digitalculturesnews 2015-2016 Mellon Sawyer Seminar on Surveillance Democracies Presents Guobin Yang (Penn): Regulating the Chinese Internet in the Name of Civility

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Please join the Mellon Sawyer Seminar on Surveillance Democracies next Tuesday at noon for a discussion with Professor Guobin Yang (University of Pennsylvania) on Internet regulations in China. Please circulate!

Regulating the Chinese Internet in the Name of Civility

Speaker: Guobin Yang, Professor of Communication and Sociology, University of Pennsylvania

Tuesday, October 20, 2015 | 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

University of California, Davis School of Law, King Hall Rm 1301

Open to the Public | Lunch will be provided

Abstract: Censorship in the name of civility or civilization is a common practice in the history of media and speech expression. Why the language of civility has become especially prevalent in Chinese official discourse about the internet in recent years, however, invites scrutiny. In appearance, this discourse of civility is used to curb allegedly uncivil online behavior. Closer examination reveals that civility is the linchpin concept of an emerging institution of censorship and control. After tracing the origins and evolution of this discourse, this talk examines how a set of pedagogies of civility is developed and applied to the management of online speech, what these pedagogies teach and who teaches them, what they attempt to mask, and how they may be subverted. It is argued that the effects of these pedagogies derive less from civility as a virtue than civility as an institution of power. In this respect, the discourse of civility bears strong affinity to the discourse of tolerance studied by Wendy Brown.

Guobin Yang is an Associate Professor of Communication and Sociology at the Annenberg School for Communication and Department of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is also a faculty member of the Center for the Study of Contemporary China and Center for East Asian Studies. His research areas cover digital media, political communication, global communication, social movements, cultural sociology, and the sociology of China.

Professor Yang’s books include China’s Contested Internet (2015), The Power of the Internet in China: Citizen Activism Online (Columbia University Press, 2009 winner of the best book award of the Communication and Information Technologies Section of the American Sociological Association in 2010), Violence, Dissent, and Memory: China’s Red Guard Generation, 1966-2016 (under contract, Columbia University Press), and Dragon-Carving and the Literary Mind (Library of Chinese Classics in English Translation, Beijing, 2003).

He received a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation “Writing and Research Grant” (2003), and was a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. (2003-2004). Previously he taught as an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and as an associate professor of Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures at Barnard College of Columbia University. He has a Ph.D. in English Literature with a specialty in Literary Translation from Beijing Foreign Studies University (1993) and a second Ph.D. in Sociology from New York University (2000).

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UPCOMING EVENTS

Don’t forget to visit our website (http://surveilled.us) for more information on upcoming events.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

​Crimes of Terror: The Legal and Political Implications of Federal Terrorism Prosecutions

Speaker: Wadie Said, Professor of Law, University of South Carolina School of Law

Time: 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Location: University of California, Davis School of Law, King Hall Rm 2304

Open to the Public | Lunch will be provided

Co-sponsored by the Aoki Center for Critical Race and Nation Studies

Abstract: The U.S. government’s power to categorize individuals as terrorist suspects and therefore ineligible for certain long-standing constitutional protections has expanded exponentially since 9/11, all the while remaining resistant to oversight. Crimes of Terror: The Legal and Political Implications of Federal Terrorism Prosecutions provides a comprehensive and uniquely up-to-date dissection of the government’s advantages over suspects in criminal prosecutions of terrorism. In this critical examination of terrorism prosecutions in federal court, Professor Said reveals a phenomenon at odds with basic constitutional protections for criminal defendants.

Wadie Said‘s scholarship analyzes the challenges inherent in the modern terrorism prosecution, covering such topics as coercive interrogation, the use of informants, and the ban on providing material support to designated foreign terrorist organizations.

Professor Said was an assistant federal public defender in the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the Middle District of Florida, where he represented one of the defendants in U.S. v. Al-Arian, a complex terrorism conspiracy case. He clerked for Chief Judge Charles P. Sifton of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York and worked as a litigation associate in the New York office of Debevoise and Plimpton. Wadie Said graduated from Princeton University and the Columbia University School of Law.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015 (RSVP Required)

​Power, Programs and Paranoia

Speaker: Wendy Chun, Professor of Modern Culture and Media, Brown University

Please RSVP to Uyen Le at uple for a copy of Professor Chun’s discussion paper

Time: 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Location: University of California, Davis School of Law, King Hall Rm 1301

Lunch will be provided | Please RSVP

Sponsored by UC Davis Mellon Research Initiative in Digital Cultures

Abstract: New media—we are told—exist at the bleeding edge of obsolescence. We thus forever try to catch up, updating to remain the same. Meanwhile, analytic, creative, and commercial efforts focus exclusively on the next big thing: figuring out what will spread and who will spread it the fastest. In Habitual New Media,Wendy Hui Kyong Chun argues that our media matter most when they seem not to matter at all–when they have moved from “new” to habitual. Through habits, Chun says, we become our machines: we stream, update, capture, upload, link, save, trash, and troll. Why do we view our networked devices as “personal” when they are so chatty and promiscuous? What would happen, Chun asks, if, rather than pushing for privacy that is no privacy, we demanded public rights–the right to be exposed, to take risks and to be in public–and not be attacked?

Wendy Hui Kyong Chun is Professor and Chair of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University. She has studied both Systems Design Engineering and English Literature, which she combines and mutates in her current work on digital media. She is author of Control and Freedom: Power and Paranoia in the Age of Fiber Optics (MIT, 2006), and Programmed Visions: Software and Memory (MIT, 2011). She is co-editor (with Tara McPherson and Patrick Jagoda) of a special issue of American Literature entitled "New Media and American Literature," co-editor (with Lynne Joyrich) of a special issue of Camera Obscura entitled "Race and/as Technology" and co-editor (with Anna Fisher and Thomas Keenan) of New Media, Old Media: A History and Theory Reader, 2nd edition (forthcoming Routledge, 2015). She is the Velux Visiting Professor of Management, Politics and Philosophy at the Copenhagen Business School; she has been the Wayne Morse Chair for Law and Politics at the University of Oregon, Visiting Professor at Leuphana University (Luneburg, Germany), Visiting Associate Professor in the History of Science Department at Harvard, of which she is currently an Associate. She has been a Member of the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton), a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard and a Wriston Fellow at Brown. Her forthcoming monograph is entitled Habitual New Media (forthcoming MIT, 2016).

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Working the Stack: Exploits, Topologies, Ontologies

Speaker: Julian Oliver, Artist and Engineer, The Critical Engineering Working Group, Germany

Time: 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Location: University of California, Davis School of Law, King Hall Rm 1301

​Open to the Public | Lunch will be provided

Co-sponsored by UC Berkeley’s Art, Technology, and Culture Colloquium

Thursday, November 5, 2015

​*** Event to be Rescheduled

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

​Big Data’s End Run Around Anonymity and Consent

Speaker: Helen Nissenbaum, Professor of Media, Culture and Communication and Computer Science, New York University

Time: 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Location: University of California, Davis School of Law, King Hall Rm 1301

Open to the Public | Lunch will be provided

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Politics of Data Obfuscation

Speaker: Finn Brunton, Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication, New York University

Time: 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Location: University of California, Davis School of Law, King Hall Rm 1301

Open to the Public | Lunch will be provided