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Free e-seminar on Cyborganic community: Jenny Cool, 15-29 June 2010

April 6, 2010

The EASA Media Anthropology Network e-seminar is hosting its 33rd mailing list seminar from this coming 15 June to 29 June 2010.

Jenny Cool (University of Southern California) will present a working paper entitled “Co-location, Phatic Communion, and Presence-casting: the Mutuality of Online and Onground in the Social Construction of Networked Social Media”.

These seminars are free and open to anyone with a genuine interest in the anthropology of media. To participate please drop me a line explaining briefly your interest in this field.


Cyborganic, the subject of this study, was a San Francisco community whose members brought Wired magazine online, launched Hotwired; led the open source Apache project; and staffed and started dozens of Internet enterprises—from Craig’s List to Organic Online—during the first decade of the Web’s growth as a popular platform (1993-2003).  The imaginaries, practices, and genres of networked social media developed in this group figured in the initial development of Web publishing and prefigured contemporary phenomena such as Facebook and a host of other media collectively known as “Web 2.0.”  While my ethnography examines the symbiosis of online and face-to-face sociality in the growth of Web publishing, this paper focuses on that symbiosis at a more micro-level, looking at specific forms and practices of networked social media in Cyborganic that have become predominant on the contemporary U.S Internet. Anthropologists have challenged the assumed “isomorphism between space, place, and culture” (Gupta and Ferguson 1992: 34) and have theorized “technological infrastructures as sites for the production of locality” without a necessarily geographic referent (Ito 1999:2). Despite this decoupling and the tendency to associate online sociality with fragmentation and dematerialization, my Cyborganic study demonstrates that the intermediation of online and onground can work to consolidate and extend, rather than attenuate, affiliations based on place and embodiment that anthropologists have long seen as defining sources of identity and cultural difference.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 9, 2010 5:56 pm

    would like to be part of the seminar Jenny is doing. I am familiar with some of her previous work and have an interest in anthropology or archaeology and media.

  2. July 9, 2010 9:37 pm

    Hi Teri

    Unfortunately this e-seminar is now over. However, we will putting up a PDF transcript of the session on the media anthropology network site shortly, see

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