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Research

T
  he lab is focused on four main projects during 2020. 


Historically Contextualizing Feminist Reactions/Approaches to Tech, in progress

While communications scholar Fred Turner’s seminal work From Counterculture to Cyberculture (2010) drew attention to the ways that counterculturalists and technologists joined together to re-imagine computers as tools for what they imagined was personal liberation, that history omitted the role of feminist technology activists and cyberfeminists had both in critiquing what became the mainstream development of communications technologies and developing their own technologies. Inspired by Joy Lisi Rankin’s A People’s History of Computing in the United States (2018), in which she focuses on the contributions to the development of computing systems made by a diverse group of teachers and students outside of Silicon Valley, philosopher Sadie Plant’s work on women’s relationships with technology (1997), Charlton D. McIlwain's Black Software (2020) and the publications of FemTechNet (2019), this project focuses on the work of feminist activists’ relationships to these technologies in the United States and Canada from 1965 to present. This work operationalizes those insights and fills a large gap in the literature by bringing together the historical and present contexts around feminist and accessible scholarship. These discussions are vital in understanding the current climate around data and AI.


How to Engage in Public Scholarship: A Guidebook on Feminist an Accessible Communication, in progress

Two initial questions guide this book: what is “feminist” and “accessible” scholarship? This text does not focus on all feminist scholarship, but rather is interested in a feminist perspective on public facing scholarship that aims to be accessible. These questions are rendered more complicated by the challenge of sustainability. 


Report on the State of Resources Provided to Support Scholars Against Harassment, Trolling, and Doxxing While Doing Public Media Work and How University Media Relations Offices/ Newsrooms Can Provide Better Support
 
In the summer of 2020, we sought to understand the kind of resources universities actually provide to support scholars doing public facing media work. We wanted to know: what information universities make available to scholars for dealing with trolling, doxxing, and harassment when they do public facing scholarship and media work; the availability of that information online (on the Media Relations Offices’ websites); and the information that Media Relations Offices/Newsrooms make available to scholars that might not be on their website (plans, policies, advice). The goal of this research is to establish what practices already exist, what information and resources are missing, and to encourage all Canadian universities’ Media Relations Offices to develop a best practices plan. 


The report is available here: https://medium.com/@alexandraketchum/report-on-the-state-of-resources-provided-to-support-scholars-against-harassment-trolling-and-401bed8cfbf1 and at the pdf is available through the project website: https://publicscholarshipandmediawork.blogspot.com/p/report.html


How to Organize Inclusive Events: A Handbook for Feminist, Accessible, and Sustainable Gatherings

The goal of this handbook is to provide event organizers of all levels with the tools to make their events accessible, sustainable, and exemplify social justice principles. Whether you are new to organizing or highly experienced, this handbook will provide frameworks and practical tips to create inclusive events. There is a special section on online/virtual/cyber events. 
Published June 2020