Special Topics in Information Studies: Activism, Media, and Information


This course explores the relationship between social justice, media and technology, in order to understand communication and information as sites of struggle, worked upon by activists from below. Our inquiry together will pursue such questions as: how do people come into participation in civic life through work with media, information, and technology? How do organized social movements use information to perform outreach, build networks, and make demands? How do activists understand and interrupt algorithms, databases, infrastructures, and policies? How does mediated emotion and digital intimacy sustain activist labour? The course emphasizes activism within digital networks, which we will connect to classic concepts from social movement studies, considering how digital activisms remediate, or depart from, activism with “older” forms.