Relational ontologies, power relations and media convergence
My interest in this field of intellectual endeavour is situated at the intersection of geography and media and cultural studies. In particular, I am interested in the ways in which digital social networks and other convergent media, including Google Earth, Facebook and Twitter, are shaping everyday experiences of space and place in dynamic and complex ways and the potential of these technologies for forging social transformation and new modes of cultural citizenship, particularly among marginalized populations in the global South and elsewhere. The development of media geography (geography's engagement with media and cultural studies) and the spatial turn within media and cultural studies potentially enable the two most vibrant subdisciplines of geography, namely critical cultural geography, on the one hand, and GIS and geospatial technologies, on the other, to find points of intersection and areas of mutual collaboration. A growing body of literature by a number of scholars including Crampton, Dodge, Goodchild, Graham, Kitchin, Sui, Kwan, and Zook attests to this development. The theoretical barriers to such collaboration are also well documented and geographers have highlighted the influence of different philosophical traditions and understandings of the concept of ontology. I would like to contribute three main themes that I feel are pertinent in terms of developing interdisciplinary research on the spatio-temporal constraints of social networks.