Social Studies of Computing

Multidisciplinary Research Group at McGill University

SHAPE of CS Reading Group

This reading group examines the questions "what shapes CS as a field?" and "what is it that makes CS be CS?". We look at the sociology, history, anthropology, philosophy, and education of CS. Issues we discuss include how educators shape the field, social forces that have historically shaped the field, gender and other equity issues, how the boundaries of CS are socially constructed, the epistemology of computing knowledge, ethics in computer science, and the practices of computer scientists.

Anybody can participate in the reading group. To participate, join our mailing list, and read our Code of Conduct.

In Summer 2022, we'll be meeting on Thursdays at 3:00pm EST ONLINE.

Sometimes we will discuss papers using this How to Read Academic Papers activity.

Upcoming Readings

Please note, until futher notice we will NOT be meeting in person for reading group. However, we will continue to meet online. Please follow the link to the video conferencing website attached in each email from the mailing list.

  1. August 18, 2022: Reproducibility Failures in ML
    Kapoor, S., & Narayanan, A. (2022). Leakage and the Reproducibility Crisis in ML-based Science. arXiv preprint arXiv:2207.07048.

Past Readings

  1. May 17, 2018: epistemic traditions
    Tedre, Matti, and Erkki Sutinen. "Three traditions of computing: What educators should know." Computer Science Education 18, no. 3 (2008): 153-170.
  2. May 24, 2018: historiography of CS history
    Ensmenger, Nathan. "The digital construction of technology: Rethinking the history of computers in society." Technology and Culture 53, no. 4 (2012): 753-776.
  3. May 31, 2018: women in computing, 1950-70
    Hicks, Marie. "Only the clothes changed: women operators in British computing and advertising, 1950–1970." IEEE Annals of the History of Computing 32, no. 4 (2010): 5-17.
  4. June 7, 2018: feminist STS
    Wajcman, Judy. "Feminist theories of technology." Cambridge journal of economics 34, no. 1 (2010): 143-152.
  5. June 14, 2018: the Discourse of women in computing
    Summary written by Elizabeth of Sturman, Susan Michele. "'Women in Computing' as Problematic: Gender, Ethics and Identity in University Computer Science Education." PhD diss., 2009.
  6. June 21, 2018: history of CS education
    Elizabeth will share a draft of a paper she's working on which is an update to her ITiCSE 2013 paper on the subject
  7. June 28, 2018: ethnocomputing
    Lachney, Michael, Audrey Bennett, Jorge Appiah, and Ron Eglash. "Modeling in Ethnocomputing: Replacing Bi-Directional Flows with Recursive Emergence." International Journal for Research in Mathematics Education 6, no. 1 (2016): 219-243.
  8. July 5, 2018: Indigenous North American ethnocomputing
    Eglash, Ron. "Ethnocomputing with Native American Design." Information technology and indigenous people (2007): 210-219.
  9. (no meeting July 12)
  10. July 19, 2018: talking about race
    Tatum, Beverly. "Talking about race, learning about racism: The application of racial identity development theory in the classroom." Harvard Educational Review 62, no. 1 (1992): 1-25.
  11. (no meeting July 26 for EASST)
  12. Aug 2, 2018: technical debt
    Betz, Stefanie, Christoph Becker, Ruzanna Chitchyan, Leticia Duboc, Steve Easterbrook, Birgit Penzenstadler, Norbert Seyff, and Colin Venters. "Sustainability debt: A metaphor to support sustainability design decisions." (2015).
  13. Aug 9, 2018: ethics
    Singer, Janice, and Norman G. Vinson. "Ethical issues in empirical studies of software engineering." IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering 28, no. 12 (2002): 1171-1180.
  14. Aug 16, 2018: potluck + what can we do?
    Weigel, Moira. Coders of the world, unite: can Silicon Valley workers curb the power of Big Tech?. The Guardian (2017).
  15. (no meeting Aug 23 & 30, Sep 6)
  16. Sep 13, 2018: privitization of the internet
    Abbate, Janet. "Privatizing the Internet: Competing visions and chaotic events, 1987–1995." IEEE Annals of the History of Computing 32, no. 1 (2010).
  17. Sep 20, 2018: history of ideas of diversity in STEM education
    Brotman, Jennie S., and Felicia M. Moore. "Girls and science: A review of four themes in the science education literature." Journal of research in science teaching 45, no. 9 (2008): 971-1002.
  18. Sep 26 and Oct 4 meetings cancelled.
  19. Oct 11, 2018: the pipeline metaphor
    Cannady, Matthew A., Eric Greenwald, and Kimberly N. Harris. "Problemizing the STEM pipeline metaphor: is the STEM pipeline metaphor serving our students and the STEM workforce?." Science Education 98, no. 3 (2014): 443-460.
  20. Oct 18, 2018: gender in design
    Bivens, Rena, and Oliver L. Haimson. Baking gender into social media design: How platforms shape categories for users and advertisers." Social Media+ Society 2, no. 4 (2016): 2056305116672486.
