Conference Grants

Conference Grants

Next deadline – October 1, 2023

We’re proud to support our students as they share their scholarship across the globe. Each semester, BCNM is able to offer a small subsidy for students attending the premiere conferences in their fields. To be eligible to apply, students must be presenting a paper, poster, or otherwise sharing their research (such as through a performance or art installation) at a professional conference (or exhibition etc.). Grant amounts depend on the location of the conference and the number of applications received.

Interested in other BCNM resources? Check out all the graduate opportunities here!

Application Requirements

If you are interested in applying, please fill in this form with the following information:

  • your name, email, and department
  • the conference name, date, location, and description
  • the title and abstract of your paper
  • any other resources you will receive to support your travel

Our Fall 2023 awards are now open. Fall 2023 applications are due by October 1, 2023.

Past Awards

Spring 2023

See the awards here.

Meg Everett

Berkeley School of Education at the annual meeting of Society for Research in Child Development | Salt Lake City, Utah

‘Oh my God, you’re TikTok famous!’: The Blurred Boundaries in Three Viral Teachers’ Use of TikTok in the Classroom

Due to the connective nature of the web and sharing of private life that has come to typify social media applications, the worlds of students, teachers, and their schools increasingly intersect and collide, violating boundaries and norms established by formal institutions of learning. This paper examines how popular teachers on TikTok embraced and regulated the permeability of these worlds through their video posts and resultant conversations with students. Three in-depth, semi-structured interviews with viral teachers whose backgrounds reach across multiple subjects, grade levels, and regions across the United States, provide early documentation of how teachers engaged with their students through TikTok to build positive relationships and how their personal beliefs and (a lack of) school policy came to shape that interaction on and offline.

Katherine Song

Computer Science at the annual meeting of ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems | Hamburg, Germany

Vim: Customizable, Decomposable Electrical Energy Storage

Providing electrical power is essential for nearly all interactive technologies, yet it often remains an afterthought. Some designs handwave power altogether as an ``exercise for later.'' Others hastily string together batteries to meet the system's electrical requirements, enclosing them in whatever box fits. Vim is a new approach -- it elevates power as a first-class design element; it frees power from being a series of discrete elements, instead catering to exact requirements; it enables power to take on new, flexible forms; it is fabricated using low-cost, accessible materials and technologies; finally, it advances sustainability by being rechargeable, non-toxic, edible, and compostable. Vims are decomposable battery alternatives that rapidly charge and can power small applications for hours. We present Vims, detail their characteristics, offer design guidelines for their fabrication, and explore their use in applications spanning prototyping, fashion, and food, including novel systems that are entirely decomposable and edible.

Alexis Wood

Geography at the annual meeting of American Association of Geographers (AAG) Annual Conference | Denver, CO

All your base [maps] are belong to us: rethinking cartographic starting points in urban planning and geographic information science(Presenting with Clancy Wilmott)

Base maps are a fundamental starting point for planners, architects, cartographers and GI scientists in urban planning, surveying and decision making. These raster or vector tiles are often downloaded, pre-populated with pre-mapped urban formations - including roads, building outlines, parklands, urban waterways, transport infrastructure and landscape topology, and linked with geodatabases that include land classifications, street addresses, points of interest, commercial sites, toponyms and other tools that make the urban form legible (c.f. Lynch, Image of the city). Focusing on the case study of collaborative counter-mapping and spatial production by an unhoused community in West Oakland, the Wood St Commons, this paper contends that these often axiomatic base maps, in fact shape the process of negotiations over urban space in ways that privilege the fixed, the formal and the settler, from the very start. By questioning the ideologies inherent in urban base maps, we argue that the impacts felt from using such base maps as a starting point resonante in myriad ways, such as the domination of the property over the communal, and the urban over the rural. Instead, we argue for more attention to the politics base maps from urban cartographers, planners, architects and spatial scientists alike, by starting with the geography, rather than the GIS.


