"Though both are bound in the spiral dance, I would rather be a cyborg than a goddess." – Donna Haraway

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Re-post from Facebook re: #AltonSterling and #PhilandoCastile

[Facebook is not letting people share these links for some reason, so I am copying the post here. I removed tags from the people to whom I’m crediting the content because this is a public page. Happy to put your name & blog back in here if you are comfortable with it.]

Woke up to the infuriating and heartbreaking news about ‪#‎PhilandoCastile‬ this morning. Lots of people have posted good content that is worth the time to read. Rather than posting them one at a time, I put together this list. But also, there is lots of great stuff I can’t share in this style because it was recorded live via FB or posted directly to FB and the platform is not set up to allow sharing of these things other than individual posts. Plus this is literally just what was on my tl this morning.

Self care for people of color:

— h/t Amanda  http://justjasmineblog.com/self-care-for-people-of-color-after-emotional-and-psychological-trauma/

— h/t Francesca http://www.thefader.com/2016/07/06/randi-gloss-black-self-care

News/Responses about ‪#‎AltonSterling‬ or #PhilandoCastile

— h/t Aimee http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/08/us/philando-castile-falcon-heights-shooting.html?_r=1

— Look up the video by ‪#‎officernakiajones‬ posted here to FB in response to the LA police who shot Alton Sterling.

— h/t Peter, who posted an image of an excerpt of this article. Note the info about the person who recorded the shooting of Alton Sterling: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/07/06/video-captures-white-baton-rouge-police-officer-fatally-shooting-black-man-sparking-outrage/

— h/t Audra (info about a GoFundMe for a college fund for Alton Sterling’s children) http://jezebel.com/over-7-000-people-have-donated-more-than-200k-to-help-1783252741?utm_campaign=socialflow_jezebel_facebook&utm_source=jezebel_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow-

— New video of Alton Brown shooting (video does not autoplay if you want to read the story) http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/new-alton-sterling-video-shows-didn-pull-gun-police-article-1.2701540

News / Responses about police brutality, racism, or ‪#‎blacklivesmatter‬ generally:

— h/t Michael http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/4/27/1380610/-Black-men-w-no-criminal-record-applying-for-jobs-treated-same-as-white-men-fresh-out-of-prison

— h/t Tameka https://mic.com/articles/147878/23-everyday-actions-punishable-by-death-if-you-re-black-in-america

Things you or your city can do:

— h/t Laura http://www.justinccohen.com/blog/2016/7/6/advice-for-white-folks-in-the-wake-of-the-police-murder-of-a-black-person

— h/t Fiona and Jacque  http://www.ravishly.com/2015/04/10/what-you-can-do-right-now-about-police-brutality


FemTechNet Critical Race & Ethnic Studies Pedagogy Workbook

The Critical Race and Ethnic Studies Committee of FemTechNet has just launched a very exciting initiative. Congratulations to the committee!

anne cong-huyen

I’m just back from the annual Cultural Studies Association conference in Riverside, CA, and I’m excited to share the announcement I made at the panel, “FemTechNet: Transforming what and who counts in digital education”, where I spoke alongside Alexandra Juhasz (Pitzer College), Elizabeth Losh (UCSD), and Ivette Bayo Urban (U Washington). My presentation (for the most part) was about the current project that the FTN Ethnic Studies Committee is currently undertaking to create a pedagogy workbook. The entire presentation/announcement is below the image. To navigate directly to the digital book, click on the cover image below.

Screenshot of splash page for FTN Pedagogy workbook,

Building a Collaborative FemTechNet Race and Ethnic Studies Pedagogy Workbook

I am one of the new co-chairs of The Critical Race and Ethnic Studies Committee of FemTechNet, which is composed of a handful of graduate students, post-docs, librarians, and alt-ac professionals. As a committee of primarily junior women of color scholars we keenly feel the pressures…

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Quick Post: Impressions from #2014ASA Feminist Making II #feministdh

Okay, back from panel two (Feminist Making II: Producing Cultural Critique) and I’m *supposed* to be working on my paper, but I don’t want to lose the moment to get out some ideas.

First of all, i want to collaborate with everyone on the panel. There were great projects and the focus on pedagogy and feminist practice resonated well with my priorities and the types of work I enjoy doing. What? I can collaborate with everyone. It’s totally possible.