  21. Oct 25, 2018: masculinity contests
    Berdahl, Jennifer L., Marianne Cooper, Peter Glick, Robert W. Livingston, and Joan C. Williams. "Work as a masculinity contest." Journal of Social Issues 74, no. 3 (2018): 422-448.
  22. Nov 1, 2018: non-binary genders
    Jaroszewski, Samantha, Danielle Lottridge, Oliver L. Haimson, and Katie Quehl. "Genderfluid or Attack Helicopter: Responsible HCI Research Practice with Non-binary Gender Variation in Online Communities." In Proceedings of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, p. 307. ACM, 2018.
  23. Nov 8, 2018: open source culture
    Nafus, Dawn. "‘Patches don’t have gender’: What is not open in open source software." New Media & Society 14, no. 4 (2012): 669-683.
  24. Nov 15, 2018: decolonizing activity with Horatiu
  25. Nov 22, 2018: gender training interventions
    Rawski, Shannon L., and Angela L. Workman‐Stark. "Masculinity contest cultures in policing organizations and recommendations for training interventions." Journal of Social Issues 74, no. 3 (2018): 607-627.
  26. Nov 29, 2018: the nature of science
    Brickhouse, Nancy W. "Teachers' beliefs about the nature of science and their relationship to classroom practice." Journal of teacher education 41, no. 3 (1990): 53-62.
  27. Dec 6, 2018: partial perspectives
    Haraway, Donna. "Situated knowledges: The science question in feminism and the privilege of partial perspective." Feminist studies 14, no. 3 (1988): 575-599.
  28. Dec 13, 2018: technofeminism revisited
    Suchman, Lucy. Working relations of technology production and use." Computer Supported Cooperative Work 2, no. 1-2 (1993): 21-39.
  29. January 22, 2019: history of graphical user interfaces
    Chapter 3 of Ellcessor's Restricted access: Media, disability, and the politics of participation.
  30. January 29, 2019: digital accessibility
    Chapter 5 of Restricted access: Media, disability, and the politics of participation.
  31. February 5, 2019: Decolonizing HCI
    Nathan, Lisa P., Kaczmarek, Michelle, castor, maggie, Cheng, Shannon and Raquel Mann. "Good for whom? Unsettling research practice." In Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Communities and Technologies, p. 290-297. ACM 2017.
  32. February 12, 2019: migrant IT work
    Chapter 1 of Amrute's Encoding Race, Encoding Class: Indian IT workers in Berlin (Imagining the Indian IT body).
  33. February 19, 2019: race, class and computing
    Chapter 3 of Amrute's Encoding Race, Encoding Class: Indian IT workers in Berlin (Proprietary freedoms in an IT office).
  34. February 26, 2019: surveillance and the military-industrial complex
    D'Souza, Radha. "The surveillance state: A composition in four movements." Chapter 2 of Choudry's Activists and the surveillance state: Learning from repression, p. 23-52. 2018.
  35. (No meeting March 5 – sci-fi reading break!).
  36. March 12, 2019: utopian sci-fi
    Read up to and including chapter 5 of Ursula K. Le Guin's The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia.
  37. March 19, 2019: utopian sci-fi
    Read up to and including chapter 9 of Ursula K. Le Guin's The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia.
  38. March 26, 2019: utopian sci-fi
    Finish Ursula K. Le Guin's The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia (chapters 10 - 13).
  39. (No meeting April 2 to May 7 – break!)
  40. May 16, 2019: algorithmic bias and transphobia.
    Hicks, M. "Hacking the Cis-tem" IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 41, issue 1 (2019): 20-33.
  41. May 23, 2019: social justice, sustainability and software systems
    Christoph Becker visiting from Toronto and giving a talk on "Unjust, Unsustainable Software Systems: Is Computing Insolvent?"
  42. June 20, 2019: crip theory I
    Hamraie A., and Fritsch, K. Crip Technoscience Manifesto. Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience 5, no. 1 (2019).
  43. June 27, 2019: crip theory II
    Hamraie, A. Cripping Feminist Technoscience. Hypatia, 30, no. 1 (2014): 307-313.
  44. Jul 26, 2019: CS in the schools
    Larke, Laura R. "Agentic neglect: Teachers as gatekeepers of England’s national computing curriculum." British Journal of Educational Technology 50, no. 3 (2019): 1137-1150.
  45. July 11, 2019: debiasing ML
    Keyes, Os, Jevan Hutson, and Meredith Durbin. "A Mulching Proposal: Analysing and Improving an Algorithmic System for Turning the Elderly into High-Nutrient Slurry." Extended Abstracts of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM, 2019.
  46. July 4, 2019: surveillance within schools
    Gillum, Jack, and Jeff Kao. "Aggression Detectors: The Unproven, Invasive Surveillance Technology Schools Are Using to Monitor Students"ProPublica (2019).
  47. Oct 18, 2019: capitalism
    Contrapoints on Capitalism: Part 1 and Part 2.
