New Criticals

FemTechNet is a collective of feminists of all genders, committed to critical science and technology studies. Since I got involved with the FemTechNet collective in 2013, I have marveled at our far-flung connections generating Distributed Open Collaborative Courses (DOCCs): graduate and undergraduate courses at some 30 institutions and seven or so community sites. Together we have made videos, maps, audio materials and games, along with numerous presentations on our campuses, at conferences, and soon, at our very own conference, the Distributed Open Collaborative Conference, in April 2016 at the University of Michigan. We enthusiastically created 14 committees with huge agendas (which we have since pared down!) and organized three summer workshops, first, in Los Angeles and New York City, then, in Los Angeles, Ann Arbor, and New York City and, in 2015, in Los Angeles and New Haven; the latter had online attendees from India, Italy, Canada, and Lithuania.

Anne Balsamo and Alex Juhasz launched us into existence in 2012 and wrote up their framing ideas in Ada: Journal of Gender, New Media and Technology. They pushed and pulled people from their networks into the first year and a half of classes, always inspiring and generously sharing. We wrote grants, we got some funding, we worked harder and wrote more grants. We remain ever-so-grateful for the institutional support of the University of Michigan’s Institute for Research on Women and Gender (IRWG), along with substantial support from The New School, Yale University, and most of the campuses where DOCCs have been taught.