This participatory class explores civic engagement and political activism in the information age, through the lens of technology-enabled collective action. We will focus on both the theory and real-world cases of the Internet mobilizing people by spreading alternative views and news — and the parallel emergence of collective identity and civic action. Students will read books on communication power, watch documentary films on the Arab Spring, and do case studies about US, Iran, China, and elsewhere. The class will also look into issues such as online surveillance and filtering, circumvention tools, and how repressive regimes have countered digital activism.
In addition to analytic readings, students will engage in collective knowledge-gathering and construct a resource wiki as public good. Students will do individual or group projects relating to concepts and themes discussed in this course.
This research seminar class is not limited to the graduate students in the School of Information; students from other departments on campus, including undergraduates, are welcome.