This seminar open to MA students explores the link between social protests and social media networks with a focus on hashtag activism. The idea is to understand hashtag activism as not only a virtual occurrence but also as emerging out of and grounded in social protests (and to some degree also solidarities). Each week a group of students will research a specific hashtag movement focusing on how and why it emerged, and its effects. Some of the overall questions that will be answered in this seminar include: what is the relationship between networked social movements and political change, what are the differences between networked social movements and populist reactions of ideological nature, what is the role of celebrity in advancing hashtag movements, how and which hashtags come to matter. Some of the hashtags to be researched in this seminar include #MeToo, #RhodesMustFall, #FeesMustFall, #BringBackOurGirls, #PrayforParis. Students are also encouraged to suggest hashtags emerging from various parts of the world (email me your suggestions before our first session: email@example.com ). While the seminar will be biased towards hashtags targeting social protest, we will also consider how the hashtag can function in multiple ways, eg to rally behind a cause (eg #IceBucketChallenge) or as an instrument of control and profiling by institutional power (eg #Nafri). First session: 16.10.2018. Preparatory reading: Manuel Castells’ Networks of Outrage and Hope: Social Movements in the Internet Age 2nd Edition (2015). Students enrolled in this course will receive an email before our first session with further course readings and a tentative course outline. Make sure to check your university email before classes commence.