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#MLA 2016 Proposal: Repair and Reparations in Digital Public Spaces

Lego toy repairing camera

I prepared the following proposal for #MLA16 with Annemarie Perez, and will chair the panel.

Repair and Reparations in Digital Public Spaces

Chair/Presiding: Adeline Koh, Associate Professor, Director, DH@Stockton, Stockton U

Participants:
David Theo Goldberg, Professor, UC Irvine
Angel David Nieves, Associate Professor, Hamilton College
Annemarie Perez, Instructor, Loyola Marymount University
Siobhan Senier, Associate Professor, U of New Hampshire
Joshua Yu Burnett, Assistant Professor, North South University, Bangladesh
Linda Garcia Merchant, Doctoral Student, U of Nebraska – Lincoln.

Precis:
The notion of “repair” is becoming increasingly popular in digital humanities debates. This roundtable builds on this interest by specifically addressing the human side of repair in digital spaces: reparations. It will consider reparations as a form of symbolic politics to offer a new narrative about the relationships between groups of people, and explore the possibilities and limits of this in a digital public space. Topics considered include the digital representation of cultural heritage as restitution and conflict; issues of privacy and publicness in preserving cultural artifacts; and the ideological underpinnings of digital tools used for this purpose.

Longer Description of the Panel:
The concepts of building, breaking, hacking and yacking have been well-discussed in the digital humanities community in the last few years (Nowviskie, Sample, Stommel, Ramsay, Koh). More recently, Steven J. Jackson has reintroduced the importance of “repair” in relation to digital space and society: “the subtle acts of care by which order and meaning in complex sociotechnical systems are maintained and transformed,” a theoretical concept which is gaining ground in the digital humanities as evidenced by the panel on “care and repair” proposed by the MLA Digital Humanities Forum for the 2016 meeting. This roundtable builds on this interest by specifically addressing the human side of repair in digital spaces: reparations, or resources to be paid to groups which have suffered under a system of oppression (slavery, the Holocaust, genocide etc.) and the complications of translating the burden of reparations to a digital public space.

Reparations is a complicated and highly contested topic. While Jewish victims of the Holocaust were successfully able to claim reparations during the Nuremberg trials (Lombardo & Howard-Hassman 2005), as were Japanese Americans who were incarcerated by the U.S. government during the Second World War, claims by African Americans for reparations since the 1960s for slavery have been relatively unsuccessful (Forman, Bittker, Robinson), as the relatively small movement from Africans to Europe have been (Howard-Hassmann & Lombardo 2007). Additionally, while the South African government promised in 2003 to pay reparations to victims of apartheid, till today full payment to all claimants have not been completed.

Panelists will consider reparations as a form of symbolic politics (Brysk 1995), that serve the function of using an exchange to offer a new, counterhegemonic narrative to produce an emotional and moral resonance from people both making the claim as well as people from whom reparations are claimed, and explore how this manifests in a digital space. Topics considered will include how the representation of cultural heritage digitally may or may not successfully represent a form of restitution. The panelists will discuss the frequency that the histories and experiences of oppressed peoples are actually archived and given a digital presence, some of the tools that have been developed to archive these histories and stories and their limitations, as well as the complications involved in digital representation of these histories through discussions of various projects.

The roundtable thus directly addresses the 2016 Presidential Theme by considering how cultural heritage, trauma, pain and rebuilding is expressed and limited through the creation and maintenance of digital cultural objects (datasets, archives, websites, maps, virtual worlds, collections); the results of the movement of these objects across closed communities to a digital public, and attendant issues of reception, audience, commentary, translation, adaptation–and resistance to all these.

