“DIY Citizenship: Critical Making and Social Media” (MIT Press, 2014)

The publication of our edited collection from MIT Press DIY Citizenship: Critical Making and Social Media convened a book launch in March at USC in Los Angeles, hosted by Henry Jenkins Kjerstin Thorson and Mike Ananny from University of Southern California Civic Paths Research Group.

The book then sparked a one-day symposium for the UK book launch of DIY Citizenship, convened by Mandy Rose and Amy Spencer, hosted by UWE Bristol’s Digital Cultures Research Centre at the Pervasive Media Studio, Watershed, Bristol.

Here is Parts 1 and 2 of Henry Jenkins blog interview of Boler and Ratto on DIY Citizenship…


2014 publications, hot off the press!

Just out: 2nd Edition of Martha McCaughey’s groundbreaking book for “Routledge Studies in New Media and Cyberculture.”  I am so pleased that Christina Nitsou and I were able to contribute a chapter! 


Other forthcoming and recent publications:

Boler, M. and Christina Nitsou, Women Activists within the Leaderless Occupy Wall Street: Consciousness-Raising and Connective Action in Hybrid Social Movements, in McCaughey, M.(ed), Cyberactivism (second edition) NY: Routledge (2014).

Reilly, Ian and Megan Boler. “Satire and Social Change: The Rally to Restore Sanity and the Future of Politics,” Communication, Culture and Critique (forthcoming 2014)

Boler, Megan and Selena Nemorin. “21st Century Propaganda: the Shifting Landscape of News,” in Oxford University Handbook of Propaganda, eds R Castronovo and J Auerbach. (2013)

On the road…

Busy time upcoming of travel and talks on recent research.  Heading this week to London as one of the invited keynotes for Social Media, the fourth international Transforming Audiences conference 

In September, myself and two members of our Research Team (Averie Macdonald and Christina Nitsou) presenting at Social Media conference at Dalhousie University in Halifax.

In October, I am presenting at the World Social Science Forum in Montreal.

On October 31 I will be delivering the invited Kneller Lecture at the American Educational Studies Association October 31 in Baltimore.

Then flying to Monash University in Melbourne as invited Visiting Scholar for month of November!

Plus exciting news: Our DIY Citizenship edited book is forthcoming in January, huzzah!

Megan Boler speaking at Osgoode Law School

Saturday May 11, Plenary Roundtable: Gender and Censorship
11.00 am – 12.15 pm Oakham Lounge

Osgoode Law School Annual Conference, University of Toronto

Moderator: Savitri Gordian, LLM Candidate, Osgoode Hall Law School

  • Professor Lisa Taylor, Ryerson University
  • Professor Megan Boler, University of Toronto
  • Professor Lynda Lange, University of Toronto



and if you’re in San Francisco

…come on down to the American Educational Research Associate conference (some 30,000 intl attendees!) and catch PI Dr Megan Boler discussing our SMRT research team’s preliminary findings on a panel titled “DIY Media & Youth Engagement.”

WHEN: Saturday April 27 at 2:15 pm. WHERE: Building/Room: Grand Hyatt, Ballroom Level – Grand Ballroom West  http://tinyurl.com/c78aptk

Dr. Boler’s talk,”From Apathy to Occupy Wall Street to 4th Wave Feminism: Youth Practices of Social Media and Participatory Democracy” will discuss new findings from our 20 interviews with women activists from the west and east coasts.  Our research questions include: How are social media shaping new, hybrid (on and offline) social movements? How is “horizontalism” as an organizational structure effecting the successes and challenges of movements such as Occupy Wall Street? What are the gender dynamics and women’s roles in Occupy movement? She will presenting alongside wonderful colleagues:

From Apathy to Occupy Wall Street to 4th Wave Feminism: Youth Practices of Social Media and Participatory Democracy

Megan Boler (University of Toronto)

Mirror Images: Avatar Aesthetics and Self-Representation in Digital Games

Suzanne de Castell (University of Ontario Institute of Technology)

Raising the Bar on “Voice” in a Troubled Community: Student Media Projects

Jennifer Jenson (York University)

DIY (Do It Yourself) Beyond the Screen: Creative, Critical, and Connected Making With E-Textiles

Yasmin B. Kafai (University of Pennsylvania)Kylie A. Peppler (Indiana University – Bloomington)

Embodied Semiosis: Autistic “Stimming” as Sensory Praxis

Jason D. Nolan (Ryerson University)Melanie C McBride (York University)

**This panel talk delivered by PI Dr Megan Boler comes Thanks to the superb and engaged collaborative work of the fabulous 2012-13 SMRT team of graduate researchers!



