A new web journal, The California Review of Images and Mark Zuckerberg, offers readers “an academic examination of the visual culture of Mark Zuckerberg.”
The inaugural issue features a look at the geopolitics of a photographed hug between the Facebook CEO and Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi by University of Calgary assistant professor Tamara Shepherd. It also features an analysis of a “fireside chat” between Zuckerberg and TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington and a piece by MIT media scholar Ethan Zuckerman, which looks at an image of Zuckerberg looking at a “Facebook blue” world map of the company’s users.
“It’s difficult to speculate on the ambitions of a man like Zuckerberg, who’s achieved more wealth and power at a very young age than all but a handful of people,” Zuckerman writes. “Does he want to be President? The world’s wealthiest man? I like to think that his ambition is to fully color in this map.”
The journal is edited by Tim Hwang, a cofounder of the Awesome Foundation and the internet culture conference ROFLCon (and my onetime college classmate), who has a history of examining internet and pop culture with tongue slightly in cheek. He previously launched journals studying the cartoons The Venture Bros. and Adventure Time.
In a call for papers earlier this year, Hwang argued that Zuckerberg has been uniquely “visually iconic” for a tech leader.
“Whether raising a brow in front of a frat house, strolling through a field of VR helmets, or meeting the Chinese, Zuckerberg, and the changes he symbolizes in technology and society at large, is – we would submit –a deep well for discussion and intellectual inquiry,” he wrote.