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Debates in the Digital Humanities$
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Matthew K. Gold

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780816677948

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816677948.001.0001

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Hacktivism and the Humanities: Programming Protest in the Era of the Digital University

Hacktivism and the Humanities: Programming Protest in the Era of the Digital University

(p.161) Chapter 10 Hacktivism and the Humanities: Programming Protest in the Era of the Digital University
Debates in the Digital Humanities

Elizabeth Losh

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter looks into the relationship between hacktivism and the humanities. It describes a range of related protest movements during a time when a significant cohort of professors called for hacking the academy, including department chairs, heads of national centers, and leaders of professional associations who demanded fundamental changes in fair use, peer review, and tenure guidelines. To understand these phenomena that bring either politics into academia or academia into politics, current theories both of hacking and of hacktivism, or the nonviolent use of digital tools in pursuit of political ends, are examined. The chapter also considers how dissent by students and faculty, and protest by an old guard of political organizers and a new cadre of programmers in the general public, may be related. In the context of the digital humanities, hacktivism theory offers a way to broaden and deepen our understanding of the use of digital tools and of the politics of that tool use, and to question the uncritical instrumentalism that so many digital humanities projects propound.

Keywords:   digital humanities, hacktivism, hacking, digital tools, politics

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