Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Friday, May 01, 2015

Long Teaching Day

This morning in my undergraduate Digital Democracy, Digital Anti-Democracy course we will be continuing our discussion of hashtag activism, taking up #YesAllWomen and #NotYour Asian Sidekick, not to mention #Gamergate (no doubt an excursus into all the sad Sad Puppies may find its way into the discussion), plus Lisa Nakamura on structural racism/sexism and gaming, Zeynep Tufecki on cultural capital and techbros, and an early prescient piece by Paulina Borsook -- whose critiques of the cyberlibertarians we read early in the term -- on tokenism among the early WIRED mag digirati (blech). Later on in my graduate survey of critical theory we have arrived at technocriticism as well -- and so I will be reading the poetic Donna Haraway on cyborg agencies and the prosaic David Harvey on technological fetishism before the break, and then turning to Hannah Arendt and CS Lewis and Slavoj Zizek on posthuman eugenics and the anti-democracy of instrumental rationality. Later in the day there is a meeting of unionized adjuncts coping with a pretty low and depressing stage of bad-faith negotiation on the part of Administration over questions of job security for the folks (like me) who do more than 80% of the teaching at the school and who can be fired "at will" at any time for any reason and who, even after teaching there over for a decade (again, like me) are not informed whether we have a job teaching the next term much in advance each term, year after year, catastrophic though the news of a lack of teaching would turn out to be to any plans one might want to make, or bills one might want to keep paying. Another fitful night with little sleep and a demanding day of six hours lecturing ahead. The usual back and forth between thankfulness and thanklessness. Blogging will be low to no, I'm afraid, till the weekend.

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