This article is part of the newest issue of New Geographies. It scrutinizes the complex entanglement of cyberurban spaces in the making and development of contemporary social movement by analyzing its imaginaries, practices, and trajectories.
The Centre for Internet and Society has just published a reader entitled “Digital Activism in Asia”. Edited by Shah, Sneha, and Chattapadhyay, the reader combines stories in multiple forms, including academic essays (one of them is mine), case-studies to grey literature that reveals and points to the debates around digital activism that have emerged in this particular context. The reader “attempts a crowd-sourced compilation that presents critical tools, organisations, theoretical concepts, political analyses, illustrative case-studies and annotations, that an emerging network of changemakers in Asia have identified as important in their own practices within their own contexts.” Continue reading [Book] Digital Activism in Asia Reader→
Last semester, my JUS394 CyberPolitics class completed the semester with a class project — the Complaint Choir. They worked for two weeks; gathering complaints from public (online and offline) and turning them into lyrics as well as organizing everything (logistics, publication, etc) around the public performance. The choir itself, was not a choir. We rehearsed only once!
On May 1st, 2009, the class of JUS394 CyberPolitics did it. The students sung the complaint song of the year, at around 12:30pm at Student Service Lawn, with guitar and drum (thanks to Dr Mahootian!) accompaniment! We had a bunch of high schoolers joining the group and got some viewers too! Of course we didn’t forget to include a full crew of cameramen/women to cover the historical event.
We had a lot of fun in the process… and learned a lot too. Was it a successful project? It wasn’t a successful cyberactivism project nor a viral video project. But as a class and learning project, it was a huge success! Surely as a choir project, it was a total mess! A beautiful mess, though, haha.
On a serious note, I launched this class project not only for fun. First, I inserted lyrics-making and music-performing into our learning about online activism because I believe in creative learning. Second, I also believe in learning by doing. Through planning, producing, writing, and performing their very own Complaint Choir as the final class project, students got first-hand experiences in conducting cyberactivism—something they previously learned theoretically and empirically from the course readings—that includes mobilization and deliberation processes and transforming in into a public act in physical setting.
At the end of the class, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that not only students saw this project as being “exciting, interesting yet difficult and nerve-racking”, “the most interesting school project I have ever participated in”, “a unique experience”, “the most fun project I have had in a college level” or simply “awesome”, students also called it “a real lesson to learn the complex relationship between social media and politics”, “a true experience on how to deliberate with other individuals both within and outside of cyberspace”, “really gave a concrete feeling to the abstract concepts we discussed in class”, “a humbling experience that enables us to understand difficulties and barriers of doing online activism” and “a project that broke up the monotony sometimes associated with college education”.
In other word, if you can learn more by having fun, why not? Besides, it was so fun for the teacher too!!!
Do you think living in Phoenix Metropolitan is perfect? Hell no…. Don’t you have many complaints about your life? Do you feel like to complain?
Why not cry out rather than swallow what worries us Phoenix Metropolitan-dwellers? Why not contribute your frustration with professors, students, administrators, legislators, traffic jam, taxes etc. towards a powerful and pleasurable public complaint?
Yesterday I got a book in my mailbox. Entitled “Networked Publics“, the book is a result of the collaboration of 13 scholars, including me, at the Annenberg Center for Communication of University of Southern California. My contribution is the chapter on politics.
The book itself is available for purchase from Amazon.com.
During my Australian visit last semester, I did several interviews. One of them is apparently available online.
LL: Iâ€™ve had the opportunity to listen to you present at several different venues during your stay in Australia so itâ€™s wonderful to have the opportunity to follow-up with you on some of the issues youâ€™ve raised. Letâ€™s start though at the very beginning – how did you get interested in studying the Internet in Indonesia?
ML: There were four major occasions that led me to do what I am doing now. First, I had always been interested in computers. I used to hang out with some ……..
Yesterday was the last day of class of the Spring semester. So, it was the last day seeing my JUS394 students.
It was a big relief to finally get to the end of semester. I still surely have a lot of work to do. Grading tons of papers is coming soon. But at least, no more teaching next week and weeks following next week. No more waking up in the morning and cycling to campus barely waking up! Continue reading The end of semester: My students and I→
As some of you might have known, several months ago I did a Call for Paper for setting up a panel at International Convention of Asian Scholars in August 2007 in Kuala Lumpur. I got a tremendous reaction. Many great abstracts were submitted, not only from junior scholars but also some senior ones! Many of them didn't even ask for funding, they would be self-funded. I wish I could accept all of them. Unfortunately I couldn't.
Here is a course I’ll teach in Spring 2007 semester. This is my first course at ASU and actually my first very own course in my life. I’ve been teaching for so many years, but never really “owned” a course before.
All — bloggers and non bloggers, nice persons and not-so nice ones, human and aliens, and others — is welcome to join the class.