All readings should be completed prior to class.

Some links will take you to a UMD login page if you access them off campus. If you’re a student and run into trouble with these, let me know. If you’re reading this syllabus for personal study and do not have university access, email me (alothian at and I will send you the relevant files.

Some weeks, in addition to required readings, there is an optional “deep dive” text that gives scholarly background or an additional perspective. Knowing DCC students’ intellectual curiosity, I’m confident that lots of you will be excited to spend time with these texts and deepen your understanding of feminism, the digital, and the ways they intersect.

Unit 1: Definitions and Intersections

Week 1: Introductions

Week 1: Feminist Frameworks

Tuesday January 29
Introductions, intentions, and expectations

Thursday January 31
bell hooks, “Feminist Politics” from Feminism is for Everybody (2000)
Ahmed, “Feminism is Sensational” from Living a Feminist Life (2017)  [discussion of gendered and sexual violence]

By Friday February 1: complete confidential student questionnaire and make first blog post

Week 2: Systems and Bodies 1

Tuesday February 5
Audre Lorde, “The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House” (1979)
Ijeoma Oluo, “Is It Really About Race?” and “What is Racism?” from So You Want to Talk About Race (2018)

Thursday February 7
Leslie Feinberg, “We Are All Works in Progress” from Transgender Liberation (1998)
Emi Koyama, “The Transfeminist Manifesto” (2001)

Optional deep dive: Kai M. Green & Marquis Bey (2017) “Where Black Feminist Thought and Trans* Feminism Meet: A Conversation” (2017)

Friday February 8: blog post due

ADD-DROP DEADLINE: Friday February 8

Week 3: Systems and Bodies 2

Tuesday February 12
Eli Clare, “The Mountain” from Exile and Pride (1999) You can listen to the author reading it aloud at this link. [Brief mention of sexual abuse in part III.]
Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, “Preface: Writing (with) a Movement from Bed” in Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice (2018)

Thursday February 14
Audre Lorde, “Age, Race, Class, and Sex: Women Redefining Difference” (1984)
Lisa Nakamura, “Queer Woman of Color: The Highest Difficulty Setting There Is?” (2012)

Optional deep dive: Patricia Hill Collins and Silma Bilge, “What is Intersectionality?” from Intersectionality (2016)

Friday February 15: blog post due

Exploration 1: Autoethnography. Due Sunday February 17 at midnight.

Week 4: Learning From Our Own Intersections

Tuesday February 19
Read the rest of the class’s autoethnographies

Unit 2: Social Media and Social Justice

Week 4 continued: The #metoo Moment

Thursday February 21:
Jackson, Bailey, and Wells. “Women Tweet on Violence: From #YesAllWomen to #MeToo” (2019)
Ashwini Tambe, “Reckoning with the Silences of #metoo” (2018)
Leading discussion: Roshni and Abigail

Friday February 22: blog post due

Week 5: Protest and Activism

Tuesday February 26. No class: online discussion only
Rianka Singh, Platform Feminism: Protest and the Politics of Spatial Organization (2018). Participate in online discussion here.

Thursday February 28
Kishonna L. Gray, “Race, Gender, and Virtual Inequality: Exploring the Liberatory Potential of Black Cyberfeminist Theory” (2015)
Janell Hobson, “Black Beauty and Digital Spaces: The New Visibility Politics” (2016)
Guest speaker: Brienne Adams

Optional deep dive: Susana Loza, “Hashtag Feminism, #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen, and the Other #FemFuture

Friday March 2: blog post due

Week 6: Community and Connection

Tuesday March 5
E.D. Adams, “What I Learned While Exposing Myself on LiveJournal” (2016)
Noy Thrupkaew, “Fan/tastic Voyage” (2008)
Jessica Marie Johnson and Kismet Nunez, “Alter Egos and Infinite Literacies, Part III: How to Build a Real Gyrl in 3 Easy Steps” (2015)

Thursday March 7
Laura Horak, “Trans on YouTube: Intimacy, Visibility, Temporality” (2014)
Marty Fink and Quinn Miller, “Trans Media Moments: Tumblr, 2011-2013” (2014)
Juana Peralta and Roy Perez, “Call Out Queen Zine” (2012)
Guest speaker: Amira Lundy-Harris

Optional deep dive: Mel Chen, “Everywhere Archives: Transgendering, Trans Asians, and the Internet” (2017)

Friday March 8: blog post due

Week 7: Labor and Ethics

Tuesday March 12
Lisa Nakamura, “The Unwanted Labour of Social Media: Women of Colour Call Out Culture as Venture Community Management” (2015)
Leading discussion: Ogenna and Joy
 for the curated archive with class

Thursday March 14
Moya Bailey, “#transform(ing)DH Writing and Research: An Autoethnography of Digital Humanities and Feminist Ethics” (2015)
Leading discussion: Michelle and Hannah

Friday March 15: blog post due

Exploration 2: Curated Archive. Due Sunday March 17.

