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Now live: Ada Issue no. 9

Congratulations to Issue Editors Radhika Gajjala (Bowling Green State University) and Carol Stabile (University of Oregon) for the launch of Ada: A Journal of New Media and Technology, Issue no. 9.


Our most recent open call issue, Ada Issue no. 9, foregrounds the complex nature of categories of gender, race, class and geography as these play out in digital contexts, weaving visible material and digital embodiment in and out each analysis. The articles offer critical explorations of topics ranging from digitizing knowledge, the construction of femmescapes through blogging, the “dadification” of games, the erasure of gendered labor in the building of digital book collections, and engagement with a queer futurity that foregrounds race and gender through alternate forms of (post)humanity. Negotiating contextualized publics and politics of identity, the articles in this collection tackle important concerns around simultaneous erasure and surfacing — of gender, race, labor, and body.

Issue Contents:

Bina48: Gender, Race, and Queer Artificial Life

By Shelleen Maisha Greene

artificial ⋅ intelligence ⋅ queer ⋅ temporality ⋅ race ⋅ reproduction ⋅ gender

Bina48, an artificial intelligence modeled after an African American woman, achieves radical political potential not by way of the trope of bodily transcendence and networked disembodiment, but rather, through her convergence of cybernetics, queer, and racial emancipatory politics toward possible hybrid, future constructions of self.

Digitizing Books, Obscuring Women’s Work: Google Books, Librarians, and Ideologies of Access

By Anna Lauren Hoffmann and Raina Bloom

Google Books ⋅ librarianship ⋅ book digitization ⋅ women’s work ⋅ access

The dominant narrative of Google Books foregrounds technological rationality and efficiency, obscuring the efforts of other kinds of information workers—often the work of women. Here, the authors surface an alternative account of Google Books that reconnects the project to the gendered history of librarianship and access to library books.

Editing Diversity In: Reading Diversity Discourses on Wikipedia

By Maggie MacAulay and Rebecca Visser

diversity ⋅ feminism ⋅ STEM ⋅ Wikipedia ⋅ Sara Ahmed ⋅ institutions

Wikipedia has a diversity problem. The encyclopedia that ‘anyone can edit’ can only identify 13% of its editors as women, despite it being the sixth most visited site on the web with over 18 billion page views. Through individual grants, edit-a-thons, blog articles, and international conferences, the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) has devoted a fair amount of time and resources into tackling this ‘gender gap’. While we acknowledge the good intentions of the WMF and volunteer efforts to improve conditions for women on the site, we contend that the WMF promotes a branded, neoliberal diversity model that works to support its organizational growth. Informed by Sara Ahmed’s critique of diversity initiatives in post-secondary institutions (2012), we identify three common themes: 1) diversity as converging business principles with the language of social justice; 2) model minorities as the inhabitants of promotional cultures; and 3) diversity work as work and work as choice. We wish to challenge this by reimagining the meaning of diversity and proposing practical and political alternatives to the increasingly corporatized solution of ‘just add women and stir.’

Critical Blogging: Constructing Femmescapes Online

By Andi Schwartz

femmescapes ⋅ femme ⋅ online community ⋅ blogging ⋅ prefigurative ⋅ politics

By looking at two queer femme blogs, this paper argues that online spaces can be used as sites of political resistance and arenas for developing queer identities and communities. This paper frames blogging as political activity by using prefigurative politics and the concepts “queerscapes” and “virtual boundary publics.”

Daddy Issues: Constructions of Fatherhood in The Last of Us and BioShock Infinite

By Gerald Voorhees

digital ⋅ games ⋅ fatherhood ⋅ game studies ⋅ masculinity ⋅ procedurality ⋅ representation

This paper examines the dadification of digital games, the trend in which players are positioned as a father (figure). Comparing the way fatherhood is imagined in The Last of Us and BioShock Infinite reveals contesting constructs of masculinity with different relations to feminist politics.

Ada, an open-access peer reviewed journal, is a product of the Fembot Collective, a scholarly collaboration promoting research on gender, media, and technology, and innovating new models for open access, multimodal publishing to will provide a prototype for collaborative research, publication, and pedagogy in the humanities. To read earlier issues, visit: http://adanewmedia.org.