New Criticals

Scattered Thoughts on Affective Materiality, Labor, Leisure, Empathy, Unlearning and Subalternity


In what follows I use the opportunity of the form of blog post to pose questions in three short provocations. These questions come from years of engagement with issues related to “cyberculture and the subaltern” (Gajjala 2012).

In contemporary times, one of many challenges for activists, teachers and researchers invested in what is being referred to as “social justice,” is to reveal how affective and immaterial labor is extracted from raced and gendered bodies worldwide. How can we work to convey a clear understanding of social difference so as to produce actual material change in society? How can we make a shift from just offering opportunities for affective investments (Schwittay, 2012) to an unlearning of privilege (Spivak, 1990)? In past and continuing work I have noted how microfinance through online platforms is often used as a stand-in for more organized local structural change.