Online Dating and the Transformation of Intimacy




Over the past twenty years, online dating has become the go-to way for people to seek intimacy. This has exacerbated problematic social forces such as sexism and racism. But many forms of attraction have also found expression as online dating has risen to prominence – with dozens of genders, sexualities, and relationship styles offered on OkCupid; platforms for threesomes, S&M enthusiasts, and gay men that like beards; and connections formed by many forms of mediation, from swiping to mutual disclosure of intimate questions to webcamming. This class considers these simultaneously problematic and liberatory possibilities that exist within the rapidly evolving ecology of dating platforms. Critical frameworks for interpreting the material hardware, interface design, and algorithmic governance of dating platforms will be discussed, including queer theory, intersectionality, and critical race theory. Methodological tools for interrogating social forces on dating platforms will also be honed during class and through semester-long projects.
Additional Information:
Faculty: Gregory Narr
Semester: Full Fall Term
Time: Monday, 9:45 - 11:45 am