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CRITICAL x DESIGN: Joy Lisi Rankin
Ehrlicher Room, 3100 North Quad
Old, Raw, or New: A (New?) Deal for the Digital Age
American historians debate whether Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Depression-era legislation was, in fact, a New Deal, or perhaps an “Old Deal” or a “Raw Deal.” Considering multiple perspectives and voices, combined with the long sweep of history, stokes this lively, ongoing debate. In this CRITICALxDESIGN talk, I’ll turn my attention to American computing in the 1960s and 1970s to consider whether the academic networks of that era may be inspiration for a Digital New Deal. The users of 1960s and 1970s academic computing networks built, accessed, and participated in cooperative digital commons, developing now-quotidian practices of personal computing and social media. In the process, they became what I call “computing citizens.” I’ll use several case studies to illustrate the dynamic – and unexpected – relationships among gender, community, computing, and citizenship, including the Old Deals and the Raw Deals of computing citizenship. How might these computing citizens inform crucial contemporary debates about technology and justice?
Dr. Joy Lisi Rankin is a feministi, anti-racist historian, and a Contributing Editor for Lady Science. She is also a consultant for the documentaries The Birth of BASIC and The Queen of Code and for the television show Girls Code. Rankin was an Exchange Scholar at MIT while earning her doctorate in History from Yale University, as well as a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Prior to entering the academy, she had a successful career launching educational programs for students of all ages, which took her around the country. Her website is joyrankin.com.
The CRITICAL x DESIGN series is generously supported by the School of Information; the Center for Political Studies at the Institute for Social Research; and the Department of Communication Studies in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts at the University of Michigan.