[iDC] DL14 Intro - Austin Walker

Radhika Gajjala radhika at cyberdiva.org
Mon Sep 15 15:34:13 UTC 2014

Hi all,

I've been debating whether or not send in an intro because I am not
actually able to come to the November meet (conflict with another
conference). So I have not submitted.

Yet I've been lurking and reading all the wonderful intros - so I decided
it might be polite to reveal my presence.  Also, I am using the Digital
Labor book in my grad class this semester and it is a very useful book!

My work in the context of this list focuses on women's labor at the
intersection of digital and non-digital.
I have looked at craft communities in rural South India and Indonesia and
also at Microfinance in the Indian context and in Online contexts. Overall,
I am looking at the continuing phenomenon of "ITization" and "NGOization"
of the globe in relation to digital financialization and affective labor.

 I also have done ethnographies (cyber) in online spaces with a focus on
women's engagement within various environments such as second life,
instagram and even way back during email listproc community formations.
While a lot of what I have published has focused on these communities and
on gender in relation to access, identity and staging/performing of
 "authentic" selves, my current work focuses centrally on examining women's
work/labor as it weaves in and out of domestic (physical home-bound) work
and online work with a focus on new domesticity and craft networks. Key
questions that emerge actually are leading me to look at how women's labor
in relation to technology - across generations - is considered to be
"support" or "ancillary" (as in the case of women spinning for hand loom
industry) etc. So I reach for a wide variety of literature that looks at
women's work historically - in order to flesh this out. Needless to say
Winifred's work is very interesting to me in relation to this since I have
focused much of my work on the South Asian context as well.

If I had proposed something for the meeting in November it might have been
along the lines of :

What sorts of shifts are we seeing as more and more financial and everyday
business activities are moving into digital platforms? As the work and
labor get redefined into digital labor as we begin to view the Internet
simultaneously as playground and factory (Scholtz, 2012). How does the
continuing binary of productive vs reproductive labor play out in relation
to new domesticity, wom-entrepreneurship and makerspaces?

(based on a presentation I made earlier this year for the Console-ing
Passions Plenary panel)

> ----

Radhika Gajjala

School of Media and Communication
American Culture Studies Program
Bowling Green State University,
Bowling Green Ohio

Co-editor of ADA: Journal of Gender and New Media
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