When I first arrived at ASU, I spent a bit of time in the Nexus Lab – talking with Michael Simeone, working with a few students who were doing some encoding, … Continue reading Directing a New Nexus Lab Experiment
A quick overview Last weekend Vibrant Lives premiered three new sculptures commissioned by the Mesa Arts Center. The sculptures, created in collaboration with local artist Bobby Zokaites, were designed to … Continue reading The data playground we sort of knew we were making
Prompted by a discussion on twitter (ht to Whitney Trettien and Daniel Powell) today (2/18/2015) about the inexcusable absence of women’s work from DH syllabi, I’m creating a space for collecting resources (the initial set up is derived from the DHSI course on Feminist DH that I teach each year with Liz Losh – if you’re not on here, it’s not because I don’t know and love your work – I just had precisely 6 minutes to get this rolling). Feel free to add yours in the comments and we’ll make this a running bibl of bad-ass DH and critical digital culture scholars. I’ll also note that there are already some great resources via dhpoco and GO:DH.
NB: I’m squeezing in additions as I’m able. This is currently thematically organized and that’s about it.
You might also want to check out Carly Kocurek’s Teaching Theory and Technology
and Adeline Koh’s crowdsourced Race and DH
Code, Feminist Critiques of Code Culture
Wendy Chun, “Enduring Ephemeral, or the Future Is a Memory”
– selections from Programmed Visions “Invisibly Visible, Visibly, Invisible” and “On Sourcery and Source Code”
Annette Vee, “Text, Speech, Machine…” in Computational Culture
Tara McPherson, “U.S. Operating Systems at Mid-Century” in Race After the Internet
Lisa Gitelman, Always Already New
Barad, Karen. “Posthumanist Performativity: Toward an Understanding of How Matter Comes to Matter.” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, Vol. 28, No. 3. (1 March 2003), pp. 801-831
— Posthumanist performativity : Toward an understanding of how matter comes to matter. In Deborah Orr (ed.), Belief, Bodies, and Being: Feminist Reflections on Embodiment. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (2006).
Work and ideas that came up in the ensuing discussion: about work in conversation with Barad:
Sarah Kember and Joanna Zylinska, Life After New Media, MIT Press, 2012.
Anne Balsamo, Designing Culture: The Technological Imagination at Work, Duke UP, 2011.
Tara McPherson’s work on Scalar, discussed in a forthcoming article in Difference. (A talk version is here:
–Micha Cardenas and Zach Blas, “Imaginary Computational Systems, Queer Technologies, and Transreal Aesthetics”
Micha Cardenas et all, in http://transreal.org/media-n-journal-2013-caa-conference-edition/ and http://www.e-fagia.org/digievent/2011/tx/michaElle.html
Maria Fernandez, Faith Wilding, and Michelle M. Wright, Domain Errors, (Autonomedia, 2003)
Caludia Reiche and Verena Kuni, eds. Cyberfeminism: Next Steps (Autonomedia, 2004)
Kim Christen-Withey’s work on Mukurtu as anti-imperialist approach to database design
“Fuzzy logic:” looking at measures of information as the continuum between 0 and 1 rather than the binary,
–connected to French Feminism: Kristeva, Cixous, Irigiray, Wittig.
–see work of Margaret Homans, introduction and opening chapter in Bearing the Word (Chicago UP, 1989).
- Play, Feminist Game Studies
Mary Flanagan, Critical Play: Radical Game Design (Introduction, Ch. 2. “Playing House” (17-62) and and Ch. 7 “Critical Computer Games” (222-249).
Janine Fron, Tracy Fullerton, Jacquelyn Ford Morie, and Celia Pearce, “The Hegemony of Play”
Bonsignore, E.,* Hansen, D., Kraus, K., & Ruppel, M.* (2013). Alternate Reality Games as platforms for practicing 21st -century literacies. International Journal of Learning and Media
Kraus, K. (2011). “A counter-friction to the machine”: What game scholars, librarians, and archivists can learn from machinima makers about user activism. Special commissioned issue on machinima. Journal of Visual Culture 10(1), 100-112
Liz Losh, “#Gamergate 101” date: 10/17
Nina Huntemann (co-ed), Gaming Globally: Production, Play and Place and Joystick Soldiers: The Politics of Play in Military Video Games.
