CSC356: Platform Activism (Fall 2022)
Instructor: Johanna Brewer
Place: Seelye 301
Time: Mondays, usually 1:40-4:20pm, occasionally 7-9:30pm
Course Overview
Networked platforms like social media sites, gig sharing apps, and game consoles have become important spaces for grassroots activism, but human-computer interaction researchers continue to grapple with the question of how our work can effect positive social change online.

Classes follow a seminar format. During the first 90 minutes students take turns leading a discussion of the week's readings and in the remaining hour they discuss progress on their own research projects. Over the course of the semester, working as individuals or in pairs, students undertake a literature review, conduct a community study, or build a prototype to explore one of the class topics in more detail. At the end of the course the research teams submit a 3,000-4,000 word paper about their project and give a scholarly presentation to their peers.
Learning Goals
  • Examine how platforms shape our creative labor & communication
  • Develop a critical perspective on the power of big tech
  • Contrast approaches from design activists
  • Practice participatory design with a grassroots community
  • Build & release a new tech intervention on a media platform
Week 1
Sep 5, 2022
Labor Day
Week 2
Sep 12, 2022
Welcome & Introduction
Week 6
Oct 10, 2022
Autumn Recess
Week 15
Dec 12, 2022
Major Project Discussions
Final Paper (Due: Dec 11)