The Digital Humanities initiative at the University of Southampton has just launched a project on gender and digital culture, in association with the University of York. They’re looking to “explore the way that gender is negotiated, constructed and expressed through contemporary digital media”, and map the gendered ways in which digital media is used. From the description of the project at their blog, it looks like it’ll produce some fascinating material on the way gender intersects with professional identities, trolling, research and other online behaviour.
I came across Gender and Digital Culture when Lucy Shipley read a piece on Gender and Online Abuse which related my own surprising experience with what might be politely called “gendered patterns of online behaviour”… I’m excited about the potential of this project to map these sort of events in more detail, and to relate them to the broader ways in which digital cultures operate – to bolster the terrific work done by people like Anita Sarkeesian and Helen Hastley-Lewis with a wider theoretical base. If you’re interested in contributing your experiences to the project, there’s a quick survey you can take. It concentrates on the way we use digital media as “online professionals”, and there are opportunities to tell anecdotes in confidence about good or bad experiences. I’d certainly recommend it, if only because I can’t wait to see the results of the research!