— (associate producer of the film) Joystick Warriors: Video Game Violence and the Culture of Militarism
— (produced and directed) Game Over: Gender, Race and Violence in Video Games
- Discipline/Access, Feminist Critiques of Technoculture
Radhika Gajjala, Cyberselves: Feminist Ethnographies of South Asian Women and of Cyberculture
—the Subaltern: Weavings of the Virtual and Real.
Anne Balsamo, “Feminism for the Incurably Informed,” Ch. 6 in Technologies of the Gendered Body
N. Katherine Hayles, “Prologue: Computing Kin,” in My Mother Was a Computer “Prologue” and “Toward Embodied Virtuality,” in How We Became Posthuman
Lisa Nakamura “Indigenous Circuits” in American Studies Quarterly
Morgan Currie, “The Feminist Critique: Mapping Controversy in Wikipedia” in Understanding Digital Humanities, ed. David Berry (2012)
Heather Froehlich and Michele Moravec, Postcolonial Digital Humanities | Gender and the DHPoco Open Thread: A Corpus Analysis
Jasbir Puar, Homonationalism gone Viral (youtube video)
- Program, Feminism and Theories of the Media Apparatus
Lisa Parks on drone vision: “Zeroing In: Overhead Imagery, Infrastructure Ruins, and Datalands in Afghanistan and Iraq” Ch. 14 in The Visual Culture reader, 3rd Ed., ed. Nicholas Mirzoeff, Routledge 2012
Lucy Suchman, “Preface,” “Introduction,” “Interactive Artifacts,” “Plans,” and “Situated Actions” Plans and Situated Actions: The Problem of Human-Machine Communication
–“Human/Machine Reconsidered,” published by the Department of Sociology, Lancaster University at
Genevieve Bell and Paul Dourish “Contextualizing Ubiquitous Computing,” in Divining a Digital Future
Murray, Janet Horowitz. Hamlet on the Holodeck: The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace. New York: Free Press, 1997
Blair, Ann. Too Much to Know: Managing Scholarly Information before the Modern Age. New Haven Conn.: Yale University Press, 2011. Print.
Nina Lykke, Randi Markussen, and Finn Olesen, “There are Always More Things Going On Than You Thought!”: Methodologies as Thinking Technologies: Interview with Donna Haraway” Bits of Life: Feminism at the Intersections of Media, Bioscience, and Technology.
Kraus, K. and Levi, A.* (Eds.). (2012). Rough Cuts: Media and Design in Process. [Online collection of essays and artifacts]. MediaCommons: The New Everyday. [Collection includes 23 contributors; edited, curated, and published by Kraus and Levi with introduction written by Kraus]
Lisa Snyder on 3D Modeling
Miriam Posner’s Blog, especially “Commit to DH People, Not DH Projects”
- Archive, Feminist DH Projects
Alex Juhasz, The Views of the Feminist Archive
Kate Eichhorn, The Archival turn in Feminism
Katherine D. Harris, Forget Me Not! The Rise of British Literary Annuals, 1823-1835, a literary and cultural history of early British literary annuals. Ohio University Press, forthcoming June 2015.
— “TechnoRomanticism: Creating Digital Editions in an Undergraduate Classroom.” Journal of Victorian Culture 16:1 (2011 April): 107-112. Invited by journal editor, James Mussell.
Julia Flanders & Jacqueline Wernimont, “Feminism in the Age of Digital Archives” Tulsa Studies of Women’s Literature
Watch: Amy Earhart on obsolescence in feminist DH projects,
“Recovering the Recovered Text” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ui9PIjDreo
Bethany Nowviskie “What Girls Dig”
Trettien, Whitney Anne. ‘A Deep History of Electronic Textuality: The Case of English Reprints Jhon Milton Areopagitica’. Digital Humanities Quarterly. 7.1 (2013)
Kraus, K. (2013). Picture Criticism: Textual Studies and the Image. In Julia Flanders and Neil Fraistat (Eds.) Cambridge Companion to Textual Scholarship. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. 3.
