Current Research

A Lovely Light: Women At Night As Subversive Act in India, Mexico, and the United States.  7th Annual Joint Student Conference in Folklore and Ethnomusicology, April 4-5, 2014. The Ohio State University.

Regardless of their backgrounds, women at night exist in a transgressive status, as they simultaneously cross borders—the maquiladoras of Juarez—and are crossed by borders—call center workers in Mumbai. This work discusses how the rhetoric of night and gender intersect in the reading of women’s bodies.  With rare exception, women at night must navigate temporal assumptions about legitimacy, and the tensions created by women who have learned to fear night mythologies.

Pass Through the Dark: Negotiating Night in Buenos Aries 

Presented in a panel discussion at the 16th Annual Hispanic & Lusophone Studies Symposium at The Ohio State University. April 5 – 6, 2013. “Bodies in Motion: Toward an Epistemology of Latino Difference.”

This work examines the Latino negotiation and re-colonization of night in the Americas. Building on the work of Maria DeGuzman, I consider the ways in which night functions as a border that necessitates the reorientation of self within the structures of the ever-more global city. Specifically, I investigate how cartoneros navigate the scars of globalization and failed economic policies throughout Latin America—with a focus on Buenos Aries after the 2001 crisis. I consider how cartoneros, like other shiftworkers throughout the Americas, must navigate temporal assumptions that make day work legitimate in opposition to night work as illegitimate. Finally, I consider the ways in which cartoneros reinforce Maria DeGuzman’s thesis that Latino/a aesthetics of night include “deepening structure challenges to and transformations of existing social orders.”

Digital Estates and Virtual Graves

During a 2011 TED Talk, Adam Ostrow remarked “By the end of this year, there’ll be nearly a billion people on this planet that actively use social networking sites. The one thing that all of them have in common is that they’re going to die.” Today, social media accounts for the full spectrum of the human lifespan but rarely discuss the death of the user. As users adapt and preferences change, their digital estates migrate from various platforms–never truly vanishing–before the user dies. Unlike the curating of other ephemera which pass from the dead to the living, digital estates become unstable, cooperative memorials, and spaces to grieve. Social media websites include millions of profiles of dead users, and often lack protocol to address an ever-growing digital graveyard. This paper discusses the history of virtual estates on the World Wide Web, in online role-playing games, social media, and considers the roles of the information professional in creating best practices to manage the death of the user.

 

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