David Theo Goldberg’s remarks will frame those of all the other panelists.’ Goldberg will argue that the only viable mode of repair the digital humanities can proffer or provide is to enable the reparees to acquire the possibility of platforms and tools for self-representation. Angel David Nieves extends this to the South African context by arguing that DH techniques can help reconstruct and recover an apartheid era history that has already been co-opted by capitalist forces (into the “liberation-struggle-industry.”) Nieves uses historical reconstructions and the 3D visualization of historical GIS to help to address questions of power and reconciliation–while also using gaming conventions to represent indigenous cultures as related to racial segregation, colonialism and resistance against the state through the built environment. Moving to the concept of repair and the border, Annemarie Perez will discuss the paradox of discourses of technology and im/possibilities of repair in the borderlands focusing on Gloria Anzáldua’s work on the U.S./Mexican border. She discusses how, in the decades since the publication of Borderlands, the discourse of building and repair at the border is deployed against human refugees, while at the physical environment becomes more scarred and fractured. Siobhan Senier will then shift to the discussion to indigenous communities by discussing digital repatriation–the creation of electronic “surrogates” of sacred or other culturally important materials held by large collecting institutions, which aim to make low-cost copies available to the source communities that created them. These debates raise critical questions of cultural property, and of more material repatriations alongside symbolic reparations. Moving to the issues of digital repair and international ideoscapes, Joshua Yu Burnett will discuss social media response to a recent World Cup Cricket match controversy between Bangladesh and India, arguing that social media functions as a type of “digital reparations” for educated young Bangladeshis against state and international discourses about Bangladeshi culture. Finally, Linda Garcia Merchant will present on the outcomes of a workshop created by fifteen Chicago area Latino High School student groups to build a resource that develops and repairs the historical connections between local and national Chicano and Boriqua movements entitled, “The Past is Present: The Chicano College Bowl Symposium.”

Ultimately, this roundtable brings together a group of senior and junior scholars from a variety of institutions and subfields to discuss the role of affective cultures in constructing the digital humanities. Each scholar will be limited to five minutes of remarks, the goal of which are to stimulate conversation between the audience and the roundtable. The bulk of the session is reserved for discussion. Once the speakers have completed their remarks, the presider will lead discussion with the audience.

This panel is important because it introduces a concrete humanistic and political dimension to the concept of repair, and the ways that this is manifest in a public sphere that is becoming increasingly digitized. It compels the concept of repair to function as more than an abstraction, through engaging with the very real trauma of lived experience, its afterlife in digital form, and the possibility and appropriateness of material restitution for this trauma. It also demands that digital work deeply engage with ethical questions of human suffering and systems of oppression, especially in relation to a digital public sphere.

Biographies:

Adeline Koh is director of DH@Stockton and associate professor of literature at Stockton University. She works on the intersections of race, postcolonial studies, postcolonial theory and the digital humanities. She directs Digitizing ‘Chinese Englishmen,’ a digital archival project on 19th century ‘Asian Victorians’ in Southeast Asia, and The Stockton Postcolonial Studies Project, an online magazine of postcolonial studies. She is the designer of Trading Races, an elaborate historical role playing game designed to teach race consciousness in the undergraduate classroom, and co-runs the postcolonial digital humanities website. She is currently working on a monograph on critical histories of the digital humanities, under contract with Northwestern University Press, and an edited collection on alternative origin narratives of the digital humanities, under contract with Punctum Books.

David Theo Goldberg the Director of the University of California Humanities Research Institute and co-director of the Digital Humanities organization HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory). Formerly Director and Professor of the School of Justice Studies, a law and social science program, at Arizona State University, he is the author of Racist Culture: Philosophy and the Politics of Meaning (1993), Racial Subjects: Writing on Race in America (1997), Ethical Theory and Social Issues (1990/1995), The Racial State (2002), The Threat of Race (2009), and co-author of The Future of Thinking (2010). He edited Anatomy of Racism (1990), Multiculturalism: A Critical Reader (1995), and co-edited Race Critical Theories (2005), Rethinking Postcolonialism (2002), Companion on Gender Studies (2002) and Companion on Race and Ethnic Studies (2005). He was the founding co-editor of Social Identities: Journal for the Study of Race, Nation and Culture.

Angel David Nieves, Ph.D., is currently Co-Directing Hamilton College’s Digital Humanities Initiative (DHi), a $1.75 million Mellon Foundation Grant funded project (http://www.dhinitiative.org), and he has raised over $2.4 million in support of digital humanities research while serving at the college. He is Associate Professor of Africana Studies and Director of the American Studies Program at Hamilton College, Clinton, N.Y.

Annemarie Perez is an instructor in Chicana/o studies and rhetoric at Loyola Marymount University. She works on Chicana/o literature, activism and print cultures. Her research is on Chicana and Latina feminist editors and textual communities. A book chapter, titled “Tu riata es mi espada: Elizabeth Sutherland’s Chicana Formation” is forthcoming in the collection ), ¡Chicana!: New Narratives of Women’s Activism and Feminism in the Chicano Movement Era.