Carly A. Kocurek’s (designer of Choice Texas!) question about what makes a feminist game was very interesting and I thought it productively intersected with the product / process question raised in the earlier panel. I also really appreciated her emphasis on making sure she and her collaborator could pay their designers and other team members. This is a huge issue around the ethics of collaborative practice and I loved that her approach (and that of the other panelists) was humanistic in practice. In discussion she mentioned something she had read where a person said that they looked at their potential benefit from a project in three ways: adequate pay, personal fulfillment, and professional advancement. They will not work on a project that does not offer at least two of these. Seems like a pretty good model for self-care in the academy. We aren’t allowed to give our students independent study credit for anything that they could be paid for. This limits my options a bit more but I think ultimately protects the students from exploitation.

Carly also exhorted us to learn three chords and form a band. In other words, to not wait until you have acquired all the skills you think you need because that kind of frontloading of skills can really slow things down. I am going to talk about making as amateurs tomorrow in a way that I hope complements this so I was excited to hear this and to see signs of assent from the audience.

I really loved hearing about Jarah Moesch’s LUNGS project. It reminded me a bit of the work that my colleague Laura Pasquini did (is doing?) with Andrew Miller using environmental sensors in Denton, TX. and has inspired me to think more about the wearable possibilities with these kinds of sensors. Jarah’s question about how do we do queer feminist critical race conscious work across disciplines is one that I think about a lot. I can relate to her sometimes being the only humanist in the room. I wonder how our notions about interdisciplinary work help and frustrate that? The other worrisome tendency I’ve seen is for the person asking the critical questions to treat the designer or tech collaborate more like a contractor on a project than a true partner. I’m in no way suggesting that Jarah does that. Just that it is another issue I’ve seen with collaborative work and that may be the result of not having the shared ideological foundation with someone but wanting to tap into their technical expertise. I’m probably not framing this very well, but it came to mind when she was asking this question.

Jessica Lovaas’ work with high school and college students in relation to mapping and spatial imaginaries was so inspiring! She gave one example of working with a non-profit on maping issues surrounding daytime curfew citations and how different maps were able to elicit different angles of the problem. And they got policy changed! A really wonderful outcome. I also really enjoyed that she showed us some of the more silly and fun projects alongside all of these fierce, social justice focused projects. I thought it had the effect of validating a variety of student interests. And from the earlier panel the discussion about gateways to making indicate that these maps may lead the students in directions they never considered possible.

During discussion some really great questions were raised re: the demographics of the panel audience and whether that matters.   Other provocative questions focused on big data. The question of what feminist big data might look like is a really interesting one. I’ve written elsewhere here about my response to big data and it was affirming to see my skepticism in other members of the audience but to also hear panelists ask questions about how it could be feminist. Carly raised the issue of access to data sets and Jarah suggested that how the data is framed is an important question; she gave binary  gender options on surveys as a concrete example of how data misrepresents. She said she always takes the time to tell those collecting the data about the flaw in their options and points them toward a blog post she’s written that gives suggestions about how it might be done differently.

At the end there was a question about amateurism and anxiety in students and there was some great discussion around experimentation and failure as pedagogical strategies.

There were lots of parallels in this panel to things we’ll be covering in our Fabricating Tech panel on Friday at 10am. I hope some of the same people will attend. It will be interesting to see if the “audience” demographics are different since our panel title does not have feminism in the name though I think it is pretty clear if you read the abstract that it is coming from a feminist perspective. We are opposite the first ever E-Lit panel at ASA so that may skew things a little though.

So now, who wants to collaborate?

(It just occurred to me that I should mention FemTechNet as a great model of collaboration. I very often wish I had the ability to offer one of the DOCCs and the response of members to recent events around gender online restores my faith in humanity)

Call for Applications: Gender and Technology Pop Up Institute

A group of women, dressed for cold weather, holding a banner that says "end violence against women"

“‘UN Women for Peace’ March Marking International Women’s Day” by Flickr User United Nations Photos.

