March 2021

Confining (and breaking it!)

We hope everyone had the chance to celebrate International Women's Day on the 8th of March! Here in ETHOS, we reflected not only on our annual Ada Lovelace celebrations, which foreground attention to gender and equity in access to computer science education at ITU and elsewhere, but also our yearlong work towards feminist praxis, methods, readings, activism, leadership, teaching, research, mentorship & more within the University.

As we are not yet out of lockdown, a fitting theme for this month’s newsletter is confining which the story of Helen Hulick introduces with wry charm (on the picture above in slacks. Many historical stories of resistance in the lived realities of women’s struggle for freedom almost seem to border absurdism only 83 years later. Helen was a burglary witness summoned to the court in 1938, and she had the audacity to wear nothing other than casual trousers (slacks) in front of the judge. The judge rescheduled the hearing and ordered her to wear a dress next time. Helen was however fearless in the face of repression:

You tell the judge I will stand on my rights. If he orders me to change into a dress I won’t do it. I like slacks. They’re comfortable. I’ll come back in slacks and if he puts me in jail I hope it will help to free women forever of anti-slackism. 

The next day, Hulick showed up in slacks. The judge held her in contempt and she was given a five-day sentence and sent to jail. Being confined in the prison she was divested of her favorite garment by a jailer and attired in a prison denim dress. Her lawyer took it up with the Appellate Court which quickly overturned the decision winning Hulick the right to wear slacks to court.

In this newsletter, we take up Helen’s spirit and in honour of International Womens’ Day have collected together some events you can join throughout the month under the theme of feminism and social struggles. 

This month we are issuing a warm welcome to Merethe Riggelsen Gjørding, our new Lab Manager who started on March 1st, 2021. Merethe joins us from project work at the University of Copenhagen’s Centre of Excellence for International Courts, and begins in what is a challenging time to start any new job! We hope those of you who form part of the distributed ETHOS community will welcome her as she settles in, whether through written digital hellos or distributed coffees over the coming year. Next month’s newsletter will carry an interview with Merethe so we can all get to know her better, but in this newsletter, we share a short greeting from her, reflecting on what taking on this new role has been like so far.


Last month we also said farewell to former Lab Manager Marie Blønd. As many readers know, she has, over the past few years, been central to growing and sustaining the ETHOS Lab community. Those of you who have dropped by for Open Hours (when we had those in person, sob) know her ready and inspiring advice, a listening ear, and supply of cookies, sweets, and tea. We also recognize her contributions to strengthening the institutional position of the lab. We thank her for her many contributions to ETHOS, students, guests, and researchers over the years, and wish her well in her next position. Thank you Marie!


Over on this month’s Meta-Data blog, we have a new post from last year’s guest, Benedict Lang, “What is a Research Sprint”?. During his stay, Benedict participated in Harvard’s Berkman Klein Centre Autumn 2020 Research “Sprint” called Digital Ethics in Times of Crisis: Covid 19 and Access to Education and Learning Spaces. Long time newsletter readers will know that members of ETHOS have had an interest in figuring out what “Sprints” are (and do) - for an early and excellent discussion, click back to Cæcilie Sloth Laursen’s 2017 piece, “What is a Data Sprint”? In Benedict’s review of participating in a globally collaborative discussion on technology, ethics and education, he describes some of the sessions he found most interesting and inspiring. We’d also like to congratulate Benedict on submitting his Masters Thesis “human, person, app: how the #wivusvirus endures fractures between expectations and experiences” at the Munich Centrefor Technology and Society. Herzlichen Glückwunsch!


Even though the University is empty, we have still had some material artifacts in our collective Lab Life. Through co-head of Lab, Rachel Douglas-Jones, ETHOS has been participating in the Practicing Integrity research project since 2017. Using ETHOS Infrastructure, we collected the hashtag #researchintegrity which, alongside ethnographic research and a global policy review, has gone into a small booklet intended for use across Universities and University Colleges. A big thanks to Labrats Luuk Blum and Mace Ojala for getting this sent out to participants. With this the lab’s third booklet minted, we also look with admiration at small publishing houses like Taller California who have just published Redacted a collaboration between Lilly Irani and Jessie Marx discussing the politics of erasure in public records, discussed more at their book launch here


Finally, we all know that Labs have been in the zeitgeist for a little while. A new book from editors Darren Wershler, Lori Emerson, and Jussi Parikka called The Lab Book - Situated Practices in Media Studies  discusses some of the narratives around “labs” - what they are and what they can do. The newsletter includes a brief read through what the book contains.


As always, you can stay up to date with Lab activities by subscribing to our newsletter, following us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Stay safe out there!


Co-heads of Lab: Marisa Cohn & Rachel Douglas-Jones

Lab Assistant: Luuk Blum

Lab Manager: Merethe Riggelsen Gjørding


Welcome to our new Lab Manager: Merethe Riggelsen Gjørding

Merethe: Even from behind the screen at my home; I can say that I am excited to become a part of the ETHOS Lab and community. For now, I am in the process of almost archival work; getting to know the many aspects of the current, former and potential future practices and forms of the ETHOS Lab. I am delving deep into the blog archives and corners of the lab and will let myself be curios and reflective. Once I am more settled in the position, I look forward to being innovative along with you all and creating critical, fun, explorative, and weird seminars and workshops where we reflect and learn together. 

