Skip to main content

University of Michigan School of Information


Data Science/Computational Social Science seminar: Brooke Foucault Welles

Brooke Foucault Welles

Noon - 1:00 p.m.

#HashtagActivism: Networks of Race and Gender Justice 


The proliferation of social media has given rise to widespread study and speculation about the impact of digital technologies on politics, activism, and social change. Key among these debates is the role social media play in shaping the contemporary public sphere, and by proxy, our democracy. Maligned by some as “slacktivism,” I will argue social media platforms such as Twitter create unique opportunities for traditionally excluded voices to challenge the terms of public debate. Using the evidence from Twitter hashtag networks such as #BlackLivesMatter and #MeToo, I will demonstrate how hashtag activism complements other forms of activism to change the terms of mainstream public debates about race and gender justice in the  United States. 
Learn more about#HashtagActivism here:
And download the chapters for free here:

Speaker Bio: 

Brooke Foucault Welles

Brooke Foucault Welles is an Associate Professor of Communication Studies and Network Science at Northeastern University. She directs the Communication Media and Marginalization (CoMM Lab) at Northeastern's Network Science Institute. She is the co-author of #HashtagActivism: Networks of Race and Gender Justice (2020, MIT Press) and co-editor of the Handbook of Networked Communication (2020, Oxford University Press). She is the founder of Women in Network Science (WiNS) and together with her co-authors Sarah J. Jackson and Moya Bailey, she received the 2020 Applied/Public Policy Research award from the International Communication Association.


Zoom link: