Term 1 Units:
1.1 Intersectional Internets (20 Credits)
In this unit you will explore how power relations are organized, embedded and perpetuated in internet technologies, and how this can be resisted. You will examine structures of oppression including hetero-patriarchy, capitalism, colonialism and white supremacy and the ways they intersect with each other. You will learn how scholars and creative practitioners have used frameworks such as digital intersectionality and post-colonial science and technology studies to push back against these power relations. You will address an internet equality by reviewing and critiquing current discourses and completing a practical intervention.
1.2 Methods for ethical technology development (20 credits)
Supported by seminars, group discussions and exploratory practice, you will prototype and test a method of ethical technology development. You will also present a critique of a relevant theoretical text and its relationship to your practice. Methods covered will include Feminist/post-colonial/anarchist Human Computer Interaction, Participatory Action Research, Iterative Design, and Digital Ethnography. Theories covered will include Digital Feminism, Digital Intersectionality, Postcolonial Science and Technology Studies and Queer Theory.
1.3 Feminist computational practices (20 credits)
Term 2/3 Units:
2.1 OPTIONAL: Computational Inequalities (20 Credits)
Building on the feminist computational practices unit, this practical unit explores computational bias in the context of surveillance capitalism and big data. Through supervised studio/lab practice, seminars and independent study, you will learn critical and computational approaches to address forms of discrimination and bias that are reinforced by machine learning systems and the data they are trained on. You will explore alternative, crowdsourced and open forms of data and their potential in creative ethical technology development. You will develop a technical prototype and provide accompanying reflective documentation.
2.2 OPTIONAL: Designing for responsible business and innovation (20 Credits)
This unit incorporates workshops and industry visits to explore the moral and business cases for responsible business and innovation. You will hear from leading experts and practitioners about the history and current landscape of workplace equality. You will critically analyse the role of responsible innovation in building a more equal society, considering its place and scope within small start-ups and global corporations. You will present a proposal for a business, policy or other intervention that foregrounds responsible innovation or workplace equality.
2.3 Human Rights and Computation (20 Credits)
This unit explores the roles of technology companies, governments, users and the law in making social platforms safe. You will explore legal, human rights and regulatory frameworks surrounding online liability, duty of care and online harms. You will also learn about data protection in the context of surveillance and platform capitalism. You will design an intervention (policy/law change/product/campaign/other) to promote or enhance online safety within a public service or social network.
3.1 Platform Potentials (20 Credits)
On this unit you will use Participatory Action Research and Digital Ethnography. to explore the role of online platforms in social change. You will hear from activists and initiators of online movements and discuss the current contexts of community empowerment, collective resistance, subversion and activism. You will study and present a SWOT analysis of an existing online movement, community or platform.
Term 4 Units:
4.1 Final Major Project (60 Credits) by prototype, project or thesis (pathway option)
Your final major project will take the form of a dissertation, business proposal, speculative design, or technical prototype that advances internet equality.