The Politics of Presence

I’ve been invited to contribute to The Politics of Presence, a multi-day, multi-continental conference experience put together by new media scholars, archaeologists, and more. I’m going to give a brief PowerPoint version of a paper I worked last quarter on terrorism and new media.

Terrorism is an interesting subject because it tends to fall through the academic cracks. This has led to a fragmented professional discourse that tends to get lost between international affairs, psychology, law and politics. Thus the old saw that there are as more theories of terrorism than there are theorists.

My take is that terrorism is essentially a communicative action: without a public to terrorize and a mass medium to dominate, there’s no point. So how do new, collaborative media change that equation? How do we deal with terrorism online? Come by tomorrow to find out.

2 thoughts on “The Politics of Presence”

  1. If you’re interested in an academic look at terrorism you might want to check out “What Terrorists Want” by Louise Richardson. I think she is/was at Harvard. It’s a readable book that looks at the origin of terrorism using a variety of examples from around the world over multiple centuries. The second half is more specific to the current war on terror.

    Looking forward to catching up next week!

  2. Hey Scott–thanks! Interestingly that book never made it into the seminar on terrorism I took in the fall. I’ll be sure to check it out.

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