Digital upstarts

I’m currently teaching a course on autobiography at SFU and pitch it as “from Frederick Douglass to facebook” – Douglass being the author of one of the best-known slave narratives from the 19th century. I’ve been talking in the class about the role of social media in the uprisings in Tunisia & Egypt over the past few weeks, a role that has been contested, to say the least. In Western media, reaction has ranged from triumphalism to distrust, with some warnings about the unreliability of social media. But old media like the Globe and Mail are also “curating” social media – crowdsourcing their own sites to give them more immediacy, and the Huffington Post also has a well-designed site on the Egypt protests. I’ve been putting a lot of links up on my twitter feed, with the bizarre and humbling result of being listed on a Cairo-based blog, the Maadi Daily Press. So the (digital) global can become the local, as also shown buy the pics of Egyptian women protesting, which I first saw thru Lorna Brown’s facebook page.

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