Centre for Internet & Society

The Centre for Internet and Society invites you to a public lecture by Prof. Radhika Gajalla of Bowling Green State University. She will give a lecture on how microfinance online functions through the social networked online space and the micro-transactional abilities of the interface together work to enhance financialization of the globe.

In her lecture, she will focus on how this is made possible by the increased digitalization of financial practices and the role micro practices play in producing globalization. She will also lay emphasis on the fact that the increased digitalization of finance also means that "financial literacy" is also removed into the virtual space so that it is further away from subaltern daily praxis while simultaneously staging subaltern presence in cosmopolitan space through mobilizing structures of 'feeling' that Dr. Shameem Black refers to as "sentimental sympathy". 

Prof. Gajalla’s lecture will also touch upon issues like what online socially networked micro-credit websites do visually and through the use of multiple tools that are embedded in the discourse of interactivity is to make it seem as if the subaltern is indeed participating in these networks. Thus, the appearance of a subaltern presence is produced. In this production of appearance of the subaltern presence in online contexts, just as in other visual and static contexts, the complexity of socio-cultural and economic intersections are not clearly revealed or accounted for. This reproduces exotic notions of the authentic, mummified ‘other’ and offers the subaltern image up for consumption. In turn, as Web 2.0 tools are set up to actually reach the offline subaltern via non-profit or for profit representatives that connect to these online networks, the subaltern in turn is tapped as a consumer for capital.

Radhika Gajjala

Radhika Gajjala is a Professor of Media and Communication at Bowling Green State University and Director of the American Culture Studies program. Her book,  "Cyber Selves: Feminist Ethnographies of South Asian Women" was published in 2004. She has co-edited collections on "South Asian Technospaces", "Global Media Culture and Identity" and "Webbing Cyberfeminist Practice: Communities, Pedagogies, and Social Action". She is presently working on a forthcoming book, "Weavings of the Real and Virtual: Cyberculture and the Subaltern" to be published in 2012 and is also working on two interrelated projects — one on "Microfinance Online and Money in Virtual Worlds and Social Media" in relation to the ITization and NGOization of global socio-economic work and play environments and the other on "Coding and Placement of Affect and Labour in Digital Diasporas".