[iDC] Introduction

Pooja Rangan RanganP at newschool.edu
Sat Oct 11 17:45:45 UTC 2014

Hello all,

My name is Pooja Rangan. I am one of Trebor's colleagues at the Department
of Culture and Media at the New School. My research and teaching deals
broadly with the convergence of documentary and humanitarian cultures, as
well as the questions they raise about the relationship between media
visibility and empowerment, documentary epistemologies and otherness. My
book, *Immediations: Humanitarianism, Otherness, Documentary *(Duke UP,
anticipated 2017) takes up some of these issues as they pertain to
participatory documentary interventions involving marginalized social
subjects from children to refugees to disabled individuals.

The question of labor is one that I have addressed in relation to the
affective and creative work of children in producing a visual culture of
innocence (published as "Immaterial Child Labor" in *Camera Obscura, *2011).
In such a context, I find the notion of labor to be a useful rhetorical
tool in identifying the contradictions of contemporary debates against
child labor. Relatedly, the performative and rhetorical work achieved by
the concept of immaterial or affective labor in articulating solidarities
across different modalities of precariousness is interesting to me (I am
thinking here of the work of some of the scholars associated with
Autonomist Marxist inquiry). At the same time I feel concern about the ways
in which differences articulated along the lines of class, race, language,
and so on fall out when making a claim regarding the hegemony of
post-Fordist modalities of labor. Often these are differences that have
been substantially theorized in the postcolonial and feminist traditions,
but which often appear in a distorted form when they are presented through
the utopian and dystopian visions that I frequently encounter in ongoing
conversations about digital labor.

These are the questions and concerns that orient my point of entry into the
conversations taking place at DL; I will be participating as a
moderator/respondent. The infrastructure and format of this conversation,
as well as the economy of attention, time, and labor involved in keeping
track of each others' introductions seem like an important issue to take up
and theorize, given that we are here to talk about digital labor.

I look forward to meeting you all in person!

Assistant Professor of Culture and Media
Eugene Lang College, The New School
64 West 11th Street Room 115
New York NY 10011
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