Prurient Alliances: Tumblrs, Vivian Fu and CTRL+W33D -- May 1, 2019

Event Date: 

Wednesday, May 1, 2019 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm

Event Location: 

  • Asian American Studies Conference Room - HSSB 5024

Event Contact: 

Cora Danielson at or 805.893.8039.

This talk examines two popular image-based Tumblr blogs that utilize a “politics of prurience” to disrupt long-standing Western raced and sexed regimes of looking: gay male image aggregator CTRL+W33D and the work of Asian American photographer Vivian Fu. It puts these practices into conversation with a well-documented history of queer, feminist, andpeople-of-color sexual reclamations, updating this conversation to incorporate work on usercontributed digital participatory cultures, which to date has largely avoided attention to users’ more prurient tendencies. It closes by asking us to envision a politics of relational alliance that coheres at the gut level, within and also in-between static categories of identity.
Alexander Cho, Ph.D., is the University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Informatics at UC Irvine. He is a digital media anthropologist and design researcher whose research and teaching center around issues of race, gender, and sexuality on social media. He is co-author of The Digital Edge: How Black and Latino Youth Navigate Digital Inequity (NYU Press 2018), co-editor of the forthcoming A Tumblr Book, and is currently completing a monograph on race, queerness, affect, and social media.