffective. The essay seeks to explicate the colonial in these discursive formulations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Media and Colonialism: New Colonial Media?)
10 pages, 237 KiB  
Article
Power and Subjectification at the Edge of Social Media Interfaces in the Aftermath of the Jallikattu Protest
by Deepak Prince
Humanities 2023, 12(4), 82; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12040082 - 14 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1120
Abstract
In January 2017, millions of people occupied various public places across the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, protesting the Supreme Court’s ban on Jallikattu, a bull-wrangling contest considered central to Tamil identity. Social media was thought to have triggered this ‘leaderless’ [...] Read more.
In January 2017, millions of people occupied various public places across the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, protesting the Supreme Court’s ban on Jallikattu, a bull-wrangling contest considered central to Tamil identity. Social media was thought to have triggered this ‘leaderless’ protest. Seven days in, a police crackdown splintered the protest’s seemingly unified front. Academic commentators have argued that social media present radical possibilities, ‘short-circuiting’ older forms of broadcast media, which had already been colonized by the state. Taking as discursive sites two videos, one of them posted by a popular Facebook group and another by a YouTube channel centred around Dalit issues, I argue that an a priori claim of new media having a lesser or greater potential to resist colonization is largely untenable. The possibility of such resistance is contingent on the micropolitics of contestation within concrete, localized sites. I analyse narratives of loss and rage on two different social media spaces, elicited from a fishing community near one of the protest sites, after their homes were attacked and their local market had been burnt down by the police. By focusing on tactics of interviewing, I demonstrate that, in the span of a week, the same technological platform credited with sparking the protests that brought the Tamils together as one, now constitutes the limits of the formation of radical subjectivity, as Tamil society finds itself fractured once again. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Media and Colonialism: New Colonial Media?)
18 pages, 315 KiB  
Article
Palestine in the Cloud: The Construction of a Digital Floating Homeland
by Hanine Shehadeh
Humanities 2023, 12(4), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12040075 - 1 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3697
Abstract
A widespread revolt during the months of April and May 2021 in the Palestinian city of Jerusalem, also known as Habbet Ayyar, responded to Israeli actions aiming to ethnically cleanse and force out residents from the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in East [...] Read more.
A widespread revolt during the months of April and May 2021 in the Palestinian city of Jerusalem, also known as Habbet Ayyar, responded to Israeli actions aiming to ethnically cleanse and force out residents from the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem, where approximately 3000 people reside, and to limit the movement and entry of Palestinians to Al-Aqsa Mosque. These measures were met with an unprecedented wave of youth-led protests against the Israeli army, police, security agencies, and settlers. Habbet Ayyar stands out not only for its innovative and effective use of new media to amplify the protests beyond Israel’s sphere of influence and control, but also for the unity displayed by fragmented Palestinians as they confronted Israel. By exploring the larger historical and geographical context of the movement that led to Habbet Ayyar, this article aims to understand how Palestinians have utilized, for the past 20 years, new media as a battleground—despite enforced digital colonialism—and how these media served to articulate and create what I call a digital “floating homeland”. The concept of a “floating homeland” is useful for exploring how the Palestinian virtual social movement has redefined and reconnected with Palestine beyond Israel’s control and fragmentation. This digital homeland is constructed through new technologies that have reshaped Palestinian self-identification and allowed for a virtual and digital reconceptualization of a borderless Palestine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Media and Colonialism: New Colonial Media?)
16 pages, 5430 KiB  
Article
Videographic, Musical, and Linguistic Partnerships for Decolonization: Engaging with Place-Based Articulations of Indigenous Identity and Wâhkôhtowin
by Joanie Crandall
Humanities 2023, 12(4), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12040072 - 28 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1074
Abstract
N’we Jinan, a group of young Indigenous artists who run a mobile production studio and an integrative arts studio, travel to different Indigenous communities, where they support youth in writing and recording music that involves the local community. N’we Jinan employs social media [...] Read more.
N’we Jinan, a group of young Indigenous artists who run a mobile production studio and an integrative arts studio, travel to different Indigenous communities, where they support youth in writing and recording music that involves the local community. N’we Jinan employs social media to articulate and protect Indigeneity through the sharing of Indigenous music videos, empowering youth to resist continued colonization. These videos serve to create a sense of connection in Indigenous communities in Turtle Island (Canada) as well as offer a means by which non-Indigenous listeners can learn about contemporary Indigenous cultures. Viewed in conjunction with Nunavut’s Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit and the Northwest Territories’ Dene Kede and Inuuqatigiit, which provide a framework of traditional knowledge, values, and skills specific to Indigenous communities in the Canadian Arctic, the texts implicitly invite non-Indigenous listeners’ engagement in social justice activism as settler allies. The texts invite listening to and viewing the empowering songwriting and recording practices through the lens of social justice and wâhkôhtowin or kinship relations, which involves walking together (Indigenous and settler) in a good way and engaging with Bourdieu’s influential framework of cultural capital. The themes explored in the songs include cultural identity, language, and self-acceptance. The empowering songs of N’we Jinan are place-based articulations of identity that resist coloniality and serve as calls to action, creating embodied videographic, musical, and linguistic partnerships that serve as important articulations of Indigenous identity and which promote the decolonization of reading and listening practices and, by extension, education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Media and Colonialism: New Colonial Media?)
