Platformed Bodies

Over the last couple of decades, the global social, political and economic landscape has been marked by rise and dominance of social media. These transnational owned social media and communication services fundamentally alter both the ways economic value is produced, as well as the fundamental ways that social life is lived. To understand this dual impact we have seen a wealth of theoretical innovation, with platform studies proven to be an immensely powerful instance (Gillespie, 2010; Van Dijck, et al., 2018). In an early work, Van Dijck supplies a key intervention when suggesting that techno-cultural constructs and socioeconomic structures should be integrated in an ecological approach to better capture “the mutual shaping of social media and the culture of connectivity” (Van Dijck, 2013, 26). In other words, intertwining cultural and economic analysis is key for understanding the current moment in which digital platforms, services and devices are of increasing importance to more and more aspects of society and everyday life.

In this analysis however, the question of the body as a somatic reality, a social construct, and a site of experience and contestation, is less clear. It is this intersection that this special issue of MedieKultur takes aim at. We invite submissions that combine analysis of platforms and the body.

Bodies as an situated site of experience has long been of interest to media and communication studies. Especially in works inspired by critical, feminist and queer theory (Sedgwick, 2003; Ahmed, 2004; Sullivan and Murray, 2009), and medical anthropology (Mol, 2002) is the body interrogated for the ways it mediates relations of technology, identity, sociality, and power. Because “the body” as an analytical unit is constructed in many different ways, its analysis also varies. Rather than adhere to one definition, however, we invite submissions that reflect such multiplicity, presenting different perspectives on the platformed body.

We ask that contributions engage with one or more of the following general questions:

* How do bodies emerge in relationship to platforms?

* What is the body’s relationship to platform content, technological infrastructure, and/or its user base?

* How do platform dynamics intersect with race, gender, sexuality, disability, and other categories of body and social distinction?

* What does attention to the body infuse into the theories of platform analysis?

We encourage contributions that explore such topics and questions including but not limited to:

* Health topics: self-monitoring, mediated health communications, counterpublic health, and health monitoring

* Sexuality: hookup apps, porn, media panics, and (de)platformization of sex

* Social media: celebrity, fandom, and influencers

* Fitness

* Food and nutrition

* Geographical Displacement: Platforms of refugee and immigrant life and movement

* Activism and resistance

* Non-human bodies: Robotics and animals

* Death and dying

Please submit an abstract of maximum 500 words (excluding references) by November 1st 2020 on MedieKultur’s website:…tur

Authors will be notified of their acceptance by November 6th 2020. The deadline for submission of full papers is March 1st 2021.

MedieKultur does not charge for submission, review or publishing articles, and no payment from the authors will be required.

Articles that are accepted for further process by the editors will go into peer-review in March 2021. We expect to have decisions on manuscripts and potential further revisions by May. The special issue will be published around December 2021.

Editors for this special issue are: Kristian Møller (IT University of Copenhagen): and Maja Nordtug (University of Southern Denmark and Aarhus University):