    (Optional reading: (Why) Americans Don’t Understand What Capitalism Really Is)
  48. Oct 24, 2019: classroom dynamics
    Chávez, Vivian, and Elisabeth Soep. Youth radio and the pedagogy of collegiality." Harvard Educational Review 75, no. 4 (2005): 409-434.
  49. Nov 15, 2019: group activity
    We'll be playing Colleen Lewis' Microaggressions: The Game!
  50. Nov 22, 2019: speculative methods
    Benjamin, R. (2016). Racial fictions, biological facts: Expanding the sociological imagination through speculative methods. Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience, 2(2).
  51. Nov 29, 2019: organizational change in tech
    Wynn, Alison T. Pathways toward Change: Ideologies and Gender Equality in a Silicon Valley Technology Company." Gender & Society (2019): 0891243219876271.
  52. Dec 6, 2019: Horațiu will share a draft of his thesis and we'll be doing some activities based on that.
  53. Dec 13, 2019: The New Jim Code
    Introduction chapter of Ruha Benjamin's Race After Technology
  54. Jan 10, 2020: tech and solidarity
    Ruha Benjamin's Race After Technology, Chapter 5
  55. Jan 17, 2020: making change
    Ely, Robin J., and Debra E. Meyerson. "Advancing gender equity in organizations: The challenge and importance of maintaining a gender narrative." Organization 7, no. 4 (2000): 589-608.
  56. Jan 24, 2020: change discourses
    Van den Brink, Marieke, and Lineke Stobbe. "The support paradox: Overcoming dilemmas in gender equality programs." Scandinavian Journal of Management 30, no. 2 (2014): 163-174. Scroll down on the site to read the full article
  57. Jan 31, 2020: hacker ideologies
    Coleman, E. Gabriella, and Alex Golub. "Hacker practice: Moral genres and the cultural articulation of liberalism." Anthropological Theory 8, no. 3 (2008): 255-277.
  58. Feb 7, 2020: questioning coding propaganda
    Sara Vogel, 2019. Power, Discourse, and Knowledge in Computer Science Education Advocacy: An Analysis of Popular Videos, SocArXiV.
  59. Feb 14, 2020: Ethics in CS
    Casey Fiesler, Natalie Garrett, Nathan Beard, 2020. What Do We Teach When We Teach Tech Ethics?: A Syllabi Analysis, SIGCSE 2020.
  60. Feb 28, 2020: Cyberpunk: using tech against itself
  61. Mar 6, 2020: No reading group for reading week
  62. Mar 13, 2020: Compututation as culture
    Golumbia, David. The Cultural Logic of Computation Harvard University Press, 2009.
    We will be reading the first chapter, pages 1 - 27. This chapter provides an overview of the book -- please keep in mind what piques your interest so we can add it to the reading queue :)
  63. Mar 20, 2020: Compututation and analytic philosophy
    Golumbia, David. The Cultural Logic of Computation Harvard University Press, 2009. We will read chapter 3, pages 59 to 80.
  64. March 27th 2020: Politics of scientific knowledge
    Epstein, Steven. Impure Science: AIDS, Activism, and the Politics of Knowledge University of California Press (1996): Introduction (1 - 45).
  65. April 3, 2020: distance education
    Ames, Morgan G. The Charisma Machine: The Life, Death, and Legacy of One Laptop Per Child . Chapter 3: Translating Charisma in Paraguay.
  66. April 17th, 2020: Life after the apocalypse
    Lowenhaupt Tsing, Anna. The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins, Chapter 0 & 16. Princeton University Press, 2015.
  67. Apr 24 2020: Politics of bitcoin
    Golumbia, David. "The Politics of Bitcoin Software as Right-Wing Extremism." University of Minnesota Press, 2016. Chapter 1.
  68. May 1 2020: Politics of bitcoin 2/Politics of compensation
    1. Golumbia, David. "The Politics of Bitcoin Software as Right-Wing Extremism." University of Minnesota Press, 2016. Chapter 5.
    2. Chang, Ha-Joon. "23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism". Bloomsbury Press, NY. Thing 3 (Most people in rich countries are paid more than they should be).
  69. May 8, 2020: History of ACM curricula
    Dziallas, Sebastian, and Fincher, Sally. The History and Purpose of Computing Curricula (1960s to 2000s). In: Communities of Computing: Computer Science and Society in the ACM. ACM, 2017. pp. 91-110.
  70. May 15, 2020: Political issues and debates in ACM History
    Toland, Janet. "Deeply Political and Social Issues": Debates within ACM 1965 - 1985 In: Communities of Computing: Computer Science and Society in the ACM. ACM, 2017. pp. 111-138
  71. May 22, 2020: Responsibility and sustainability
    Joshi, Somya, and Teresa Cerratto Pargman. "On fairness & sustainability: Motivating change in the networked society" Proceedings of EnviroInfo and ICT for Sustainability, 2015.
  72. May 29, 2020: Conflict minerals I
    Frankel, Todd. "The Cobalt Pipeline". Washington Post, 2016.
