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College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Media, Film & Journalism Studies

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News & Events

Estlow Lecture 2013

Gabriella Coleman headshot"Weapons of the Geek and Anonymous: Sitting at the Nexus Between Expertise and Participation" 

The tools of political and civil activism have changed and evolved parallel to the development of technology and media. So how do activists like Anonymous use technology to affect change?

Renowned commentator on surveillance and digital civil disobedience (think Bradly Manning, Edward Snowden, Julian Assange & Anonymous) Gabriella Coleman will deliver the 2013 Estlow Lecture on Wednesday, Oct. 23 at 5 p.m. at the University of Denver. Her talk will focus on online activism and hacker culture, particularly the group Anonymous.

Event Information

Date: Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Time: 5:00 - 6:45 p.m.

Location: University of Denver, Sturm Hall, Davis Auditorium

Cost: Free

Parking Information: Paid hourly parking (self-pay) lots are located at several locations at the University of Denver. Visit the parking map to find lots. Parking kiosks accept cash and credit cards.

About the lecture

While certainly unique in its approach, Anonymous is comprised of self-identified hackers and geeks who take political matters into their own hands. They are also part of a wellspring of others who take political matters into their own hands to make their voices heard, to orchestrate protests over a range of issues--particularly civil liberties--and to transform policy and law. 

Anonymous signals the growing importance of what Coleman calls "Weapons of the Geek" in contrast to "Weapons of the Weak," a term anthropologist James Scott uses to capture the unique, clandestine nature of "peasant politics." Weapons of the Geek is a modality of politics used by a class of privileged and visible actors who often lie at the center of economic life. Among geeks and hackers, political activities are rooted in concrete experiences of their craft--administering a computer server or editing videos--skills channeled toward bolstering civil liberties such as privacy. 

Coleman will use historical examples of the group Anonymous to consider characteristics common to geek and hacker politics.

Association of Internet Researchers

The 2013 Estlow Lecture is the opening keynote to the Association of Internet Researcher's annual conference held this year in Denver, Oct. 23-26, 2013. During this time, more than 500 academics will convene in Colorado to discuss the cross-disciplinary field of internet studies.

To learn more about the conference and the AOIR, visit their website