Intersectionality 2.0

I’ve been working on a couple a potential proposal a keynote for this year’s Computers, Freedom, and Privacy conference related to the topic of intersectionality and social networks. Here’s an overview:

Since first being developed by Kimberlé Crenshaw in the 1970s, theories of intersectionality have become a powerful lens for examining questions of race and gender. In the interim, advances in network theory have shown the importance of intersectional hubs; and research in cognitive diversity and problem solving have highlighted the unique contributions of those at the intersections. Does the recent development of social computing technologies, allowing “micro-niche” generation of content as well as enabling people to participate more easily in multiple online social networks, point to new approaches for valuing and leveraging intersectionality? And what does this imply about technology policy in a web 2.0 world?

To explore this area, I propose an joint keynote session (perhaps over lunch or dinner), featuring an expert on intersectionality and an expert on social networking. Crenshaw herself, currently at UCLA law school, would be ideal for the intersectionality expert [unconfirmed; if she’s not available, there are many excellent alternatives]. From the social networking perspective, researchers such as TL Taylor, danah boyd, Joi Ito, and Clay Shirky who explicitly consider questions of race and gender would be good choices.

Thoughts? As always, critiques, suggestions and feedback welcome!