There is no identity work that can remain clinical, detached or impersonal and still lead to substantive learning. In this course we will first wrestle with the concept of “digital identity” as a familiar, yet slippery reality. Beyond the questions of who we are online as opposed to offline, we also have to ask what we are and to whom: data points, target group members or trolls for platform algorithms, shareholders and/or other users. We will pursue questions like:
- To what ends do we enact our digital identities, and under whose gaze?
- What do our curating and archiving habits reveal about us and how do these influence our engagements ‘on the ground’ in our communities and institutions?
- And speaking of institutions, can and do they have digital identities as well?
As a cohort, we will work to arrive at understandings and applications of digital identity that will enhance our capacity to support others and sustain the communities we inhabit. In service of such an outcome, participants will be encouraged to research/consider an aspect of digital identity and produce an artifact (a piece of writing, artwork, a song, a speech—the possibilities are wide open) to be shared with the whole group. Throughout our inquiry we want to exercise and stretch our curiosity, keeping the door open for surprise.
Expect to move and be moved, to speak and be heard, to question and be challenged.