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What would Ursula Franklin say today? scholars ask

Submitted on Tuesday, July 05, 2022
Ursula Franklin in laboratory in the seventies

Several Faculty of Information students and professors take a fresh look Ursula Franklin’s pioneering work on the impacts of technology in a new essay collection (Photo: UofT Archives)

A new essay collection about the late interdisciplinary icon Ursula Franklin seeks to examine her intellectual legacy including her pioneering feminist/person-centred perspectives on technology. Published at Humanities Commons, the collection includes the work of many Faculty of Information students and professors, who were part of a special working group at the McLuhan Centre for Culture and Technology from 2019 through this year.

“What is striking about [Franklin’s] work is its application to modern crises, especially today, that are brought forth by technologies and their infrastructures, operations, and human connections,” students Katie MacKinnon and Kanishka Sikri, and Professor Leslie Regan Shade write in the introduction to the collection, entitled What  would Ursual Franklin Say? “There are strong theories of worker’s resistance, environmental collapse, ideologies of control, extractive practices, protest, and refusal.”

Five key and interrelated themes emerge in the 17-essay collection. These are: Sound and Silence; Biosphere versus Bitsphere; Prescriptive and Holistic Technologies; Reciprocity, Knowledge Sharing and Realities; and Social Justice. Read the collection