Alternative Toronto is a SSHRC-supported digital humanities project that is building a collaborative archive and historical map of the city’s radical, countercultural and trans/feminist/queer communities of the 1980s. The project’s advisory collective includes media historian Lilian Radovac (U of T), researcher Sophie Toupin (McGill), archivist Sarah Demb (Harvard) and author Cory Doctorow, and we’re elated to join the McLuhan Centre for Culture and Technology as a working group in 2017-18.
Lead Convener: Dr. Lilian Radovac Assistant Professor ICCIT and the principal investigator for Alternative Toronto.
This McLuhan Centre working group focuses on the message of the Platform. The group will focus on how workers resist the casualized and precarious work conditions of the digital economy by repurposing, hacking, or refusing platform labour. While technology intensifies work, it is constantly met with resistance from workers. Think of the Fordist assembly line or the Taylorist numerical control machine and the cycles of struggles they generated. Yet while the platform may be today’s assembly line, only recently research in media studies has started to focus on workers in the digital economy as active subjects that challenge the patterns shaped by the platform as they unionize or organize to fight for improved conditions, higher wages, predictable scheduling, and better benefits. The message of this medium demands new forms of resistance.
Lead Convener: Alessandro Delfanti Assistant Professor New Media, ICCIT
Participants: Brett Caraway, Nicole Cohen, Karen McEwen, David Nieborg, Rianka Singh, Madison Trusolino
Following McLuhan’s explorations of digital media’s eccentric temporalities and its relationships to ephemera, publics, music, and subcultures, digital media intersects with queer theories in a variety of ways. Scholars working at the interfaces of digital media, trans studies, feminism, queer theory, and queer of color critique have produced valuable insights into the roles and uses of digital media in creating and sustaining forms of queer sociality, experiences, histories, and ways of knowing. The Queer Digitality Working Group will examine queer digital cultures from a variety of perspectives to understand the role of digital media in queer people’s lives and the centrality and significance of queer participation in digital media.
Lead Convener Patrick Keilty. Associate Professor Faculty of Information