Call for participants: Hackademia! Activism, Scholarship & the Internet

Along with Jillian York, I am organizing a workshop on academic & civil society Internet research on Tuesday, October 4, 2016, from 2-6pm in Berlin, Germany (location TBA). The call for participants is below:

Workshop organizers:
Nathalie Maréchal, University of Southern California/Ranking Digital Rights
Jillian York, Centre for Internet and Human Rights/Onlinecensorship.org

Many Internet researchers straddle the line between academic Internet research and digital rights advocacy, including hacker communities. This workshop aims to strengthen the ties between these two modes of inquiry, leveraging AoIR 2016’s location in Berlin to invite digital rights activists from outside the academy to engage with the scholarly conversation. While many scholars and activists express interest in cross-sector collaboration, there are a number of barriers to such efforts, including mismatches between the career incentives, funding mechanisms, and timelines prevalent in the academic and NGO worlds. Nevertheless, the organizers of this half-day workshop have found that collaboration between civil society and academia are crucial to both research and to change.

The first portion of the workshop (two hours) aims to:

  • Explore what “research” means to scholars and to activists
  • Surface the barriers to cross-sector collaboration
  • Brainstorm strategies for transcending such barriers
  • Provide a networking forum for scholars and activists working on similar or complementary projects

The second portion of the workshop (two hours) will include a dive into the world of commercial content moderation. Using a fishbowl format, we will hear from experts looking at the the topic from a variety of angles: as an issue of labor, of free expression, and of information hegemony. Participants will be encouraged to take part in the discussion and share new ideas for research and advocacy.

Interested participants should complete the registration form at https://goo.gl/forms/9isVlduYmkeqMeG43 by Sept 1, 2016. The organizers hope to have roughly equal participation from academia and from civil society, and will use the requested information to plan the details of the workshop.

Questions can be addressed to Nathalie Maréchal, marechal@usc.edu, at any time.

We look forward to seeing you in Berlin!

Nathalie & Jillian

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