Workshop: Social Media and #USSStrikes

The unprecedented wave of strike action across UK universities earlier in 2018 raises many questions for the sociology of higher education. To what extent was the strike part of a wider set of mobilisations against austerity, on the one hand, and the workings out of neoliberal policies shaping public institutions, on the other? What were the conditions which made these actions so effective? And crucially for this one day workshop, what roles did social media play in generating momentum, and does the expanding regulation of social media create problems for these forms of mobilisation?

9:30am to 10:00am: Welcome and introductions
10am to 10:45am: The relationship between the physicality of collective picket line action and the parallel virtual (collective) activity on social media (Steve Watson)
10:45am to 11:30am: Psychological effects of participation in the strike (Sara Vestergren)
11:30am to 12:15pm: (Not) another brick in the wall? Social media, social movements, and limits of performativity (Jana Bacevic)
12:15pm to 1:00pm: Lunch
1:00pm to 1:45pm: Social Media and Critical University Studies: Issues of Academic Freedom (Eric Lybeck)
1:45pm to 2:30pm: LEGOVC: a 101 meme boxset of slightly soiled, offensively charming, telenovela-style, factually inaccurate, toy-based, pension-peeved docu-dramedy (Ian Cook)
2:30pm to 3:15pm: The Epistemic Context for USS Briefs (Warren Pearce)
3:15pm to 3:30pm: Coffee break
3:30pm to 4:15pm: How the USS dispute democratised information (Jo Grady)
4:15pm to 5:00pm: Jamming the medium and opening archives (Felicity Callard)
5:00pm to 5:30pm: Possible next steps

We have a few places left so if you’d like to take part please get in touch with a few details about yourself and your interest in the event. It will take place on August 7th in the Faculty of Education at the University of Cambridge.