  73. June 3, 2020: Intro to Feminist HCI
    Bardzell, Shaowen. "Feminist HCI: Taking Stock and Outlining an Agenda for Design" CHI 2010, pp. 1301-1310. ACM, 2010.
  74. June 17, 2020: Ableism in HCI
    Ymous, Anon, et al. ""I am just terrified of my future" - Epistemic Violence in Disability Related Technology Reserach" CHI 2020.
  75. June 24, 2020: Boundaries
    Ulrich, Werner. "A brief introduction to critical systems heuristics (CSH)." ECOSENSUS project site (2005).
  76. July 1, 2020: CS Ethics education
    Reich, Bob, and Mehran Sahami, Jeremy M. Weinstein, Hilary Cohen. "Teaching Computer Ethics: A Deeply Multidisciplinary Approach" Prepring, SIGSCE 2020, pp. 296-302. ACM, 2020.
  77. July 8, 2020: Cultural Competence in CS Education
    Washington, Alicia Nicki. "When Twice as Good Isn’t Enough: The Case for Cultural Competence in Computing." Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, pp. 213-219. 2020.
  78. July 15, 2020: no meeting
  79. July 22, 2020: Geology and Race
    Yusoff, Kathryn. "A Billion Black Anthropocenes or None: Geology, Race, and Matter." U of Minnesota Press, 2018.
  80. July 29, 2020: Reimagining the Use of Computing
    Liu, Wendy. "Abolish Silicon Valley: How to Liberate Technology from Capitalism." Repeater, 2020.
  81. August 5, 2020: Diaspora and Black Technopoetics
    Chude- Sokei, Louis. “Modernism’s Black Mechanics” in The Sound of Culture: Diaspora and Black Technopoetics, 22-77. Wesleyan University Press, 2015.
  82. August 19, 2020: Inclusive AI Research
    Guo, Anhong, Ece Kamar, Jennifer Wortman Vaughan, Hanna Wallach, and Meredith Ringel Morris. "Toward Fairness in AI for People with Disabilities: A Research Roadmap." arXiv preprint arXiv:1907.02227 (2019).
  83. August 26, 2020: Disability and Higher Education
    Dolmage, Jay. “Steep Steps” in Academic Ableism: Disability and Higher Education, 41-66. University of Michigan Press, 2017.
  84. Sept 2, 2020: Problematizing Critical Pedagogy
    Breuing, Mary. "Problematizing Critical Pedagogy." International Journal of Critical Pedagogy, Vol 3 (3) (2011) pp 2-23.
  85. Sep 11, 2020: Casual Racism in Tech
    Amrute, Sareeta. "Bored Techies Being Casually Racist: Race as Algorithm." Science, Technology, & Human Values (2020): pp. 903-933.
  86. Sep 18, 2020: Presentation
    Presentation by lab member Loreina Chew on ethics in interaction design.
  87. Sep 25, 2020: Presentation
    Presentation by lab member Ines Moreno on conflict minerals.
  88. Oct 1, 2020: Administrative Activism
    Hamraie, Aimi. "Solidarity Chat 9: Max Liboiron." Mapping Access.
  89. Oct 8, 2020: Critical embodiment pedagogy
    Cedillo, C. V. What Does it Mean to Move?: Race, Disability, and Critical Embodiment pedagogy Association of Teachers of Advanced Compositions (vol. 39). 2018.
  90. October 22, 2020: Place based pedagogy
    Lab member Emma McKay will be presenting: "Placeless science and place-based pedagogy: reintroducing land into science education".
  91. Oct 29, 2020: OOP and rendering technical
    Fuller, Matthew, Andrew Goffey. "The Obscure Objects of Object Orientation," in Matthew Fuller, ed., How to be a Geek: Essays on the Culture of Software (Cambridge: Polity, 2017).
  92. Nov 5, 2020: The importance of description
    1. Podcast: Heather Love, on How to Read. Why description matters.
    2. Reading: Marcus, Sharon, Heather Love, Stephen Best. Building a better description. Representations (2016) 135 (1): 1–21.
  93. Nov 12, 2020: Conceptualizing political change outside of policy
    McDonnell, Lorraine M., Richard F. Elmore. "Getting the Job Done: Alternative Policy Instruments" Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis Vol. 9, No. 2 (Summer, 1987), pp. 133-152 (20 pages). DOI: 10.2307/1163726
  94. Nov 19, 2020: Intro to systems thinking
    Meadows, Donella H.. "Thinking in Systems: Chapter 1" Chelsea Green Publishing, 2008.
  95. Nov 26, 2020: The Political Ecological Ethics of Quantum Computing
    Talk by lab member Emma McKay.
  96. Dec 3, 2020: Systems thinking and leverage points in making change
    Meadows, Donella H.. "Thinking in Systems: Chapter 5" Chelsea Green Publishing, 2008.
  97. Dec 10, 2020: SSoCS General Meeting
    Agenda will be shared in the mailing list.
  98. Dec 17, 2020: SSoCS Game Time!
    In order to unwind after a long semester online, we will play some games this meeting :).
