Monday, July 21, 2014

Latina/o Studies Conference 2014: A Twitter Archive of #lschi2014

Visual flows.
The International Latina/o Studies Conference: Imagining the Past, Present, and Future took place from July 17 until July 19, 2014. It served as the founding conference for what will become the official organization of Latina/o Studies (official name TBD).

Organizers for the conference proposed the hashtag #lschi2014 to social media users and I have made an archive of tweets using this hashtag. I compiled them using Martin Hawksey's TAGS, which uses Twitter's API, and they can be accessed in this .XLSX document posted on figshare (DOWNLOAD ARCHIVE HERE). Some tweets are missing text but their totality can be obtained by visiting the link found in the column for "status_url." The dataset is available with a Creative Commons-Attribution license (CC-BY) for academic research and educational use.

Researchers making use of the archive should keep in mind that Twitter's API is not 100% reliable because it over-represents more "central" users as it obfuscates peripheral activity. Similarly, some users surely tweeted about the conference without using #lschi2014, hence this archive should not be taken as an infallible source for all Twitter activity associated with the conference. For a more expansive take on social media activity during the conference, researchers should also look into hashtag use on tumblr, Instagram, and Facebook, among other social network sites. The dataset might require further refining.

Interesting bit: users tweeted the conference hashtag 3,218 times during the three days (July 17-19) of the conference. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

21-15-1, or the Measures of Injustice

The Divestment Resolution calling for the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) to divest from companies violating Palestinian human rights was “postponed indefinitely” by a vote of 21-15-1. As the voting drew to a close, student representatives at the Central Student Government chose to delay a claim for justice through the façade of uncertainty and lack of “real” power. Students should only care for “student issues,” claimed one student representative while another underscored they were not the United Nations. Those who favored postponement bracket the University and themselves from the rest of society and the international flows of power. In the minds of these representatives it seems that students must refrain from becoming engaged in the social and political struggles around them. Perhaps, they imagine themselves above these.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Paso

Arthur John Pinckton. "Steps." 2010.
La idea misma de caminar nos trae a la mente el imaginario de un rumbo o de un destino en específico. En ocasiones los pasos son guiños del progreso, de un camino constituido por mejoras y cambios positivos. Esos pasos son, más bien, parte de una lógica centenaria que imagina el trayecto humano como uno definido por avances continuos hacia un bien universal. No obstante, estos pasos también podrían ser percibidos como envueltos por el azar o parte de un desenlace inesperado y anhelado por el bienestar. Si bien aspiramos arribar, siguiendo la lógica del progreso, a un entorno de mejora e incremento de dignidad humana, el destino que nos recibe sólo nos deja divisar la distancia que queda por recorrer. El progreso es un juego de espejismos y espectros que nos compela a pasear, a abandonar lo que entendemos como inferior y ocupar un estadio superior.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

De(s)conexiones


No hay sorpresa o no debiera haberla. En Puerto Rico, hemos experimentado con movilizaciones digitales por años y cada una con sus diferencias y elementos comunes. Desde los shows de “la escena” autogestionados en Pulso Rock a finales de los 1990s y principios del 2000 hasta las huelgas de la iupi (UPR) de 2010-11, ya hay un “cúmulo” de experiencias en cuanto a comunicación, organización y movilización desde Internet. Del consumo a la articulación de movimientos sociales, Internet enmarca cómo respondemos e intervenimos en nuestra materialidad. Es mucho más que una mera herramienta –algo que una vez propuse sin matizar y de lo que hoy me distancio–, pues es un lugar de agenciamiento para sus usuarias así como territorio que informa cómo sus usuarias se identifican y son identificadas.