Is social media reshaping the political landscape?

Published: 9 May 2011 at 12:06

Anglia Ruskin conference to discuss the spread of ‘Platform Politics’

The relationship between social media and politics will be put under the spotlight by leading international academics and activists during a three-day conference at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge from 11-13 May.

Organised by Anglia Ruskin academics Dr Joss Hands and Dr Jussi Parikka, Platform Politics will focus on the role digital technology is now playing in the areas of social action, activism, politics and public engagement.

Experts from around the world will discuss the historical role of new media in the field of politics and ask whether the use of social media ‘platforms’ on such a wide scale means there is a new form of ‘platform politics’ reshaping our social and political horizons.

Dr Hands, Senior Lecturer in Communication, Film and Media, said:

“Such notions as ‘Twitter revolutions’ or ‘Facebook revolutions’ in the Middle East and North Africa, and a new wave of anti-cuts demonstrations and student activism in the UK, have filled the headlines in recent months. 

“The conference will attempt to delve behind the media headlines, discuss the issues involved and examine the true role of social media in recent political events.”

Speakers include Tiziana Terranova, the author of Network Culture; Dmitry Kleiner, the author of the Telecommunist Manifesto; and the leading peer-to-peer organisation expert and consultant Michel Bauwens. Leading academics Nick Couldry, Tim Jordan, Nick Dyer- Witheford and Michael Goddard will also be taking part.

Organised by Dr Hands (author of @ is For Activism) and Dr Parikka (author of Insect Media and director of Anglia Ruskin’s CoDE Research Institute) the conference, which is part of the AHRC-funded project “Exploring New Configurations of Network Politics”, will be webcast live at www.networkpolitics.org