Graduate Group in Asian Studied at the annual meeting of British Association for South Asian Studies Annual Conference 2023​​ | Leeds, United Kingdom

Ghosts (of) in Calcutta: Viewing the Cities ‘Dead’

My paper looks at will focus on the ideas of spectrality and its relationship to urbanity in Calcutta, and will attempt to answer the question, How does the Calcutta Narrative deal with the trauma of colonisation, the extremely violent decolonial process and then the reducing importance in a post-liberalised open economy? It tries to think about how the three narratives use spectrality to deal with dissonance, and how the modern Calcutta Narrative is using ghosts to cope with the loss and trauma of decolonisation and post-colonisation. I want to explore how the narratives think of the epistemology of western scientific rationale which is key to the narratives I study, and the local epistemology of Bengal rooted in memory and ghost-like beings. What is the bizarre telling us about its people, its many memories, and what has been lost? How does one understand this through lived experiences of modern Calcutta?

Harry Burson

Film & Media at the annual meeting of Society for Cinema & Media Studies (SCMS) Annual Conference​ | Denver, CO

Metaverse, Multiverse, Server-verse: Fantasies of Control and Connection​

My paper examines the figure of the “multiverse” as it has appeared in a spate of recent films and television shows. I argue there is a meaningful correspondence between the depiction of the multiverse on screen and the recently revived Silicon Valley dream of an online “metaverse” prompted by Facebook’s rebranding as Meta. On film, the multiverse is a trope that suggests a hidden, meaningful infrastructure that brings order to reality through the interconnection of multiple universes (often comprised of familiar intellectual property). Online, the unfulfilled promise of the metaverse similarly promises to bring together the various platforms, services, and echo chambers of the web in one all-encompassing virtual space largely regulated by the exigencies of the Big Tech companies underwriting the project. Drawing out the similarities between Marvel’s multiverse (in Spider-Man), Warner Brother’s server-verse (in Space Jam) and Mark Zuckerberg’s metaverse, I contend that the trope of a well-regulated universe betrays a contemporary fantasy for control and connection in response to the recent socio-political instability brought on by any number of contemporary global crises.

William Morgan

Rhetoric at the annual meeting of Antikythera​ | Los Angeles, CA

Project Cybersyn Revisited: How Financial Markets Make Sense

This proposed workshop’s goal is to re-enact (some of) Project Cybersyn in the context of contemporary financial markets. Thanks to Eden Medina’s excellent Cybernetic Revolutionaries, Project Cybersyn, the Allende government’s cybernetic decision system for economic management is likely already known to Antikythera participants. This workshop will emphasize Cybersyn’s informatic sensation of economic conditions within a central control room. Teams based on economic sectors will be formed to distribute the burden of information parsing and to model the channels that sensory organs use to communicate with an executive decision maker. This workshop will not recreate Allende’s role: entering the room to devise policy for the Chilean economy. Our more limited goal will be to integrate into the order of the market, to participate in its price discovery mechanisms. Our goal is to sense how markets sense, how they integrate information, how they self-organize and how they steer. We will create a paper trading account for the teams to share. The group will decide how to allocate funds across sectors and how to respond to geopolitical news or economic data and when to execute trades. Like operators in Cybersyn, we will attempt to understand the brain of the market. If successful, we might speculate about the interventions this knowledge affords. If unsuccessful, what is the experience of being a neuron in the market’s immanent brain, which ceaselessly repurposes our activity in imperceptible ways?
Revisiting Cybersyn aims to imagine new futures for it, but further the simulation also offers the group my experience with market intelligence platforms and with financial markets. This workshop could pose new avenues of inquiry relevant to the Synthetic Catallaxy track and others. An additional offering is my providing participants methods of piercing opacity in financial markets, presenting tools and training to interpret its voluminous data.

Sophia Perez

Geography at the annual meeting of Indigenous Imaginarium​​​ | Los Angeles, CA

Indigenous Production Methodology of “Island Time”

The Chamorro children’s show pilot “Island Time” was created and produced with an experimental methodology that privileged indigenous cultural practices over traditional filmmaking protocols. As a result of properly leveraging shared community values, knowledge, culture, and talent, the “Island Time” team stretched its meager $20,000 budget into a $130,000 pilot widely celebrated by the Chamorro community. As the show’s creator, director and show runner, I offer anecdotes about the many points of collaboration, conflict and compromise that sprung from this community production for cultural preservation.

