Cancelled?: Taking a Closer Look at ‘Cancel Culture’

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Cancel culture is a poorly defined, politicised and polarising socio-cultural phenomenon. At best, cancel culture is hailed as an empowering means for marginalised communities to hold high profile figures accountable for offensive actions. At worst, it is seen as a problematic and uncontrollable trend that demonises individuals under the guise of moral virtue, and stifles public debate. Digital spaces are also shaping the form, content and influence of cancel culture, unsettling previous hierarchies by allowing anyone with a social media account to ‘speak truth to power’ and call out views or conduct deemed problematic. This session will bring together scholars and activists working at the intersections of digital media practices, social justice issues and political activism to consider the phenomenon of ‘cancel culture’ and the constraints, problems and benefits it generates for digital subjects and scholars.

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