It’s (not) all About Me

I am a social justice activist and doctoral student, in that order. I go to school at Simon Fraser Unversity in Vancouver, Canada, and I work under the American philosopher of technology, Andrew Feenberg. In a nutshell, I’m interested in figuring out ways to make a better world. Right now, I’m studying how activists in the global justice movement appropriate technology to achieve their social justice goals. Tech activism has (at least) three simultaneous outcomes: it democratizes technology, it develops democratic practice and it produces an alternative vision of society.

This blog is meant to be a space for documenting the history and accomplishments of tech activism. In the spirit of the free software movement, it is an experiment in open scholarship, and all tech activists are encouraged to participate through contributing to the project, as well as questioning, editing and correcting information found here. I will be posting my work – papers in progress, idea threads, observations, new problems – here; for my project to be successful, I need you, nerdy, geeky activists whose work is dedicated to global justice, to tell me what you think.

My Stats

I am a long time social justice advocate, having got a taste for it when I worked for the University of Toronto’s twice-weekly newspaper, The Varsity. There, it was baptism by fire, and I had my first real lessons in gender, economic and environmental injustice. My political senses awakened, I went on to co-found an alternative newsweekly in Windsor, Ontario, which published for seven years. In a blue-collar, industrial town, there was little information available on the local culture, but lots of interest, as it turned out. Journalism from the community’s perspective, from the grassroots, is a different creature than the profit monster produced by corporate mainstream media.

When we finally burned out, I did the only thing I could think of on short notice and returned to school. I completed a Master’s in Communication and Social Justice at the University of Windsor, writing my thesis on Indymedia. The idea was to continue with my activism, via a different medium. Instead of using journalism as a means for social justice advocacy, I would use the academy. That was the idea, anyway. I’ll let you know how it shapes up.

I am currently embroiled in a doctoral degree in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University. I am also a member of the School’s Applied Communication Technology Lab, headed by Andrew Feenberg.

My Research

My research interests hover nervously at the intersection of several academic fields of inquiry: social construction of technology, critical theory of technology, media and democracy theory, Internet studies and political communication. My interests overlap and inform each other as they continue to evolve. My vocational interest in social justice has fueled my ongoing study of the global justice movement, which has fused with my developing interest in technology. Thus it seemed natural when my focus shifted from alternative journalism in the new movement to the tech activism that supported it. For example, Indymedia would not have been possible without the geeks who created the digital infrastructure that enabled the radical media making project.

My Contact

I like letters.

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