PhD candidate Hannah Taylor recently traveled to the Association of Internet Researchers conference in Dublin, Ireland.
The theme of the conference was “Decolonizing the Internet,” and the conference opened with a profound keynote about what it actually means to decolonize. There were scholars from information science, communication studies, rhetoric, and media studies.
“My favorite part of the conference was the broad interdisciplinary
Hannah participated in the doctoral colloquium, where she got to meet with a mentor and three peers to discuss their work. She also participated in the undergraduate teaching workshop.
This is what she wrote about her research:
“My dissertation will look to define the rhetorics of menstruation across the lenses of
materiality, regulation, access, and pain. I see my work as bridging the fields of material
feminism and digital rhetoric to employ a feminist approach to digital materialism. Two chapters
of my dissertation relate directly to internet research.
The third chapter looks at the ways that menstruation is regulated on both the social and individual level. It examines the ways women are encouraged to self-monitor and keep control of their period for the purpose of reproduction. Period tracking apps and software encourage women to monitor their cycles to be prepared for pregnancy. The chapter uses research in self-tracking apps to understand the complex landscape of data use and regulation. It also examines how larger institutions, like medical experts and
governments, seek to regulate women’s periods through policies, medicines, and laws.
The final chapter looks at how menstruators develop community and education outside of sanctioned
institutions. Specifically, this chapter will examine an endometriosis Instagram community,
@the_endo_space, and a period Instagram community, @ohmyperiod, to examine how women
narrate their experiences of pain outside of medical institutions.”
The Association of Internet Researchers conference will be in Philadelphia next year. Hannah encourages RCIDers to attend!