Wednesday, May 15 - Rooms TBD

Digital Militarism: Sovereignty, Surveillance and Cyberwar

Led by Nick Dyer-Witheford (Western University)

Sun-ha Hong (SFU) and Svitlana Matviyenko (SFU)

The utopian concept of the Internet as a globally unifying apparatus has exploded. Recent years have seen a rapid escalation in the exercise of state power over and within digital networks, targeting enemies both internal and external as well as redrawing the lines of sovereignty and governance across the borders of nation states and “smart cities.” This manifests both in expansions and intensifications of surveillance, and in the increasing militarization of the Internet, aka cyberwar, both of which feed off and accelerate the more everyday processes of cybernetic capital in complex ways. A powerful dynamic of digital threat, paranoia and confusion is emerging; resistance is only incipient. This workshop will explore digital militarism by looking at several recent casesthrough the lens of communication theory. As tech CEOs are arrested to advance political disputes, Google Maps misrepresents contested territories, security services fake journalists’ deaths to the global public, and Big Tech moves into public housing, problems of sovereignty, surveillance and cyberwar spill out far beyond their typical domains and pose new problems for our scholarship and methodologies.

Democracy / Digital / Environment

Led by Imre Szeman (University of Waterloo)

Mél Hogan (University of Calgary), Eva-Lynn Jagoe (University of Toronto), Geoff Mann (SFU) and Alicia Massie (SFU)

What role can democracy and the digital (separately or together) play in ameliorating global warming? On the contrary, how does each further contribute to the expansion of practices that generate more (and more) CO2? From the absence of the environment in many elaborations of the common to the greenhouse gases produced by server farms, this workshop will try to provide some answers to the complex equation: digital + democracy + environment.

Feminist Techno Determinism

Led by Sarah Sharma (University of Toronto)

Geoffrey Winthrop-Young (UBC)

This workshop asks: how to make the technological more central to feminist media studies and feminist struggle? Building on the her new work, Sarah Sharma will entertain and co-opt technological determinism for feminist/political ends given contemporary digital life. In conversation with Geoffrey Winthrop-Young and the workshop attendees, Sharma will explore the possibilities for formulating a theory of gender and technology that is co-constitutive, beyond representation exceeding the issues of the use of technology, but more on how technology structures and often determines the experience of gender. The workshop will address these questions by focusing on the issues of difference, infrastructure, and labour in order to update techno-feminism and make it better account for intersections of race/class, including the possibilities of a non-binary technological future.

Academic Book Publishing

Led by Ken Wissoker (Duke University)

Ken is the Editorial Director at Duke University Press and Director of Intellectual Publics at The Graduate Center, CUNY, and his workshop will focus on advice on writing in a time of shifting media, style, audience, and genre. He will offer general advice on shaping and focusing a manuscript, developing a voice and an argument while being attentive to genre.  All questions are welcome.


Thursday, May 16 - Rooms TBD

The Classroom as a Training Ground for Digital Democracy

Led by Cathy Davidson (CUNY)

Jade E. Davis (Columbia), Erin Rose Glass (UC San Diego), Christina Katopodis (CUNY), Katina Rogers (CUNY), Siqi Tu (CUNY),  Danica Savonick (SUNY Cortland)

The first hour will consist of “enlightening talks” by HASTAC leaders showcasing different aspects of a collaborative, networked pedagogical mission that links directly to digital democracy and digital activism. In the second hour, workshop leaders will work with participants in small groups to design action plans for implementing these ideas and technologies in their own institutional setting. Please note: This session is planned in conjunction with HASTAC 2019: “Decolonizing Technologies, Reprogramming Education,” 16-18 May 2019, on unceded Musqueam (xʷməθkʷəy̓əm) territory at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and organized by the Department of English at the University of Victoria (UVic) and the Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies at UBC.

TBD - Krista Lynes (Concordia University)

TBD - Gillian Russell (Emily Carr University)

Sonic Interfaces

Led by Jonathan Sterne (McGill University)

This workshop will consider the rising importance of smart speakers, voice interfaces, talking computers, and ambient big data listening practices for media and democracy.  What happens when people interact with massive data infrastructures and media corporations sonically, rather than—or in addition to—interacting through sight and touch?  This workshop will explore the ways in which the increased importance of voices and hearing—both human and computer—may require new political and cultural understandings of computing, AI, interfaces, and the politics of media infrastructures.