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Mark A. McCutcheon

Last updated March 31, 2013 - 12:58pm by Mark A. McCutcheon

Mark A. McCutcheon, Associate Professor of Literary Studies, Athabasca U

"Theoretical and institutional contexts of the dubject, the doubled and spaced self"

Abstract: “We have leased our central nervous systems to various corporations.” - Marshall McLuhan

This paper develops the idea of the dubject as a model of remediated subjectivity, which I have begun to formulate elsewhere (2011, 2012) as "a self committed to its own recording; a subject translated from the site of the individual body to the mediated spaces of representation; a self dubbed and doubled - a doppelgänger self whose 'live,' corporeal presence becomes radically supplemented (in the deconstructive sense of the term) by its different and distributed embodiments in recordings and representations." 

The paper explores theoretical and institutional dimensions of the dubject, trying to think digital identity and agency in the context of postcoloniality as a complement to the prevailing approach in terms of postmodernity. I relate the dubject to the theoretical context of the “subject in technics” tradition (particularly the contemporary quarrel of augmented reality theorists with “digital dualism”); and I elaborate how the dubject occupies the position not only of the colonized in the context of media imperialism but also that of the colonizer, in the broader political economy of the digital as a neoliberal, private-public sphere that reproduces dominant forms of subjectivity: those of “imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy” (hooks 2000). These reproductions become clear according to how digital identity and agency have been theorized, and how digital services and platforms interpellate users under the regime of neoliberal globalization.