The winner of the 2014-15 Jennifer and Eric Spiegel Book Award competition
Alexandra Corral Edmonds has been granted this award for her essay, “Spain’s 15-M Protestors: Recovering the Greek Agora in a Liminal Space.”
In her paper, Edmonds explores the utilization of Web 2.0 communication technologies by Spanish protest group 15-M in its 2011 encampments in Spain. 15-M’s protest tactics combined modern-day technology with a nuanced understanding of ancient Greek argumentation practices. Further exploring this interrelation, Edmonds examines how 15-M made use of live streaming to “bridge” physical and virtual landscapes, resulting in the creation of a liminal space for communication, wherein protestors deliberated and engaged in consensus-making in a space that was neither entirely physical nor virtual. This liminal space served to democratize access to 15-M’s Greek-inspired agoras, through allowing the attendance and active participation of protestors, regardless of their geographic location. As such, 15-M’s novel use of techniques, old and new, sets the stage for a new genre of interaction to occur among protestors, as similar organized protests continue to emerge worldwide.