[category, uc davis events]
Weapons of the Geek
Gabriella Coleman | Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy, McGill University
While often misrepresented in popular culture as the practice of a deviant subculture, hacking has long contained small elements of protest, policy intervention, and political organization. In the past five years, these narrow engagements have swelled: politically-motivated hacking has dramatically proliferated. This talks considers the following questions: Why and how have hackers managed to preserve demographically unusual pockets of political autonomy, even as they find it easier to secure economically and socially rewarding positions? What historical, cultural, and sociological conditions have facilitated their passage into the political arena, especially in such large numbers?
Gabriella (Biella) Coleman holds the Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy at McGill University. Trained as a cultural anthropologist, she researches, writes, and teaches on computer hackers and digital activism. Her first book on Free Software, Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking has been published with Princeton University Press. Her new book, Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous, published by Verso, has been named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2014.