Siobhan Senier is an associate professor of English at the University of New Hampshire, where she teaches courses in Native American literature, Women’s Studies, and Sustainability Studies. She is the editor of Dawnland Voices: An Anthology of Writing from Indigenous New England and of indigenousnewengland.com.

Joshua Yu Burnett is an Assistant Professor of English at North South University in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is currently working on a manuscript entitled My Left Arm, Her Twin Blades: Narratives of Resistance in Black Speculative Fiction. His research interests center around Black Speculative Fiction, both African American and diasporic, and also include Afrofuturism, Queer Studies, the music of Janelle Monáe, resistance, and intersections of race, gender, and sexuality. His publications include African American Review and On Writing: A Process Reader.

Linda Garcia Merchant, an award-winning filmmaker, a technical director of the Chicana Por Mi Raza Digital Memory Project (University of Michigan, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign), a Digital Media Partner of the Somos Latinas Oral History Project (University of Wisconsin Madison) and the Chicana Chicago/MABPW Collection Project (University of Illinois Chicago), and a board member of the Chicago Area Women’s History Council, is a doctoral student of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln English Literature program and the Ethnic Studies program. She specializes in Chicana Studies, Film and Digital Humanities. She focuses on the restoration and reconstruction of the counter narrative as an aid in rehabilitating the discourse of resistance and social movement.

Image by Stephan Harmes on Flickr.

#MLA16 Panel Proposal: Affect, Emotion and Digital Scholarly Publics

The following is a special session panel proposal for the 2016 MLA meeting that I wrote and organized.

#MLA16 Panel Proposal: Affect, Emotion and Digital Scholarly Publics

Panelists:
Adeline Koh, Associate Professor, Stockton University
Howard Rambsy, Associate Professor, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville
Cathy Schlund-Vials, Associate Professor, University of Connecticut (Storrs)
Edmond Chang, Assistant Professor, Drew University
Jesse Stommel, Assistant Professor University of Wisconsin-Madison

Presiding: Dorothy Kim, Vassar College

Precis
This panel explores the affective economy that has gone into the establishment of the digital humanities as a public scholarly field. The panelists will discuss how a discourse of disembodied rationality is used within the digital public sphere to deny the politics of bodily identification and to relegate racialized, gendered and disabled bodies to the margins of the field.

Detailed Event Description:
While the formation of intellectual disciplinary fields has been widely studied according to economic and cultural capital (Bourdieu, Guillory), in the vein of biopolitics and governance (Foucault), with respect to nationalisms and colonialisms (Said) and in relation to the development of academic cultures (Lamont), there has been little work devoted to exploring the ways in which emotions and affect come to frame academic debates, cultures and fields. In some ways this is unsurprising due to the traditional role emotions have played in the western philosophical tradition, wherein they are constructed as counterpoints to reason, as red herrings which distract scholars from the quest for knowledge. Yet, recent critics who have studied the importance of emotion and sexuality argue that both are often embodied in the structures of social, political and ideological power (Ahmed, Butler, Berlant, Grossberg, Lutz).

This panel seeks to address this gap by exploring the “affective economy” that has gone into the establishment of the digital humanities as a public scholarly field. As the Digital Humanities was rising to increased institutional significance in the early 2010s, scholars identified as luminaries of the field began blogging about their vision of scholars in the field as being a largely inclusive group, who were well aware of the politics of elitism and their pitfalls (Kirschenbaum, “The (DH) Stars Come Out in LA,” Nowviskie, “Eternal September of the Digital Humanities” Sinclair, “DH Stardom.”) Yet, criticism by Smith, Golumbia, Grusin, Koh and Risam among others, have since drawn attention to the continued exclusivity and gatekeeping that takes place within the field. This panel suggests that these writings all constitute an “affective economy” whereby relationships, alliances and divisions are sown. This approach has been well-established by scholars in sexuality studies (Rubin, Butler, Sedgewick, Lorde, Ahmed, Halberstam, Holland), all of whom have critically argued that emotions and affect are powerful forces that lead to identification and community creation. The panelists will discuss how a discourse of disembodied rationality is consistently used within the digital humanities to deny the politics of bodily identification that places racialized, gendered and disabled bodies at the center, and used instead to relegate them to the margins of the field.

This roundtable brings together a group of senior and junior scholars from a variety of institutions and subfields to discuss the role of affective cultures in constructing the digital humanities. Each scholar will be limited to five minutes of remarks, the goal of which are to stimulate conversation between the audience and the roundtable. The bulk of the session (45 mins) is reserved for discussion.

