The Racial Temporality of Digital Cosmopolitanism, or 50 Cent goes to Hungary

TitleThe Racial Temporality of Digital Cosmopolitanism, or 50 Cent goes to Hungary
Publication TypeConference Paper
Author(s)Havens, T.
Affiliation (1st Author)University of Iowa, United States
Section or WGVisual Culture Working Group
DateFri 28 June
Slot CodeVISF4a
Slot Code (Keyword)VISF4a
Time of Session16:00-17:30
RoomHelix - The Gallery
Session TitlePanel: Digital Cosmopolitans
Submission ID7109

In August 2012, American rapper 50 Cent posted to the social media site Webstagram what he considered a racist black depiction on the packaging of a Hungarian candy. The incident caused a stir, especially among Hungarians, generating over 1000 posts in two weeks. I use  the English and Hungarian responses to 50 Cent's post to interrogate 'racial temporality' as a central component of cosmopolitan identity. Racial temporality refers to the perceived currency (or backwardness) of racial and ethnic attitudes, which in a digital age can be juxtaposed in jarring ways, revealing the centrality of both race and racial attitudes in the production of cosmopolitan identities. The capacity to recontextualize  material culture via digital distribution of amateur photography, combined with the social nature of sites like Webstagram, allows an exploration of the ways that temporality, race, and cosmopolitanism intersect in the digital era. Timothy Havens (University of Iowa, Iowa City IA)

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