Weiying Li

Berkeley School of Education at the annual meeting of 2023 American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting | Chicago

Responding to students’ science ideas in a Natural Language Processing based Adaptive Dialogue​

We explored how Natural Language Processing dialogues that are designed following Knowledge Integration pedagogy elicit rich student ideas about photosynthesis and cellular respiration. We tested the dialogue in 7th grade middle school classrooms with 162 students. The dialog asks students to explain how animals get energy from the sun to survive. Students receive adaptive guidance based on their response, followed by generic guidance asking about their uncertainties. We found that the adaptive guidance helped students link normative ideas with evidence as well as generate non-normative ideas that needed further attention. After the dialogue, most students distinguished among all the ideas elicited and significantly improved their science explanations. Findings suggest that adaptive dialogs are a promising tool to scaffold science sense-making.

Eric Rawn

EECS (Computer Science) at the annual meeting of ACM SIGCHI ( Special Interest Group on Computer–Human Interaction)​ | Hamburg, Germany

Understanding Version Control as Material Interaction with Quickpose

Whether a programmer with code or a potter with clay, practitioners engage in an ongoing process of working and reasoning with materials. Existing discussions in HCI have provided rich accounts of these practices and processes, which we synthesize into three themes: (1) reciprocal discovery of goals and materials, (2) local knowledge of materials, and (3) annotation for holistic interpretation. We then apply these design principles generatively to the domain of version control to present Quickpose: a version control system for creative coding. In an in-situ, longitudinal study of Quickpose guided by our themes, we collected usage data, version history, and interviews. Our study explored our participants’ material interaction behaviors and the initial promise of our proposed measures for recognizing these behaviors. Quickpose is an exploration of version control as material interaction, using existing discussions to inform domain-specific concepts, measures, and designs for version control systems.

Haripriya Sathyanarayanan

Architecture at the annual meeting of Haripriya Sathyanarayanan | Dallas TX

Supportive Pediatric Healthcare Built Environment: Virtual Reality and Affect"

I am presenting a poster on my ongoing doctoral research at The Beryl Institute's ELEVATE PX 2023. 1.3 million of children and adolescents are hospitalized yearly with a mean length of stay ranging from 4.2 to 5.3 days, with expenses showing racial disparities and equity issues in health outcomes. Designing healthcare environments optimal for young patients of all backgrounds is challenging with the complex technology-intensive environments and evolving interactions between people and the environment. Hospitalization can involve short-long term separation from peers, school, and family, causing specific difficulties for the vulnerable group. Pediatric healthcare facilities have a critical role in offering supportive healing environments with age-appropriate environments addressing the unique needs and concerns of the diverse group (neonates to 21 years of age), and the needs of parents and caregivers. My ongoing studies to develop and evaluate feasibility of an experimental study using IVEs like virtual reality (VR) proof-of-concept (POC) integrated with biometrics (HRV and fEMG) to study preferences of patient rooms and affect among children aged 8-17 years and adults show promising findings from pilots.

Fall 2022

See the awards here.

Eric Rawn

SIGCIS (Special Interest Group for Computing, Information, and Society) at the annual meeting of the Society of the History of Technology (SHOT) | New Orleans

Making Sense, Crystallizing Reason: an Intellectual History of Pervasive Computing at Xerox PARC

In the 1980’s and 1990’s, Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) was both a technological and intellectual force for the advent of pervasive computing: computation that was not only on the desks of office workers but instead became the invisible background against which we communicated, acted, and thought – in other words, computing as infrastructure. Mark Weiser, then the manager of PARC’s computer science lab, argued that such a view of computation would create a new relationship between people and computers, allowing us to ultimately shift our attention away from the computer itself: “only when things disappear… are we freed to use them without thinking and so to focus beyond them on new goals.” Computation as infrastructure has since become a material reality across the world, and continues to shape the role we envision for computers in human society.

In this talk I investigate the intellectual history of pervasive computing at PARC. Through a combination of oral history and archival records, I show how Weiser and his colleagues relied on a diverse constellation of intellectual sources, including work in Artificial Intelligence and Economics, the work of Heidegger and other existentialists, and influences from Anthropology and Sociology, to conceptualize and articulate this new relationship between humans and computation. Importantly, I argue that these conceptual foundations sharply disagreed on a fundamental picture of the world, mind, and machine, outlining three broad positions which each structured pervasive computing but saw the relationship between world and mind very differently. Clarifying how a pervasive computing worldview draws from each of these is crucial, as each, I show, structures a different conception of politics, power, and human agency in relation to computation. Therefore, I argue that understanding pervasive computing’s intellectual history is essential to critiquing and remediating the view of computation it proposes. Additionally, I argue that this history clarifies what relationship between minds and machines might be necessary for a more just technological world.