Kraus, K. (2011). Prim Drift, Copybots, and Folk Preservation. In Megan Winget and William Aspray (Eds.) Digital Media: Tech
Michelle Moravec, Unghosting Apparitional (Lesbian) Histories
Fischer-Starcke, B. ‘Keywords and Frequent Phrases of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice A Corpus-Stylistic Analysis’. International journal of corpus linguistics 14.4 (2009): 492–523.
Lutzky, Ursula. ‘Why and What in Early Modern English Drama’. Middle and Modern English Corpus Linguistics: a Multi-dimensional Approach. Amsterdam: John Benjamins (2012): 177–190.
— and Jane Demmen. ‘Pray in Early Modern English Drama’. Journal of Historical Pragmatics 14.2 (2013): 263–284.
Marchi, Anna, and Charlotte Taylor. ‘If on a Winter’s Night Two Researchers… A Challenge to Assumptions of Soundness of Interpretation’. Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis across Disciplines 3.1 (2009): 1–20. Print.
Mahlberg, Michaela. ‘Corpus Linguistics and the Study of Nineteenth-Century Fiction’. Journal of Victorian Culture 15.2 (2010): 292–298.
— Catherine Smith, and Simon Preston. ‘Phrases in Literary Contexts: Patterns and Distributions of Suspensions in Dickens’s Novels’. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics 18.1 (2013): 35–56.
Pahta, Päivi, and Andreas H. Jucker. Communicating Early English Manuscripts. Cambridge University Press, 2011.
Meurman-Solin, Anneli and Jukka Tyrkkö. Principles and Practices for the Digital Editing and Annotation of Diachronic Data. Studies in Variation, Contact and Change in English. Volume 14. Helsinki, Finland: 2013 http://www.helsinki.fi/varieng/series/volumes/14/
Nevalaienen, Terttu and Susan Fitzmaurice. How to Deal with Data: Problems and Approaches to the Investigation of the English Language over Time and Space. Volume 7. Helsinki, Finland: 2011 http://www.helsinki.fi/varieng/series/volumes/07/
Gonzalez-Diaz, V. and Hodson, J. and Auer, A.. Language and Literary Style. Linguistics and Literature. John Benjamins, Amsterdam: 2012
You’re teaching with Wikipedia; you’re thinking about teaching with Wikipedia – either way, here’s a list of useful resources. Is there something that you’ve found particularly helpful that I should add here? Let me know and I’ll get it up ASAP.
My own post on skipping the review process (which is aimed at other audiences).
Adrianne Wadewitz’s Intro to Wikipedia video (1 hour, wonderful, shot at Pitzer College)
Adrianne Wadewitz, Anne Ellen Geller, Jon Beasley-Murray essay “Wiki-hacking: Opening up the academy with Wikipedia”
Indiana University Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning’s “Teaching with Wikipedia”
If you’re planning to do a “edit-a-thon” rather than or as part of a class, the following resources are available:
Wikipedia’s “How to run an edit-a-thon”
The syllabus below is from the spring 2013 beta run of FemTechNet’s Distributed Open Collaborative course on feminist technology.
The course will have it’s first full, international run in the Fall 13 at the following institutions.
- Bowling Green State University
- Pitzer College
- Penn State
- Ontario College of Art and Design
- The New School
- Brown University
- Pontificia Universidad Javeriana
- University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
- Goldsmiths University of London
- Bucknell University
- UC Irvine
- Ohio State University
- Colby-Sawyer College
- California Polytechnic State University
FEMINIST DIALOGUES ON TECHNOLOGY
A Distributed Open Collaborative Course (DOCC)
A mixed-mode, learning experiment linking undergraduate students at
Pitzer College and Bowling Green State University
with graduate students at USC and UCSD
PIT MS 134, Spring 2013, Thursdays 9-11:50
Alexandra Juhasz, Pitzer College, Fletcher 226
Office Hours: Weds 1:30-2:30 and 4-5
and by email appt: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Radhika Gajjala, Phd, BGSU
Office Phone: (419) 372-0586
Skype ID: cyberdivaskype
Google hangout ID: gRadhika2012
Virtual Office Hours: M and W 12:30 PM – 2.00 and by appt.
