Skip to main content

Research

H
  ere are some of our research projects!


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 historically contextualizes feminist relationships with Big Data and artificial intelligence. These discussions are vital in understanding the current climate around data and AI. This project is currently in the stage of looking at archives. 

The Cyberculture and Social Justice Directory
The cyberculture and social justice directory will be released by October 2021.

The Cyberculture and Social Justice Directory is a public directory of the resources assembled by the Just Feminist Tech and Scholarship Lab. This directory will always be incomplete and a work in progress. Rather than attempt to capture every resource at the intersections of cyberculture and social justice, the aim of this directory is to assemble resources used by the lab in one place that other people can access. 
It was created as part of Dr. Alex Ketchum’s project exploring the history of reactions to the creation of computers, the Internet, Big Data, and AI technologies by people with a feminist and social justice lens, primarily in Canada and the United States. 

As there is imprecision in all of these terms, creating this directory was an attempt to get a sense of larger trends within the findings. It was important to share the findings so others could benefit from the undertaking and build on it as it is useful to them. There's no need to keep re-inventing the wheel.

This directory is ever growing, expanding historically and in the future. We aim to include resources found in physical archives. However, this component of the project has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Ketchum's inability to travel to physical archives since Spring 2019. We have been greatly inspired by Mindy Seu’s amazing Cyberfeminism Index (https://cyberfeminismindex.com/about/). You will notice an overlap of some resources but the projects differ. Thank you to Mindy Seu for creating such a valuable resource and inspiring us to move our project away from Google Sheets and proprietary software.

How to Engage in Public Scholarship: A Guidebook on Feminist an Accessible Communication, forthcoming Spring 2022 via Concordia University Press

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

More publications on this research are forthcoming. 


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

Other Ongoing Projects

“AI, Big Data, and Surveillance Zines as Forms of Community Healthcare” with Nina Morena

“Moving Beyond Anthropomorphization Narratives in Artificial Intelligence” with Sophie Ogilvie Hanson

The Retrofuturism of the Kitchen Computer: How Domestic Technologies Re-Centre Sexist and Racist Labour Ideologies (special assistance by Zoe Tolon and Hyeyoon Cho)

From TechnoPagan to CyberWitch: Internet Histories and Magic as Metaphor (special assistance by Kari Kuo)