Gendered violence online: a scholarly 'slam'

This is a call for participants for an experimental, workshop-based symposium on gendered cyberhate to be held on Friday July 7, 2017, in Sydney, Australia. The event will be hands-on rather than presentation-based, and will bring academics, policy makers, police, platform managers, gendered cyberhate targets, and other stakeholders together in working groups to formulate potential responses to the problem of misogyny online. The event has three key aims:

1) to steer the conversation about misogyny online away from identifying problems and critiquing existing structures, and towards modes of intervention;

2) to avoid potentially unhelpful ‘knowledge silos’ by facilitating interdisciplinary dialogue, as well as discussion between scholars and non-scholars; and 

3) to formulate – and disseminate – potential solutions to gendered cyberhate which are novel and innovative, yet also informed and feasible.

Those interested in attending are asked to please send a 200-word expression of interest to emma.jane@unsw.edu.au or complete the form below by February 28, 2017.

Background

Rape threats and other forms of gendered violence have become increasingly prevalent online. Problematic practices include mob pile-ons, cyberstalking, and revenge porn (that is, the uploading of sexually explicit material – usually of a former female partner – without the consent of the pictured subject). While the problem of gendered cyberhate has received a high level of international media coverage, arguably little progress has been made in terms of identifying and implementing workable solutions. Indeed, police, policy makers, and platform operators have received harsh criticism for failing to adequately support the female targets of cyberviolence. The aim of this symposium is to move beyond critique and to stimulate discussion about potential interventions. 

This event will bring together a diverse range of scholars and stakeholders with the aim of stimulating conversation between people who might not otherwise spend a day chatting with each other. The format is experimental, and is designed to be challenging for participants. The rationale is that it is easy for us to occupy professional and personal echo chambers in which we find ourselves talking mostly to people with whom we share views, and paradigmatic ways of looking at and making sense of the world (that is, within various online and offline versions of ‘filter bubbles'). While participants in this event may find themelves outside their academic/professional comfort zones, we will have the symposium equivalent of safe words! Also, the word on the street is that the food is going to be  f a n t a s t i c .... 

 

MISOGYNY ONLINE: A SHORT (AND BRUTISH) HISTORY

The 'Gendered violence online' event is being convened by Emma A. Jane from the University of New South Wales. Emma is in the final year of a three-year research project into gendered cyberhate as described below. She has also just published a book on the subject called Misogyny Online: A Short (and Brutish) History with Sage. 

 

RANDOM RAPE THREAT GENERATOR

In early 2017, Emma teamed up with her code-savvy colleague, Nicole A Vincent, to build this Random Rape Threat Generator. The generator works by slicing up and shuffling around bits and pieces of real-life rape threats, sexualised vitriol, and angry sleaze. The aim is to illustrate the formulaic and machine-like qualities of 'Rapeglish', to help raise awareness about misogyny online, and to provide resources for other academics, activists, and students. (The generator is embedded in a large site which includes access to full input data sets, the sources from which this data is drawn, and so on.) Please note that this site is NSFW and contains extremely explicit language. Only visit if you’re feeling robust!

 

THE CYBERHATE PROJECT 

The ‘Gendered violence online’ symposium is being staged as part of a three-year research project studying rape threats and other gendered abuse and harassment in digital domains. "Cyberhate: the new digital divide?" is being run by Emma A. Jane and has received funding from the Australian Federal government in the form of an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Early Career Research Award. It is using historiography and qualitative interviews to investigate whether gendered cyberhate is affecting women’s online participation, and, as such, whether it might constitute a new dimension of the digital divide. While hostility on the internet has been extensively studied by cyberbullying researchers to determine its impact on young people, there is relatively little research on its effect on adult targets. Nor has there been – at least up until recently – much literature looking at why so much contemporary cyberhate targets women and involves the language of sexual violence. The Cyberhate Project aims to contribute new knowledge to the digital citizenship literature, and to help fill a significant research gap in terms of understanding the nature and impact of hate speech online. 

Since January 2014, The Cyberhate Project has resulted in the following research outputs:

Scholarly monographs

Jane, E. A. (2017) Misogyny Online: A Short (and Brutish) History. London: Sage.

Scholarly chapters 

Jane, E. A. (2017 – in press) ‘Gendered Cyberhate, Victim-Blaming, and Why the Internet is More Like Driving a Car on a Road Than Being Naked in the Snow’, in Elena Martellozzo and Emma A. Jane (eds.), Cybercrime and its Victims: An International Perspective. Oxon: Routledge.

Martellozzo, E. and Jane, E. A. (2017 – in press) ‘Introduction: Victims of Cybercrime on the Small “I” Internet’, in Elena Martellozzo and Emma A. Jane (eds.), Cybercrime and its Victims: An International Perspective. Oxon: Routledge.

Vincent, N. A and Jane, E. A. (2017 – in press) ‘Conclusion: Beyond Law: Protecting Cyber Victims Through Engineering and Design’, in Elena Martellozzo and Emma A. Jane (eds.), Cybercrime and its Victims: An International Perspective. Oxon: Routledge.

