Semester Offering: January
This introductory theory course aims to study contemporary digital cultures and the role of digital media technologies in reconstituting social inequalities of gender, class and race/ethnicity and emerging questions on equity and social justice. It draws from the fields of feminist theory, digital humanities and development studies among others to help elaborate on theoretical and methodological discussions in the field. The class takes a primarily intersectional lens in understanding these issues, especially in the context of societies in the Global South.

The course will start with a theoretical overview of feminist approaches to studying digital culture and recent theorizing on digital architectures and its relationship to social inequality and marginalization. The second half of the class will focus on emerging thematic issues in gender, diversity and equity - and the role of digital technologies in promoting/subverting fights for social justice. 


The student on completion of this course would be able to:

      Understand introductory theories of gender, digital culture and social inequality.
      Determine how the design and use of digital technologies can be a gendered/raced/classed process
      Understand emerging issues in social justice and digital cultures




I.        Theoretical Background
1.    Feminist Approaches to Digital Culture
2.    Theorizing Digital Inequality
3.    Imagined Affordances
4.    Data, Algorithms and Marginalized Voices

II.        Gender, Social Justice and Global Digital Culture
1.    Gender & Labor in Digital Cultures
2.    Privacy, Surveillance & Digitized Lives  
3.    Gender Based Violence
4.    Participatory Activism






1.    Punanthambekar, A. & Mohan, S. (2019). Global Digital Cultures: Perspectives from South Asia. Ann Arbr, MI: University of Michigan Press. [Open Access]
2.    Mendes, Ringrose & Keller (2019). Digital Feminist Activism: Girls and women fight back against Rape Culture. New York, NY: Oxford University Press  
3.    Banet Weiser (2018). Empowered: Popular Feminism and Popular Misogyny. Durham: Duke University Press
4.    Noble, S. U. (2018). Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism. New York, NY: New York University Press 
5.    Arora, P. (2019). The Next Billion Users: Digital Life beyond the West. Harvard University Press
6.    Daniels. (2009). Rethinking Cyberfeminism(s): Race, Gender, and Embodiment. Women's Studies Quarterly, Vol. 37, No. 1/2, Technologies (Spring - Summer,
2009), pp. 101-124
7.    Robinson et al. (2015). Digital Inequalities and why they matter. Information, Communication & Society
8.    Witteborn, (2018) The digital force in forced migrations: Imagined affordances and gendered practices. Popular Communication
9.    Chib, Lin & Nguyen (2019). Online Performativity as Restricted Agency: Empowerment of Transgender Sex Workers. ICA 2019 Conference Paper
10.  Dasgupta (2017). Dissident Citizenship. In Digital Queer Cultures in India: Politics, Intimacies and Belonging. Routledge
11.  Duffy & Pruchniewska (2017) Gender and self-enterprise in the social media age: a digital double bind, Information, Communication & Society, 20:6, 843-859, DOI: 10.1080/1369118X.2017.1291703
12.  Zimmerman, Arely. (2016). Transmedia Testimonio: Examining Undocumented Youth’s Political Activism in the Digital Age. International Journal of Communication, [S.l.], v. 10, p. 21, apr. 2016. ISSN 1932-8036. 


         International Journal of Communication (USC Annenberg Press)
         International Journal of Cultural Studies (Sage)
         Information Communication and Society (Taylor & Francis)
         Gender, Technology & Development (Taylor and Francis)


30 hours of lecture. Students are expected to spend at least 3 hours of self-study per lecture hour on required readings.


Lectures with student participation 


         Mid Term: 30%
         Final: 30%
         Term Paper: 30% (Graded on understanding and use of class material, quality of research, strength of the argument, coherence, use of references, citations & Formatting (APA), writing quality and overall content).
        Class Participation: 10% (Graded on quality of participation throughout the semester – presence and coming to class prepared, keeping up with the class readings & timelines, being engaged and proactive in class activities and discussions)
In the assignments/exams, an “A” would be awarded if a student fulfills all the requirements and can excel in contextualizing the knowledge learned in class by presenting strong analyses incorporating class reading materials and outside research. A “B” would be awarded if a student fulfills all the requirements and shows an overall understanding of class readings; a “C” would be awarded if a student does not fulfill the requirements and meets below average expectation in terms of analysis, and a “D” would be awarded if a student does not fulfill the requirements and does not meet basic expectations in analyzing or understanding the issues presented in the course.