Susan Driver works on affect theories and queer feminist new materialist thinking to reconceptualise youth and media. She has published two books on queer youth and an edited collection on affect theory and is currently editing a book on youth digital media and affect.
Young people are incessantly inscribed within humanizing ideologies that contain them within bounded notions of individuality and developmental maturation (Nancy Lesko, Karin Murris). Modernizing knowledges and modes of control have fixated upon rationalizing youth, categorizing their differences and abjecting those material, semiotic, technological, affective contours of relationality that exceed normative binary understandings of human subjectivity. To rethink young people through a posthuman ethical praxis is to challenge disciplinary boundaries and open up the field of dynamic Intra-relationality (Karen Barad) that enables imaginative prolific conceptions of becoming and transforming selves and others. It also enables transpositions across disciplinary lines (Rosi Briadotti) that enrich and expand the very terms through which young peoples lives are rendered intelligible and valuable. Such approaches offer possibilities for researching young people and digital media that address social, affective and technological ecologies of experience situated and embodied within specific times and places. Against the generalizing tendencies of humanist epistemologies, attention shifts toward the mobile relational ontologies and practices of young people and the corporeal entanglements with a multiplicity of others. Media research ethics along these lines becomes an immersive, sensual and reflexive practice attuned to desiring messy subjects and the complex powers that shape them, tracing both the “territorializing” forces of corporate media and the “lines of flight” through which creative involutions unfold (Deleuze and Guattari). My paper will focus on a decentering process of interconnectivity between queer youth across social media platforms, exploring ways of conceptualizing and writing about marginalized youth that work closely with the material and mediated processes of their networking lives, “staying with the trouble” (Donna Haraway) of their situtated yet unpredictable relational worldings.