Fembot grew out of the work of a research interest group within the Center for the Study of Women in Society (CSWS) at the University of Oregon. Seed funding for organizing the collective and jump starting the blog came from CSWS and the University of Oregon libraries.
Fembot is a collaboration among faculty, graduate students, media producers, artists, and librarians promoting research on gender, new media and technology. The Fembot community presently spans North America and encourages interdisciplinary and international participation.
Fembot aims to seize the means of scholarly production by creating an open access journal, Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology, with a re-envisioned model of peer review and tools for multi-modal publication, community and promotion. Fembot has developed a framework for a two-level review process that includes an open editorial peer review and a community level of review for works in progress. Valuing both the scholarly works and participation in the community of review, Fembot will provide metrics on article views/downloads and the usefulness of comments. These metrics will be aggregated into a portfolio, which is conducive to forming an incentive to participate in the community and support an argument for value toward promotion. Not solely creating a means for traditional scholarship to appear online, Fembot seeks to redefine what scholarly communication means in a digital environment by transforming the concept of “article” and embracing multi-modal technologies for production and distribution. Built using WordPress and with a commitment to open source, the tools created by Fembot will be shared with the community. Fembot is in its initial phase of development with its first issue of Ada in progress.
FemTechNet is a network of hundreds of international feminist scholars, students and artists who work on or with technology in a variety of fields including STS, Media and Visual Studies, Art, Women’s, Queer and Ethnic Studies.
The pedagogic arm of this effort has activated our network to build a course, and its database of materials, called Dialogues in Feminism and Technology to be held at institutions of higher education around the globe from September-December, 2013. The course is the first Massively Distributed Collaborative Learning Experiment in higher education: a feminist model for technologically-enhanced learning.
Produced collectively by FemTechNet, “Dialogues in Feminism and Technology” delivers (and grows) ten weeks of course content covering both the histories and cutting edge scholarship on technology produced through art, science, and visual studies. Recorded conversations between luminaries in these fields will anchor each of ten weeks of themed content, but from there, each professor will tailor a course best-suited to her students, institution, locale, and discipline from a diverse, robust, and growing database of “Boundary Objects that Learn.” Shared assignments will link learners around the globe as their own efforts become part of the feminist database and dialogue.