In this course, we’ll be exploring the ways that gender and technology have defined and
redefined each other socially and culturally. The course introduces students to key issues in Feminism and Technology within the context of American Culture, Globalization, and Media Studies.
The course is based on collaborations between students and professors at Bowling Green State University, Pitzer College, University of California San Diego and University of Southern California (IML555 Digital Pedagogies).
It is part of a larger project (see http://fembotcollective.org/femtechnet/), so Spring 2013 students will participate in ongoing collaborations in feminism, technology, video, art and craft. Some of the best projects will be showcased worldwide in online portals and offline in feminism and technology related exhibits.
Go to https://www.facebook.com/pages/RGajjalas-Courses/313468268770326 and like the page. Other interaction will occur on Sakai, Wikipedia, and Social Book.
Thursday, January 24: Introductions
View in class
Keyword videos by BGSU students
Join one of ten theme groups with BGSU students
Thursday, January 31: Responses
TechnoFeminism, Intro, 1-2
Assignment 1: In groups respond to one of the BGSU videos
February 7: TechnoFeminism: Adrianne Wadewitz
Required Reading: Discussion Online
(post 1 summary and 2 responses, minimum)
TechnoFeminism Chapters 3-5
Guest lecturer, Adrianne Wadewitz, will lead a tutorial on Wikipedia, this will be taped and shared with the BGSU students
Feb 14: MACHINE
Lucy Suchman: (2011) “Subject Objects.” Feminist Theory, 12 (2): 119-145
Wendy Chun: Chapter 1, Programmed Visions (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2011).
February 21: BODY
Rosi Braidotti: “Meta (l) Morpheses,” Theory, Culture and Society, 14:2 1997:
Alondra Nelson: “Future Texts,” Alondra Nelso, Social Text, 71: 20
Feb 28: ARCHIVE
Lynn Hershmann: !Women Art Revolution: A (Formerly) Secret History (2011):
“Introduction,” Lynn Hershmann, ed., Clicking In, Hot Links to a Digital Culture. Seattle: Bay Press, 1996.
Carol Long/Derek Hook Hook, D and Long, C. (2011). “The Apartheid Archive Project, heterogeneity and the analysis of racism.” Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society, 16, 1-10.
March 7: LABOR (online class for Pitzer)
Judy Wacjman: “TechnoCapitalism Meets TechnoFeminism: Women and Technology in a Wireless World,” LABOUR & INDUSTRY, Vol. 16, No. 3, April–May 2006
March 14: DIFFERENCE
Karen Barad: “Posthumanist Performativity: How Matter Comes to Matter”
(originally published in Signs in 2003)
March 28: SYSTEMS
Brenda Laurel: “Design from the Heart,” in Women, Art and Technology,
Judy Malloy, ed., MIT Press, 2003.
Janet Murray: “Toward a Cultural Theory of Gaming: Digital Games and the
Co-Evolution of Media, Mind, and Culture,” Popular Communication, 4(3), 185-202, 2006.
2nd Video Due: Mid Term
April 4: PLACE
Katherine Gibson: “The End of Capitalism (As We Knew It): A feminist critique
of political economy.” Oxford: Blackwell, Progress in Human Geography, 11,
Kavita Philip: “”English Mud: Toward a Critical Cultural Studies of Colonial
Science,” in Cultural Studies, 12 (3) 1998 pp. 300-331
April 11: RACE: Via Social Book and Virgina Kuhn’s Students in Digital Pedagogies
Maria Fernandez: 2003. “Cyberfeminism, Racism, Embodiment.” In Domain Errors! eds. Maria Fernandez, Faith Wilding, and Michelle M. Wright. Brooklyn, N.Y.: Autonomedia. http://refugia.net/domainerrors/DE1b_cyber.pdf
Lisa Nakamura: “It’s a Nigger in Here! Kill the Nigger!”: User-Generated Media Campaigns Against Racism, Sexism, and Homophobia in Digital Games.” The International Encyclopedia of Media Studies, edited by Angharad Valdivia (Blackwell: forthcoming).
(a critique by Jesse Daniesl: Rethinking Cyberfeminism(s): Race, Gender, and Embodiment, Women’s Studies Quarterly 37: 1 & 2, Sproing/Summer 2009.
