12560 ED: The Civic Media Project: Citizens, Technologies & Learning in Digital Culture

06/12/2015 @ 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
The Wiltern BC

Organizers: Paul Mihailidis, Eric Gordon
Presenters: Joe Kahne, Sangita Shresthova, Renee Hobbs

Across neighborhoods, cities, and countries throughout the world, people are finding new ways to share ideas, express opinions, and collaborate to build new forms of engagement local, national and global constituents. The opportunities that this new landscape presents are abundant. From open data and public discourse, to civic innovation and socio-political movements, civic technologies are fundamentally reshaping what it means to be a citizen today.

Civic media implies the adoption or invention of new technologies with the intentionality of social, political, or cultural change. The practices associated with civic media range from government “engaging citizens” to activist groups coordinating across the globe for collective action. The common thread is the design or appropriation of tools that create, coordinate or facilitate what can be called “civic” acts, or actions taken in the world to benefit a group or community beyond one’s intimate sphere.

There is a growing field of scholarship and applied work in civic media. Several academic journals and programs throughout the world have developed over the last five years. Journals such as New Media and Society and Convergence have increased their focus in this field of scholarship, art schools such as Pasadena Art Center and Emily Carr have developed design programs in civic and social practices, and research universities such as MIT have developed centers in Civic Media. More and more employment opportunities in government, community media, non-governmental organizations, digital agencies, and cultural organizations focus on the increasingly complex space of design, study and implementation of civic media.

This panel will map the emerging study of civic media to pedagogy and scholarship in the Digital Media and Learning purview. It will present various cases studies and theoretical perspectives that specifically explore the relationship between citizens, technologies and learning in digital culture. Papers will explore engagement games, media literacy and civic voices, the role of fan culture and civic imagination in participatory culture, pedagogical approaches to civic learning, research methodologies that support civic media research, and political constraints in civic media spaces.

Contributors to this panel are authors in the forthcoming Civic Media Reader (MIT Press, 2015). The text will feature 21 chapters and over 120 case studies will support the book by being available online through the digital publishing tool Scalar.

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