Virtual Intimacies: Media, Affect, and Queer Sociality

SUNY Press
12
Free sample

Uses ethnography and cultural analysis to track scenes of intimate connection and disconnection among gay men across an array of media sites.

Virtual Intimacies tells the stories of gay men, including the author, who navigate social worlds in which the boundaries between real and virtual have been thoroughly confounded. Shaka McGlotten analyzes intimate connection and disconnection across an array of media sites, including mass mediated public sex scandals, online spaces, Do-It-Yourself porn, and smartphone apps in order to show the ordinary ways people challenge and rework sexuality and technology. The book frames “virtual intimacy” in terms of the mocking disapproval that looks at using technology to connect as something shameful or as a means of last resort. However, where many see a dead end, Virtual Intimacies argues on behalf of more extensive understandings of intimacy, thereby contributing to many feminist and queer approaches that seek to expand the scope of what counts as connection, belonging, or love. The author also highlights the creative and resilient ways that queer people build social worlds using spaces and technologies in ways they were not intended.

“This work is an original and finely crafted contribution, from an important new voice. Incisively reading personal/political longings and laying bare aspects of the author’s own lifeworlds, here, Shaka McGlotten offers a close and compelling (auto)ethnographic account of what it is we look for when we login, cruise (by), remember, and look forward. Chronicling how we live lives of both virtuality and embodiment today—working, playing, desiring, losing, and dying—McGlotten’s work is among the best of what is new in ethnographic writing.” — Jafari S. Allen,  author of ¡Venceremos? The Erotics of Black Self-making in Cuba

“While the book deals with a diversity of topics from online games to black identity politics, cruising grounds, and avant-garde porn, it also weaves them together by means of a theoretical argument and a sound writer’s voice.” — Katrien Jacobs, author of People’s Pornography: Sex and Surveillance on the Chinese Internet

“Virtual Intimacies is a great book, breathtaking in its aesthetic, ethnographic, and attuned attention to the multiple mediations of an affectively attached life. Bodies and play, desire and violence, outreach and evasion, intensity and diffusion: the contemporary world of virtual embodiment is all here, and as a teacher and individual parsing the world I am so grateful to have read this.” — Lauren Berlant, author of Cruel Optimism and Desire/Love
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About the author

Shaka McGlotten is Associate Professor of Media, Society, and the Arts at Purchase College, State University of New York. He is the coeditor (with Dána-Ain Davis) of Black Genders and Sexualities.

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4.1
12 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Published on
Dec 1, 2013
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Pages
178
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ISBN
9781438448794
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Language
English
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Genres
Social Science / LGBT Studies / Gay Studies
Social Science / Media Studies
Social Science / Pornography
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Mobile Cultures provides much-needed, empirically grounded studies of the connections between new media technologies, the globalization of sexual cultures, and the rise of queer Asia. The availability and use of new media—fax machines, mobile phones, the Internet, electronic message boards, pagers, and global television—have grown exponentially in Asia over the past decade. This explosion of information technology has sparked a revolution, transforming lives and lifestyles, enabling the creation of communities and the expression of sexual identities in a region notorious for the regulation of both information and sexual conduct. Whether looking at the hanging of toy cartoon characters like “Hello Kitty” from mobile phones to signify queer identity in Japan or at the development of queer identities in Indonesia or Singapore, the essays collected here emphasize the enormous variance in the appeal and uses of new media from one locale to another.

Scholars, artists, and activists from a range of countries, the contributors chronicle the different ways new media galvanize Asian queer communities in Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, India, and around the world. They consider phenomena such as the uses of the Internet among gay, lesbian, or queer individuals in Taiwan and South Korea; the international popularization of Japanese queer pop culture products such as Yaoi manga; and a Thai website’s reading of a scientific tract on gay genetics in light of Buddhist beliefs. Essays also explore the politically subversive possibilities opened up by the proliferation of media technologies, examining, for instance, the use of Cyberjaya—Malaysia’s government-backed online portal—to form online communities in the face of strict antigay laws.

Contributors. Chris Berry, Tom Boellstorff, Larissa Hjorth, Katrien Jacobs, Olivia Khoo, Fran Martin, Mark McLelland, David Mullaly, Baden Offord, Sandip Roy, Veruska Sabucco, Audrey Yue

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