Jane, E. A. (2017 – forthcoming, accepted for publication) ‘Hating 3.0 and the Question of Whether Anti-Fan Studies Should Be Renewed For Another Season’, in Melissa A. Click (ed.), Dislike, Hate, and Anti-fandom in the Digital Age, New York: New York University Press.

Jane, E. A. (2017 – forthcoming, accepted for publication 17 August, 2016) ‘Feminist Flight and Fight Responses to Gendered Cyberhate’, in Marie Segrave and Laura Vitis (eds.), Gender, Technology and Violence. Oxon: Routledge.

Jane, E. A. (2017 – forthcoming, accepted for publication 30 July, 2016) ‘Gendered Cyberhate: A New Digital Divide?’, in Massimo Ragnedda and Glenn W. Muschert (eds.), Theorizing Digital Divides. Oxon: Routledge.

Scholarly journal articles

 Jane, E. A. (2016) ‘“Dude… stop the spread”: antagonism, agonism, and #manspreading on social media’International Journal of Cultural Studies: 1-17, DOI: 10.1177/1367877916637151

Jane, E. A. (2016) ‘Online misogyny and feminist digilantism’Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies. DOI: 10.1080/10304312.2016.1166560

Jane, E. A. (2016 – forthcoming, accepted for publication 2 September, 2016) ‘Feminist digilante responses to a slut-shaming on Facebook’, Social Media + Society.

Other articles 

Jane, E. A. (2016) ‘Stopping online abuse isn’t censorship: it’s the least we can do’, The Age, 14 July, available at: http://www.theage.com.au/comment/stopping-online-abuse-isnt-censorship-its-the-least-we-can-do-20160713-gq4oj5 (accessed 2/11/16).

Jane, E. A. (2016) ‘DIY internet justice is a symptom, not a solution to online misogyny’, Daily Life, 11 April, available at: http://www.dailylife.com.au/news-and-views/dl-culture/diy-internet-justice-is-a-symptom-not-a-solution-to-online-misogyny-20160410-go2z6z.html (2/11/16).

Jane, E. A. (2016) ‘What bit about the wrongs of sexual threats against women do courts and men not get?’, The Conversation, 4 August, available at: https://theconversation.com/what-bit-about-the-wrongs-of-sexual-threats-against-women-do-courts-and-men-not-get-63447 (accessed 2/11/16).

Jane, E. A. (2015) ‘Rape threats and cyberhate? Vote no to the new digital divide’, The Conversation, 22 June, available at: https://theconversation.com/rape-threats-and-cyberhate-vote-no-to-the-new-digital-divide-43388 (accessed 2/11/16).

Jane, E. A. (2015) ‘How to Keep the Internet Hot’, Medium, 28 August, available at: https://medium.com/festival-of-dangerous-ideas/how-to-keep-the-internet-hot-6fb9a37ad120#.mbrp5fybk (accessed 2/11/16).

Jane, E. A. (2015) ‘What I’ve learned from my study into gendered cyberhate’, Daily Life, 31 August, available at: http://www.dailylife.com.au/news-and-views/dl-culture/what-ive-learned-from-my-study-into-gendered-cyberhate-20150828-gj9qsu.html (accessed 6/11/16).

Talks and conferences 

Jane, E. A. (2016) ‘Women We Love to Hate’All About Women festival, Sydney Opera House, 6 March, panel with Charlotte Wood, Michelle Arrow, and Ruby Hamad (invited).

Jane, E. A. (2016) ‘Ladies Online’, Sydney Writers Festival, 22 May, chair of panel with Tara Moss, Rosie Waterland, and Natalie Tran, Sydney (invited).

Jane, E. A. (2016) ‘The New Feminist Frontier’, GOMA Talks, 21 July, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA), panel with Alanah Pearce, Melinda Rackham, and Nicolas Suzor, and Paul Barclay, (invited).

Jane, E. A. (2015) ‘Cybersexism: How did the internet become unsafe for women?’, Festival of Dangerous Ideas, Sydney Opera House, 6 September, panel with Clementine Ford, Laurie Penny, and Julia Baird (invited).

Jane, E. A. (2015) ‘Women online: Virtual violence, real harm’, Damned Whores and God’s Police – 40 Years On, University of Technology, Sydney, 22 September, panel with Candice Chung, Van Badham, Annalise Hartwig, and Jenna Price (invited).

Jane, E. A. (2015) ‘“Dude… Stop the Spread, Please” – manspreading, mimetic antagonism and feminist digilantism online’, Digital intimate publics: identities, relationships and value in social media cultures, University of Queensland (Brisbane), 19-20 November.

Jane, E. A. (2015) ‘Feminist digilantism: the “perfect” solution to online rape threats?’, GTFO – Empowered Users, Objective Violence and the Governance of Participatory Media, University of Sydney, 4 September.

Jane, E. A. (2015), ‘Gendered Cyberhate: The New Digital Divide?’ Democracy Futures seminar series, Sydney Democracy Network, University of Sydney, 29 April (invited).

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