April 18: SEXUALITIES
Josephine Ho: Ping Wang, The Prosecution of Taiwan Sexuality Researcher and Activist Josephine Ho, Reproductive Health Matters 2004;12(23):111–115
|“In Defence of Academic Research and Internet Freedom of Expression,” InterAsia Cultural Studies 6.1 (March 2005): 147-150. (In English), 2005.|
Faith Wilding: “Becoming Autonomous,” technics of cyber-feminisim, Ed. Claudia Reiche and Andrea Sick. Bremen: thealit Frauen.Kultur.Labor, 2002; or “Where is Feminism in Cyberfeminism” Feminist Art Theory. Ed. Hillary Robinson. Blackwell: UK, 2001.
(Live Dialogue: Haraway and Lord about Da Costa, LACE, April 19)
April 25: TRANSFORMATION: Via Social Book and Virgina Kuhn’s Grad Students
Donna Haraway: “A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology and Socialist-Feminism,”
Catherine Lord: “June 2001 (Looking Backward: Confessions of Her Baldness),” in Summer of Her Baldness, University of Texas Press, 2004.
Beatriz Da Costa: Introduction (with Kavita Philip) and “reaching the Limit: When Art Becomes Science,” in Tactical Biopolitics: Art, Activism and Technoscience (MIT: 2010).
All Wiki Work Due
May 2: Craft/Gift Exchange!
1) ORGANIZATIONAL STUFF
Attendance and Participation: I believe that participation is a vital aspect of the class. I expect you to come prepared and to contribute to class discussions: both on and offline.
Required Reading: All reading is due before class. Come to class prepared to discuss it. There is one required book at Huntley, it is also available at Honnold on reserve. The rest of the articles will be available on Sakai or online.
Cybercultures Reader, David Bell (optional)
2) Technical help and info
The How to Make a FemTechNet Keyword or Book Trailer Video Guide: on Sakai
You will need A Wikipedia login account. You will have to create one, so go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page and create one and email your login id (not your password) Radhika@cyberdiva.org in an email message with a subject line that contains your real name and the course name “ACS/WS 3000: Wikipedia login id _ your name”.
3) Course Work:
There are four assignments:
- Wiki Work: 30%
- Keyword Videos (2): 30%
- Craft Projects: 30%
- Participation: 10%
1. Wiki work: Content creation; content editing; language correction connected to an author and the theme of your craft project
– wiki stubs http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Stub
-Edits on featured articles on wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:FA
-edits not just entry length http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Requested_articles
1) work on a featured author’s page: 10 edits; 500 words (or a section); 1-2 reputable sources: present your work to-date when that author is discussed; due April 25 (“general improvement of the article to reflect sourcing standards on Wikipedia and neutral point of view” and make grading include both the inclusion and deletion of information as well as the tone of the writing. The students should be deleting information that is not sourced – that is just as important as adding what is sourced.)
2) follow a topical discussion related to your theme: follow talk page, post at least 10 times on talk page (and/or article) in relation to feminism and technology
3) write 2-3 page reflection paper on your wiki work: due April 25
2. Keyword Videos:
First one is ungraded; second one is your mid-term, due March 28
An “A” video has a clear argument that thoughtfully and explicitly links one of the themes to larger issues raised in the readings, and other course materials. Technical polish is not necessary, but your videomaking should not hinder our comprehension of your argument. The quality of your prose, images, and ideas will also be considered.
3. Craft Project: DIY object around one of 10 themes: alone or in groups, first draft is due on the day of theme, to be presented and discussed (live at Pitzer and digital presentation by BGSU)
As a final project on May 2, you will swap your object with other class participants.
All students working on the same theme need to present their objects TOGETHER on the day of the swap, on whatever platform they choose.
An “A” object expresses an understanding or argument about your theme that thoughtfully and explicitly links to larger issues raised in the readings, and other course materials. Technical or artistic polish is not necessary, but your lack of skills should not hinder our comprehension of your object. The quality of your object’s construction and ideas will also be considered.
Students are asked to investigate, connect, write, present, participate, and lead proficiently. From these overall learning outcomes, you will meet the specific objectives of this course detailed below.
