McGannon Center Awards 2020 Book Prize to #HashtagActivism


Fordham University’s McGannon Centerwhich is dedicated to furthering understanding of the ethical and social justice dimensions of media and communication technologieshas awarded its annual book prize to the authors of #Hashtag Activism: Networks of Race and Gender Justice (MIT Press): Sarah J. Jackson, Moya Bailey, and Brooke Foucault Welles.

#HashtagActivism explores how marginalized groups use Twitter to advance counter-narratives, preempt political spin, and build diverse networks of dissent. The book explores how hashtags like #MeToo, #SurvivorPrivilege, and #WhyIStayed have challenged the conventional understanding of gendered violence, as well as how online activism, storytelling, and strategy-building set the stage for #BlackLivesMatter.

Reviewers at the Center unanimously voted that the book’s “rigorous and interdisciplinary account of concerted and spontaneous online viral phenomena distinguished it from other book projects in communications research published in the past year,” according to McGannon Center Director Olivier Sylvain.

“It methodically and empathetically explains the ways in which networks of Black and brown people, women, and other historically subordinated groups have ‘birthed and nourished’ counterpublics on social media and helped to mobilize progressive social change,” Professor Sylvain said. “It uncovers the lived social impacts of communications technologies in ways that this award means to recognize and celebrate.”

To celebrate #HashtagActivism and recognize its authors, the McGannon Center will be hosting a virtual 90-minute-long event on March 2 at 4 p.m. The event will also feature other scholars and authors whose work is in conversation with the book. Visit Fordham Law’s event calendar for more information about the virtual celebration, including details about how to register, when the event is formally announced in February.


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