Many feminists have seen in new technologies the promise of the tabula rasa, a vision of unconstrained possibility. The internet was conjured in this imagery as a domain not yet subject to the politics of exclusion that pervade other media. Moreover, in its virtual character it was perceived as singularly free from many of the conventional markers of difference. This is, of course, a utopian fantasy since the internet emerged always already embedded in complex economies of meaning and value.

While not in itself liberatory of transformative, electronic publishing does offer an important site of production and contestation that is not subject to the economics and institutional hierarchies of conventional forms of publication. The challenge is for electronic journals such as Deep South to explore and develop the unique possibilities that this medium might offer, rather than allowing it simply to mimic conventional forms.

Dr. Pam Smart - Women's Studies, University of Otago