  99. Jan 18, 2021: Crip Pedagogy
    Fox, A. M.. "How to Crip the Undergraduate Classroom: Lessons from Performance, Pedagogy, and Possibility. Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability" Meadows, 2010.
  100. Jan 25, 2021: The Materiality of Computers
    Jennifer, Gabrys. Silicon Elephants: The transformative materiality of microchips. Digital Rubbish: A Natural History of Electronics. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2013.
  101. Feb 1, 2021: Digital Histories and Colonial Computing
    Fox, A. M.. “Digital Natives”: How Medical and Indigenous Histories Matter for Big Data. Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability" Osiris 32 (2017): 43 - 64.
  102. Feb 8, 2021: Tech Ethics and Moral Philosophy
    Bietti, Elettra. From Ethics Washing to Ethics Bashing: A View on Tech Ethics from Within Moral Philosophy Association for Computing Machinery, 2020.
  103. Feb 15, 2021: Presentation
    Presentation by lab member Hana on computer science identities (WIP)
  104. Feb 22, 2021: Group activity
    We'll be playing "Undecided?", A game by Christoph Becker et al. on simulating project management issues (and teaching critical systems thinking).
    Please see the Undecided? folder on google drive for the paper describing the game, Undecided? A board game about intertemporal choices in software projects, the Rules, and the Scenario sheet. We will be using miro for the game.
  105. March 08, 2021: Indigenous Identity and Membership
    Chapter 2 of Mohawk Interruptus: Political Life across the Borders of Settler States :
    Simpson, Audra. “A Brief History of Land, Meaning, and Membership in Iroquoia and Kahnawà:Ka.” Essay. In Mohawk Interruptus: Political Life across the Borders of Settler States, 37–66. Durham: Duke University Press, 2014.
  106. Mar 15, 2021: Race and Abstraction
    McPherson, Tara. "U.S. Operating Systems at Mid-Century: The Intertwining of Race and Unix." In Race After the Internet, edited by Lisa Nakamura and Peter A. Chow-White, 21-37. New York: Routledge, 2012.
  107. Mar 22, 2021: American Disability Rights Movement
    Danforth, Scot. “Becoming the Rolling Quads: Disability Politics at the University of California, Berkeley, in the 1960s.” History of Education Quarterly 58, no. 4 (2018): 506–36.
  108. Mar 29, 2021: Data Ethics
    “Dollars for Data” episode from podcast Flash Forward, July 21 2020.
  109. Apr 5, 2021: Tech and Society
    Barendregt, W., Becker, C., Cheon, E., Clement, A., Reynolds-Cuéllar, P., Schuler, D., & Suchman, L. "Defund Big Tech, Refund Community: Anti-Trust is Not Enough, Another Tech is Possible." Tech Otherwise, 2021.
  110. Apr 12, 2021: Colonialism and Academia
    Paperson, La. "A Third University Is Possible." Minesota Press, 2017.
  111. Apr 19, 2021: Skill Share: Organizing All Those Academic Papers You Download
    Today we'll each share our strategies for keeping track of citations, papers, and notes. Prep for SHAPE by thinking about how you tag and sort papers, when and why you make bibliographies, any software you use, tricks you find helpful, or things you want help with. (See meeting notes in Google Drive)
  112. Apr 26, 2021: Colonialism and Internet Infrastructure
    Thorat, Dhanashree. "Colonial topographies of internet infrastructure: The sedimented and linked networks of the telegraph and submarine fiber optic internet." South Asian Review 40, no. 3 (2019): 252-267.
  113. May 5, 2021: Socialism and Tech
    Medina, Eden. "Cybernetics and Socialism." In Cybernetic revolutionaries: technology and politics in Allende's Chile. Mit Press, 2011.
  114. (No meeting May 12, 2021 — Graduation!)
  115. May 19, 2021: Science Policy during COVID
    “Episode 14: Equity in Science and Technology Policy and the Promise of Vaccines Ft.Maya Goldenberg” from The Received Wisdom Podcast, February 14 2021.
  116. May 26, 2021: Revolutionary Informatics
    Ochigame, Rodrigo. “Informatics of the Oppressed.” Logic Magazine Care, no. 11, August 31, 2020.
  117. June 2, 2021: Ecological Utopia
    Read pp.1-54 of Ernest Callenback's Ecotopia: The Notebooks and Reports of William Weston (1975).
  118. June 9, 2021: Presentation
    Practice presentations by lab members Eric and Ines
  119. June 16, 2021: Ecological Utopia
    Read pp.55-109 of Ernest Callenback's Ecotopia: The Notebooks and Reports of William Weston (1975).
  120. June 23, 2021: Ecological Utopia
    Read pp.110-166 of Ernest Callenback's Ecotopia: The Notebooks and Reports of William Weston (1975).
  121. June 30, 2021: Build Your Own Utopia Workshop
    This week we'll be sharing what our utopia (or some element of our utopia) would look like.
    Prepare by spending 15-20 mins writing about your utopia.