- Investigate the interplay of technology and everyday materiality, and its relationship with American culture and Globalization. Through this investigation, you will become critical consumers of media and sensitive and articulate global communicators, with an awareness of how intersections of race, gender, class and culture shape the use and production of technologies world-wide.
- Connect theory and practice of feminism along the key themes presented in this class. You will also connect with the world by communicating and collaborating in research with other students on current concerns about feminism and technology. Through this connection, you will relate one’s self and culture to diverse cultures.
- Learn to edit the Wikkipedia and understand the culture of the Wikkipedia in relation to gendered hierarchies. Thus you will acquire hands-on applied skills.
- Learn to make keyword videos using easily available digital tools (or apps) of your choice. Once again learning hands-on applied skills through doing class work.
- Virtually present your written work and ideas to the classes involved in this collaboration.
- Learn to work in virtual collaborative teams. Skills very necessary to the effective function of global organizations in present day American economic conditions.
- Participate actively and with sophistication in class through the use of social media and other online tools.
- Lead discussions through online communication with your peers. You will lead learning in the course by suggesting engaging, innovative and meaningful discussion topics. You will lead by contributing to the discussions suggested by other.
The following post written by Beatriz Maldonado draws on her experiences in the “Creating Archives” course at Scripps College.
When I began this course, I was pretty unfamiliar with online resources for archives, museums, or academic sites. In some ways I felt that I wasn’t “allowed” to go into that sphere, that I was not academically prepared to find, challenge, or really even use a broad variety of web resources. I certainly wasn’t aware that these (Omeka and Scalar) programs existed and were available to me. I don’t know that I can state it strongly enough – it wasn’t just an issue of not finding the resources; it was that I didn’t even know that the possibility for such things existed. I had to learn what it meant to find the sources, how they and their histories matter, and how I might participate in the making of such sources myself.
My feelings of anxiety were not just limited to official websites, they were there for social media too. We participated in the Day of Digital Archives using twitter and I was so nervous: I know they say that there aren’t stupid questions, but I worried that I was just going to ask stupid questions.
Our course included a set of readings on the history of archives and libraries and Prof. Wernimont asked us to post each week to our online course management system, Sakai, with responses to those readings. This was a really important technique for me – it was a way of transforming my internal voice into an external one – even though our class forum was a private online space, it was like a gateway to participating in the digital community.
Before the class, I was unlikely to think of posting online. It wasn’t that I didn’t have something worthwhile or interesting to say – I felt that I did – but I felt that I hadn’t yet received enough training for my voice to really count in an Internet community. I thought that my readers would specifically denounce me as false, attacking me for lack of credibility. By the end of the course, it had become clear to me that in fact, I have been preparing for this and I have the authority to make an argument that people will want to read.
A numbers crisis
Prof. Wernimont kept pointing us to the ways that archives are crafted by choices, that people decide what is important to keep and that those decisions affect the histories we can write. As I was working through the Denison collections, I came across minutes from meetings where people talked about increasing diversity, but these documents talked in terms of percentages, of numbers of people. Administrators were focused on increasing the number of students of color on the campus and that was it.
The more I read, the more I found myself seeing other people only as numbers as well. I felt myself wondering if this was how I was going to be written about in the future – as a number. I wanted to know why other histories weren’t here – histories of Café con Leche or the women before me who also had felt as though they didn’t quite fit in. There was almost no history of Latina women here at the college. I was very angry; I wanted to ditch the project, it’s hard to be passionate about a project when you feel no connection and I didn’t see a way for me to feel connected. I wondered how I was ever going to feel connected to my college – at home here – when I couldn’t find a way to connect to its history.
But I did not lose hope; I had a strong desire to make a statement. After all, I wanted my project to mean and say something powerful. I kept digging, searching for the record of something meaningful for me. When I came across the Alexander Protests in the Student Unrest Archives, I was set. I kept thinking to myself, “in the year that I was born, students were fighting to preserve and maintain a college major that I am currently following now” (American Studies). At that moment I felt the responsibility to carefully voice the protests in the best way possible. With that responsibility I began to feel more comfortable in accepting that challenge I had feared for so long.