Rebecca Levitan

Archaeological Institute of America Annual Conference | New Orleans

Agōn as Alibi? The display of Hellenistic sculpture at the Villa of Herodes Atticus, Loukou

This paper contextualizes the unique display of two colossal Roman copies of Hellenistic sculptures at the lavish villa of Herodes Atticus at Loukou, located in Arcadia (Peloponnese, Greece). Both sculptural compositions discussed in this chapter depict two mythological figures in interlocking arrangements (symplegma). In the so-called “Pasquino Group” type, a Greek hero recovers his fallen comrade from behind enemy lines. The copy of the Pasquino Group from Loukou is now lost, although its former presence is attested by the accounts of earlier travelers and archaeological evidence from the villa excavations. Its pendant, however, which depicts Achilles supporting the body of Penthesilea, is a remarkably preserved Antonine copy. The choice of these two sculptures and their unique display at Loukou reflects the preferences of their patron: the sophist, politician, and cosmopolitan benefactor Herodes Atticus.

Born in Marathon at the turn of the second century, Herodes was famous for his public euergetism and prolific teaching career. He was implicated in more nefarious dealings, however, including charges of tyranny and the violent death of his pregnant wife Regilla. Of his six children, he was only survived by one; none of his three favorite trophimoi (foster-sons/students) lived past the 160s CE. The exact circumstances of these deaths remain a mystery, but Herodes’s design of and renovations to his rural villa reveal how he chose to commemorate his beloved deceased and broadcast his grief. The two paired colossal groups formed the crux of Herodes’s custom decorative program at Loukou, where he fostered elite discourse and paragone around themes of conflict and loss.

Sophia Perez

National Humanities Conference | Los Angeles

Creating ""Island Time"

The Northern Marianas Humanities Council produced a television pilot called “Island Time”with the intention of experimenting with new, COVID-friendly ways of teaching the indigenous Chamorro language and celebrating the several indigenous cultures of the CNMI. As the Program Officer for the Council at the time and director of the show, I’m sharing my experience of catalyzing and leveraging the overwhelming community support that erupted in response to this project, which involved navigating collaborative relationships with artists, cultural practitioners, non-profits, businesses, and government agencies located across all populated islands of the Marianas and in diasporic communities based in the continental US.

Spring 2022

See the awards here.

Elnaz Bailey

The 2022 ACM Symposium of Eye Tracking Research & Applications (ETRA) | Seattle

Insight XR: Integration of Eye Tracking in Computational Architectural Design in Augmented Reality

InsightXR is an augmented reality application that enables expert and non-expert users to visualize 3D designs and provide feedback to designers using AR technology. Our proposed system currently has two major aspects: an AR platform and Grasshopper components in Rhinoceros. The Grasshopper components facilitate the designer with user feedback results visualization as attention maps and 3D fixation points, by helping designers understand areas with highest attention. In InsightXR users’ feedback is collected using two methods: direct feedback as markups on the 3D model and users’ eye tracking data. In order to understand the user’s attention towards 3D geometries and what spatial elements attract attention we conducted user studies. Our results showed that a high percentage of user’s fixation points are in proximity of their provided feedback. In future, user-generated feedback will be used to inform the generation of new designs using interactive genetic algorithms (IGAs).

Katherine Song

ACM CHI (Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems) / New Orleans

Towards Decomposable Interactive Systems: Design of a Backyard-Degradable Wireless Heating Interface

Sustainability is critical to our planet and thus our designs. Within HCI, there is a tension between the desire to create interactive electronic systems and sustainability. In this paper, we present the design of an interactive system comprising components that are entirely decomposable. We leverage the inherent material properties of natural materials, such as paper, leaf skeletons, and chitosan, along with silver nanowires to create a new system capable of being electrically controlled as a portable heater. This new decomposable system, capable of wirelessly heating to >70°C, is flexible, lightweight, low-cost, and reusable, and it maintains its functionality over long periods of heating and multiple power cycles. We detail its design and present a series of use cases, from enabling a novel resealable packaging system to acting as a catalyst for shape-changing designs and beyond. Finally, we highlight the important decomposable property of the interactive system when it meets end-of-life.

