Occupy Internet: Social Media, Digital Research, and Social Justice

I am interested in engaging a roundtable with folks who are interested not only in using technology to enhance their pedagogical and personal computing skills, but also those who might see it as a viable topic to conduct research/ write something on. For example, I am at the moment fairly interested in the Occupy movement has captured the Internet — an ubiquitous entity that many feel is an effective tool of corporation manipulation — on the global stage. Occupy movements have erupted in the most unlikely places. Across the country in NYC and other cities, and even at last month’s annual meeting of the American Studies Association (ASA), support for the Occupy movement has grown exponentially. Here in the Pacific Northwest, amidst our friends, colleagues, and students, the Occupy movement is spoken of on a daily basis. This spread of support (and criticism) is a direct result of social media networks to thematically link together people in disparate place around the world.

In addition to thinking about how our colleagues and students communicate and spark revolutionary and/ or teaching moments through such media, I am also interested in writing about this phenomenon. Specifically, for example, my dissertation examines strategies that African and Asian diasporas in the US and UK have challenged neoliberal, exclusive notions of “home.” In our day and age, the first thing many of us interact with in the realm of “home” is our homepage — a technological landscape of virtual imaginary that is not completely linked to race, space, etc. And through that portal, we access so many others around the globe, we occupy the internet. So, say in the examples of the Occupy movement, multi-media art, subversive cd ROMS, etc., what are some strategies/ trends in thinking about social justice and its manifestations in the virtual world? Can we come up with paradigms or even a THATCamp resolution that puts forth a hypothesis on how social justice is attained, undermined, complicated, etc. in this particular moment in history and social upheaval?


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