With passion, a student has the ability to create a great deal of change. Not just change in the world, but change for one’s self. As I created the Scalar book, I was writing a history of cultural diversity at the Claremont Colleges and a place for myself as a Latina. The book, authored in Scalar and titled Honk for Diversity, uses archival material to recount the week of the Alexander Protests where countless students and faculty of the Claremont Colleges united to fight for more cultural diversity within the Colleges (you can also check out the other student archives at the Creating Archives site)
I never mentioned it to my professor, but I was afraid to give her permission to “make my Scalar book public.” I was afraid that by making it possible to see my book, I was also giving people permission to criticize it. Of course, I understand that criticism serves as a way to improve, but also functions as a way to create doubt – in the argument, in my ability to express an idea.
But I knew that it all had to begin from somewhere. If I kept feeding my fear of not exposing certain information because of outside rejection, what I discovered in the archive would remain unknown. Instead of challenging ideals, I would simply be conforming to them. I think, above all, this experience helped to strengthen my confidence.
Not only did I learn new information, but I was also able to present it in such a way that it became accessible to the rest of the world. I also learned that feeling at home in college is not about choosing an already existing path – I previously had wondered why I couldn’t just “click” on a path here at Scripps – instead, in order to feel at home at Scripps, I had to create a path for myself, my own option to “click.” I too had to become part of the cycle of opening the gateways to knowledge and make a place for myself.
Now I know that I hold the power, I hold the agency, I hold the voice.
Coda: Prof Wernimont’s Thoughts
I’m not going to add a whole lot here, as I think Bea’s story deserves to stand on its own. I do want to say, however, that her story and her experience still gives me goosebumps because of what it says about the power of both primary research and digital technology to intervene in the effects of race, class, and gender. At a time where many faculty think of students like Bea as “digital natives,” I am struck by her story’s demonstration of how challenging the public spaces of the Internet can be and how powerful it is to find one’s voice. Bea’s experience working with the archival material and digital authoring/publishing tools was challenging, sometimes painful, and, finally, empowering. I hope that her willingness to share her experiences will help illuminate one way in which our sometimes abstract discussions about race, class, gender, and sexuality vis-à-vis the digital humanities have real impact in the lives of our students.
This is a draft of a resource for the Scripps Digital Archives course – I’d be happy to add your favorite digital archive to the list!
Core III: Creating Archives Digital Webography (+)
Archimedes Palimpsest (history of math and digital imaging technology)
Archives of the Earth (description of geo-history)
Ashes2Art (art history/archeology)
Casebooks Project (Medicine)
Earth Simulator Archive (describes, but doesn’t do)
Gaming Archive (article on the archive at UMich)
Lesley Hall’s “Gender and Archives”
Medici Archive Project (art, politics, science)
New York’s Historic Menus (see what was for dinner)
Old Bailey Online (law)
Ronald Schuchard’s “Excavating the Imagination: Archival Research and the Digital Revolution”
Scripps College hosted the “21st Century Shakespeare” faculty workshop this past weekend, which brought a group of Shakespeareans working at liberal arts colleges together to share tools, strategies, and ideas for teaching the Bard’s works in our current cultural context (see our Workshop page for the talks).
We were joined by two outstanding digital Shakespeareans, Michael Best, of Internet Shakespeare Editions, and Peter Donaldson, of the Shakespeare Electronic Archive. As I listened over the course of the weekend, I was struck by two things: the many exhortations to fearlessness and a palpable enthusiasm for innovation in teaching.
Run toward what you fear
Whether is was approaching Elizabethan music and dance, mounting a modern performance on a shoestring budget, engaging with global adaptations of Shakespeare, or understanding the range of digital textual resources, we heard some form of a call to fearlessness repeatedly this weekend. Scholars are a, well, scholarly bunch. We’ve been trained to devote a depth of time and thought to our objects of study, to master long histories of readership, reception, and cultural production. Generally this is a good thing – we are dedicated to the labor of our craft and to due diligence. But it can lead to something like academic trepidation – a fear that I cannot possibly begin to talk about that madigral or recipe without many hours of careful study. I might, after all, get it WRONG. Instead of fearing the unknown, or under-known, what I heard my colleagues saying this weekend was that we should feel authorized to let go, to play with the possibilities that historical artifacts afford us.
