Who We Are
Situated Critical Race and Media (SCRAM) is a D.I.O. (Do It Ourselves) race and social justice network of feminist organizers, educators, artists, activists, and scholars working on technology, justice, transformation, digital media praxis and theory. Anchored in the legacy of critical race and ethnic studies, SCRAM addresses issues of racial, ethnic and cultural formation, power, and identity through practice-based scholarship and community building. Media Map collaborations include content featuring The Free Radicals, SOLHOT, DJ Lynnée Denise; podcast music from Blair Ebony Smith; and sound engineering from Twin Cities-based producer Hlee Lee.
What We Did
Media Map is an online multimodal plug-n-play pedagogical platform for collaborative critical making and mapping of media; our vision is for this work to represent our own system of global collaboration and connected learning that serves lineages of intersectional feminists and technologists, teachers and learners in a variety of learning environments, including universities, community organizations, youth centers, adult education, and others. The first set of themes are: Games, Sound, and Location. Some modules contain a media piece (podcast, digital game, or other media), links to readings, discussion questions, and an activity, such as cooking recipes and dance videos. These modules act as invitations for learners to create and share their own critical making responses to curated materials on our platform. In so doing, learners expand and evolve their multimedia literacy and develop nuanced, responsive, intersectional feminist practices pertaining to media. These strategic, timely, and collaborative practices are (re)produced through engagement with peers on the platform’s front end, and with those of us who are Media Map developers on the back end.
How We Did It
The original inception of Media Map began in 2016 with a grant from Worcester Polytechnic Institute to build a resource for interactive media and game development faculty to teach about race, feminism, and technology using pre-made lesson plans. In design development, we expanded the platform as iterative modules that were non-linear in their structure and more flexible than traditional Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). In 2017 an EdeX grant from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore allowed for building the current design of the Media Map online platform. This design is adapted from the online cultural history “The Seoul of Los Angeles: Contested Identities and Transnationalism in Immigrant Space”. Present and past institutional collaborators include Nanyang Technological University, The New School, WPI, MCAD, Arizona State University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Texas at Dallas, and University of Michigan.
Why We Did It
SCRAM has refined its value system to work collaboratively on all projects; to acknowledge group members’ contributions in an effort to avoid reproducing institutionally oppressive strategies wherein the literal and affective labor burdens are shouldered by those marginalized because of their race, class, gender, employment status, geographic location, or other precarious statuses; to support our individual careers and professionalization practices through documenting our work; to care for one another; and to situate our varied skills, research foci, and activism around issues of critical race and ethnic studies. Media Map and its development process is a negotiation of our collective values and the realities of labor under late capitalism.