[-empyre-] from 5th Avenue New York City

Timothy Conway Murray tcm1 at cornell.edu
Sun Dec 7 14:50:47 EST 2014

Hi, everyone, as I write from mid-town Manhattan, sirens from cop cars
bounce of the urban canyon walls as the police try to keep up with parades
of demonstrators who continue to stage die-ins throughout Manhattah, even
during this very rainy night.

I'm hoping we might profit from the momentus of the protests to profit
from -empyre-'s communal focus on new media to reflect on the role,
practice, theory, and resistance of social media vis à vis the kinds of
social activism that has been filling the news cycles over the past month,
from the umbrella movement in Hong Kong, the protests over missing college
students in Mexico (to which Ricardo Dominguez continues to call our
attention, and to reactions to unjust grand jury decisions in St. Louis
and New York.  Even accounts of various international strategies and
outcomes will contribute to the establishment of an archive of these
examples available for future access in the -empyre- online archive.

We might reflect not only on softwares and mobile devices that enable
effective protest, from tweets to websites, but also on the appropriation
by the authorities of these very same devices. For example, there are
reports that the Chicago police have been using 'stingray' technology to
reroute and spy on the private cell phone conversations of demonstrators.
What are the advantages of social media, and what are its pitfalls?

Timothy Murray
Professor of Comparative Literature and English
Director, Society for the Humanities
Curator, Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media
A D White House
Cornell University,
Ithaca, New York 14853


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