Race and the Digital: Racial Formation and 21st Century Technologies

Prompt: From Tweets to Streets?


Over the course of the quarter, we’ve read about the relationship between the digital humanities and ethnic studies, the complexity of the digital divide, and the ways marginalized populations have used new technologies to reimagine race. In this assignment, you will be asked to consider new media’s potential as a site for critical engagement with race and ethnicity, both on and off the internet.


Research Question: Using digital ethnography and course readings, write a report that describes how a social movement of your choice is engaging new media. In your evaluation, consider the ways race shapes digital participation and what your observations suggest about new technologies’ potential to generate critical engagement among and within diverse communities. You are free to build on past writing. Based on your analysis, create a digital supplement with resources that document and contextualize the movement you have chosen.

Social Movement Selection: In choosing a movement, look for one that allows you to make conclusions about how social media is engaged by activists. Be strategic about your movement’s application to course readings. I encourage you to use Scalar. If you prefer to submit a traditional paper, include your images as a separate appendix. All projects are required to include a digital supplement on Scalar linked to the “From Tweets to Streets?” page and linked to your personal portfolio. The Digital Supplement counts towards 2 pages/500 words of the total project length.
Digital Supplement: Create a 5-10 source multimedia supplement with resources for a public audience interested in the social movement you have selected. Examples of sources might include a blog post, videos, organizational websites, Tumblr pages, Twitter accounts, etc. This section should also include a brief narrative (250 words/short video) contextualizing your sources in relation to your research. You are required to use Tags (minimum 2) to aid in searching and highlight intersectionality.

Suggested Resources

Format: You may either submit the paper as a Scalar project or a traditional research paper with digital supplement. Work must be double-spaced in 12-point Times New Roman font with 1” margins, and page numbers inserted (exception if you are using Scalar). Essays that are not properly formatted or do not properly cite sources will be penalized.


When writing your paper, assume that your reader is an advanced college student who is hearing about this topic for the first time and has not read our shared text.
Introduction (4 points)
Did you introduce the purpose of your paper, the social movement you will examine, your data, and general findings?
Description (6 points)
Did you describe your social movement and provide the relevant context for your analysis? Questions you might address in your description include: What are the major features of your organization? What is its purpose? How is it organized? Who is the intended audience? How do they seek to engage or expand that audience through social media?
Analysis (6 points)
Did you provide a compelling answer to the assignment question? Did you draw upon convincing and accurate evidence to support your interpretation, such as course texts, images, and other media? Did you engage with course authors in consistent and thoughtful ways?
Conclusion (4 points)
Did you revisit your findings in light of course themes? Did you reflect on the larger significance of the debates and patterns you’ve identified?
Digital Supplement (6 points)
Did you create an engaging digital supplement that follows guidelines and create a public-facing supplement concerning the social movement you've chosen?
General Guidelines (4 points)
Did you properly credit your sources and include a properly formatted bibliography? Have you followed general formatting requirements and copy-editing?


I am happy to offer feedback on assignments during office hours or by appointment. For additional assistance, I encourage you to visit the Undergraduate Writing Center, http://wp.ucla.edu/index.php/home in A61 Humanities, Rieber Hall 115, and Powell Library 228. Contact 310-206-1320 or wcenter@g.ucla.edu.
For more information on citation and fair use standards, see