Seminar: "Connected Audiences in Social Performance" by Dr.Tim Malacarne, Visitng Assistant professor of Data Science and Sociology at Mt. Holyoke College, MA, USA
While previous accounts of social performance examine the difficulties associated with multiple audiences, few describe situations in which a performer's audiences are not only multiple, but also connected in ways that mean that the reaction of one audience will influence that of the other. I lay out the necessary conditions for audiences to be considered connected, the potential configurations of connected audiences, and the challenges for performative success that come with such configurations. I argue that some performance structures are increasingly central to civil engagement as groups become less likely to interact but more likely to virtually observe one another. As an illustrative example, I examine campus conservative groups' performances in hosting controversial speakers. I argue that while their actions are ostensibly targeted at sympathetic audiences, the success of the performance is contingent on a second openly unsympathetic audience engaging with the performance and visibly rejecting its tenets.
About the speaker:
Tim Malacarne is interested in the ways in which our interpersonal relationships shape our lives, and explore how network methods can be used to study culture more broadly. His recent work looks at friendship formation between students from different socio-economic groups and the influence of popularity on adolescent friendship networks. His ongoing research applies network analytical methods to a myriad of data sources – from educational survey data to country music lyrics -- to explore how people conceptualize ideas such as employment success, tradition, and authenticity. He is also interested in social interaction as performance and writes about the consequences of multiple, connected audiences in an electronically connected age.
Tim is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Data Science and Sociology at Mt. Holyoke College, where he teaches classes on social networks, quantitative methods, and the role of algorithms and statistics in shaping our social world. He received his Bachelor's of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University in 2006 and his PhD in Sociology from Yale University in 2016.