This came across the FemTechNet email group today. It is a training event for women and trans persons in activist networks to train them in the areas of digital security and privacy so they can, in turn, train others. Note that it is open to activists from anywhere but there are 45 funded spots (including travel and visa assistance) reserved for folks from Africa, post-Soviet states, the Arabic-speaking region, South & South-East Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Gender and Technology Pop-Up Institute

Focus: Tools and techniques for digital security training and privacy advocacy


Tactical Tech, in collaboration with the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), are organising a 7-day event for up to 50 women and trans people to learn tools and techniques for increasing their understanding and practice in digital security and privacy and to become digital security trainers and privacy advocates.

December 1-8, 2014.

Berlin, Germany

Who is the event for?
This is for influential and vocal women and trans people, who are women’s rights activists and/or net activists, and who would like to be trained as digital security trainers and advocates of privacy in order to strengthen their work and the local networks/organisations they are related to.

If you are interested in joining this event, at least four of the following criteria should describe you:

  • You take an active lead in your communities and networks, know your way around the internet, and also know that security and privacy problems can threaten your advocacy and activism and needs to be addressed.
  • You are comfortable with public speaking or training groups, and would like to expand your knowledge and skills, to be able to advise your communities and networks on issues around privacy and data protection.
  • You have strong online and offline networks and support other organisations and individuals who could benefit from digital security and privacy advice.
  • You are the kind of person who understands the tech, or are a techie/hacker, but don’t necessarily know how to explain digital security and privacy issues so that others can understand and practice it.
  • You understand and practise digital security and privacy but want to update and further strengthen your tech and training skills.
  • You are a workshop facilitator or are training on closely related topics and consider yourself tech-savvy, and want to add digital security and privacy from a gender perspective to your skill-set.


CFP of Interest: Texting Girls: Images, Sounds, and Words in Neoliberal Cultures of Femininity (I call BabyMetal!)

CFP: Texting Girls: Images, Sounds, and Words in Neoliberal Cultures of Femininity  via HASTAC.

If the abstract in the CFP is any indicator, this upcoming issue of Women & Performance is going to be a great read.

I have lately been fascinated by the YouTube videos of the Japanese group Babymetal and may submit something on them.

At first glance on their website, they appear to be a pretty standard death metal band. The only clue to their difference might be the hearts in the Bs in “Baby.”

But watch a video and you will see that this is a strange mashup of death metal and choreographed reality-show J-pop, rounded out with apocalyptic goth lolita fashion. The only overlord they seem to be worshipping here is their waistlines as they demand chocolate but simultaneously worry about weight gain in the lyrics. Fascinating.



A Few Brief Thoughts on “How the Humanities Compute in the Classroom”

How the Humanities Compute in the Classroom – Technology – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

This is a pretty nice overview of Digital Humanities (DH) teaching and scholarship for those who may be unfamiliar with it. It is great to see Miriam Posner’s work profiled and to see an emphasis on pedagogy. I additionally appreciate the author’s focus on the impressive work of student Iman Salehian.

There are two points to which I’d like to draw attention. Neither of these ruins the article for me, but both are worth considering, even if just for a moment:

2014 is off to an inauspicious start with the return of Sad Lady Ada.

2014 is off to an inauspicious start with the return of Sad Lady Ada.

1. The first is the statement, “Ms. Salehian, 20, is a petite junior with an outsize work ethic.” While this is meant as a compliment to Ms. Salehian, her bodily stature is irrelevant to her work ethic and to her DH work. Would she have been similarly described were she not petite? Why is the young male student in the article not described similarly? I’m sure the author didn’t even realize he was doing this. This is a great example of implicit bias, y’all… It’s hard to imagine a male student being described in diminutive terms. I hate to start the new year with the return of my Sad Lady Ada meme, but so it must be. (more…)

2013 at The Spiral Dance. Thanks for a great year!

Your 2013 year in blogging.

See the link above for the 2013 Year-in-Review for The Spiral Dance. 4,200 visitors, with a record for the most in any day (696 on Feb 25th in response to this post).

Thanks for a great year!

CFP: Engaging the Woman Fantastic in Contemporary American Media Culture, edited collection

Interesting CFP originally posted on The Fan Studies Network.