Haripriya Sathyanarayanan

2022 Planetree International Conference on Person-Centered Care / Anaheim

Poster: Supportive Pediatric Healthcare Built Environment: Value of Co-Design

Statement of Need: About 1.3 million of children and adolescents are hospitalized yearly with a mean length of stay ranging from 4.2 to 5.3 days. Designing healthcare environments that are optimal for young patients of all backgrounds is challenging with its complex technology-intensive environments and ever evolving interactions between people and the environment. It is well understood that Patient Experience and Care are affected by the healthcare built environment with growing evidence linking favorable room design elements to patient satisfaction, stress, and patient health outcomes. Stakeholder engagement is key for operationalization of patient experience, a multi-dimensional construct, and there is a need for increased involvement of children as participants and co-researchers. Hospitalization can cause specific difficulties for young people due to separation from their peers, school, and family with pediatric healthcare facilities having a critical role in offering a supportive healing environment to the vulnerable population, with age-appropriate environments that can address the unique needs and concerns of this age-group.

Impact: The patients’ voice is needed in design mock-ups, simulation, and feedback to meet functional and emotional affordances, and address diversity and equity. The expected outcomes are knowledge on perspectives of hospitalized children to capture their uniquely different perspectives and preferences on design and opportunity to create solutions that resonate equitably with children of all age groups. This research engages directly with children on spatial design and a supportive hospital environment filling critical gaps on children’s potential to serve as agents of architectural knowledge. The study also includes parents and staff to capture their uniquely different and collective perspectives on the pediatric patient room design and patient experience. This study adopts a mixed methods study design with qualitative methods using art-based methods and interviews, and quantitative method of surveys on design.

Practical take-aways: (1) How to engage with children to understand needs that can be supported through design of the healthcare built environment (2) To understand the differences in needs and preferences among the key stakeholders (3) To understand what makes children feel better when in a patient room or what may cause anxiety and stress.

EDRA53 Health Nn All Design / Greenville

Presenter in two workshop sessions and 1 Poster

Behind the Curtain: The Latest in Practice-Based Research
1. PARTNERSHIP MODELS BETWEEN ACADEMIA AND PRACTICE: The aim of this panel is to speak from multiple perspectives—academic, student, practitioner, and industry outsider—about the opportunities and challenges involved in Academic-Practice partnerships, through case studies that share experiences, successful models, and research practice, to initiate the development of a resource guide/toolkit through the Researchers in Professional Practice Knowledge Network.
2. TRANSLATING RESEARCH INTO PRACTICE: Lightning talks will address the understanding of research and practice-based research methods, barriers for the application of research in design practice, and how research methods can be plugged into various stages of the design process to address different needs. Following the talks, pairs of researchers and practitioners (and/or academic and practice-based researchers) will participate in a facilitated conversation on knowledge sharing and research application in their domain. The aim is to address access to and consumption of research, application of findings in design practice, and methods used for communication and presentation. The session will acknowledge challenges in the translation of research into accessible formats for practitioners, capture the perspectives of researchers and practitioners, and address strategies (an action plan) for effective communication and translation of research knowledge in design practice.
3. Poster: Spatial and Environmental Design of Pediatric Inpatient Rooms: Performance Simulations and the Patient Perspective

Molly Nicholas

CSCW / Taipei, Taiwan

Friendscope: Exploring In-the-Moment Experience Sharing on Camera Glasses via a Shared Camera

We introduce Friendscope, an instant, in-the-moment experience sharing system for lightweight commercial camera glasses. Friendscope explores a new concept called a shared camera. This concept allows a wearer to share control of their camera with a remote friend, making it possible for both people to capture photos/videos from the camera in the moment. Through a user study with 48 participants, we found that users felt connected to each other, describing the shared camera as a more intimate form of livestreaming. Moreover, even privacy-sensitive users were able to retain their sense of privacy and control with the shared camera. Friendscope's different shared camera configurations give wearers ultimate control over who they share the camera with and what photos/videos they share. We conclude with design implications for future experience sharing systems.

