Questioning Networked Activism


      Due (S 11-Oct): Exer­cise 2Prompt here

    • also continue/increase group-consulting activity
        — Gen­er­ate audi­ence: share pages (social net­works); con­tact local/campus groups

        * reminder: par­tic­i­pa­tion credit; plus, need 10 posts for anno­ta­tions by 10/31

    • (from Fri­day) Begin finding/studying cul­tural relays (memes/viral exam­ples)
      → focus / appli­ca­tion: dig­i­tal rhetoric, “meme logic,” net­work cir­cu­la­tion (recomposition)


Stage II   Net­work Engage­ment — Project Week 3


M 13-Oct    Read/Discuss: Brown, “From Activism to Occu­pa­tion”  (2013) Cur­rents in Elec­tronic Lit­er­acy    
+ (from Fri­day) Ridolfo & DeVoss: “Rhetor­i­cal Veloc­ity and Deliv­ery” Kairos 13.2 (2009)

      » Focus/topic: net­work “occu­pa­tion” through “tac­ti­cal” strate­gies and/or rhetor­i­cal veloc­ity
      (cir­cu­la­tion + “re-composition” — like meme cul­ture)?

    • Dis­cuss group’s Case Study (campaign/organization)
      reminder: see exam­ple cam­paigns by Hel­loCool­World

W 15-Oct   Inde­pen­dent Work (see email for instruc­tions)

Read/Discuss: Jones, “Net­worked Activism, Hybrid Struc­tures, and Net­worked Power” (2013) Cur­rents in Elec­tronic Literacy

    • Focus/discuss: “net­work activism” (famous exam­ples) vs. “online con­sul­tancy” (EmerAgency)

» Blog entry: dis­cuss recent approach to your group posting

    — con­sid­er­ing “rhetor­i­cal veloc­ity”? “occupy/saturation” approach? con­trast with case study or hack­tivists?
    → dis­cuss explic­itly your new under­stand­ing of net­works (2 recent read­ings) and con­sult­ing role

  • for class­mate reply, read + com­ment upon group member’s entry regard­ing lat­est efforts + topics


F 17-Oct      Read/Discuss: Portman-Daley: “Sub­tle Democ­racy: Pub­lic Ped­a­gogy and Social Media”  (2013) Cur­rents in Elec­tronic Literacy

    • Focus/Activity: group con­sult­ing (Emer­A­gency) as “net­work ped­a­gogy“
      → facil­i­tat­ing civic engage­ment vs. “slacktivist”/“clicktivism“

» Project Com­po­nents (task/assignment):

    1. Par­tic­i­pa­tion Log (create/update); 2. Rhetor­i­cal Analy­sis of Case Study (start this weekend)



About GHink

-- Gary Hink, Ph.D. Digital Composition Faculty Program for Writing & Rhetoric
Bookmark the permalink.


  1. » For Mon­day dis­cus­sion — key quotes from Brown article:

    As the shapes and forms of dis­sent, pol­i­tics, rhetoric, and writ­ing shift, our chal­lenge is not to laud the old or the new but to learn to notice emerg­ing pos­si­bil­i­ties, to under­stand the his­to­ries of those pos­si­bil­i­ties, and to care­fully track how our occu­pa­tions of time and space trans­form net­worked life.

    And writ­ing, under­stood in terms of occu­pa­tion, can be a part of those pos­si­bil­i­ties.


    “net­worked life requires an entirely dif­fer­ent under­stand­ing of polit­i­cal and rhetor­i­cal activity—and of writ­ing. In net­works, writ­ing does not act upon the sys­tem but rather from within it. In short, the var­i­ous rhetor­i­cal ecolo­gies of net­worked life require that we shift our frame from activism to occupation.”

    Net­worked spaces are more than just the chan­nels through which writ­ing flows. In fact, I use the term “net­worked life” here to sug­gest that net­works are more than the dig­i­tal spaces in which we work and play. Net­worked life means never get­ting to turn off the net­work. It means always being exposed to the arrivals of var­i­ous others.”

    “In the lan­guage given to us by Dobrin, we can begin to under­stand writ­ing in net­works as occu­pa­tions and the writ­ing of net­works as the sat­u­ra­tion of space.”

