Mapping the Night

Moon with mapping pin

In the early fall of 1975, Susan Alexander Speeth was stabbed to death when walking home alone at night. Her body was found less than a block from her home. In the aftermath of Speeth’s death, feminists cried the slogan “Take Back the Night.” The call remains a rallying call to mourn the loss of what many women has never had: freedom in public spaces.

While it’s misguided to assume that most violence against woman looks like the Speeth case, the fear of harm while out in public spaces is very real for many women. In the face of this fear, women are turning to their mobile devices.

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Mapping Patriarchy

hoop cross stitch reads: "a woman's place is in the house and senate"

At the center of feminist politics we often find physical spaces. Consider abortion clinics, prisons, restroomsuniversities, and homes: each space a site for a struggle for safety and autonomy, each space an example of how patriarchy uses space to project an illusion of stability. An ideology that casts women inferior depends on the production of spaces where women are subject to violence. If patriarchy is only workable only insofar that gender hierarchies seem natural and, therefore justified, destabilizing spaces is a crucial step in interrupting the ideology of patriarchy itself. How can feminists use locative media, with the power to destabilize space itself, to their advantage?

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Bringing Black Feminist Twitter in the Classroom

illuminated text "#sayhername" in a park with photographs of four black women: Sandra Bland, Rekia Boyd, Alesia Thomas, Shantel Davis
c/o of overpass light brigade

In most intro to Rhetoric courses, students evaluate the credibility of sources wherein they’re discouraged from incorporating unreliable sources into their own work. Intentional or not, this lesson tends to limit students to major media outlets (e.g., New York Times and Wall Street Journal.)  What might we risk in through this practice?

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Activist Twitter and Race: Mid-Semester Update

A stencil grafitti of a man shouting, with a speech bubble containing the Twitter symbol. Background and speech bubble are the Twitter shade of blue. A stenciled caption reads: "ALTO A LA VIOLENCIA."

As we approach the mid-semester mark, the Activist Twitter and Race research group is giving you a little behind-the-scenes view of what each group member has been working on. We think about, use, and relate to Twitter in a number of ways: as a pedagogical tool (Rhiannon, JB), as an aggregation and curation instrument (Pete) and as a data source (Axel).

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Cultural + Digital Literacies

Black and white photo with a teacher standing behind four children and typrewriter like computer terminals.

Over the course of this semester, I’m working with DWRL instructors to develop a series of lesson plans to help students explore the intersection of race and activism on Twitter. As these lesson plans take shape, I began to think of ways learning about Twitter could help our students develop their communication skills. In other words, I’ve been thinking of the ways in which cultural literacy overlaps with digital literacy.

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