Please do not hesitate to get in touch with me if you have some ideas for the lab, would like an extra set of eyes and ears in regard to your research process, or just feel like introducing yourself or chatting a bit. My mailbox* is definitely open for you.

* I would love to be able to write door here… In some months!


Events: International Women's’ Day

To celebrate all month, we have collected together a number of activities that ETHOS people may enjoy! On March 27th, you can hear all about the rich, radical, and diverse roots of feminism at the Cambridge Festival of Ideas, in a talk based on Lucy Dunlap’s book Feminisms: A Global History. If you’re interested in an artist’s perspective on the way in which contemporary politics continue to be confined, shaped by or draw energy from colonialism and struggles for liberation, the live event Black Feminist Vision: Artist Lubaina Himid might be a good fit you!

Unfortunately, struggle is not only history, it is ongoing, and in Denmark all are not equal in the face of the law. The above picture shows this inequality, the people on the right of the red line (social housing) are confined by different treatment from the ones on the left (luxury housing). As Dunlap’s work shows, feminism is a project about power. The new racist ghetto lists, based on how many non-western people live in a neighborhood, confine some people to measures such as collective punishment and double sentences. You can support the citizens' call for abolishing these racist laws here.

Finally, we bring together different forms of justice to draw your attention to climate justice. For readers interested in ecological limits and climate strategies in Danish Universities around Copenhagen on the 18th of March XR in Denmark, along with members of 5 of Denmark’s Universities will be hosting an “interactive workshop” aimed at staff and students called  The University at a time of Climate and Ecological Emergency.


Blog post: What is a research sprint? Participating in Digital Ethics in Times of Crisis: COVID-19 & Access to Education and Learning Spaces

By Benedict Lang

In Autumn 2020, Harward’s Berkman Klein Center hosted a research sprint that convened a global cohort of approximately 40 student participants from 21 different countries spread over five continents, under a project led by the Global Network of Internet & Society Centers (NoC) on the Ethics of Digitization. The Research Sprint explored specific normative questions around the disruption, challenges, and opportunities that the COVID-19 pandemic represents in the realm of education. Visiting student Benedict Lang participated and experienced the difficulties of co-producing a distributed, fully virtual research experience. While the method shed light on global inequalities in relation to technology and education, Benedict more so noted the internal inequalities within the research; not everyone’s arguments ended up being included in the final report. Take a look at the blog post in its entirety here.


Boxing up and Sending out Research Integrity Booklets


Since 2017, the ETHOS Lab has been collaborating with the Centre for Higher Education Futures at the  Danish School of Education, Aarhus University on the project Practicing Integrity. The project, funded by the Danish Ministry of Education and Research, was hosted by PI Sue Wright, and ETHOS Lab Co-Director, Rachel Douglas-Jones participated through conducting conference ethnography, generating a policy history of the idea of research integrity in Europe, and collecting the #researchintegrity hashtag on Twitter. These contributions were brought together,with chapters from Sue Wright and the project's other researchers, Lise Degn, Laura Louise Sarauw and Jakob Williams Ørberg in a co-edited booklet designed for practitioner use in the new network to support research integrity initiatives across Universities and University Colleges. The booklet was sent out to collaborators of the project and participants in our closing conference. Thanks to all involved!


New in Books: The Lab Book - Situated Practices in Media Studies

As a lab community, we are ourselves constantly thinking about the implications of being a lab; the discourses it is tapping into (for better and worse), and what we would like it to entail. 

Darren Wershler, Lori Emerson, and Jussi Parikka have edited a newly published book: The Lab Book - Situated Practices in Media Studies, which through reflections, questions, and non-definitive suggestions provide interesting insights to a lab community such as ours. The first section consists of essays and the other of interviews with people being involved in lab activities; inviting you to join in on their processes within and behind the lab. 

They have generously shared the texts on the publisher's, University of Minnesota Press, webpage and we encourage you all to take the time to check it out. The text pieces are short and sweet and very suitable as a “break-reading” or “finishing your day reading” and may leave you with new perspectives on what a lab can or should be.


Other news and info

Black Feminist Visions: Aritst Lubaina Himid On March 18th 18:00 - 19:00, hosted by the research forum. Signup link here.

Feminisms: A Global History On March 27th 17:00 - 18:00, hosted by the Cambridge Festival of Ideas. Signup link here.

The University at a time of Climate and Ecological Emergency On March 18th 12:00 - 14:00, hosted by XR Scientists. Zoom link here.

PhD Fellowships

The University of Stavanger invites applicants for a PhD Fellowship in Accountable Solar Energy transitions at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Media and Social Sciences. The position is vacant from 01.07.2021.

The University of Stavanger invites applicants for a PhD fellowship in the Governance of Sustainable Mobility Transitions at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Media and Social Sciences. The postition is vacant from 01.06.2021 or as soon as possible thereafter.

LAB opening hours 

During continued Lockdown, we will continue to hold virtual opening hours. These will still be on Tuesday and Thursday, 12.30-16:00. To find us in digital space, for all your Lab related questions, the opening hours take place on Zoom, meeting ID 687 7876 9045 and passcode 585338.