Creativity and Cognition / Italy

Creative and Motivational Strategies Used by Expert Creative Practitioners

Creative practice often requires persevering through moments of ambiguity, where the outcome of a process is unclear. Creative practitioners intentionally manage this process, for example by developing strategies to break out of creative ruts, or stay motivated through uncertainty. Understanding the way experts engage with and manage these creativity-relevant processes represents a rich source of foundational knowledge for designers of Creativity Support Tools. These strategies represent an opportunity for CST research: to create CSTs that embody emotional and process-focused strategies and techniques. Through interviews with expert practitioners in diverse domains including performance, craft, engineering, and design, we identify four strategies for managing process: Strategic Forgetting, Mode Switching, Embodying Process, and Aestheticizing. Understanding tool- and domain-agnostic creative strategies used by experts to manage their own creative process can inform the design of future CSTs that amplify the benefits of successful strategies and scaffold new techniques.

Vincente Perez

SILLY MEDIA 2022 / The University of Chicago

Life Is Like A Party Shawty: Teezo Touchdown on Respectability, Quality, and Representation

Teezo Touchdown relies on an eccentric persona and elements of surrealism during his 2021 “Rid the Mid” campaign. To promote his music and address the rampant issue of “mid” music, Teezo dips into politics and becomes Mayoral Candidate Touchdown. In this presentation I will examine a few videos from this campaign as well as interviews on his work to argue that Teezo’s music is a chance to engage with Black artists who attempt to wrestle Black meaning away from whiteness and white meaning-making structures via silly and absurdist work that directly addresses its intended audience: Black people. I build upon Raquel Gate’s theorization of the concept of “negativity” and assert that Teezo Touchdown employs “Strategic Negativity” by donning the persona of a mayoral candidate and running a campaign to rid the streets of mediocre music. I want to build upon Gate’s argument that trashy reality television represents a “metaphorical gutter” and argue that Hip-hop, especially the music video, represents the storm drain, a fecund site for exploring culture and life that does not cater to the white gaze. Teezo revels in the Ratchet and employs various negative images to support his inversion of high/low quality measures that could not comprehend how “mid” music represents a crisis.
Taking Teezo Touchdown’s use of “strategic negativity” seriously requires understanding how he intentionally disturbs the notion of the Real by promoting his absurdist work through seemingly serious channels. In other words, silliness is the necessary register to effectively explore who Teezo is addressing, why he uses the political campaign as a mode of address, and how Teezo uses silliness to create Black texts that can challenge white cultural hegemony. If “life is like a party shawty”, then perhaps, whiteness, respectability, and other forms of antiblack affective structures are temporary and more importantly, maybe we can “rid the mid” and let Black meaning be, otherwise.

Fall 2021

See the awards here.

Elisa Giardina Papa

International Art Exhibit

Title Redacted

Elisa Giardina Papa's work will be exhibited at a major international art exhibition. Announcements are forthcoming and we are excited to share the work with the BCNM community once the emabrgo is lifted! Get excited for this new media art installation on humanness and womanhood.

William Morgan

Source Code Criticism: Hermeneutics, Philology, and Didactics of Algorithms | Basel, Switzerland

Epigenomics and the Xenoformed Earth

In Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars Trilogy, technical means make possible the transformation of alien spaces into human-recognizable and -habitable ones: terraforming procedures. This article contends that in the present we are witnessing the emergence of a scientific-philosophical revolution that is having the opposite effect. Rather than the transforming the strange into the familiar, the epigenomic revolution erodes the familiar to make way for the strange, the alien: xenoforming procedures. Xenoforming, this article argues, because the epistemological consequences of epigenomics as bioinformatic codification of epigenetic mutations are not limited to the scientific arena, but instead form an epigenomic epistemology that has already begun to inflect both corporate and quotidian ways of apprehending life’s vital processes, producing, whether we have noticed it or not, profound augmentations in contemporary understandings of subjectivity, time and trauma.

