PhD student Betsy Hagestedt talks about Digital Humanities and Anthropology

The Electronic Textual Cultures Laboratory at the University of Victoria ( invites you to attend the third meeting of the 2014-15 Brown Bag Speaker Series. This is a series of informal lunchtime seminars for faculty and graduate students in the Faculty of Humanities and across the university to discuss issues in digital literacy, digital humanities, and the changing face of research, scholarship, and teaching in our increasingly digital world. For an hour once per month, we meet to hear from an invited speaker, share ideas, and build knowledge

On Thursday 20th November, from 12 until 1 p.m., Betsy Hagestedt (PhD student in the Anthropology Department) will be presenting a talk entitled, “Speak for Yourself! South American Indigenous Self-Representation Online and the Potential for Critical Discourse Analysis.”

Thursday, November 20th—12 - 1 p.m.

David Strong Building C118, University of Victoria 


With growing access to Web 2.0 technology around the world, there has been a dramatic shift towards self-representation of minority political organizations and away from externally imposed media discourses. Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) can be modified to suit these new situations, and can be used to evaluate grassroots representation within a national political framework. This paper will draw on preliminary research completed in 2010 comparing the language used on the websites of three different regional and national indigenous organizations in South America. Each of these organizations is situated within a particular socio-political context, and their representational choices demonstrate a wide range of approaches in confronting political inequality. Drawing on these organizations as examples it becomes possible to ask a series of questions: Does direct self-representation provide a greater opportunity to confront inequality than externally mediated representation? What is the aim of online representation and who is the intended audience? How does the negotiation of online identity by these organizations reflect or differ from non-virtual identity? In beginning to address these questions, this paper will examine the abstract changes that the virtual has begun to allow. 


Betsy Hagestedt is a PhD student within the Anthropology Department of the University of Victoria. She holds an MA in Research Methods of Anthropology from Durham University in England, and a BA in Anthropology and Spanish from the University of Oregon. Her diverse research interests are largely focused on human interaction within digital environments and with new technologies, and examine the creation of online communities, social network analysis, representation and representational politics, the materiality and agency of digital objects, and the way all of these interact with human cultures outside of digital environments. Since beginning her MA she has been carrying out research on the use of the internet for representation of indigenous organizations in South America, completing a Master’s dissertation in 2010 entitled “Critical Discourse Analysis and the Potential for Support Network Growth: An Evaluation of the Internet Representation of Indigenous Organisations from the Amazon Basin.” Her work in this area will be continuing with her PhD research, focusing more specifically on representational practices of La Confederación de Nacionalidades Indígenas del Ecuador (CONAIE), and will include a greater focus on visual representation practices and social network sites. 

Bring your lunch and join us to discuss digital technologies and research in our community!