The Department of Sociology presents a timely lecture on race and social media activism on Wednesday, April 23 from 3-4:30 p.m. in the Coykendall Science Building Auditorium.
Stonybrook University Associate Professor Crystal Fleming will deliver a lecture entitled, “In Virtual Defense of Harriet Tubman: Black Twitter and the Intersectional Politics of Social Media Activism,” which examines All Def Digital’s production and release of a “Harriet Tubman Sextape,” as well as the professor’s experience writing an online petition to remove the video. Writing in the genre of analytic autoethnography, Fleming brings reflections of her experience as an African-American woman learning about, viewing and reacting to the video in dialogue with content analysis of over 200 comments written by signers of the petition.
In her work, Fleming develops the concept of “spiritual reflexivity” by exploring how her engagement with Christian mysticism, Hinduism and Buddhism shaped her emotional experience of feeling gendered and racialized offense and rage at the portrayal of Tubman. Fleming’s lecture will introduce a theorization of stigmatization as a “symbolic attack,” demonstrate how spirituality can shape how an individual interprets and responds to symbolic attacks and emphasize the role of the Internet in providing opportunities for transforming emotional catharsis into commiseration and collective action.
The talk is free and open to the public. A reception will follow in CSB 110 from 4:30-5:30 p.m.
The event is sponsored by the Department of Sociology and Campus Auxiliary Services.