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  Jennifer Sano-Franchini: Designing Outrage, Programming Discord: A Critical Interface Analysis of Facebook as a Campaign Technology  

Conversations around U.S. electoral politics have centered in large part on a social networking site once designed to bring college students together. Facebook has become a source from which a significant number of voters and potential voters, at least in the U.S. context, receive news and information about candidates and political issues. Dr. Sano-Franchini's presentation examines the user experience design of Facebook as a political campaign technology through a critical interface analysis of facebook's user interface, focusing on four key microinteractions: browsing, commenting, reacting, and posting. In brief, Sano-Franchini argues that Facebook's user interface creates spaciotemporal realities that prioritize concision, speed, curation practices that llimit divergent perspectives, and the flattening of complex identities and political commitments such as they are indexable, processable, and thus, monitizable. Further, they consider how these mediated spaciotemporal realities re-shape the emotional and affective orientations through which users interact with digital content, with one another, and with the political system more generally.

Dr. Jennifer Sano-Franchini is an Associate Professor of English and Director of Professional and Technical Writing. Her research and teaching interests are in the cultural politics of design, Asian American rhetoric, UX, and the rhetorical work of institutions. She has published on a range of topics including the politics of Facebook's interface design, Asian American sonic rhetorics, and emotional labor on the academic job search. Her works also appeared in the edited collections Rhetoric and Experience Architecture, and Rhetoric and the Digital Humanities, which won the 2016 Computers and Composition Distinguished Book Award.

The Virginia Tech Center for Humanities presents a series of talks by faculty research associates who will discuss their work. This talk is free and open to the public and we invite anyone to attend. There will be a brief Q and A session following the presentation. If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact the Center for Humanities at 540.231.1981 or email at least 10 business days prior to the event.
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Location: Webinar
Price: Free
Sponsor: Center for Humanities
Contact: Dominique Francesca
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