Parliamentary Culture: Thinking Nationhood in the Age of Digital TV
This talk explores the implications of rethinking television and nationhood in the digital age, arguing that we need better frameworks to understand the interplay between niche cultural practices and national identities and politics. Once conceived as offering a cultural forum, network television was relatively centripetal, pulling a variety of voices inward toward a relatively homogeneous representation of civic life. By comparison, today’s digital media are often centrifugal, flinging us in directions as terrifying as they are uncertain. Today’s civic culture is better understood as parliamentary – still engaged with questions of nation, but a contentious sprawl of divergent interests, claims, and communities, mostly self-selected for compatibility and comfort.