Geek Masculinity, Unprotected Settings and Cognitive Capitalism: the Political Economy of Online Harassment

24 October 2017


Room C1-41
Magill Campus

Seminar by Dr Kylie Jarrett

Date Tuesday 24 October 2017
Time 4.00pm - 5.30pm

Room C1-41, Magill Campus

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Online harassment is a widespread dimension of the contemporary digitally mediated workplace, not least because networked technologies render the boundaries between work and non-work unclear and mutable. This is particularly significant for those working in creative industries where a robust online presence is essential to career advancement. Notable incidents of online misogyny such as Gamergate and the Fappening, as well as the prevalence of racist and homophobic hate speech, demonstrate how the intersections of work and networked technologies are particularly problematic for marginalized groups such as people of colour, women, and LGBT people. Drawing on work from a forthcoming book – NSFW: Sex, Humor, and Risk in Social Media (MIT Press) co-written with Susanna Paasonen and Ben Light – this seminar will map the affective and political economy of these forms of symbolic violence, placing online harassment within the economic logics of contemporary capitalism. It begins by exploring the economic costs for its victims, before considering the individualising of those risks through the legal and policy spaces in which online harassment occurs. Finally, it considers the key prism through which online harassment is understood – geek masculinity – linking its politics to cultural tendencies within the wider economy. In effect, this seminar will explore how online harassment may be more a feature than a bug of the contemporary digitised workplace.

Dr Kylie JarrettPresenter

Dr. Kylie Jarrett is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Media Studies at Maynooth University, Ireland. She has extensively researched the commercial Web, having published studies of eBay, Facebook, and YouTube. She is author of Feminism, Labour and Digital Media: The Digital Housewife (Routledge) which analyses digital labor from a Marxist feminist perspective. With Ken Hillis and Michael Petit, she is also co-author of Google and the Culture of Search (Routledge) and has also co-authored Not Safe for Work: Sex, Humor, and Risk in Social Media with Susanna Paasonen and Ben Light (forthcoming MIT Press).

Presented by the Hawke EU Centre for Mobilities, Migrations and Cultural Transformations and the School of Communication, International Studies and Languages at the University of South Australia


RSVPs should be sent to by 19 October 2017. 


Stephanie Krawczyk
Senior Academic Services Officer (Research)
School of Communication, International Studies and Languages
Phone: 8302 4647 Email:

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