Proposal for HASTAC 2015: Social Media for Activist Pedagogy

This workshop brings together speakers from different institutions, academic and alt-ac careers to discuss how social media can effectively be used in the classroom for activist pedagogy. Subjects covered include the use of twitter for social justice and dealing with trolls and doxxing, a study of Google Drive for feminist pedagogy, how to use PearlTrees, an academic pinterest, for teaching, and studying the application of classical rhetoric to digital rhetorical strategies online.

Anastasia Salter, Assistant Professor of Digital Media at the University of Central Florida, will discuss the use of Twitter and Tumblr as a space for fan production, commentary and passionate discussion of cultural texts, while at the same time presenting challenges regarding the persecution of marginalized groups, silencing, doxxing and threats. She will discuss the constraints and challenges of Twitter and Tumblr and ways and limitations of bringing them into the classroom to support inclusive academic discourse.

Emily Van Duyne (Visiting Professor of First Year Writing at Richard Stockton College) will lead discussion further into invisible boundaries and limitations by studying the ways in which classical rhetoric can be used to understand what can and cannot be said within a digital environment. She discusses the empowerment and social responsibilities online platforms bring to learning communities as well as their limitations.

Sara Humphreys (Lecturer at St Jerome’s University in Waterloo, Ontario) will then direct discussion to an example: Google Drive as a means of providing collaborative pedagogy in postsecondary classrooms. She will discuss how marginalized students, particularly female multilingual speakers, gain agency while participating on Drive, because their contributions are foregrounded through the Drive comment function. In this sense, Drive is potentially a feminist platform in that it allows the contributions of marginalized students to be made more visible.

JJ Pionke (Applied Health Sciences Librarian at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign) will then lead us to discuss another example platform: Pealtrees, best described as an academic Pinterest. Pearltrees is an easy tool for allowing students to build their own research collections from online sources, and facilitates pedagogical collaboration by allowing a class to work simultaneously on a single repository of sources. The site allows for some limited annotations, uploaded documents, and social media sharing–ultimately providing another avenue to discuss the public and collaborative nature of 21st century digital education and its limitations.

The goals of this panel will ultimately be to discuss the affordances and limitations of public digital scholarship at the undergraduate level, and to provide a number of examples for the audience to work with. Each speaker will speak for ten minutes on their proposed subject and provide an example for the audience to take away with them and use. Once the speakers have completed their talks, Adeline Koh (Director of DH@Stockton and Associate Professor at Richard Stockton College) as panel chair will open and lead discussion between the speakers and audience. We expect that the majority of the rest of the time should be used for discussion between audience and presenters.

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