Dear Theorizing the Web Community,

Due to the continued impact of Covid-19, we’ve made the hard decision to cancel TtW20 at the Museum of the Moving Image on October 16 & 17. We had hoped last spring that shifting the conference from April to October would give us an opportunity to hold our 10th annual event together. Unfortunately, it’s become clear that we simply can’t guarantee everyone’s safety at an in-person event — even if we socially distance our presentation rooms. We also acknowledge that travel restrictions could make it difficult if not impossible for some folks to attend, especially our presenters and attendees who come from overseas. This was a difficult decision for us to make, but we have to prioritize the health of our presenters, attendees, and volunteers. As much as we’d wanted to celebrate 10 years of Theorizing the Web in person, we owe it to you and to all of our communities not to risk facilitating the spread of the novel coronavirus.

That said, we haven’t given up: Although there won’t be an in-person conference this year, we’ve come up with something that we hope can fill the TtW-shaped hole in your hearts and minds. We’re excited to announce TtW Presents, our new online discussion series! TtW Presents will feature live video discussions in partnership with the Museum of the Moving Image. Some of these talks will be in the style of our evening keynotes, while others will be more like our daytime sessions. Instead of asking folks to spend an entire weekend online with us (which would be much too Zoom-fatiguing), we’re reimagining the TtW20 program in a new format for the new world we’re living in. 

To kick off TtW Presents, we’re launching with a powerful and timely dialogue: Dr. Allissa Richardson and Mutale Nkonde will discuss the layered and multifaceted impact of surveillance on Black people in the context of the Movement for Black Lives and the Covid-19 pandemic. Moderated by TtW Committee member Dr. Apryl Williams, this talk will demonstrate how facial recognition systems used in policing; tracing software associated with the pandemic; and Black death imagery have created a treacherous techno-mediascape that extends both state matrices of power and systems of racialized, anti-Black oppression in the United States. This discussion will take place on Thursday, July 16, 2020 at 7PM EDT and will stream live on YouTube. A recording will be available on our website. You can sign up here to receive reminders about future episodes of TtW Presents.

We also welcome the TtW Presents audience to hang out and discuss the talks in our new Discord! You can join through this link.

Finally, if you donated to the conference and would like a refund, please fill out the form below and we will process your request as soon as we are able. Alternatively, if you are willing to let us reallocate your donation to production costs for TtW Presents, we’d really appreciate it. And if you’d like to donate again (or for the first time) in support of TtW Presents, we’re now a real live 501(c)3 corporation — which means your donations are tax-deductible.

Thank you to the amazing community that makes Theorizing the Web possible, and an especially big thank you to our 2020 presenters (whom we really wish we could host in-person). Although we’re sad not to have a conference this year, we are truly excited about TtW Presents — and we hope you’ll join us for Dr. Allissa Richardson and Mutale Nkonde on July 16th!

Sincerely, 

The Theorizing the Web Organizing Committee