Call for Submissions: The Digital Activism Issue

In a world of rapid technological, political, and institutional flux, the techniques and tools used to speak out against injustice and oppression are likewise changing in new, exciting ways. For the upcoming special issue of Harlot (number 11!), we invite submissions that engage with the theme of digital activism.

Our understanding of the "digital activism" theme is two-fold: In one sense, we take digital activism to mean the use of digitally created tools, services, and platforms to support or augment "traditional" activist efforts. (For example, one might analyze the use of SMS, Twitter, online video sharing and the open-source code-sharing site Github by the Occupy Wall Street movement to easily distribute information to protesters about real-time gatherings, police presence, or potential emergency situations.)

In another sense, digital activism can also include activist rhetorics that explicitly address issues related to digital culture. (For example, contributors might interrogate the SOPA Blackout Day, a coordinated voluntary takedown of major websites to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act, pending federal legislation that threatened to curtail the free, open nature of the Web.)

Some questions to consider:

In addition to looking for submissions that analyze online activist rhetorics, we also encourage submissions that radically enact digital activist rhetorics—that speak beyond the walls of the academy to engage broader (counter)publics on their own terms. And, of course, we’re looking for the kind of innovative design that Harlot has come to be known for: dynamic, visually appealing mediated texts that present ideas in a coherent, provocative, and insightful manner.

If you have any questions or want to talk through an idea for a project, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the editors:

Submission deadline: January 15, 2014.

Ben McCorkle and Jason Palmeri will serve as your guest editors for this special issue.

McCorkle wearing Guy Fawkes mask

McCorkle, Associate Professor of English at The Ohio State University-Marion and the author of Rhetorical Delivery as Technological Discourse: A Cross-Historical Study, has long been interested in the effects of technological disruption on social and cultural structures—even back in the day when he was a quasi-gutter punk hanging out with the Foods Not Bombs kids in Athens, Georgia, designing Xerox flyers, mixing up batches of wheat paste, and filling five-gallon buckets full of hearty vegan goulash.

Palmeri on YouTube

Palmeri, Associate Professor of English at Miami University and author of Remixing Composition: A History of Multimodal Writing Pedagogy, is currently researching and practicing online video activism in queer counterpublics. As a Florida high school student in the early ‘90s, Jason once encircled Jeb Bush yelling, "Racist, Sexist, Anti-gay... Jeb Bush Go Away!" Sadly, this moment was not captured on digital media.