1136 Lane Hall
204 S. State Street
Ann Arbor, MI
Co-facilitators: Lisa Nakamura, Gwendolyn Calvert Baker Professor of American Cultures, Screen Arts and Cultures, English, and Women’s Studies, University of Michigan; Liz Losh, Director of Academic Programs, Sixth College, University of California, San Diego
As the Internet and other computer-based technologies continue to permeate everyday life, it becomes more necessary than ever for feminist studies to address the digital. Donna Haraway’s foundational work in the eighties addressed this massive societal and cultural shift by creating the field of cyberfeminism, but much has happened since then--the rise of social media such as Facebook and Pinterest, smartphone adoption, new forms of reproductive technology, new imaging and visualization devices, and the rapid digitization of scholarship.
FemTechNet is a nationally-renowned network of hundreds of scholars, students, and artists who work on, with, and at the borders of technology, science, and feminism in a variety of fields including Science and Technology Studies (STS), Media and Visual Studies, Informatics, Design, Art, Women’s, Queer, and Ethnic Studies. (see femtechnet.newschool.edu/the-network).
FemTechNet has achieved great recognition in a very short amount of time. Described by Inside Higher Education as “the Feminist Anti-MOOC,” the network was founded in 2012 by feminist technology and digital media scholars Anne Balsamo, Professor of Media Studies and Dean of the School of Media Studies at The New School, and Alex Juhasz, Professor of Media Studies and Director of the Munroe Center for Social Inquiry at Pitzer College.
One of FemTechNet’s original purposes was to address shortcomings in distance education by offering courses on feminism, the digital, and technology via an innovative decentralized network. It has since become a network that brings together research and teaching on digital feminism and gendered technologies. Members of the network are now being asked to speak nationally and internationally as representatives of a technologically enhanced learning initiative that actually works.
FemTechNet’s first Distributed Open Collaborative Course (DOCC) was successfully offered both for credit and for informal learners in September-December 2013 at 14 campuses, including Brown, Yale, The New School, Pitzer College, UC San Diego, The Ontario College of Art and Design, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
With support from IRWG, FemTechNet will continue to develop as a hub for digital feminist scholarship and teaching.