Emma A. Jane (previously known as Emma Tom) is an award-winning Australian journalist, author, and broadcaster, as well as a senior lecturer at the University of New South Wales where she recently completed a PhD in media studies. She writes regularly for the Australian media (especially The Punch), and is the author of six books. She is also the single parent of one of the best five year olds on the planet. After spending many years fielding e-mail from strangers, she has reached two conclusions: 1) no-one agrees on anything; and 2) this drives most people absolutely nuts. Emma thinks the world would be a more pleasant place if punters made an effort to disagree with each other more politely. She also wishes people would stop e-mailing her about her teeth. This is how they’re staying, OK?
E-bile and Online Ethics
Emma’s central academic research involves investigating on-line aggression. She uses the term “e-bile” to describe the extravagant invective, the sexualised threats of violence and the recreational nastiness that have come to constitute a dominant tenor of internet discourse. Her research is tracking the way that toxic and often markedly misogynist e-bile no longer oozes only in the darkest digestive folds of the cybersphere but circulates freely through the entire body internet. As such, contemporary netiquette not only permits – but often expects – internet interlocutors to reach for a hyperbolic rape, torture or death threat the moment they disagree or disapprove. Her findings are that the normalisation of such a hostile and hateful mode of discourse is reducing the inclusivity and civility of both on- and off-line cultures. To read Emma’s media interviews on e-bile click here and here. Her media commentary on the issues of online civility and internet ethics include newspaper columns on recreational nastiness, scam-baiting, safe sexting, cyber-schadenfreude and Facebook as panopticon.
Other Research Interests
Emma’s other research interests include the characteristics and consequences of mob formation and behaviour in cyber domains, the intersections between fetish theory and media studies, the changing nature of power flows on the internet, moral panic, conspiracy theory, and cheerleading.
“Your a Ugly, Whorish, Slut” – Understanding E-bile
Emma has a new article on e-bile in the journal Feminist Media Studies.
The Ouchy Thesis
Emma recently finished a PhD. Writing it hurt. A lot. In fact you can read about how much writing it took and how much it hurt in this piece comparing doctoral research with childbirth. (Emma did try to upload her thesis to this page but it was so gargantuan it risked breaking the internet.)
Photo of Emma Jane: Richard Weinstein