Koh will discuss the affective landscape of the public digital humanities, discussing examples of what figures, tropes and narratives become “sticky” at different points and the ideological work this does. Next, noting the affective turn in comparative ethnic studies and identifying the troubling model minoritization of Asian American studies within the higher education landscape, Schlund-Vials considers the ways in which the problematic institutionalization of Asian American studies coheres with teleological registers of present-day digital humanities initiatives. Chang will address the “technonormativity” of code and digital texts, particularly exploring the inclusion (and exclusion) of queerness in mainstream video games. Stommel will discuss the affective ways our pedagogies manifest in networked spaces. He will specifically open a conversation about the negative emotions expressed by teachers in the digital public sphere and how those emotions can deliberately silence marginal student voices. Rambsy will discuss how hip hop, activism, black pride and identity, social justice, and other gripping topics for African American scholars are often seemingly at odds with the interests of major DH funding agencies such as the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Council of Learned Societies.

This work is urgent because it seeks to reveal some of the overlooked aspects in the formation of a field that has been ushered in as the “savior” of many a humanities department. Affect and emotions can often function to obscure power relations and make them seem natural in everyday life, and this reification can be readily demonstrated in ways the current history of the digital humanities has been written. As such, this panel attempts to make visible how power enters the emotional domain, how it goes into structuring fields and industries, and the possible use of affect as a way to recenter marginalized bodies so that the priority of the digital humanities will be the “humanities” rather than the “digital.”

Panelist Biography
Adeline Koh is director of DH@Stockton and associate professor of literature at Stockton University. She works on the intersections of race, postcolonial studies, postcolonial theory and the digital humanities. She directs Digitizing ‘Chinese Englishmen,’ a digital archival project on 19th century ‘Asian Victorians’ in Southeast Asia, and The Stockton Postcolonial Studies Project, an online magazine of postcolonial studies. She is the designer of Trading Races, an elaborate historical role playing game designed to teach race consciousness in the undergraduate classroom, and co-runs the postcolonial digital humanities website. She is currently working on a monograph on critical histories of the digital humanities, under contract with Northwestern University Press, and an edited collection on alternative origin narratives of the digital humanities, under contract with Punctum Books.

Howard Rambsy is Associate Professor of English at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville where he teaches African American and American literature. He is the author of The Black Arts Enterprise and the Production of African American Poetry. He has published articles on literary history and black expressive culture, and he has curated mixed media exhibits concentrating on African American poetry.

Cathy Schlund-Vials is Associate Professor of English and Asian/Asian American Studies at the University of Connecticut (Storrs); she is also the director of the UConn Asian and Asian American Studies Institute and president-elect of the Association for Asian American Studies (AAAS). She is author of two monographs: Modeling Citizenship: Jewish and Asian American Writing (Temple UP 2011) and War, Genocide, and Justice: Cambodian American Memory Work (University of Minnesota Press 2012). In addition to numerous book chapters, articles, and review essays, Schlund-Vials is series editor for Temple University Press’s Asian American History and Culture initiative and has co-edited the following: Disability, Human Rights, and the Limits of Humanitarianism (Ashgate 2014), Keywords for Asian American Studies (New York University Press 2015), a special issue of The Journal of Human Rights (concentrated on perpetratorhood), a special issue of Asian American Literary Review (focused on the legacies of the Second Indochina War), and Asian America: A Primary Source Reader (forthcoming Yale UP).

Edmond Chang is an Assistant Professor of English at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. His areas of interest include technoculture, gender and sexuality, cultural studies, video games, popular culture, and contemporary American literature. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Washington and his dissertation is entitled “Technoqueer: Re/con/figuring Posthuman Narratives.” He has published an article “Gaming as Writing, Or, World of Warcraft as World of Wordcraft” in Computers & Composition Online and an essay on queerness and celebrity studies called “Gay for Brad” in _Deconstructing Brad Pitt. Two essays on queer game studies are forthcoming: “A Game Chooses, A Player Obeys: BioShock, Posthumanism, and the Limits of Queerness” in Identity Matters: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Video Game Studies and “Love is in the Air: Queer (Im)Possibility and Straightwashing in FrontierVille and World of Warcraft” in QED. He is also part of MLA Books’ forthcoming Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities: Concepts, Models, and Experiments authoring the keyword entry “queer.”

