Spring 2018

Digital Dissidence: Social Movements in the Age of the Internet - LCST 2107 A

Professor(s):   Zeynep Gokay Ustun 
Day(s):  TR
Time(s):  1:50 pm - 3:30 pm 
CRN:  6411
Credits:  4

Course Description
[Tracks C, M] Digital dissidence takes a wide variety of forms in today's mediascape, from high-profile leaks to hashtag activism. The strategic use of media technologies in contemporary social movements have been one of widely discussed and central forms of resistance that have marked the 21th century. Protestors all over the globe, from the Arab Spring revolts to Black Lives Matter, have been depicted as armed with mobile technologies. The internet has of course connected the dispersed activities of the leakers, live-streamers, hacktivists, citizen journalists, data activists, and many other figures of digital contestation, who often are capable of networked action on the global Net. But popular, as well as critical, opinion of the effectiveness of political contestation online has experienced several shifts in its brief history. Indeed an understanding of the actual story of the internet, from its origin in the Military-Academic complex during the Cold War to its present form, is necessary to understand the role that it has played in the formation of contemporary social movements. In this course we will ask questions such as: What is the infrastructure of the global Net and who made it? Since its release to the public, how have digital technologies and online media been utilized toward political and social change? And have the supposed democratic rules of the internet resulted in positive social transformations? In the age of increasing internet surveillance, who ultimately gains? And what can ensure the safety and freedom of online resistance? [Tracks C, M]

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