Prelude: Technofeminism – Available Readings from the FemTechNet syllabi

On the “SDL” section of FemTechNet, there’s a compilation of syllabi from the various academic institutions running the DOCC. However, many of these resources aren’t obviously accessible without an institutional login. This is a list of those that are, with links. The first four, described in more detail, are those I deemed to be the most relevant.

However, to everything listed below, I would first add Donna Haraway’s “Cyborg Manifesto”. Although it doesn’t appear on the FemTechNet syllabi until week 2 (“Sexualities”), it is a key document for cyberfeminism and is referred to frequently in lots of other materials for the Prelude so it makes sense to read it before or alongside those.

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Also, these two blog posts seem like a pretty good, and recent (2013), intro to cyberfeminism:

(part one) (part two)

Selected readings from the FemTechNet syllabi:

**VNS matrix manifesto**


Judy Wajcman’s Technofeminism is not available online, but her paper “Feminist theories of technology” (2009) might substitute; it gives an overview of feminist debates on technology, contemporary and earlier, analysing contemporary approaches as focusing on technology and gender as mutually shaping each other.

Rosi Braidotti’s “Cyberfeminism with a difference” (1996) discusses cyberfeminism (e.g. Haraway’s cyborg feminism) in relation to postmodernism and the consequences such a perspective has for the relationship/s between the technical and the creative; she identifies cyberfeminism, riot grrl, and feminist sci-fi as non-nostalgic, critical and parodic reactions to these changing relations.

On the course itself, “Bodies in Classrooms” and  “Learning from Failure” are interviews by Liz Losh with two of the course organisers.

Other readings from the syllabi that are accessible online:

Balka, Ellen, “Feminist Designs: Ellen Balka discusses ways to make cities more inclusive”

Baumgardner, Jennifer and Amy Richards, “A Day Without Feminism,” (2000)

Cárdenas, Micha, “From a Free Software Movement to a Free Safety Movement”

Coleman, E. Gabriella, Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking (Entire book! Also, not specifically concerned with feminism.)

Dean, Jodie, “Technology: The Promises of Communicative Capitalism” – I didn’t find this, but her “Communicative capitalism: circulation and the foreclosure of politics” (2010) looks similar.

Fernandez, Maria, “Cyberfeminism, Racism, and Embodiment” (2002)

Gajjala, Radhika and Annapurna Mamidipuni, “Cyberfeminism, technology, and international development” (1991)

(I also found this slightly more recent article by the same authors: “Gendering Processes within Technological Environments: A Cyberfeminist Issue” Radhika Gajjala and Annapurna Mamidipuni (2002))

Hanna, Kathleen. “Riot Grrl Manifesto.” History is a Weapon. Bikini Kill Zine 2, 1991.

Haralanova, Christina, “Hacktivism: the Art of Practicing Life and Computer Hacking for Feminist Activism”

Harding, Sandra – “Rethinking Standpoint Epistemology” (1993)

Heidegger, Martin, “The Question Concerning Technology” (1954)

Liu, Alan – Where is cultural criticism in the digital humanities

Priego, Ernesto; “Can the subaltern tweet?” (2010) (short blog post)

Toupin, Sophie, “Feminist Hackerspaces as Safer Spaces?”

“Forbidden Voices: How to Start a Revolution with a Laptop” (film) – I couldn’t find the film, but there’s description here which would give enough info for one to research the featured bloggers.



  1. Some readings with links from the Technofeminism & Labor Suggested Syllabi that didn’t make it onto the above list:

    • Fusco, Coco “Who’s afraid of Yoani Sanchez” March 27, 2013 . Retrieved April, 2013.

    • Alexandra Juhasz and Anne Balsamo, “An idea whose time is here: FemTechNet, a Distributed Online Collaborative Course (DOCC),” Ada: Journal of Gender, New Media and Technology, 1:1(November 2012)

    • Liz Losh, “Bodies in Classrooms: Feminist Dialogues on Technology,”

    • Liz Losh, “Learning from Failure: Feminist Dialogues on Technology,”

    •Alexis Lothian and Amanda Phillips, “Can Digital Humanities Mean Transformative Critique?” Journal of EMedia Studies, 3.1 (2013)

    • Adrianne Wadewitz, “Wikipedia’s gender gap and the complicated reality of systemic gender bias,” July 26, 2013.

    • Noah Berlatsky, “All the Selfish Reasons to be a Male Feminist,” Slate, 08/08/13:

    • Frank Bruni, “Tackling the Roots of Rape,” New York Times, 08/12/13:

    • Jamie Nesbitt Golden, “Feminism Can’t Just be for White Women,” Salon, 08/15/13:

    • Student blog, “Foxfire, Riot Grrrl, and DIY Feminism,” student blog, 11/27/11

    • Fudge, R. (2006). Everything you always wanted to know about feminism but were afraid to ask.
    Bitch, 31, 58-67.

    • Levana (2011). The poetry of ecopedagogy.

    • Valerie L. Thomas, “Black Women Engineers and Technologists (1989)” in A Hammer in Their Hands: A Documentary History of Technology and the African-American Experience, ed. Caroll Pursell (MIT Press, 2005) [PDF]

    Some media with links on the syllabi that didn’t make it onto this list:

    •Alan Liu video:

    • Martha Rosler (1975). Semiotics of the Kitchen (6:29 min. performance video);16/action;showpage/page_type;video/page_id;semiotics_of_the_kitchen_by_martha_rosler_flv/

    • CyberHouse

    • Adrianne Wadewitz, How to Use Wikipedia as a Teaching Tool:

    • Also check out more information about Wikipedia Storming here

    1. Brilliant, thanks!

  2. […] in the previous post for the Prelude, I have gone through the FemTechNet Syllabi for this week and picked out the readings that are […]

  3. […] environment, in contrast to MOOC-style learning. For those without institutional logins, there are suggested readings to accompany the […]

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