SPRING BREAK (Get ahead on some reading! The second half of the semester will be engaging some deep and complex work that benefits from multiple readings)

Unit 3: Feminist Technologies

Week 8: Cyberfeminist Histories

Tuesday March 26
Sadie Plant, excerpts from Zeroes and Ones: Digital Women and the New Technoculture (1997)
Jennifer Light, “When Computers Were Women” (1999)
Claire L. Evans, We Are the Future Cunt: CyberFeminism in the 90s (2014)

Thursday March 28
Tara McPherson, “Why are the Digital Humanities So White? Or, Thinking the Histories of Race and Computation” (2012)
Lisa Nakamura, “Indigenous Circuits: Navajo Women and the Racialization of Early Electronics Manufacture” (2014)

Friday March 29: blog post due

Week 9: Gender, the Digital, and the Human

Tuesday April 2
Jacob Gaboury, “A Queer History of Computing” (2013)
Roopika Risam, “What Passes for Human? Undermining the Universal Subject in Digital Humanities Praxis” (2018)
Leading discussion: Ronan and Ethan

Thursday April 4
Donna Haraway, “A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century” (1985/1991): see paper cheat sheet for key quotations. Recommended supplementary reading: “You Are Cyborg” (1997)
micha cárdenas, “The Android Goddess Declaration: After Man(ifestos)” (2018)
Leading discussion: Kyle, Madison, and Leeza

• Optional deep dive: Alan Turing, “Computing Machinery and Intelligence” (1950)

Friday April 5: blog post due

Week 10: Algorithms

Tuesday April 9:
Safiya Umoja Noble, “A Society, Searching” from Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism (2018)
Leading discussion: Miranda and Allyson

Thursday April 11
micha cárdenas, “Dark Shimmers: The Rhythms of Necropolitical Affect in Digital Media” (2017)
Fiona Barnett, Zach Blas, micha cárdenas, Jacob Gaboury, Jessica Marie Johnson, and Margaret Rhee, “QueerOS: A User’s Manual” (2016)
Leading discussion: Ariya and Bebo

Optional deep dive: John Cheney-Lippold, Introduction to We are Data: Algorithms and the Making of our Digital Selves (2017)

Friday April 12: blog post due

Week 11: Speculations

Tuesday April 16
Sophie Toupin and spideralex, “Introduction: Radical Feminist Storytelling and Speculative Fiction: Creating new worlds by re-imagining hacking” (2018)
Rena Bivens, “Exploiting a Dystopic Future to Unsettle our Present-Day Thinking About Sexual Violence Prevention” (2018)
Janelle Monae, “Dirty Computer [Emotion Picture]” (2018)

Thursday April 18
Octavia E. Butler, “The Book of Martha” (2003)
Deadline for deciding on final project teams

• Optional deep dive: any of the articles from Ada Issue 13

Friday April 19: blog post due

Exploration 3: Techno-speculation. Due Monday April 22.

Week 12: Student-directed explorations

Tuesday April 23
Library research session: 6107 Mckeldin Library
Deadline for deciding on broad topic
Submit readings (1 full length article or two shorter pieces per team) by email to Dr Lothian by end of day

Thursday April 25
Leeza, Kyle and Madison:
• Gonzalez, K., Ramirez, J., & Galupo, M. (2017). “I was and still am”: Narratives of Bisexual Marking in the #StillBisexual Campaign. Sexuality & Culture, 21(2), 493–515.

Friday April 26: blog post due

Week 13: Student-directed explorations

Tuesday April 30
Ronan, Ethan and Bebo:
• ” North American Necropolitics and Gender: On #BlackLivesMatter and Black Femicide” by Shatema Threadcraft.

Thursday May 2
Mags, Ally and Hannah:
• pp 10-43

Roshni, Ogenna and Ariya:

Friday May 3: blog post due

Week 14: Self-Directed Project Development

Tuesday May 7:
Final project peer workshop, part 1
Present: Draft research question; planned methods; an area on which you would like feedback. 

Thursday May 9:
Final project peer workshop, part 2

Week 15: Final Presentations

Tuesday May 14
No class! Work on your projects

Final exam session
Thursday May 16 8.00am-10am

Final project presentations.

Friday May 17: Final project submissions due on ELMS and blog
Participation evaluation questionnaire due
All online participation complete (don’t forget to log DCC events)