    If you're stuck, try picking one sector of society to focus on (e.g. what would university look like? how do you repair a phone in this society?).
    Check out these guiding questions for more inspiration.
    There are no parameters! Let your imagination run wild!
  122. July 7, 2021: Writing a Research Question
    Chapter 4 of Salsa Dancing Into the Social Sciences.
    Luker, Kristin. "What Is This a Case of, Anyway?." In Salsa Dancing Into the Social Sciences. Harvard University Press, 2009.
  123. July 14, 2021: Journal Review (part 1)
    (no meeting)
    Spend the time usually dedicated to SHAPE to review articles from a journal of your choice.
    The goal is to find the informal rules about what can be talked about in the journal and how.
    Write up a short paragraph about your findings (see examples pp. 71-72 of Salsa Dancing Into the Social Sciences).
  124. July 21, 2021: Journal Review (part 2)
    Continue your review articles from the journal you chose last week.
    The goal is to find the informal rules about what can be talked about in the journal and how.
    Write up a short paragraph about your findings (see examples pp. 71-72 of Salsa Dancing Into the Social Sciences).
    Share your findings in SHAPE.
  125. July 28, 2021: Ethics Education in CS
    Williams, Rua M, Simone Smarr, Diandra Prioleau, and Juan E Gilbert. “Oh No, Not Another Trolley! On the Need for a Co-Liberative Consciousness in CS Pedagogy.” IEEE Transactions on Technology and Society 1 (2021): 1–1.
  126. August 4, 2021: Problematizing "Innovation"
    Pargman, Daniel, and Björn Wallsten. "Resource scarcity and socially just internet access over time and space." In Proceedings of the 2017 Workshop on Computing Within Limits, pp. 29-36. 2017.
  127. August 11, 2021: Metaphors of War and Revolution in Engineering Education
    Breslin, Samantha, and Michelle M. Camacho. "Metaphors of Change: Navigating a Revolution in Engineering Education." Engineering Studies 13, no. 1 (2021): 53-77.
  128. August 18, 2021: Simulation and the Postmodern Condition
    Lab member Eric Mayhew will be presenting "Readings that live in my head rent free: Baudrillard’s Simulacra and Simulation," on the ideas of simulation and the postmodern condition described by Jean Baudrillard.
  129. August 25, 2021: Affective Labour and Tech Culture
    Zukin, Sharon, and Max Papadantonakis. "Hackathons as Co-optation ritual: Socializing workers and institutionalizing innovation in the “new” economy." In Precarious work. Emerald Publishing Limited, 2017.
  130. September 1, 2021: Interdisciplinary Education
    Cohen, Hella B. "STEMM-Humanities Co-Teaching and the Humusities Turn." The Journal of the Assembly for Expanded Perspectives on Learning 25, no. 1 (2020): 15.
  131. September 7, 2021: Sci-fi and Capitalist Realism
    Jonas Čeika - CCK Philosophy. "The Cultural Significance of Cyberpunk" YouTube video, 20:37. May 3, 2019.
  132. September 14, 2021: Passion and CS Identities
    Presentation by lab member Hana on passion, resilience, and the formation of computer science identities in undergraduate education at McGill.
  133. September 21, 2021: History and CS Education
    Elizabeth will be presenting "Teaching history to computer scientists: a literature review."
  134. September 28, 2021: Critiquing Critical Pedagogy
    Rasmussen, Derek. "Cease to Do Evil, Then Learn to Do Good…(A Pedagogy for the Oppressor)." In Rethinking Freire, pp. 133-150. Routledge, 2004.
  135. October 4, 2021: Presentations
    Lab members Emma and Eric will be doing practice presentations for 4S.
    Emma will present "Anti-Democratic Politics in Quantum Technology." Eric will present "Critical Pedagogy Meets Computer Science: Tensions Faced by Educators."
  136. October 12, 2021: 4S Trip Report
    Lab members who attended the 2021 4S annual meeting will give an informal report on their experience/what they learned.
  137. October 18, 2021: Collaboration and Technological Inscriptions
    Lab member Eliza will present "Programmed Collaboration: Work Relationships in Early Software for Building Design," a presentation of her Ph.D. research project-in-progress.
    The project explores how assumptions about labour organization in the profession of architecture were inscribed in software for building design, and in turn, how this software was deployed in architectural practices.
  138. October 25, 2021: Assemblage Theory and Intersectionality
    Puar, Jasbir K. "“I would rather be a cyborg than a goddess”: Becoming-intersectional in assemblage theory." PhiloSOPHIA 2, no. 1 (2012): 49-66.
  139. November 1, 2021: Assemblage Theory and Intersectionality (Part 2)
    We will continue our discussion of:
    Puar, Jasbir K. "“I would rather be a cyborg than a goddess”: Becoming-intersectional in assemblage theory." PhiloSOPHIA 2, no. 1 (2012): 49-66.
  140. November 8 & 15, 2021: Post-feminism in Game Production
    Harvey, Alison, and Stephanie Fisher. ““Everyone can make games!”: The post-feminist context of women in digital game production." Feminist Media Studies 15, no. 4 (2015): 576-592.
