Politics of Digital Media

The Women’s and Gender Studies and Digital Media Services at the University of the Western Cape is hosting a roundtable discussion entitled “Politics of Digital Media” on 31 October 2008 in the Western Cape.

Overview of presentations:

The Politics of Representation in the Digital Revolution: A critical look at gender, race, and class within sociable media of YouTube, Blogs, and other Information Communication Technologies. 

Dr. Megan Boler, University of Toronto, Canada

Women and other marginalised groups are consistently underrepresented in public sphere and positions of power, and have historically been denied access to voice and self-representation with a media climate largely owned and produced by elite and traditionally male power-blocs.  Since the late 1990s the “digital media revolution" markets the new "democratisation of access” to the Internet, and claims we can transcend differences of gender, race, and class within online communities and web-based spaces. In this discussion we will examine the hypes and hopes in contrast to the actualities: To what extent has this “digital revolution” increased access to production and distribution for women, people of color, and people from poor and working class backgrounds? 

Even when we do find increased access (despite the reality of the digital divide), to what extent has increased self-representation within digital media communications (social networks such as Facebook, independently produced videos posted to YouTube, blogging) changed stereotyped representations of gender, sexual difference, and/or race within web-based digital media communications?


Megan Boler is Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of Theory and Policy Studies, at the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. Her books include Feeling Power: Emotions and Education (NY: Routledge 1999); Democratic Dialogue in Education: Troubling Speech, Disturbing Silences (M. Boler, ed., Peter Lang, 2004); and Digital Media and Democracy: Tactics in Hard Times (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2008). She is currently completing a three-year funded research project, “Rethinking Media, Citizenship and Democracy: Digital Dissent after 9/11,” through interviews and surveys examines the motivations of producers of “digital dissent”--practices of digital media to counter mainstream media.  Her web-based productions include a study guide to accompany the documentary The Corporation (dirs. Achbar and Abbott 2003), and the multimedia website Critical Media Literacy in Times of War. Boler’s essays have been published in such journals as Educational Theory, Cultural Studies, and Women’s Studies Quarterly; recent publications include M. Boler, Guest Editor with Ted Gournelos, “Irony and Politics: User-Producers, Parody, and Digital Publics,” Electronic Journal of Communication (September 2008), and M. Boler, “The Politics of Making Truth Claims: The Responsibilities of Qualitative Research,” in Methodological Dilemmas of Qualitative Research, ed. Kathleen Gallagher (Routledge 2008). She teaches philosophy, cultural studies, feminist theory, media studies, social equity courses in Teacher Education programme, and media studies at the Knowledge Media Design Institute at University of Toronto.

My Digital Storytelling Journey

Andre Daniels, Digital Media Services, UWC

This presentation will focus on my introduction to this form of media production, some of the challenges we face conducting workshops on the African continent and my own experience with telling personal stories.

The presentation speaks to the issues of what kinds of uses of the internet are being engaged and by whom  (who has digital access, etc)--this would include digital storytelling as well as blogging, facebook type social networking, uses of YouTube etc, and other indy media production


Andre Daniels is a UWC Science graduate who grew up on the CapeFlats. He currently holds a Masters degree in Academic Development and is busy working on his PhD in technology application in teaching and learning. He has worked in community radio and maintains close links with the recently launched Cape Town TV. A self-taught media generalist, he currently coordinates the Digital Media Services (eLearning) unit at UWC which is tasked with developing multimedia content for face to face and online environments.

Date: 31 October 2008
Time: 13h00 – 14h30
RSVP: Charlene Taillard, email: wgs@uwc.ac.za, tel: 021 959 2234


Dr. Megan Boler, University of Toronto, Canada

Andre Daniels, Director, Digital Media Services, UWC

Event Start Date: 
Friday, 31 October, 2008
Event End Date: 
Friday, 31 October, 2008
Event Venue: 
Centre for Humanities Research Seminar Room
Event Type: 

NGO Services

NGO Services