Technology and Revolution: Scholar Activists and the Defense of the Knowledge Commons

Host/Sponsor: 
May First/People Link and International Network of Scholar Activists
Room: 
Timeslot: 
Abstract: 
Communications technology enhances our abilities to communicate and collaborate across distance, but access to the internet and the freedom and security of information are increasingly endangered by surveillance and privatization. Scholar-activists must play a more central role in the movement defending the internet and its content as public goods, yet many of us remain uninformed about the ways both our professional work and struggles for economic and social justice are threatened by the changing technological landscape. As social and environmental crises deepen and as fossil fuel, media, publishing, and other industries mobilize to neutralize the threats our movements pose, it is even more critical that everyone—and especially those who specialize in communications, knowledge, and educational work—understand the nature of contemporary threats to our communications infrastructure and the ways movements are responding to these threats. Panelists will outline the key issues affecting internet freedom and access to knowledge—including net neutrality, state surveillance, free and open source software, and open access publishing. Strategies for defending and strengthening our shared communications infrastructure and the knowledge commons will be discussed.
Panel Track: 
Technology and Revolution
Reading List: 
The Organic Internet https://mayfirst.org/en/files/organicinternet.1.5.pdf; Alfredo Lopez and Jackie Smith, "Let’s Stop Google from Gobbling Up Our Schools " http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/06/03/lets-stop-google-from-gobbling-up-our-schools/
Chair/First Facilitator/Speaker First Name: 
Jackie
Chair/First Facilitator/Speaker Last Name: 
Smith
Chair/First Facilitator/Speaker Affiliation: 
International Network of Scholar Activists
Chair/First Facilitator/Speaker Biography: 
Jackie Smith is professor of sociology at the University of Pittsburgh and editor of the open access Journal of World-Systems Research. She is co-founder of the International Network of Scholar Activists (INoSA) and has served on the Leadership Committee of May First/People Link. Her most recent books include "Social Movements in the World-System: the Politics of Crisis and Transformation" and "Social Movements and World-System Transformation."
Speaker 1/Second Facilitator First Name: 
Alfredo
Speaker 1/Second Facilitator Last Name: 
Lopez
Speaker 1/Second Facilitator Affiliation: 
May First/People Link
Speaker 1/Second Facilitator Biography: 
Alfredo Lopez is co-founder of May First/People Link and a regular contributor to the internet blog, "This Can't Be Happening." He has helped lead technology work in the U.S. Social Forum among other important movement spaces.
Speaker 2/Third Facilitator First Name: 
Manisha
Speaker 2/Third Facilitator Last Name: 
Desai
Speaker 2/Third Facilitator Affiliation: 
University of Connecticut
Speaker 2/Third Facilitator Biography: 
Manisha Desai is Professor of Sociology and Asian and Asian American Studies at the University of Connecticut. She is also active in the International Network of Scholar Activists and serves on the Leadership Committee of May First/People Link. She is part of several resistance groups on campus and in the Hartford area working for immigrant righs and is also involved with several people's movements and feminist organizations in India, including Akshara in Mumbai.
Speaker 3/Fourth Facilitator First Name: 
Melanie
Speaker 3/Fourth Facilitator Last Name: 
Bush
Speaker 3/Fourth Facilitator Affiliation: 
Adelphi University
Speaker 3/Fourth Facilitator Biography: 
Melanie Bush is Associate Professor of Sociology at Adelphi University. She is also active in the International Network of Scholar Activists and serves on the Leadership Committee of May First/People Link. She is the co-author of Tensions in the American Dream: Rhetoric, Reverie or Reality (with Rod Bush) and the author of Everyday Forms of Whiteness: Understanding Race in a "Post-Racial" World.
Panel/Workshop Organizer First Name: 
Jackie
Panel/Workshop Organizer Last Name: 
Smith
Panel/Workshop Organizer Affiliation: 
International Network of Scholar Activists
 

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