Jesse Stommel is Assistant Professor of Digital Humanities in the Department of Liberal Arts and Applied Studies at University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is also Founder and Director of Hybrid Pedagogy: a digital journal of learning, teaching, and technology. Jesse is an advocate for lifelong learning and the public digital humanities. He teaches courses about digital pedagogy, digital storytelling, horror film, and Shakespeare. He experiments relentlessly with learning interfaces, both digital and analog, and works in his research and teaching to emphasize new forms of collaboration. His scholarship explores the sometimes wondrous, sometimes horrifying relationship between bodies and technology. His essay, “Toward a Zombie Pedagogy,” recently appeared in the collection Zombies in the Academy: Living Death in Higher Education. He is co-editing Disrupting the Digital Humanities, a collection forthcoming from Punctum Books, with Dorothy Kim. He can be found on Twitter @Jessifer.

Dorothy Kim
Dorothy Kim is an Assistant Professor of English at Vassar College. She has been a Frankel Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan, co-project director in the NEH-funded Scholarly Editions and Translations project An Archive of Early Middle English, winner of multiple faculty fellowships from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and is editing a volume with Jesse Stommel (University of Wisconsin, Madison) on Disrupting the Digital Humanities (under contract, punctum books) that discusses the marginal methodologies and critical diversities in the Digital Humanities. Her monograph is currently under review, and evaluates how Ancrene Wisse rewrites the rise of English vernacularity in conjunction with the history of Jewish/Christian relations that moves beyond antisemitism, philosemitism and allosemitism.

Resources on Integrating Wikipedia Into Your Classroom

I’m often asked how instructors can get started with integrating Wikipedia into their classrooms. I’ve provided a list of some helpful resources on getting started below.

Tutorials on Getting Started



Handouts for Instructors



Classroom Handouts/Brochures



Syllabi


Other Assignments


Other Guides/Help

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.

Syllabus Draft: GIS 3614, Seminar in Feminist Theory (Fall 2014)

Below is part of my syllabus draft for GIS 3614, Seminar in Feminist Theory for Fall 2014. Several important changes have been made since I last taught the class: 1) the major project for the class involves creating and adding knowledge to Wikipedia on feminist theory in lieu of a final research paper, 2) this class is part of the FemTechNet DOCC (Distributed Online Collaborative Course), and will function as a Feminist Theory node along with courses taught at The College of New Jersey with Prof Marla Jaksch and West Virginia University with Prof Brian Jara.

GIS 3614: Seminar in Feminist Theory Instructor: Professor Adeline Koh

Course Description:

This course serves as the capstone course for all students pursuing a minor in Women and Gender Studies. It is also open to other interested students. In this course, students will read and discuss important texts within feminist theory. This course covers how gender factors into how human beings create, interpret and produce knowledge claims about the world. We will learn about the history of feminist thought in its various stages, and evaluate the strengths, insights and weaknesses of different theoretical standpoints. The major project for the class will be to add 1000 words to Wikipedia on feminism and feminist theory.
In this course we will: 1) Explore the history of feminist theory (and different ways of conceptualizing this history) 2) Consider the intersections of feminism with other forms of oppression, such as race, class, and colonialism, 3) Improve our conceptual skills, critical thinking, and oral and written communications through Wikipedia editing.
**This class will participate in a Feminist Theory node of the FemTechNet DOCC, with a class at the College of New Jersey (taught by Prof. Marla Jaksch) and a class at West Virginia University (taught by Prof. Brian Jara).

The three essential goals for this class are to: 1) Learn fundamental principles, generalizations and theories (i.e. What is feminist theory? What is the relationship of feminist theory to philosophy?) 2) Learn to apply course material (i.e. How can we apply feminist theory to the world around us?) 3) Learn to analyze and critically evaluate ideas (i.e. What is the worth of feminist theory, what are its strong points and what are its limitations?)

Another important goal of this course is for you to: 1) Develop skill in expressing yourself in writing (through writing regular critical analyses, longer papers, and putting together a presentation).

