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UCLA Opens New Center for Global Digital Cultures

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has opened the UC Center for Global Digital Cultures, an academic hub for University of California scholars interested in examining the implications of digital technologies on education, politics, labor, identity and economics around the world.

According to Ramesh Srinivasan, an associate professor in UCLA's Department of Information Studies and the director of the center, it is intended to serve as more than think tank for scholars. Rather, it's mission is "to foster collaboration with community-based groups to gain a better understanding of the role that digital technology plays in these communities and to present research," according to a news release from the university.

Srinivasan identified two major distinctions between the UC Center for Global Digital Cultures and other similar centers: The UC Center is more interested in culture than digital technology and it intends to collaborate with the communities it serves.

The center is currently planning to hold conversations with Native American communities about the environment and climate change and is planning an event to be held in collaboration with at least three South Los Angeles high schools.

Members of the center include professors and graduate students in the areas of information studies, computer sciences, digital cultures, communication and other fields of study. According to Srinivasan, these scholars previously didn't have a place to collaborate and communicate about topics related to global digital cultures.

"There is a need for us to understand the distribution of technology that is respectful of the cultural, political and social realities that people are facing around the world," said Srinivasan in a prepared statement. "At the end of the day, these devices are not transcendent or magical. They are tools, and tools are always dependent upon what people do with them."

Further information about the center can be found on UCLA's site.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].

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