FemTechNet Allied Media Conference Newsletter, or Feminist Killjoy Antics with GIFs
Situated Critical Race & Media Collective (SCRAM)
Citation: Situated Critical Race & Media Collective (SCRAM), . “FemTechNet Allied Media Conference Newsletter, or Feminist Killjoy Antics with GIFs.” Hyperrhiz: New Media Cultures, no. 21, 2019. doi:10.20415/hyp/021.m02
Abstract: Specific to a moment in time in 2017, this FemTechNet newsletter utilizes Internet vernacular (e.g. gifs, hashtags, hyperlinks, comments, nerd culture references) along with approachable jargon-free language to organize and inform the FemTechNet community about an event at the Allied Media Conference.
Keywords: newsletter, memes, GIFs, cats, feminist, collaboration, collective, fundraising.
The Situated Critical Race and Media (SCRAM) collective is a close-knit group of scholars that grew from the larger networked collective FemTechNet, short for Feminist Technology Network (for more information on FemTechNet, see also Elizabeth Losh’s piece in this issue). SCRAM has come to embrace Internet vernacular in all of its activities. Our six core members meet in virtual space to plan talks, write projects, mastermind grant applications, conference proposals, digital projects, and to socialize. Starting in 2017, following major restructuring of the larger network, SCRAM moved FemTechNet’s annual summer workshop, to a one-day Network Gathering at the Allied Media Conference in Detroit.
With a change in leadership, primarily to the women and queer folx of color that made up SCRAM, and the decision to move to the Allied Media Conference we were committing to a different politics, a different structure, and a new way of doing things. We were pivoting away from the traditional academy and towards our communities. This commitment to community-based communication and action is reflected in our newsletters, which George Hoagland transformed into festive easily-digestible celebrations of feminist solidarity, thank yous to our sponsors, calls for donations, and general news. Our fundraising, additionally featured what Alexandrina Agloro has termed “feminist hacking” of the Honeyfund; the website generally used to raise money for honeymoons, was here being used to raise funds for big post-it notes, index cards, and sharpies, but also feminist killjoy antics, consensual hugs, and good vibes.
This is only a sample of our SCRAM Internet rhetoric in action, and just scratches the surface of our activities and commitments to one another as women of color academics who organize, work, play, and love together online. SCRAM has been a space of refuge for the women and queer folx of color who make up the collective. In an academy that can be hostile to our presence and our work, we find solidarity and kinship in SCRAM. We try to spread that love to a broader network through our in-person network gatherings, our conference presentations, our digital projects, and most prominently in our digital newsletters where our love takes the form of playful gifs, cat memes, and inclusive language.
“Allied Media Conference.” Allied Media Projects: Detroit, 2018. alliedmedia.org/amc
“FemTechNet Network Gathering.” Allied Media Projects: Detroit, 2018. alliedmedia.org/amc2018/femtechnet-network-gathering
“What is a DOCC?” FemTechNet. femtechnet.org/docc/
- AMC is the annual conference of the Allied Media Projects (AMP), a 501(c)(3) non-profit which “cultivates media for liberation.”