Hot Apps: Queering Location/Mobilizing Media Design


A Workshop Sponsored by the Social Media Collective @ Microsoft Research New England organized to think about what it means to “queer” the spatial and technological assumptions embedded in the industry shift toward mobile digital networks.

The Social Media Collective, led by danah boyd, at Microsoft Research New England, cordially invites you to join us for a one-day symposium, Monday April 11, to think about what it means to queer the spatial assumptions embedded in industry efforts to push for more mobile digital networks. From smartphone applications that encourage us to check in as citizens of GayCities to location-based services that allow us to map where the queers are in our midst, mobile social media increasingly ask us to queer our spaces. But they also compel us to think about who does not fly under the rainbow flag, who may have constrained access to the physical publics that underpin queer cultural scenes and sexual spaces, and the broader politics of visibility and mobility that shape what we may seek through media practices. More broadly, queer studies has a long history of thinking about space, time, and mobility and, as such, offers a corrective to the norms that stake out and reinforce the everyday built environments that queer folks have long found ways to upend and work around.

We hope that you will join this invitation-only event to take part in thinking through these and other questions that demonstrate the value of queering mobile social media and technology design.

Confirmed guests include: Mike Ananny, Margy Avery, Fiona Barnett, danah boyd, Thomas DeFrantz, Mary L. Gray, Dai Kojima, Alex Leavitt, Alice Marwick, Chuck Morris, and Sharif Mowlabocus.

Workshop Program

Workshop Program



Guests arrive
10:30-11:15 Presentation by Sharif Mowlabocus (Title: Waving at Hot Guys: Gay men, phatic practices and mobile media) in Deborah Sampson Conf Room, 1st Floor
11:15-12:00 Group discussion of morning presentation/shift to goals for breakout sessions/themes
12:00-1:00 Lunch provided for registered workshop participants
1:00-2:00 Breakout groups (5-6 people)
Group 1: Privacy in Public
Group 2: Censorship and Access
Group 3: Design in Motion
Group 4: Location and Mobility
2:00-2:15 BREAK
2:15-2:45 Large group discussion/report back from breakout groups
2:45-3:00 Plans for future conversations/directions
3:00-4:00 Mingle/head out for drinks and informal dinner