Upcoming Talk: The People vs. The System

Jennie Phillips

Come out this Friday and catch one of our SMRT Boler team members in action!

Jennie Phillips, PhD student at OISE studying disaster response and online communities, will be speaking at the Dynamics of Global Change Workshop this Friday April 26 hosted at Munk School, University of Toronto. She will be delivering a presentation titled “The People vs. The System: An Explanation of How Disaster Transforms Humanity and How The System Gets in The Way.” Discussion will cover the realities of disaster situations, promote the power of social capital and provoke reconsideration regarding how we go about planning for and responding to crisis. The aim of her talk is to encourage the way we think about preventing/mitigating, preparing for, responding to and recovering from crisis.

Registration for the event it free (and includes lunch):

A more detailed description of the event is below (from source):

Dynamics of Global Change Program 2013 Graduate Student Workshop

Friday, April 26, 2013
10:30 am to 4:00 pm

This workshop brings together doctoral students from across the university to present aspects of the their research, connected by the overarching theme of exploring the sources, structure, and pace—in short, dynamics—of change.

Professor Melissa Williams will deliver a lunchtime keynote address.

Session A (10am-12pm): Student Presentations

  • Ushnish Sengupta (OISE): Entrepreneurship as an Alternative Pathway to Self-Determination for Aboriginal Young Adults
  • Lameck Zingano (Anthropology): EcoCash Through a Cellular Technology
  • Jeff Myers (OISE): The Institution of Becoming Canadian and Global Justice: Incompatible?

Lunch and Keynote (12pm-2pm): “Glocalizing” Global Justice: Democratic Translations of Human” by Professor Melissa Williams

If there is such a thing as global justice, it demands two things of us, argues Melissa Williams (Political Science, University of Toronto): first, that we advance the real protection of human rights; and second, that we redress unjustifiable inequalities in the global distribution of wealth and opportunities. In general, philosophic perspectives on the problem of global justice (all of which are rooted in Western philosophic traditions) enjoin us to understand human rights as universal and distributive justice as contextual; that is, mediated by our membership in bounded political communities. But we might also adopt the perspective of the “glocal” citizen-activist who is trying to advance human rights and distributive justice in theord context of a globalized capitalist economy and networked transnational public space. If we do, we find a dynamic process of democratic translation taking place in which the polarities of human rights and social justice, universalism and contextualism, are reversed. Human rights now appear as contextual, and social justice appears as immanently) universal. Combining these perspectives opens up new pathways for understanding multiple sites and scales of activism as complementary contributions to a global system of human rights and social justice.

Session B (2pm-4pm): Student Presentations

  • Jennie Phillips (OISE): The People vs. The System: An Explanation of How Disaster Transforms Humanity and How The System Gets in The Way
  • Wilfrid Greaves (Political Science): Climate Change, Indigeneity, and Security in the Circumpolar Arctic
  • Jodi Adams (Political Science): Dynamics of Carbon Sinks in the CDM: Actors, Interests and Ideas
  • Alicia Grubb (Computer Science): Comparing Temporal and Scalar Aspects of Systems Models


Research Update

Hello to all out there in cyberland!

Averie from the Boler Research Team here to post a little update on our progress.

We are headed into the last month of our year-long Graduate Research Assistantships working on Dr. Boler’s SSHRC-funded project about “Youth, Social media, and Social movements” — there are still so many things we would love to accomplish with this project!  Here’s an update on some of our exciting progress over the last months.

In our last research update, we were just entering the transcription phase of our project — we had 13 interviews with women (and a few men) who participated in the Occupy movement in California. We started by transcribing all 13 interviews (some with multiple participants) by hand, using some awesome free transcription software called f5.

Then came the coding! We engaged a “Grounded Theory” approach to coding, which we’ve been reading up on as a team. However, our process also bears some resemblance to a more general inductive approach, such as the one described by David R. Thomas in this article.

Continue reading Research Update