    Writ­ing occu­pies space and it occu­pies us. It takes up both space and time.

    Writ­ing sat­u­rates net­works, cre­at­ing pos­si­bil­ity spaces, and writ­ing occu­pies net­works, explor­ing those pos­si­bil­i­ties, expos­ing lim­its. Put dif­fer­ently: Sat­u­ra­tion imbues; Occu­pa­tion pro­vokes.


    “Tech­no­log­i­cal pro­to­cols estab­lish a pos­si­bil­ity space, and on the Inter­net they deter­mine how (or whether) pack­ets of infor­ma­tion flow between nodes. This means that an under­stand­ing of pro­to­cols is cen­tral to under­stand­ing polit­i­cal action in net­works and that pro­to­cols are the pri­mary method for reg­u­lat­ing activ­ity in networks.”

    ** “the arrange­ments of pro­to­co­log­i­cal power may be most clearly embod­ied in Inter­net tech­nolo­gies, but pro­to­col defines and codes all con­tem­po­rary space, dig­i­tal or otherwise.

    But if such spaces are coded, what of writ­ing in the net­work? How does one write in net­works that are writ­ten, sat­u­rated, coded?“

  2. John Jones Net­worked Activism, Hybrid Struc­tures, and Net­worked Power

    Are net­works the pri­mary mech­a­nism of social power? Or do they fall short to hier­ar­chies?- the two pow­ers are in con­stant influ­ence of each other.
    Assange: Net­works are con­spir­acy that hide there asso­ci­a­tions to pro­tect them­selves from resis­tance. Activists can chal­lenge this by sep­a­rat­ing and lim­it­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion between the con­spir­a­tor net­works.
    Kay argues that Assange’s the­ory lacks the abil­ity to blcok the redun­dancy of the net­works: some peo­ple com­mu­ni­cate via open chan­nels and are just as, or more effec­tive.
    Assange’s the­ory incom­plete; just by expos­ing a net­work does not stop its effec­tive­ness. His the­ory would be effec­tive at sep­a­rat­ing the hier­ar­chi­cal power from the net­work.
    Mette Eilstrup-Sangiovanni: “It takes a net­work to fight a net­work“
    6 prob­lems with Ilicit Net­works that stem from lack of com­mu­ni­ca­tion which leaves it unable to fight against hier­ar­chi­cal pow­ers:
    infor­ma­tion lim­i­ta­tions and com­mu­ni­ca­tion fail­ure
    Poor decision-making and exces­sive risk tak­ing
    Restric­tions on scope and struc­tural adapt­abil­ity
    collective-action prob­lems due to coor­di­na­tion
    secu­rity breaches
    learn­ing dis­abil­i­ties
    Net­worked activism of Bey and Assange is an attempt to dis­rupt pro­grams of net­works. Wik­ileaks takes a dif­fer­ent stance: appli­ca­tions of switch­ing, uti­liz­ing con­nec­tions between net­works to increase over­all power of net­work and achieve goals
    Con­clu­sion: Net­works can both help and destroy the hier­ar­chi­cal power, depend­ing on the per­spec­tive. It can aid com­mu­ni­ca­tion through a process of com­bin­ing many net­works of hider it due to prob­lems with relay. Net­works can limit free­dom because of con­spir­acy net­works or develop free­dom by allow­ing connections.

  3. The idea from the Sub­tle Democ­racy arti­cle that really stuck with ‚y was based on this quote:

    “Let’s say I donated shoes to an orga­ni­za­tion, and I wrote stay in school on the shoes and I see some kid wear­ing them, that’s icing on the cake where I see the results head on. But if I don’t see it, it doesn’t mean I’m not help­ing some­one out. It just means I didn’t see the results.””

    That is a really inter­est­ing view on how online activism works. It’s impos­si­ble to know how many peo­ple are read­ing each post and how many of them take the con­tent of the post to heart. Words and phrases effect dif­fer­ent peo­ple in dif­fer­ent ways and it’s impos­si­ble to see that through a computer.

    » Fri 10/17 quotes from Portman-Daley arti­cle:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>