Join us this Wednesday Dec. 2! “The Least Racist Person in this Room”: Digital Affect, the U.S. Election, and the Upside Down of Identity Politics

Megan Boler, Professor, SJE OISE and Elizabeth Davis, PhD Candidate, SJE OISE

editors, The Affective Politics of Digital Media: Propaganda By Other Means (Routledge 2021)

Wednesday December 2, 2020 1:00 p.m.- 3:00 p.m. EDT 

Register through Zoom: https://oise-utoronto.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYtcuqqrTwsG9JDgYJPM6E6xtRdBTgdzaSd

Join us for a presentation and discussion of the U.S. election, the rise of (digital) fascism, and the shifting discourses around racism in the United States. SJE Professor Megan Boler and SJE doctoral candidate Elizabeth Davis will discuss questions of race, affect, and disinformation, specifically the ways in which the right has co-opted the “identity politics” rhetoric and logic originally developed by the left in the context of post-civil rights social movements. What sense can we make of this Upside Down world of identity discourse, in which “white male identity” is seen as suffering harm from the unfair “privileges” of people of color, women, and diversity and inclusion measures? This convoluted context of fascist digital media culture, affective politics, and the reversal of left-wing and liberal idioms of identity contextualizes Donald Trump’s bizarre recent claim to be “the least racist person in this room.”  While Trump lost the 2020 U.S. election, Trumpism is poised to continue to bear on the future of politics. How do we understand this media and political context,  increasing partisan polarization, and the shape of social justice in the wake of Trump? 

Megan Boler is Professor in the Social Justice Education Department at OISE/University of Toronto. Her books include Feeling Power: Emotions and Education (Routledge, 1999), Digital Media and Democracy: Tactics in Hard Time (MIT Press, 2008), and DIY Citizenship (Ratto and Boler, MIT Press, 2014). Her current funded research engages mixed-methods to examine how race-based disinformation weaponizes emotion within social media to influence elections.

Elizabeth Davis is a PhD candidate in Social Justice Education at the OISE/University of Toronto. She researches the senses, sentiments, and structures of feeling drawing on materialist, feminist, critical race, disability, media, and cultural studies approaches, and is presently completing her dissertation entitled ‘If You’re Woke You Dig It’: Affective Politics, Critical Consciousness, and the Coloniality of Feeling.” You can find her articles in Theory & EventEmotion, Space and Society; and The Senses and Society.

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