The Fan Studies Network

Engaging the Woman Fantastic in Contemporary American Media Culture

Full name / name of organization:

Elyce Rae Helford (senior editor), Mick Howard, Sarah Gray-Panesi, Shiloh Carroll / Middle Tennessee State University

Contact email:


The past thirty years have offered a growing and changing body of scholarship on images of fantastic women in American popular culture.  Collections from Marleen Barr’s Future Females (1981) and Future Females: The Next Generation (2000) to Elyce Rae Helford’s Fantasy Girls: Gender and the New Universe of Science Fiction and Fantasy Television (2000) and Sherrie Inness’s Action Chicks: New Images of Tough Women in Popular Culture (2004) have offered multifaceted commentary on ways in which contemporary media culture posits and positions “empowered” women in speculative fictions.  Engaging the Woman Fantastic in Contemporary Media Culture takes part in this tradition and brings it to the present day with emphasis on texts from the 1990s to the…

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A Cautionary Tale of Bro-havior and Benign Intent

Smokey the Bear cautions readers that only they can prevent brohavior

Image mashup based on “only you…” by flickr user dreamymo

Today I have really stretched my powers of procrastination. I have voraciously read Twitter, engaged in multiple discussions on Facebook, and even *gasp* read a bunch of saved content on Instapaper (surely a sign of the apocalypse?). The problem is, I am not fooling myself. I know I have been avoiding writing this post. I feel conflicted about it even as I sit down to write it. I think I may even be procrastinating by talking about procrastination. Because the truth is, this post is uncomfortable to write.

It’s uncomfortable because I wish 100 things had gone differently. And it is uncomfortable because I am going to critique some people who I think were actually trying to be nice. But I think this cautionary tale needs to be told.

Once upon a time, there was a princessno, a kick-ass superheroine…in reality, an ordinary professional woman. This woman had worked really hard to earn a doctorate and had been really fortunate to land a tenure track position teaching and conducting research at a university. Her field has much to do with media and technology. As a result of this, the woman often finds herself in contact with people outside of the Ivory Tower of academia. And she generally thinks this is a good thing. In fact, she values opportunities to engage outside the university.

So the woman was intrigued when she received an invitation to a discussion-based event from a friendly professional contact. This contact is a smart, innovative, and friendly person, but not a career academic (let’s refer to him as “Contact” from here on out). The idea Contact was pitching the woman was that his friend, “Organizer,” chooses a topic and brings together an eclectic group of people to discuss it. The woman’s male colleague was supposed to participate, but he was going to be out of town and Contact thought she would be a good replacement. The woman was initially a bit skeptical of this event. Though she knows about the topic, it is not her primary area of expertise. And Contact actually made things a bit worse by emphasizing how “exclusive” the event was to be. The exclusivity was actually kind of antithetical to the openness and sharing the woman typically values. But Contact really seemed to want her to attend and assured her it would be rewarding. So she reluctantly agreed.

Ok, so everyone gets that it is me, right? So I can drop the third person? It’s getting to be a bit cumbersome.

Weeks passed. Though I remained somewhat hesitant, I kept my word and went to the event. I was a bit late due to traffic and was flustered when I arrived. When I walked into the room, Organizer, Contact, and the three other participants were already seated and engaged in conversation. Cue more fluster: I was the only woman. For those playing along at home, that’s 5 men, 1 woman.

Image of three pairs of sunglasses and one hat from Sesame Street's

One of these things is not like the others

I momentarily considered leaving. Instead I chose a seat and met the others. Organizer noted that the other person who was supposed to be there (also a man) could not make it. Had my male colleague not had a conflict, there would have been no women present. There was then an awkward formal-ish introduction period in which Organizer said he would introduce each participant, suggesting that he would save everyone the embarrassment of speaking about themselves. Except Organizer didn’t really know me. So he instead asked Contact to do it. It was a strange thing to be in that room, already feeling like a part of the Sesame Street game “One of these things is not like the others,” and being spoken for in a way that, though kind and complimentary, is not how I would have chosen to articulate myself. Of the other participants, Guy1 and Guy2 were local entrepreneurs. Guy3 was also a professor, though in a very different discipline. (more…)

Twitter hashtag for Girls and Digital Culture conference

The hashtag for the conference will be #ditigalgirls2012. I am really looking forward to today’s keynote by Lisa Nakamura.

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