civic paths

civic paths site

[la, ca]

New Media, Politics, & Participatory Culture Research at USC Annenberg

Based at the University of Southern California, Civic Paths explores continuities between online participatory culture and civic engagement.

Premised on a dynamic understanding of citizenship, we analyze how participatory culture interactions encourage young people to create, discuss and organize to engage with specific civic issues and events. 

Given this ever-evolving context of civic engagement, Civic Paths asks questions like: In a world where traditional forms of citizenship, politics, and civic life are rapidly changing, how are young people becoming more civic-minded and publicly engaged? How can digital technologies, participatory media, and social networking enable them to do so, and how are definitions of “civic” and “public” co-evolving with these practices, online and offline?

Civic Paths, which started as a small, informal group of graduate students interested in the ties between online participatory culture/popular media fandom and civic engagement in 2009, has grown into an established research group within the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism with a national audience and an active web presence and blog. Civic Paths holds weekly meetings with an average of 10-12 members attending each meeting (but with an active general membership of approximately 30 students and faculty) and hosts speakers from across campus. Prominent scholars from across the country have also given Civic Paths talks via Skype and Google Hangout or while visiting Los Angeles. 

Henry Jenkins is top person in people page.

intro’d to them via this conversation:

civics image

[panel: l to r – @carola_rola @elrandomhero @jasonrussell Derek Williams @mattwhoward Monica Mendoza @sangitacivics]

Carol Zou, .. Matt Howard, ..

via @rSark (part of civic paths)

@carola_rola talking on yarnbombing: audience is the public; the public becomes participants. – #civicpaths live on

ButNoCigar: I think Matt makes an interesting point about activist storytelling using the technique of swapping perspective


@sangitacivics  and derek williams – hosting talk –


@rSark – part of civic paths


Henry Jenkins

the hp alliance ness

catching firemockingjay ness


Raul, the student participating with Rubi from KCETDepartures:

turn vacant lot into dog track, find need & empty space – via @KCETDepartures

Rubi Fregoso is the Director of Education for KCET Departures’s “Youth Voices. She has worked with KCETLink Public Media since 2007 in a number of capacities including, education, community outreach, and production.

Kat Primeau is a Los Angeles-based actor and improviser. She performs with her musical improv troupe Robot Teammate and The Accidental Party and is a core member of improv outreach non-profit Laughter For a Change.
said: instead of forcing an agenda on a community
viral ness
Neta Kligler Vilenchik: True Kat, though – building on Henry’s work – we’re trying to avoid the viral metaphor, thinking instead of the agency of people in deciding what to spread…
Joshua Merchant is a writer, activist and native of East Oakland. Combining a masterful eye for detail, Joshua is currently preparing his debut book to be published by Youth Speaks’ First Word Press in early 2014 and is the inaugural fellow of the Off/Page Project.


jan 28th:

MODERATOR – Derek Williams is a 21-year-old Project Associate at the Peabody Award-winning production company, Youth Radio, in Oakland California. At Youth Radio, he co-launched a national Youth Advisory Board focused on innovations to address the country’s youth unemployment crisis. Derek has taught journalism at Youth Radio and produced stories for NPR, KQED, and The Huffington Post.
FACILITATOR – Elisabeth (Lissa) Soep is Senior Producer and Research Director at Youth Radio, the Oakland-based, youth-driven production company that serves as NPR’s official youth desk. The Youth Radio stories Lissa has produced with teen reporters have been recognized with honors including two Peabody Awards, three Murrow Awards, and the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.
Jonathan McIntosh is a pop culture hacker and transformative storyteller. He has been remixing mass media narratives for critical purposes since before the invention of YouTube. Everything he makes is freely available on the internet to view, share and remix.
Joan Donovan researches global anti-capitalist movements use of information and communication technologies. In 2011, she helped build the platform, which facilitates distributed direct actions by linking networks of activists. She is completing a dissertation at the University of California San Diego on the communication infrastructure of the Occupy movement.   – used CIVICRM – as connection facilitation w/in group
Wajahat Ali is the co-host of Al Jazeera America’s “The Stream — a daily, social-media driven talk show. He is the author of the play “The Domestic Crusaders” published by McSweeney’s and the lead author of the investigative report “Fear Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America” published by CAP.
Peter Fein is a computer programmer, media hacker and Internet activist. Since 2011, he’s helped keep the Internet running in the mideast and organized protests against censorship & surveillance around the world.
Jasmeen Patheja is the founding member of Blank Noise, a Indian nation-wide, volunteer-led community arts collective triggering public debate on the issue of street sexual harassment.
Luvvie Ajayi is a writer and digital strategist who believes in using the power of technology for social change. She’s also co-founder and Executive Director of The Red Pump Project.


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civic imagination project