Control Societies Speaker Series: Sarah Sharma

Exit Media and Mommy's Basement: On Never Being Left To Your Own Devices
Logo of the Control Societies speaker series
12 Feb 2018 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Annenberg School, 3620 Walnut Street, Room 500

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About the Lecture

"Exit Media and Mommy's Basement: On Never Being Left To Your Own Devices"

Sarah Sharma will discuss her new project on the gendered politics of exit, which she playfully terms "the (s)Exit," and the deepening sexual/raced division of labor tied to contemporary technologies such as AI, robots, and the technological infrastructure of the gig-economy. She will focus on the trope of "Mommy's Basement" as the supposed spatial location of the tech-bro but show instead that "Mommy's Basement" is far more diffuse and is tied to normative structures of care that are reinforced by our most personal technological devices.

About Sarah Sharma

Sarah Sharma is Associate Professor of Media Theory (ICCIT) and the Director of the McLuhan Centre for Culture and Technology, University of Toronto. Her research focuses on feminist approaches to technology with a particular focus on issues related to labor and time. She is the author of In the Meantime: Temporality and Cultural Politics (Duke UP, 2014). Sarah is currently working on a new book about the gendered politics of exit and refusal tied to contemporary robotics, AI, and personal media-technologies. This new work fits within an ongoing research project that puts McLuhan's media theory in conversation with feminist technology studies. She is currently working on an editing volume MsUnderstanding Media which invites a range of media scholars to engage media objects with feminist take on McLuhan's the medium is the message.

Sarah is currently working on a new project that explores the gendered politics of exit and refusal, or what she terms “the (s)Exit”, within contemporary techno-culture.

About Control Societies Speaker Series

Control Societies was started as part of the School of Social Policy & Practice’s initiative on Culture, Society, and Critical Policy Studies in order to feature and engage cutting edge scholarship on the enumerating acts of governmentality in computational culture and the incalculable possibilities of justice. For the 2017/2018 academic year, the School of Social Policy & Practice will continue its speaker series in partnership with the Annenberg School for Communication, which produces scholarship on the social, cultural, economic, and political implications of digital information and communication technologies, networks, and systems. Through the speaker series, the organizers aim to explore the philosophical foundations of algorithms, data, and their intersections with governmentality, surveillance, social policy, and the reconfiguring of power relations.

Future lectures include:

  • February 26: André Brock, University of Michigan
  • March 12: Liz de Freitas, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • March 27: Bernard Harcourt, Columbia University
  • April 9: Elvin Wyly, University of British Columbia

For more information, visit

Additional funding is provided by the Provost Excellence Through Diversity Fund and Price Digital Humanities Lab.

This event may be photographed and/or video recorded for archival, educational, and related promotional purposes. We also video stream many of these video recordings through the Annenberg web site. By attending or participating in this event, you are giving your consent to be photographed and/or video recorded and you are waiving any and all claims regarding the use of your image by the Annenberg School for Communication. The Annenberg School for Communication, at its discretion, may provide a copy of the photos/footage upon written request.