\Wednesday, May 15

Digital Militarism: Sovereignty, Surveillance and Cyberwar

Led by Nick Dyer-Witheford (Western University), Harbour Centre, Main Conference Room #1400-1430

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), Morris J Wosk Centre for Dialogue #320

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), Morris J Wosk Centre for Dialogue #420

Geoffrey Winthrop-Young (UBC)

This will be a seminar style workshop led by Sarah Sharma with a response by Geoffrey Winthrop Young and then discussion with participants. 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), Harbour Centre, Harbour Centre #7000

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

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), Siqi Tu (CUNY) and Danica Savonick (SUNY Cortland), Morris J Wosk Centre for Dialogue #320

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.

Art, Activism, Intervention

Led by Krista Lynes (Concordia University), Harbour Centre #7000

Amber Frid-Jimenez (Emily Carr), Fanny Gravel-Patry (Concordia) and Carrie Smith (University of Alberta)

This workshop explores the possibilities and limitations of the aesthetics of dissent, on and offline. We will interrogate together how protest is visualized, how social movements are imagined in and through the mediation, circulation, and recursivity of digital space. We will ask what emerging modes of visibility exist, where are potential sites of networked solidarity, and how such networks might enable new modes of collaborative knowledge production. We will think concretely about how feminist, queer, anti-racist, Indigenous movements symbolize their struggles, conscious of questions of immaterial labour, ownership of digital platforms, and state surveillance of social media.

Negotiating the Possible through the Artificial

Led by Gillian Russell (Emily Carr), Morris J Wosk Centre for Dialogue #420

Craig Badke (Emily Carr) and Garnet Hertz (Emily Carr)

Technological artifacts embody and reflect value systems that are deeply embedded within our culture, values that are often unseen or unacknowledged. Whether we are conscious of it or not, these artifacts provide material answers to questions of how to live and act in the world. This workshop will introduce a series of core techniques and ideas from critical design to think through digital technology’s capacities and potentiality both as a corrective to its uncritical embrace and as a way to redefine the digital in daily life. Questioning ‘what selves’? ‘what societies’? ‘what social’?, we will create a wide spectrum of technological imaginations in terms of indigenous, feminist, and intersectional views of the world.

Emerging Directions in Critical Data Studies

Led by Matthew Bui (USC), Harbour Centre, Main Conference Room #1400-1430

Anna Lauren Hoffman (University of Washington), Niloufar Salehi (UC Berkeley), Nikki Stevens (Arizona State University), Tonia Sutherland (University of Hawai’i at Mānoa), Juan De Lara (USC)

This workshop will explore the current state of critical data studies (CDS) as a field and bring together scholar-activists to reflect on and envision its critical junctures and future directions, particularly in relation to the critical frameworks of the Black Radical Tradition, intersectional feminism, queer studies, Latinx studies, and indigenous science and technology studies (STS) frameworks.


Friday, May 17 - HASTAC Conference, UBC, First Nations House of Learning and The Nest, Level 2

Digital Processes and Racial Formations: A Conversation

A 60-minute Roundtable with Talks by Tara McPherson (U of Southern California), Wendy Chun (Simon Fraser U) and Lisa Nakamura (U of Michigan); Chaired by Tara McPherson (U of Southern California).

The HASTAC 2019 Conference is entitled "Decolonizing Technologies, Reprogramming Education" and takes place at UBC May 16-18, following on from the Digital Democracies Conference. To register for HASTAC or for more information please see their website here

Saturday, May 18 - The Nest, Performance Theatre, UBC

Fake News Poetry Workshop

With Alexandra Juhasz (Brooklyn College, CUNY), Ioana Jucan (Leuphana University of Lüneburg) and Wendy Chun (SFU).

We all have terrible stories about social media. At Fake News Poetry-Performance workshops people have permission to tell these terrible stories and make art together about them. We will spend time looking at the #100hardtruths-#fakenews online digital media literacy primer and then reading other poems written previously. This is to remind us that there is much to find and learn outside of ourselves and on the internet. We can rely on other people’s work to nourish, encourage, inspire, and even change us. For more information, please see Alexandra's website here

The first session from 9:00-9:45 is a workshop in The Nest Performance Theatre, followed by performance at 3:45-5:15 in The Nest, Room 2506.