Course Description

Within the overall structure of your time in DCC, 106 is the place where you begin to dig more deeply into a topic that interests you. In this section, we will study the recent history and current landscape of gender, race, and labor in relationship to digital media.

How has the internet helped – and hindered – feminist activism? What is feminism anyway, and who is it for? Beginning with the power of the #metoo hashtag, which we will study alongside its limitations, this class will delve into the context and significance of online feminist movements. We will discuss the continuing relevance of pre-internet feminist discussions of race, gender, sexuality, and violence while we explore the affordances of digital media for political movements. Students will have the opportunity to pursue their own interests within the broad context of digital media and social justice.

By the end of the course, you will develop:
• a basic knowledge of feminist intellectual frameworks, especially as they intersect with questions of race
• an understanding of how power structures operate in and through digital technologies
• a familiarity with a range of histories, goals and methods for digital activism
• a preliminary grounding in interdisciplinary studies of social identity and structural oppression that will enable you to pursue your own interests in these fields
We will pursue these goals through reading, writing, discussion, and research.

Our class is divided into three units. For each one, you will create an exploratory project that will require you to understand and apply key concepts. Your final project will be an exercise in research design, in which you choose a question the course has raised for you and plan out how you would research it more deeply.

There are no required print materials for this course. The following list of texts, from which we will read short excerpts, are highly recommended if you wish to pursue particular themes of our discussion further.

  • Sara Ahmed, Living a Feminist Life
  • Reina Gossett, Eric A. Stanley, and Johanna Burton (eds), Trap Door: Trans Cultural Production and the Politics of Visibility
  • Elizabeth Losh and Jacqueline Wernimont (eds), Bodies of Information: Intersectional Feminism and Digital Humanities
  • Tara McPherson, Feminist in a Software Lab
  • Safiya Umoja Noble, Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism
  • Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice

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