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12 pages, 255 KiB  
Article
The Practices and Positionings of a Postcolonial Counterpublic: An Analysis of Black Lives Matter in Denmark
by Bolette B. Blaagaard
Humanities 2023, 12(4), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12040061 - 10 Jul 2023
Viewed by 981
Abstract
Drawing on postcolonial critique to analyze the work and political purpose of activist groups on social media, this article asks the question: How do digital media communications simultaneously reinstate binary oppositions and invite rhizomatic relations? While the concept of counterpublics is helpful when [...] Read more.
Drawing on postcolonial critique to analyze the work and political purpose of activist groups on social media, this article asks the question: How do digital media communications simultaneously reinstate binary oppositions and invite rhizomatic relations? While the concept of counterpublics is helpful when it comes to understanding the voices of opposition in public discourse, it is also necessary to introduce postcolonial critique and geopolitical and historical distinctions in order to grasp the particularities of global digital activism (Brouwer and Paulesc 2017; Blaagaard 2018). This article does exactly that: Illustrating the postcolonial, hybrid, and cosmopolitan qualities of digital activism on social media platforms, the article presents a discursive analysis of Black Lives Matter Denmark (BLM-DK) as they operate on the social media platform Facebook. The group’s posts are dedicated to juridical and political struggles over discrimination and racial violence in Denmark and the United States, thus producing a counterpublic. The posts moreover introduce and connect two very different geopolitical and historical contexts, thus showing social media’s potential for creating rhizomatic relations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Media and Colonialism: New Colonial Media?)
14 pages, 296 KiB  
Article
“Komai Nisan Dare, Akwai Wani Online”: Social Media and the Emergence of Hausa Neoproverbs
by Abdalla Uba Adamu
Humanities 2023, 12(3), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12030044 - 2 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1156
Abstract
This paper interrogates the changing paradigm in the evolution of traditional African proverbs in the postcolonial setting in which Hausa youth create proverbs centered around the power of both social media and their technologies. In this context, the notion of colonized subjects, cowering [...] Read more.
This paper interrogates the changing paradigm in the evolution of traditional African proverbs in the postcolonial setting in which Hausa youth create proverbs centered around the power of both social media and their technologies. In this context, the notion of colonized subjects, cowering under the glare of English linguistic imperialism, is challenged by the Hausa youth through newly fabricated social media proverbs that acknowledge English terms, but use social media platforms to convey what I call ‘Hausa technofolk’ philosophy. This provides insight into how contemporary African youth force a new narrative in the notion of coloniality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Media and Colonialism: New Colonial Media?)
9 pages, 272 KiB  
Article
Cinema, the Settler
by Lorenzo Veracini
Humanities 2023, 12(3), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/h12030040 - 17 May 2023
Viewed by 1462
Abstract
While the history and technology of cinema are considered for the purpose of achieving decolonial ends, this paper suggests that ‘classic’ cinema may be considered a quintessentially settler colonial medium. However, the moving image is now delivered in new ways and through new [...] Read more.
While the history and technology of cinema are considered for the purpose of achieving decolonial ends, this paper suggests that ‘classic’ cinema may be considered a quintessentially settler colonial medium. However, the moving image is now delivered in new ways and through new devices, and streaming has transformed global patterns of cinema production and consumption. Thus, two developments are considered in relation to this transformation. On the one hand, there are signs that mainstream cinema may be genuinely addressing its implication with colonialism, and this paper focuses on a formal apology and on a big budget movie that adopted a radically innovative approach to representing Indigenous peoples: Prey (2022). On the other hand, streaming has made cinema portable and has made consumption in personally deliberated instalments possible. The ‘digital natives’ consume cinema in fragmented and noncollective patterns, and their activity is subjected to unprecedented modalities of surveillance and appropriation. This paper concludes that a form of digital colonialism supported by streaming operates in ways that are homologous with modes of settler colonial appropriation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Media and Colonialism: New Colonial Media?)
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