February 20, 2014 at 6:32 pm

‘Critical Resistance in the Digital Age’ Series Planned

The Making and Breaking the Law theme group is coordinating a series of events on the theme of “Critical Resistance in the Digital Age” in Spring 2014.

Making and Breaking the Law logoThe spring series focuses on social activism, new media technologies, and their role in relation to issues of privacy, mobilization, and advocacy, with special reference to campus culture.

The events will provide opportunities throughout the semester for student-faculty collaboration, interdisciplinary dialogue, and critical reflections on the challenges and opportunities of the rapidly changing landscape of Internet communication and information dissemination.

Love and Hate theme“We feel that this is an area of critical concern to Ohio University students and faculty alike at this particular social moment, with broad and urgent relevance to the campus community as a whole,” says Dr. Haley Duschinski, the leader of the Making and Breaking the Law theme. She adds that the activities also will promote the intellectual community of students and faculty involved in the theme, prior to the theme’s launch in Fall 2014.

Upcoming Events

Anita Sarkeesian, March 13

The central event will be a special campus visit by Anita Sarkeesian, a feminist media critic well known for her work on privacy, harassment, and technology relating to gender and sexuality.

Sarkeesian was the target of online harassment after she initiated a Kickstarter campaign to study the representation of women in video games. She was faced with an onslaught on harassment, intimidation, mockery, and smear of her reputation. Sarkeesian then turned her experience into an opportunity to further educate. Learn more about her in her TEDx talk.

Sarkeesian is scheduled to visit Ohio University on March 13. During her time on campus, she will deliver a university-wide lecture in the Baker Theater that will address how to analyze, think critically about, and respond to online gender-based harassment and intimidation.

This event is co-sponsored by two College of Arts & Sciences curricular themes–Making and Breaking the Law and Between Love & Hate; the Center for Law, Justice & Culture; the Office of Student Affairs; and the departments of Political Science; Sociology and Anthropology; and Women’s and Gender Studies.

Gender, Protest, and New Media in Global Context Panel, Feb. 24

Critical Resistance in the Digital Age also includes an academic panel on the topic of Gender, Protest, and New Media in Global Context. The panel will be held on Monday, Feb. 24, from 4 to 6 p.m. in Baker 231.

The panel will offer critical academic perspectives on recent protest movements that have developed against rape culture and other forms of gender-based discrimination and violence in non-US contexts. It will also she light on the ways in which these movements have utilized new media technologies as part of their struggles.

The panel is part of a series of student-sponsored events on the theme of Empowering Women of Ohio (February 21-28), focusing on rape culture and slut shaming — issues of concern to undergraduate students at Ohio University and so many other campuses across the country. Making and Breaking the Law has coordinated the panel in collaboration with the student organization, Students for Law, Justice & Culture.

The panel will include:

  • Pashmina Murthy, Assistant Professor of English at Kenyon College. She will speak on recent protest movements against rape and rape culture in India over the past year.
  • Ashley Currier, Assistant Professor of Women’s Gender, and Sexuality Studies at University of Cincinnatti. She will speak on LGBT organizing in Namibia and South Africa.
  • Nihal Said, Soros Fellow and M.A. student in Communication and Development Studies at Ohio University. She will speak on street protests and street harassment in Egypt.

Student-Faculty Book Project

In addition to these events, Critical Resistance in the Digital Age includes a student/faculty common book project focusing on The Future of Reputation: Gossip, Rumor, and Privacy on the Internet by Daniel Solove, Professor of Law at the George Washington University Law School. The full text of the book is available for free online. All faculty and students are invited to participate in the reading group, which will meet in late March.

“We anticipate that this semester-long program will provide spaces for meaningful scholarly exchange among students and faculty who share a critical interest in issues relating to technology, civil liberties, privacy, and social change,” says Duschinski.

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