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Summary: U.S. Internet Privacy Laws

In the United States, the regulation of online privacy is complicated by the fact that Federal laws sometimes differ from state laws. Online privacy is generally seen as falling under the Fourth Amendment, or the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures. Since … Continue reading

Response: The Secret Lives of Women: Cyberspace and Fan Erotica

In “Private Uses of Cyberspace: Women, Desire, and Fan Culture” Sharon Cumberland argues that cyberspace is a liberated arena for female authors of fanfiction erotica. Its ability to provide a personal outlet within a public forum allows women to explore and write about alternative ideas surrounding gender and sexuality, as well as “feelings and ideas … Continue reading

Response: Nancy K. Baym’s “Digital Media in Relational Development and Maintenance”

Nancy Baym’s article can be summed up as dealing with two important issues – the progress of online relationships, and the nature of those relationships in comparison to offline relationships. Basing much of her arguments for the nature of online relationships on her personal friendship with her “Swedish boyfriend”, Baym chooses secondary texts and surveys … Continue reading

Summary: Morrison’s “Suffused by Feeling and Affect”

In this article, Aimée Morrison discusses the link between “the story of the self and the broader public discourses” in personal mommy blogging, as well as aligns and diverges from Lauren Berlant’s ideas on women’s culture (37). Personal mommy blogs “operate as intimate publics” where women are involved in self-expression and community development (38). They … Continue reading

Summary: Nancy K. Baym’s “Digital Media in Relational Development and Maintenance”

Nancy K. Baym’s chapter “Digital Media in Relational Development and Maintenance,” from her book Personal Connections in the Digital Age, describes the ways that digital relationships mirror and differ from face to face relationships. As she describes the various uses of online and offline, as found in several surveys, Baym argues that online relationships have … Continue reading

Summary: Carolyn R. Miller and Dawn Shepherd’s “Blogging as a Social Action: A Genre Analysis of the Weblog”

Miller and Shepherd attempt to define the blog, a phenomenon which obtained the status of a genre in just several decades. By examining the particular social context in which the blogs emerged (the kairos) and further providing an account of the content, form, the shared origins and the social actions performed by blogs, the authors … Continue reading

Summary: Henry Jenkins’ “Quentin Tarantino’s Star Wars?”

Henry Jenkins’ essay “Quentin Tarantino’s Star Wars?” describes the waves of regulation and independence experienced by the fanfiction culture behind the Star Wars franchise. He chronicles the struggles of Lucasfilm to determine its stance on fan adaptation and participation within the culture of its established intellectual property. Jenkins begins by discussing the Atomfilms contests that … Continue reading

Summary: Rhiannon Bury’s “Nice Girls Don’t Flame”

This chapter of Cyberspaces of Their Own talks about politeness in two fan-fiction mailing lists with mostly female members: the David Duchovny Estrogen Brigade (DDEB) and the Militant RayK Separatists (MRKS). Bury begins with a brief history of etiquette, explaining that women, when in mixed-sex groups, tend to introduce topics and support discussion rather than dominate it. Although … Continue reading

Summary: Sharon Cumberland’s “Private Uses of Cyberspace: Women, Desire, and Fan Culture”

-Cumberland investigates fan fiction erotica written by women in cyberspace, and the paradox of ‘personal privacy in a public forum’ that it represents -Concealing one’s biological gender is possible while participating in MUD’s (multi-user discussion groups) -The ability for women authors to conceal their identities on the internet grants them a level of liberation -Cumberland … Continue reading

Summary: Henry Jenkins’ “Why Heather Can Write”

In the chapter “Why Heather Can Write” Henry Jenkins shows the conflicting reactions, shifting positions and novel alliances which have resulted in the wake of a participatory media culture where content crosses multiple platforms and reaches diverse audiences. To highlight “the competing notions of media literacy and how it should be taught,” Jenkins uses the … Continue reading