Center on Digital Culture and Society

Reimagining our common future through critical scholarship and dialogue on digital culture, technology, and society

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VIRTUAL EVENT — Cybernationalism and the World: Populism, Identity, and Symbolic Politics in the Digital Age

April 23 @ 8:30am - 3:00pm...Details

Graphic with the event title, "Cybernationalism and the World: Populism, Identity, and Symbolic Politics in the Digital Age"

About Us

Founded in July 2019, the Center on Digital Culture and Society (CDCS) at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication supports critical, interdisciplinary scholarship and dialogue on digital culture, technology, and society. CDCS aims to create collaborative spaces for discussion and debate among academics, citizens, and activists; develop critical approaches to the study of digital culture and technology; help train new generations of digital researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and beyond; build global networks of researchers; advocate for socially just design, production, and use of digital technologies; and explore and foster new visions of digital futures through scholarship and public communication.

CDCS member speaking at meeting


Online lockdown diaries as endurance art

AI & SOCIETY (2021)

Guobin Yang

When the city of Wuhan was severely locked down on January 23, 2020 for 76 days due to the coronavirus outbreak, many residents started writing “lockdown diaries.” This article argues these diaries constitute a kind of performance art for their authors, specifically, an ‘art of endurance’ as described by Shalson (2018). Keeping a diary requires a plan, but the following through of the plan is a contingent process requiring efforts and endurance. The challenges become particularly daunting for authors of online diaries in pandemic times…See More

Demobilizing the Emotions of Online Activism in China: A Civilizing Process

International Journal of Communication, 2018

Guobin Yang

With the declining number of Internet protest events in recent years, online activism in China has suffered a setback. This is due significantly to the implementation of new forms of governing online expression. At the center of these new forms is a set of discourses of wenming, the Chinese characters for which can be translated as both “civilization” and “civility.” As civilization, wenming operates…See More

I SEE YOU, I BELIEVE YOU, I STAND WITH YOU: #MeToo and the Performance of Networked Feminist Visibility

Feminist Media Studies, 2019

Rosemary Clark-Parsons

Hashtag feminism, a form of activism that appropriates Twitter’s metadata tags for organizing posts to draw visibility to a cause, has become a central component of the feminist media repertoire. Much discourse about hashtag feminism revolves around whether or not Twitter is an effective tool for activism. This instrumentalist approach leaves activists’ strategies for juggling both…See More

Get Involved


CDCS is an open, collaborative space for research and dialogue on digital culture and society. Our events are open to the public and all are welcome to attend.


We invite submissions to our online magazine, The Digital Radical, from anyone with a story to tell about a person or group who practices a radical orientation toward digital media and technologies. A new story is published every month. See our call for submissions.


Want to work with us? We welcome invitations for collaborations and cosponsorships at the intersection of digital culture and society and also offer opportunities for nonresidential fellowships. Contact us for more information.


To stay up to date on CDCS news and events, follow us on Twitter (@cdcspenn) and subscribe to our newsletter below!