Course Wikipedia Page

Texts

Required text: Feminist Theory Reader, Carole McCann and Seung-kyung Kim

Grading Breakdown
Participation: 25%
Includes critical questions homework and revised critical questions, active participation in class, daily writing exercises and online daily writing and comments.
TWITTER AND FACEBOOK: You can IMPROVE your participation grade by tweeting or Facebooking in the class Facebook group about the class and the ideas you have learnt regularly. We will sign up for twitter accounts the second week of classes together. You have to use the hashtag #femtheory and send the tweet to me @adelinekoh so I can record your tweets for your participation grade. Tweeting regularly by engaging with ideas from the class (more than 3x a week) will boost your participation grade. (Tweeting about your breakfast, however, will not.) If you want credit for your tweets, please fill out the twitter form (link provided on the class Canvas site.) Join the Facebook FemTheory DOCC Group here—you will also see students from participating classes in West Virginia University and The College of New Jersey.

Peer Review Assignments 15%
You will be graded by your groupmates on how helpful your comments were in revising their homework assignments. Your groupmates (and you) will each submit a review of each other’s peer review work on most Thursdays, along with the revised critical questions.

Twitter vs. Zombies game 5%
We will play a game to familiarize the class on using Twitter in September. Game participation and a reflective essay later will be 5% of your total grade. Twitter vs. Zombies is a Twitter version of the “Human vs. Zombies” game. You can find out more about the game here. It’s a lot of fun ☺

Feminist Wikipedia Editing Assignments 55%
In place of a midterm and final paper for this course, you will be tasked with adding 500 words on Wikipedia on feminist theory topics over the semester. You will learn how to edit Wikipedia using appropriate sources and add feminist theory content to the site.
This section of your grade (55%) will be further broken down into the following:
20% Participation in Wikipedia assignments
10% Participation in Wikipedia discussions in class
25% Peer Reviews and Collaboration with Classmates
45% Reflective Essay and quality of main Wikipedia contributions

Assignments

Critical Questions Homework: With the exception of the first week of class, you will answer the critical questions as a homework assignment on most Tuesdays. You will have to POST a digital copy to the forum by Tuesday 8.30am AND bring a copy of these answers with you to class. They will be graded on completion. There are no exceptions for lateness. We will discuss these questions in class, where you will fill out an assessment of your groupmates’ answers.

Peer Review Assignments. You will be graded by your groupmates on how helpful your comments were in revising their homework assignments. Your groupmates (and you) will each submit a review of each other’s peer review work on most Thursdays, along with the revised critical questions.

Revised Critical Questions. After you have participated in course discussion, you will revise your initial answers to critical questions before submitting them once more. You should make your revisions to your original document using a different color font. Using a different color will allow you and me to see how your interpretations of the text have developed based on the discussion. Revised critical questions answers are due on most Thursdays by 10.20am. These revised questions will be assessed according to a grading rubric which will be provided to you.

Twitter vs. Zombies Assignment. We will play a game to familiarize the class on using Twitter in September. Game participation and a reflective essay later will be 5% of your total grade. Twitter vs. Zombies is a Twitter version of the “Human vs. Zombies” game. You can find out more about the game here. It’s a lot of fun ☺

Final Wikipedia Assignment: Instructions to come closer to the date.

Class Schedule

Week 1: Introduction to Feminist Theory
Sept 4: HYBRID. Read and respond to Kate Fridkis, “Why I Don’t Call Myself A Feminist Anymore.”
Due 10.30am September 4 on Canvas: 1 paragraph self-introduction, 2 paragraph discussion of Fridkis
and why she doesn’t call herself a feminist, and 1 paragraph on why you would or would not call
yourself a feminist. Quiz on syllabus needs to be completed by 11pm.

Week 2: Simone de Beauvoir
Sept 9: Simone de Beauvoir, “The Second Sex. Introduction.” pp. 34-42
Due on Canvas at 8.30am and in class: Answers to Critical Questions.

Sept 11: HYBRID. Comments and Revisions on Simone de Beauvoir, “The Second Sex. Introduction.” pp. 34-42
Due at 11am on Canvas: (1) Revised Critical Questions with changes highlighted. (2) Review of your
reviewers.

Week 3: The Feminine Mystique and Marxism: Gender and Class
Sept 16: Monique Wittig, “One is Not Born a Woman,” pp. 244-251 AND Betty Friedan. “The Crisis in Woman’s Identity.” From The Feminine Mystique. Pp. 123-136 (available on Canvas)
Due on Canvas at 8.30am and in class: Answers to Critical Questions.

Sept 18: HYBRID. Comments and Revisions on Wittig and Friedan.
Due at 11am on Canvas: (1) Revised Critical Questions with changes highlighted. (2) Review of your
reviewers.

Week 4: Twitter vs. Zombies!
Sept 23: Introduction to Twitter. Class meets IN COMPUTER LAB.

