Platformativity: Media Studies, Area Studies

in Asiascape: Digital Asia
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Abstract

Waves of subaltern, colonial, postcolonial, and critical race studies have posed an undeniable challenge to the normative geopolitical bent of area studies, and yet the same challenges are rarely taken up within media studies. Media studies reach a similar impasse when it comes to dealing with geopolitical forms and functions, stressing the dynamism of media and the passivity, historical immutability, and cultural inertness of regions. This article reconsiders the impasses of both area studies and media studies to propose an alternative approach to the region-platform relation: platformativity. The notion of platformativity is intended to address the infra-individual intra-actions between platform and human, and individual and collective – a kind of performativity via platforms. It considers how media infrastructures operate alongside and through national and regional forms to generate signaletic modes of existence that function as relays between disciplinary, sovereign, and biopolitical formations.

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