Don’t think about the BIG ENGLISH in the title.. seriously don’t…just focus on what i’m going to tell you about it for now. Afterwards, you can throw those keywords around like you’ve been using them before you grew your first tooth. Come to think of it, these words would come handy in a lover’s spat – for instance, Girl-to-boy:
“you’re so NOT a transnational thinker when it comes to being creative in the romantic love-o-sphere. I need to take my rants to the blogosphere please, excuse me” :D.
“The Transnational Blogosphere in Africa and Europe” is a forthcoming writing project my colleague, Dennis Nguyen and I are working on as part of efforts to build up our mettle as academics, and of course contribute to knowledge for a better society. Dennis is currently a PhD student at the University of Hull (Twitter: @DNguyenHull2012) researching the following core areas: digital public sphere, political discourse, and transnational communication. The digital public sphere also happens to be one of my areas of research interest, hence the overlap and beauty in this collaboration.
Dennis and I were mates during our Masters programme at Coventry University – and I bless those days. If the term “Intellectual Fun” exists – it would be an apt description of what it was like working and debating theories and concepts with Dennis and our other friends. Dennis is an exceptional scholar… and I’m very proud to embark on this project with him.
*cue-in end of mushy-mushy, lol*
This project, as Dennis described on his blog, is about investigating discourses that go on online, especially political ones, amongst people generally. Before the Internet, such discourses were confined to local spheres geographically and content-wise, and before the rise of international news for instance, there was no way no way your discussions and deliberations would include the notorious gulf war (except you were a ‘gulf-resident’ of course). We are therefore interested in investigating the concept of citizenship in this networked society we live in. how do you identify or define yourself online, as an African or a European respectively, and how do you communicate your identity?
We are asking questions such as:
- When, where and why do individuals (users) of different national backgrounds come together online and discuss what kind of political issues?
- Can we detect hints to a common ground or a transnational identity (as “Africans” rather than Nigerians or Congolese for instance, or “Europeans” instead of Germans or British).
- Who participates?
- What do they say?
- What networks can we identify?
Our expectations at the end of this study is that we hope to be able to highlight differences and similarities in geographical spaces and their digital extensions. It is also our hope that our findings would lead to further research such as the impact of online political discourse among Africans and Europeans on their respective governance systems and more.
Dennis and I would keep you updated on this project as we go along. This is Dennis’ blog. I am looking forward to an exciting time stuck at my desk sipping coffee (breaking news: I now drink Coffee)!
(I have a SoftSaturday coming through this weekend, ssshhh!)