Sept 25: Twitter vs. Zombies assignment! (N.B. Assignment will run Sept 25-27)

Week 5: Sex and Gender
Sept 30: Christine Delphy, “Rethinking Sex and Gender” pp. 58-68.
Due on Canvas at 8.30am and in class: Answers to Critical Questions.

Oct 2: HYBRID. Comments and Revisions on Delphy.
Due at 11am on Canvas: (1) Revised Critical Questions with changes highlighted. (2) Review of your
reviewers.

Week 6: Masculinity
Oct 7: R W Connell, “The Social Organization of Masculinity.” pp. 232-243.
Due on Canvas at 8.30am and in class: Answers to Critical Questions.

Oct 9: HYBRID. Comments and Revisions on Connell.
Due at 11am on Canvas: (1) Revised Critical Questions with changes highlighted. (2) Review of your
reviewers.

Week 7: Race and Feminism
Oct 14: hooks, bell. “Feminism: A Movement to End Sexist Oppression.” (available on Canvas)
Due on Canvas at 8.30am and in class: Answers to Critical Questions.

Oct 16: Comments and Revisions on hooks.
Due at 11am on Canvas: (1) Revised Critical Questions with changes highlighted. (2) Review of your
reviewers.

Week 8: Introduction to Wikipedia Editing.
Oct 21: Class in Computer Lab.
– We will discuss: (1) Wikipedia, reliability and knowledge creation, (2) Editing basics and Wikipedia markup, (3) talk pages, (4) Our course Wikipedia webpage.
– Goals: We will (1) Sign each person up for a Wikipedia account, (2) Make edits in a sandbox.
– Reading: “Welcome to Wikipedia” handout, “Using talk pages,” “Evaluating Wikipedia article quality,” “Wikimarkup cheatsheet.”
– Class will participate in Oct 22 Wikistorming event using hashtag #femtheorydocc and by making good faith edits

Oct 23: HYBRID. Wikipedia practice.
Due by 11am October 16:
1) Have completed Wikipedia online training for students, 2) Creation of your user page, 3) Signing up as list of students on Course Page, 4) Leave a message for a classmate on their user talk page.
2) 2 page reaction paper to Wikistorming event

Week 9: Wikipedia and Sources
Oct 28: PRECEPTORIAL ADVISING, NO CLASS
Oct 30: HYBRID.
– Reading: Referencing on Wikipedia and Copyright on Wikipedia
– Due 11am Oct 30 on Canvas: 1) 2 sentences of new information, backed up with a citation to an appropriate source to a Wikipedia article related to class. 2) Submission of 2 page essay analyzing the new information that you added to the webpage according to what you have learned on Referencing on Wikipedia and Copyright on Wikipedia
– NOTE: Start working on Pages and Sources bibliographies (Due Nov 20!)

Week 10: Colonial Feminisms and “Third World Women.”
Nov 4: Reading: Mohanty, Under Western Eyes. (Available on Canvas)
Due on Canvas at 8.30am and in class: Answers to Critical Questions.

Nov 6: HYBRID. Comments and Revisions on Mohanty.
Due at 11am on Canvas: (1) Revised Critical Questions with changes highlighted. (2) Review of your
reviewers.

Week 11: Wikipedia Exploring the Topic Area.
Nov 18: Exploring the topic area.
– In class, we will critically evaluate several existing Wikipedia articles related to the class, and suggest how they can be improved
– Reading: 1) “Advice for Choosing Articles” 2) “How to get help” and 3) Wikipedia articles—will be sent to your later by Prof Koh

Nov 20: HYBRID. Annotated Bibliographies.
DUE by 11am Nov 20: Annotated bibliographies of:
1) Pages. 5 possible pages you want to edit for your main project, with annotations about why you’ve chosen this page and its appropriateness
2) Sources. 5 possible sources you want to use for your edits, with annotations about why you’ve chosen these sources and their appropriateness.

Week 12: Peer Review of Pages and Sources Bibliographies.
Nov 25: HYBRID. Peer Review of Annotated Bibliographies.
Due by 11am Nov 25:
Peer Review of each of your groupmates’s annotated bibliographies, including
1) 1 page report on Pages bibliography, and
2) 1 page report on Sources bibliography.