Vincente Perez

The 22nd annual conference of the Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR) | Philadelphia


The primary goals of media literacy are laudable: active and critical thinking about the messages we receive and the messages we create. In practice, media literacy standardizes limited ways of knowing and normalizes built-in biases. Subsequently, its narrow emphasis on skill development, particularly the role of fact-checking, content creation, and independent research are all practices that can be exploited, oftentimes leading to the amplification of misinformation. Homogeneous media literacy also assumes that platforms are neutral – codifying a dominant, neoliberal, racist lens as a competency. Social media literacy in particular assumes the norms of proprietary algorithms, arming users with the skills determined by Silicon Valley’s corporate, individualist, white supremacist values. Contemporary high school curricula teaches students to ably brand and promote themselves; adept meme creators are rewarded for racial appropriation and fungible performances of Blackness; vanity metrics foster reputation anxiety in social media’s ‘success theatre’; personal data protection is an arguably futile lesson in privacy that preaches paranoid gated communities; fascist media pundits easily exploit conservative media literacy practice of “doing your own research” to naturalize misinformation. What are the implicitly raced, classed norms of reading "correctly"? What are mundane emancipatory reading practices? What alternative literacy practices do users deploy to reject these individualistic, racist standards? What does interpretive media literacy look like? This panel offers a portrait of what’s missing in media literacy and explores visions of interdependent practices that offer alternative methods of active and critical thinking about the messages we receive and the messages we create. The paper looks at Black Twitter users who refuse to read the platform "right" in a racist antiblack digital civic sphere. The paper focuses on “anagrammatical” praxis (Sharpe, 2016) wherein Black Twitter users engage in hacking virality, covert publicity, and Black vernacular signyfyin’ to create a multifaceted and adaptive strategy of making sense of the incomprehensible nature of antiblackness.

Juliana Friend

Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) | Baltimore

Wearing Illicit Images: Fabrics of Pornography and Citizenship in Senegal

In the open-air markets of Dakar, Senegal, vendors keep draps porno (“porn sheets”) discreetly tucked under stacks of colorful fabrics. Draps porno are bedsheets or lingerie screen-printed with screenshots from porn films. The white fabrics feature glossy photographs of sex acts between Black, white, or interracial couples. Vendors sell these fabrics to married women or to mothers as gifts for their daughters’ wedding nights. When it’s time to use them, customers smooth porn images onto their beds. Or they wrap the images around their hips, creasing photographs of women in the sex industry against their own bodies. Many vendors consider draps porno simply a more graw (“hardcore”) technique of mokk pooj, the art of seduction. Women often cultivate Muslim piety and claim economic negotiating power vis-à-vis sexual partners through mokk pooj (Gilbert 2017). Yet the introduction of photographs to its material culture demands new negotiations of personhood and citizenship. The ethics of buying and selling draps porno often hinge on what I call the “double bind of digital intimate citizenship;” in complex relation to colonizing projects, moral citizenship and social personhood depend upon the ability to manage the circulation of one’s digital data and image. Yet only those construed as belonging to the moral community of the nation can claim the agency to determine how, with whom, and how much their data circulates. Within this framework, vendors position women who appear in pornography outside the national community due to their acts of illicit digital exposure. When women are positioned as moral non-citizens, recirculating their acts of illicit digital exposure through fabric can more easily be justified. For wearers, moral personhood and eroticism are materially co-constituted by the intimate labor of those positioned outside the national community, as wearers affix images of transgressive women to their beds or their own bodies. By embedding porn images in new material forms and performance contexts, vendors and wearers naturalize nationalist interpretation frameworks for illicit image-making.

Spring 2021

Lani Alden, East Asian Languages & Cultures

Abby Gao, Architecture

Sophia Huang, Information

Philippe Li, Landscape Architecture

Vincente Perez, Performance Studies

Tina Piracci, College of Environmental Design

Haripriya Sathyaranayanan, Architecture

Yifeng Wang, College of Environmental Design

Shengjie Wu, College of Environmental Design

Fall 2020

Trista Hu, College of Environmental Design

Sophia Huang, School of Information

Michelle Hwang, School of Information

Janet Le, College of Environmental Design

Rebecca Levitan, History of Art

Tina Piracci, College of Environmental Design

Spring 2020

See the awards here!

Fall 2019

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Spring 2019

See the awards here.

Fall 2018

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Spring 2018

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Fall 2017

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Spring 2017

See the awards here.

Fall 2016

See the awards here.