Hi everyone! This is my first blog post! My name is Anna and I am a new researcher at HUMlab. I have a PhD in Ethnology from Umeå University, and I wrote my dissertation Självskada: en etnologisk studie av mening och identitet i berättelser om skärande (2010) on self-harm discourses and the construction of cutter identities in online and offline settings (the dissertation is published in Swedish with an English summary; an English abstract can be found here).
My new project at HUMlab is part of the Media Places research program, funded by The Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation. The research program addresses the interplay between place, media and technology through a range of cases and perspectives, where my specific project focuses on the relationship between digital media and the body. I use ethnographic methods to study online and offline manifestations of various body alteration practices such as deliberate self-harm, forms of body modification and surgery – that is, corporeal inscriptions existing on a continuum between what is often considered mainstream, normal or even desirable, and that which is understood as deviant or pathological. The general aim is to explore the significance of digital culture in relation to embodied practice and body normativity, and I also have an interest in understanding how spaces of medicalization and/or politicization are produced at the intersection of physical and digital worlds. At the moment, I am writing on the hybridity of offline practices and online representations in the context of user-generated self-harm videos. I look forward to sharing more thoughts with you during the course of the project!