  141. November 22, 2021: Materiality and "Data Peripheries"
    Cooper, Zane Griffin Talley. “Of Dog Kennels, Magnets, and Hard Drives: Dealing with Big Data Peripheries." Big Data & Society, (July 2021).
  142. November 29, 2021: Anarchist Pedagogy
    Chapter 10 of Anarchy in Action by Colin Ward:
    Ward, Colin. “Play as an Anarchist Parable.” Essay. In Anarchy in Action, 87–93. Oakland, CA: PM Press, 2018.
  143. December 6, 2021: Open Discussion and Guest Lecture with Shalaleh Rismani
    Shalaleh Rismani is currently pursuing her PhD in electrical and computer engineering at McGill University and Mila where she works on interdisciplinary research challenges at the Responsible Autonomy and Intelligent Systems Ethics (RAISE Lab). Her current research focuses on how the field can characterize, identify and mitigate social and ethical failures of machine learning (ML) systems as early as possible in the ML development process. Moreover, she is interested in investigating how these kind of failures reveal themselves in human-ML interactions. During the talk she'll be going over her non-profit, the Open Roboethics Institute (ORI), and her own educational and academic experience.
  144. December 13, 2021: SSoCS Annual General Meeting
    Our annual meta discussion about everything we do in SHAPE and the SSofCS lab. We'll start by checking in on anything we want to change/update in reading group and then do the same for the lab.
  145. December 20, 2021: Guide to Facilitating
    In this meeting we will draft a guide for facilitating in this reading group. We will also address remaining issues from the Annual General Meeting. To prepare for this meeting, please read:
    “Facilitating Meetings.” Seeds for Change. Accessed December 14, 2021.
  146. (No meeting December 27, 2021 - Jan 3 2022: Winter Break)
    Reminder to vote on our meeting time for Winter 2022 (doodle sent via email)!
  147. January 11, 2022: Guide to Facilitating (Part 2)
    In this meeting we will draft a guide for facilitating in this reading group. We will also address remaining issues from the Annual General Meeting.
    (See December 20 reading for more background on facilitation).
  148. January 18, 2022: Collapse Informatics
    Tomlinson, B., Blevis, E., Nardi, B., Patterson, D. J., Silberman, M. S., & Pan, Y. (2008). "Collapse Informatics and Practice: Theory, Method, and Design". ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, 20(4), 1–26. doi:10.1145/2493431
  149. January 25, 2022: Collapse Informatics
    Sharma, Sarah. "A Manifesto for the Broken Machine.". Camera Obscura: Feminism, Culture, and Media Studies 35, no. 2 (2020): 171-179.
  150. February 1, 2022: Robots
    We will be listening to the episode "Robots: Would You Date a Robot?" from the podcast Flash Forward.
    This is part of a 4 part series on robots, so if there is anothe episode that is of greater interest to you, feel free to report on that episode instead (or any other episode of Flash Forward you think might be relevant).
  151. February 8, 2022: Feminist Surveillance Studies
    The Introduction of Feminist surveillance studies.
    Dubrofsky, Rachel E., and Shoshana Magnet. Feminist surveillance studies. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2015.
  152. February 15, 2022: Indigenous Quantitative Research Methodology
    Chapter 4 of Andersen, Chris. "nayri kati (“Good Numbers”)—Indigenous Quantitative Methodology in Practice." In Indigenous Statistics, pp. 82-110. Routledge, 2016.
  153. February 22, 2022: DEI Toolkit
    During reading group, we will brainstorm a 1-2 page meta-toolkit for determining whether a person or source knows their stuff about Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI). To prepare, think of a few red and/or green flags that could be used to assess their ability to address DEI issues.
  154. March 1, 2022: DEI Toolkit Part 2
    Last week, we brainstormed some red and green flags for assessing whether a person or source knows their stuff about Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI). We will continue working on this document this week. To prepare, contribute around 100 words to the document (attached in the mailing list email).
  155. March 8, 2022: Abolitionist Toolkit (& DEI Toolkit)
    This week, we will revisit (or read) Chapter 5 of Ruha Benjamin's book, Race After Technology: Abolitionist tools for the new Jim Code:
    Benjamin, Ruha. "Race after technology: Abolitionist tools for the new jim code." Social forces (2019).
    We will spend some time discussing the chapter, and continue working on the DEI Toolkit (see the last two weeks). You do not have to have worked on the toolkit (and do not need to participate in this portion of the discussion) to join!
  156. March 15, 2022: Futurism & the Struggle for Imagination
    "Andersson, Jenny. "'The Future as Moral Imperative. Foundations of Futurism.'" In: The Future of the World: Futurology, Futurists, and the Struggle for the Post Cold War Imagination, Oxford University Press, 2018."
  157. March 22, 2022: History of University Endowments
    Original reading: Mead, Dana G. “A Brief History and Workings of the MIT Corporation.” MIT Faculty Newsletter, May/June 2006,
    Alternative reading: Taylor, Astra. “Universities Are Becoming Billion-Dollar Hedge Funds with Schools Attached.” The Nation, January 23, 2018.
