“Kamala Harris is more than her gender and race. She is also the future of American religion” (Religion News Service)
Coming Out Queer Online: Identity, Affect, and the Digital Closet (Lexington Books), by CMRC alum Patrick M. Johnson:
The Digital Closet: LGBT*Q Identities and Affective Politics in a Social Media Age discusses how LGBT*Q individuals occupy a precarious space within society as a marginalized community in the United States. They are afforded representation in some venues yet are often invisible. Through social media, LGBT*Q individuals have sought new ways to forge communities and increase their visibility. This rise in visibility afforded individuals means to seek out and distribute information to help in the coming out process. Combining archival research, observation, interviews, and visual discourse analysis of social media feeds, the Patrick Johnson examines the role social media plays in expressions of LGBT*Q politics, culture, and coming out. Despite the messages not having changed fundamentally, the improved access to LGBT*Q stories have amplified the ones that are sent. Johnson argues that this is positive in acting as intervention for LGBT*Q suicide rates, hate crimes, and discrimination from the outside. However, the author also contends that it has vastly re-centered and prioritized white, cisgender, masculinity, obscuring other stories and creating potentially dangerous environments for POC, women, trans* individuals, and gay men who do not meet this high standard of masculinity. Scholars of gender studies, media studies, and queer theory will find this book particularly interesting.
I know my blog is not any of our essential reading, but in case you are interested, here’s my latest, which also relates to questions of thinking in a time of (political) crisis: “Whacked by the Little Sisters of the Poor.”
Special issue: “Media, religion and religiosities in the Age of Digitalization.” Submissions accepted in English, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, and French. Full paper submission until December 2020 and publication in June 2021 after peer review.
I spent a weekend reading through the blog of performance artist and theologian Tricia Hersey. She created the Nap Ministry, an organization that explores the liberating power of napping. Hersey’s work is about much more than just napping. It’s a piercing denunciation of the grinding culture of neoliberal capitalism. Using liberation theology, cultural trauma, and art, Hersey deploys rest as a tool of resistance, resilience, and reparation in a time of dizzying acceleration. This is very pertinent to both our recent conversation on pandemics, religion and media and our ongoing analysis of hypermediation.