Course Reflection Period 2

  • For Machines of knowledge

I really wish to have a chance to explore more about feminism, since the topic of gender issues has always been confusing me as a young woman who is trying to understand how modern society is constructed under inequality and what the new generation should do to make it more equal. Sadly, I couldn’t find some so called right answers to this thought. But I hope that when studying other theories, women’s perspective, or the perspective of other minorities, would not be ignored. For example, when discussing the public sphere, it was assumed that only male citizens were participating in the old days. Even in modern society, when discussing these theories from last century, they will consciously ignore women’s views. On the one hand, I think it is necessary to recognize that the views of women/minorities are different from that of men, and on the other hand, changes in research factors brought about by such as gender differences should not be ignored.

However, distant reading and text analysis are of greater interest and they are easier to understand or to use in terms of digital culture studies. Firstly, it is important to understand how audiences/public response to the news, events, and other people, their reaction online reflects what the digital society is like to a large extent, so figuring out what are the things that affect people to react by collecting data is of great help. At the same time, understanding the shortcomings of this method is essential. All in all, I think, as a MA student in Media Studies, I really want to be and need to be a kind of professional in using this method from collecting the data I need, to use digital tools to deal with the data, and analysing the data, etc. From my personal experience, learning this method along with some coding skills will become basic academic requirements for people in the field of digital culture.

  • For Design Thinking and Maker Culture

I personally do not consider myself a creative person, but now I know designing is not just a form of digital painting, photography, and decoration, etc. It is more of ways of solving problems, and the outcome of designing can be anything. So it is interesting to understand design theoretically with the term of Design Thinking.

Through this way of thinking, I feel like I am reading and analysing information from other’s designs. For instance, the bridge to long beach designed in America showed racism since the bus(basically black people) couldn’t pass through and only people with cars at that time (basically white people) can drive to the long beach through the bridge. So what you make basically shows what you think, and we might be limited by our own views more often, we should think more critically when designing.

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  1. Hi Jingwen,
    I can understand your frustration regarding the tutorial about feminism. Indeed, I would also have been happy to discuss about it more extensively. Nevertheless, I think that it is nice that Costas and Jacob have decided to keep this topic even if the lecture was cancelled. I certainly cannot relate to feminism as you are as a young woman. However, this session was really enriching and enjoying for me as the only men (with my tutor Jacob) in my group. Regarding distant reading, I totally agree with you. I believe that it was really instructive to learn how to use these tools. I think that you’re totally right by writing that this method along with coding skills will become basic academic requirements for people in the field of digital culture.

    I wish you a good luck for all the exams! Enjoy your Christmas break

  2. Hi Jingwen!

    I agree that it would have been great if we had discussed the topic of Feminism a bit more extensively in the course! Feminist theory has a special place in my heart, as I think it is such an important and relevant ideology for both the academic world as well as society as a whole. It is, indeed, a very interesting theory to connect to the topic of the public sphere as well! It is so important to not just take a dominant ideology as a standard for public discourse and to include minority groups as well. This also connects to the Design Thinking course, in which we should perhaps be more cautious to focus upon other people’s needs and perspectives (instead of just limiting our designs to our own thoughts and perspectives).

    Have a Happy Christmas and enjoy your Holidays!

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