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.

The class will explore how the power structures of race and gender have been co-created with the development of digital technologies – even as feminist, queer, and antiracist movements have made the digital world their own since its earliest days. We’ll learn about the ways in which practices of media consumption, design, production, and critique connect privileged and disprivileged users in the US and elsewhere. We’ll look at our own position within global circuits of labor and as participants in the ways race, gender, disability, and class are represented and experienced online. And we’ll engage some of the practices that critical artists, thinkers, and media makers use as they work to creatively transform this unequal landscape.

By the end of the course, you will develop:
• a basic knowledge of historical and current raced and gendered power structures as they operate in digital media
• an understanding of your own position within these social and technological structures
• a familiarity with the goals and methods of activist and scholarly movements for equity and justice
• a preliminary grounding in interdisciplinary race and gender studies that will enable you to pursue your own interests in these fields
We will pursue these goals through readings, discussions, and hands-on creative activities.

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.

Required texts:

Zeyneb Tufecki, Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest.  New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2017.

Whitney Phillips, This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Mapping the Relationship Between Online Trolling and Mainstream Culture. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2015.