Sam McBean, Feminism’s Temporalities

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Sam McBean’s book Feminism’s Temporalities, looks at the queer temporalities of feminism. This is in contrast to a typical reading of feminism as generational and handed down through a matriarchal lineage. She brings up some interesting questions:

‘What happens to queer models of time and affect in our contemporary digital landscape?’

‘What happens, to queer ephemera (Munoz) in the digital age?’

‘How is time and its queerness mediated by this digital landscape?’

‘How is the past iterated through digital media – what does it feel like to touch the past online?’

There has been a lack of scholarly attention to the intersections of affect and technology. The digital era has made images become more ever present and immediate in our everyday lives and images are both simultaneously archived and ephemeral through the sheer multiplicity and ‘nowness’ of digital data. Through what ways can this sense of immediacy be queered?

McBean looks particularly at scholarly understandings of re-mediation, which looks at how new media refashions older media, and how old media can similarly re-mediate the digital. McBean argues that this process is queer, as it repudiates a progressual understanding of media signifying a line, from video, to digital film, books to e-books.

In addition, she argues that digital spaces can have an affective fabric, and this has a importance for understanding queer historiography. As facebook pages and online event pages, archive images of queer events, the desire to add to these and return to them suggests the desire to become part of the archive, a wanting to become historical.