  158. March 29, 2022: Open Discussion and Guest Lecture with Jonathan Sterne
    To prepare, read Chapter 5, "There are Never Enough Spoons," of his book Diminished Faculties.
    Sterne, Jonathan. "There are Never Enough Spoons" In Diminished Faculties. Duke University Press, 2021.
  159. April 5, 2022: Design Justice
    Costanza-Chock, S. (2020). Design Pedagogies: “There’s Something Wrong with This System!” In Design Justice (1st ed.). Retrieved from
  160. April 12, 2022: Group Brainstorm
    We will use SHAPE time today to share things we need help with, would like feedback on, or would like to brainstorm with the group. Prepare 5 google slides (or something similar) describing what you need need help with/want to talk about with the group.
  161. April 21, 2022: Limitation of the University for Social Change
    Kelley, Robin DG. "Black study, black struggle." Ufahamu: A Journal of African Studies 40, no. 2 (2018).
  162. (No Meeting April 28, 2022)
  163. (No Meeting May 5, 2022)
  164. May 12, 2022: Queerness and Utopia
    Muñoz, José Esteban. "Introduction: Feeling Utopia." In Cruising Utopia, 10th Anniversary Edition, pp. 1-18. New York University Press, 2019.
  165. May 19, 2022: Assemblage Theory
    Pages 1-25 (Introduction and Chapter 1) of DeLanda's "A New Philosophy of Society":
    DeLanda, Manuel. A new philosophy of society: Assemblage theory and social complexity. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2019.
  166. May 26, 2022: Analyzing Critical CS Education Stories
    As part of his thesis research, lab member Eric will be presenting on some findings in his research on critical CS education. We will be looking at stories of critical CS education practice Eric collected in his interviews with educators. Then, we will do an activity where SHAPE attendees will be able to review excerpts of the interviews to help find key take aways and most impactful stories. We'll end with an open discussion about stories people liked and found most valuable to inspire other CS educators to introduce criticallity in their work.
  167. June 2, 2022: Indigenous Epistemologies & AI
    Lewis, Jason Edward, Noelani Arista, Archer Pechawis, and Suzanne Kite. "Making kin with the machines." Journal of Design and Science (2018).
  168. June 2022: Utopian Sci-fi: Ministry for the Future
    For our sci-fi book this summer, we will be reading Kim Stanley Robinson's The Ministry for the Future (2020).
    Please note: Reading previous chapters is not necessary to join the discussion! Feel free to jump in any time! This book is mainly world building, and we will provide summaries every week!
    1. June 9, 2022: Utopian Sci-fi: Ministry for the Future pt. 1
      Chapters 1 through 31 (pp. 1-131) of Kim Stanley Robinson's The Ministry for the Future (2020).
    2. June 16, 2022: Utopian Sci-fi: Ministry for the Future pt. 2
      Chapters 32 through 57 (pp. 132-263) of Kim Stanley Robinson's The Ministry for the Future (2020).
    3. June 23, 2022: Utopian Sci-fi: Ministry for the Future pt. 3
      Chapters 58 through 82 (pp. 264-390) of Kim Stanley Robinson's The Ministry for the Future (2020).
    4. June 30, 2022: Utopian Sci-fi: Ministry for the Future pt. 4
      Chapters 83 through 106 (pp. 391-525) of Kim Stanley Robinson's The Ministry for the Future (2020).
  169. July 7, 2022: Presentation
    Lab member Anna will give a conference-style presentation on her work-in-progress problematizing voice tracking apps which claim to detect depression via "vocal biomarkers."
  170. July 14, 2022: Breaking Up Big Tech
    Ruhaak, Anouk. “Data Trusts: Why, What and How?” Medium. Medium, November 12, 2019.
  171. July 21, 2022: Power and Emotions
    Chapter 1, "Feeling Power: Theorizing Emotions and Social Control in Education" of Megan Boler's book, Feeling Power: Emotions and Education. Boler, Megan. Feeling power: Emotions and education. Routledge, 2004.
    Note: Apologies for the late notice! Feel free to skim / just join the discussion!
  172. July 28, 2022: Homonationalism and Assemblage Theory
    We will read the Introduction of Puar's Terrorist Assemblages, "Homonationalism and Biopolitics:"
    Puar, J. K. (2007). Introduction: Homonationalism and biopolitics. In Terrorist Assemblages (pp. 1-36). Duke University Press.
  173. August 4, 2022: Reproducibility Failures in ML
    Kapoor, S., & Narayanan, A. (2022). Leakage and the Reproducibility Crisis in ML-based Science. arXiv preprint arXiv:2207.07048.
  174. August 11, 2022: Journal Review
    Review articles from a journal of your choice. The goal is to find the informal rules about what can be talked about in the journal and how. Write up a short paragraph about your findings (see examples pp. 71-72 of Salsa Dancing Into the Social Sciences). Share your findings in SHAPE!