For Amy Hayes this manifests in her work to bring a “living Shakespeare” (rather than the right Shakespeare) into the lives of high school students through the DePauw “Will Power: Shakespeare in the Schools” program. A similar note was struck by Denise Walen’s suggestion that teaching students to read Shakespearean texts as scripts (rather than authoritative, sacred texts) enables a more embodied engagement of Elizabethan drama. She had us up and on the green, reciting a short excerpt while changing direction every time we “ran into” the punctuation. I can say that I came away with a new appreciation for both the pacing of Shakespearean language and the power of embodied experience. Such fears assume that there is a way to get any cultural history of the early modern period right, a positivistic stance that most of us these days eschew in our scholarship. Nevertheless, it haunts our teaching.
We were encouraged by Leslie Dunn to brave past the uncertainties of the dances and songs that are marked in so many of Shakespeare’s texts in order to find ways to bring the possible song, the possible dance into our teaching. We had seen such bravery in action.
As part of our grant we each had the opportunity to see the Royal Shakespeare Company’s 5 play run in New York last summer. Their production of The Winter’s Tale, with its bizarre, almost tribal, and surely ahistorical dances was an absolute delight.
At one point this weekend, Peter Donaldson suggested that a certain degree of irreverence is critical to the classroom and to education generally. He was particularly gleeful about Asian appropriations of Shakespeare and their willingness to mashup, re-use, and refigure Shakespearean texts.
The take away: jump in, preferably feet first. Rather than shutting ourselves up in the cloisters of long studied contexts, we should feel free to bring a range of lived and living contexts to bear on our readings and performances of Shakespearean texts.
Variants as a path to fearlessness in students
While we indulged in the “wild and wacky” and practiced being unafraid of the unknown, we also stayed true to the textual scholarly modes that are the bread and butter of our craft. Textual cruxes were on full display as pedagogical tools over the weekend. Timothy Billings walked us through a great set of exercises that drew on digital editions to teach students about the editing process, the slipperiness of the idea of The Text, and the playfulness of variation. Michael Best offered us a first glimpse of an animation under development for ISE that allows for an elegant switch between variants. In both cases, the foregrounding of variation, of the problems like those of the “bad quarto” and “authoritative editions,” gave us another opportunity to think about fearlessness in Shakespeare pedagogy. Over and over again people spoke of breaking down the produced authority of the major editions (or even the historical editions – it is certainly possible to fetishize the Folio or Q2), and of giving students both reasons and the confidence to question editorial choices. We were looking for ways to encourage students to see Shakespeare as an artist at work rather than his work as an ossified set of texts.
The faculty group had come together in order to share ideas, resources, and to teach one another about new tools and techniques. But it also became clear that making the issues familiar to textual scholarship “alive” for students is as much about professorial enthusiasm as possible digital tools or new contexts and practice. Yes, digital editions made it easier to make editions “talk” to one another in a single page – allowing for rapid comparison and, consequently, the ability to see Shakespeare’s works as a process of revisions. Animation and visualization are tools that we can and should deploy. Yes, embodied practice brought new insights. But it was also clear that the passion of the teacher, the willingness to put in the time to make the argument clear and to lay the groundwork for understanding, is absolutely essential. It was evident that this is a passion with a long, slow burn.
As the most junior faculty member in the room, I was struck by the time and thoughtfulness evident in each person’s description of his/her teaching. In my second year on the tenure-track I can say that I have intimate knowledge of the labor involved in new preps – I’ve yet to repeat a course here at Scripps. I do not have personal knowledge of the long evolution of a class taught many times – of the years of thinking and refining that go into great teaching. Such dedication and engagement was on full display this weekend, however. I found myself humbled and inspired by the thoughtfulness, the pedagogical generosity, and fearlessness of my colleagues.
We closed our first day with an affirmation exercise that Amy Hayes does with her performance students. I had three students who participated in the workshop this weekend and they took part in the exercise as well. A synthetic paraphrase of two of their affirmations might read like this: we reaffirm the commitment of good teachers to exploring new technologies and techniques to become great teachers. Amen.