Social Media and the Dynamics of the City
By Tanja Bosch
Geotagged social media data can offer scholars new ways of analysing physical spaces and understanding how the design of those spaces influence human behaviour. Social media can be considered a mirror of the power structures and structures of exploitation and oppression that we find in contemporary society. The contemporary city can be considered as a media-architecture complex resulting from the proliferation of spatialized media platforms. The paper is premised on the notion of space as a socially informed concept in which social relations are reproduced, invented, identity constructed, and power exercised or opposed; and it argues that social media can play a role in the dynamic production of contemporary urban space. It explores the way in which digital spaces and technologies intersect with modes of communication in urban spaces; and argues for an exploration of publicness and processes of circulation across digital and physical spaces. The paper draws on quantitative and qualitative social network analysis and content analysis to explore how social media – Twitter and Instagram in particular – reflect the dynamics of the urban spaces of Cape Town and Johannesburg. The paper attempts to explore the following research questions: 1) What can online social media data tell us about how people experience and navigate the city? 2) How can we use social media data to understand the dynamics of the city? 3) What does social media activity and data tell us about the ‘lives’ of cities, neighbourhoods and individuals?
AC Jordan 4A
Tuesday 15 @ 13h00 (snacks at 12h30 in 205)
“In exploring the breakdown of language due to trauma, a journey to ‘the far places’ of human experience, I want to examine the idea of love and desire, and how eros shapes this transformative process,” says writer Mishka Hoosen. “In looking at Call it a Difficult Night and other works, I want to examine the role of love in shaping and transforming language and understanding, and consider what that might say about our current state of transformation as a wounded country.”
Mishka Hoosen was born in Johannesburg. She graduated from Inter-lochen Arts Academy and later from Rhodes University with an MA in Creative Writing. Her debut novel, Call it a Difficult Night, was published by Deep South Books in 2016. Hoosen won the Short Sharp Stories ‘Best Story’ Award in 2017 for ‘Wedding Henna.’
6pm, Wed 16 May
UCT Hiddingh Campus
Refreshments at 5:30pm
Black Space Imaginaries in Environmental Education for Young Children
Presented by Fikile Nxumalo
There is a gap, in both scholarly and pedagogical attention to Black childhoods in the field of environmental early childhood education in North America. The specificities of Black childhoods and Black geographies in environmental education are largely marked by absence and deficit salvation discourses. In response, the purpose of this paper is to articulate Black childhood futurities through creative imaginaries of Black space in environmental education. In imagining possibilities for Black space in environmental education, I begin with the premise that the education of young Black children in North America needs to be situated within the context of the afterlife of segregation (ross, in press). Drawing from Hartman’s (2007) concept of the afterlife of slavery and its ongoing subjugations, the afterlife of school segregation as a framework, centers the ways in which despite the end of legal segregation of schooling, education for Black children remains marked by the impossibility of Black childhoods and manifests in the form of dehumanization, surveillance, deficit perspectives, punitive discipline and more (Dumas & ross, 2016). Black space, then, is a mode of envisioning educational futurities that respond to the realities of antiblackness in the afterlife of segregation but are also situated within educational desire (Tuck, 2010) that imagines otherwise possibilities; including possibilities that refuse the erasure of complex relationships between Black people and the natural environment. In this paper I begin to craft pedagogical futurities for young Black children that subvert racialized discourses such as those that dwell in nostalgia for a return to idyllic childhoods in ‘pure, romantic nature’ (Taylor, 2017). I turn in particular to the generative possibilities offered by speculative fiction for envisioning more hopeful Black educational futurities while simultaneously making visible the unevenly distributed unlivability of the Anthropocene.
Fikile Nxumalo is an assistant professor in the College of Education at the University of Texas at Austin, where she is also affiliated faculty with African and African Diaspora Studies, and Native American and Indigenous Studies. Fikile’s research and pedagogical interests are centered on environmental and place-attuned early childhood studies that are situated within and responsive to uneven anthropogenic and settler colonial inheritances.
This scholarship, which is published in journals including Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, Children’s Geographies and Environmental Humanities, is rooted in perspectives from Indigenous knowledges, Black feminist geographies, and posthumanist theories. Drawing from her experience as a pedagogista in early learning settings, Fikile is also interested in participatory and action-oriented approaches for supporting in-service early childhood educators in engaging social and environmental justice oriented pedagogies. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Date: 16 May 2018
Time: 16h00 – 17h30
AHMEDABAD: A CITY IN THE WORLD
Amrita Shah, Writer and Visiting Fellow Johannesburg Institute of Advanced Study (JIAS)
At a time when India is moving towards a capitalist economy with the urban as its framework, Ahmedabad, the country’s fifth-largest city showcases the experience of a highly entrepreneurial society in one of India's longest surviving cities. Founded in 1411 by Ahmed Shah of the Gujarat Sultanate, Ahmedabad has been a trading post and a manufacturing centre for cotton textiles, a base for Gandhi after his return from South Africa in 1915 and a site of endemic communal as well as other forms of mass violence in the post Independence era. The early decades of the present century have seen the city emerge as a showpiece of the socio-economic and majoritarian vision known as the ‘Gujarat model’, which catapulted Narendra Modi to the prime ministership in 2014. An exploration of this complex and fascinating city reveals the processes underpinning the ethos of contemporary India.
Amrita Shah is the author of Hype, Hypocrisy & Television in Urban India (Vikas, 1997), Vikram Sarabhai-A Life (Penguin-Viking, 2007) and Ahmedabad: A City in the World (Bloomsbury, 2015). She is a contributor to The New Companion to the City (Blackwell, 2011). She has previously edited Elle India and Debonair and been a columnist and contributing editor with The Indian Express.
Monday May 14th, 12-1 pm (Please note time)
At the Sociology Seminar Room, LSS 4.51
Grace A Musila is an associate professor in the English Department, Stellenbosch University. She is the author A Death Retold in Truth and Rumour: Kenya, Britain and the Julie Ward Murder (James Currey/Boydell &Brewer, 2015); which explores Kenyan and British interpretations of the 1988 murder of British tourist Julie Ann Ward in Maasai Mara Game Reserve, Kenya. She also co-edited Rethinking Eastern African Intellectual Landscapes (Africa World Press, 2012) with James Ogude and Dina Ligaga. She writes on Eastern and Southern African literatures and popular culture.
Danai Mupotsa is senior lecturer and HOD of the department of African Literature at Wits, where she completed her PhD. She holds a BA in Africana Studies and Women's Studies from Luther College, a BSoc.Sci (Hons) in Gender and Transformation and an M.Soc.Sci in Gender Studies from the University of Cape Town. She writes on a range of issues related to race, sex, gender, desire and difference. She is working on a few major projects that include a collection of poetry titled Feeling and Ugly, (Our 31 May) and a book titled White Weddings.
UCT’s Institute for Creative Arts (ICA) hopes to establish a network for live art and artists across the African continent through the Live Art Network Africa (LANA), which launches at an event running from 17 to 20 February at Hiddingh Campus.