Nov 27: THANKSGIVING, NO CLASS

Week 13: Draft Edits, Peer Review and Office Consultations
Dec 2: Prof Koh office consultations.
DUE by 11am Dec 2:
1) You should have chosen your article that you will be working on. Add your article to the class’s course page and the
article to your own user page.
2) DRAFT EDIT 1 due. Write a draft of your proposed additions/improvements to your page (should be at least 3-4 paragraphs), along with citations. Post this to the article’s talk page, along with a brief description of your plans.

Dec 4: HYBRID. Peer Review of Draft Edit.
DUE by 11am Dec 4: PEER REVIEW OF DRAFT.
2 page evaluation of each of your groupmates drafts according to provided rubric.

Week 14: Last Day of Class, and Reflections
Dec 9: LAST DAY OF CLASS
DUE by 11am Dec 9:
1) Post your final revised edits to your article page
2) Submit on Canvas a 5 page paper on your experiences with Wikipedia editing and Feminist Theory.

New Syllabus Draft: Introduction to Digital Writing

I’m posting below part of my new draft for “Introduction to Digital Writing,” a hybrid course that I will be teaching this Fall. Course description: “This hybrid course will introduce you to some of the key elements for writing for the web. We will consider how the Internet functions as a meeting space for different kinds of communities, and the role that digital writing plays in constructing this space. The major assignment for this class will be to build your own specialized blog and to create a social media following for this blog.”

GAH 2180: Introduction to Digital Writing

Instructor: Professor Adeline Koh
Office: K-125
Email: Adeline.Koh@stockton.edu

Course Description:

This hybrid course will introduce you to some of the key elements for writing for the web. We will consider how the Internet functions as a meeting space for different kinds of communities, and the role that digital writing plays in constructing this space. The major assignment for this class will be to build your own specialized blog and to create a social media following for this blog.

Course goals:

1) To gain a broader understanding and appreciation of intellectual/cultural activity (music, science, literature, etc.)
2) To develop skill in expressing oneself orally or in writing

Course Text
Net Smart, Howard Rheingold.
Additional readings will be made available on the course Canvas website.

Course Videos
Wikiality and Truthiness, Stephen Colbert

Grading Breakdown

Participation: 25% Includes active participation in class, daily writing exercises and online daily writing and comments.
Twitter You can IMPROVE your participation grade by tweeting about the class and the ideas you have learnt regularly. We will sign up for twitter accounts the second week of classes together. You have to use the hashtag #GAH2180 and send the tweet to me @adelinekoh adelinekoh so I can record your tweets for your participation grade. Tweeting regularly by engaging with ideas from the class (more than 3x a week) will boost your participation grade. (Tweeting about your breakfast, however, will not.) If you want credit for your tweets, please fill out the twitter form (link provided on the class Canvas site.)

Peer Review Assignments: 15%
A large part of this class will be focused on training you to better edit and review each other’s work. You will be graded for completing your peer reviews and the quality of these reviews. Rubrics for writing good peer reviews will be provided.

Twitter vs. Zombies Game 5%
We will play a game to familiarize the class on using Twitter in September. Game participation and a reflective essay later will be 5% of your total grade. Twitter vs. Zombies is a Twitter version of the “Human vs. Zombies” game. You can find out more about the game here. It’s a lot of fun ☺

Final Blog and Social Media Following Assignments: 55%
In place of a midterm and final paper for this course, you will be tasked with creating your own specialized blog and your own social media following over the semester.
This section of your grade (55%) will be further broken down into the following:
20% Participation in blog assignment
10% Participation in blog discussions in class
25% Peer Reviews and Collaboration with Classmates
45% Reflective Essay and quality of blog

Assignments

Critical Questions Homework: With the exception of the first week of class, you will answer the critical questions as a homework assignment on most Tuesdays. You will have to POST a digital copy to the forum by Tuesday 12.30pm AND bring a copy of these answers with you to class. They will be graded on completion. There are no exceptions for lateness. We will discuss these questions in class, where you will fill out an assessment of your groupmates’ answers.

Peer Review Assignments. You will be graded by your groupmates on how helpful your comments were in revising their homework assignments. Your groupmates (and you) will each submit a review of each other’s peer review work on most Thursdays, along with the revised critical questions.

Revised Critical Questions. After you have participated in course discussion, you will revise your initial answers to critical questions before submitting them once more. You should make your revisions to your original document using a different color font. Using a different color will allow you and me to see how your interpretations of the text have developed based on the discussion. Revised critical questions answers are due on most Thursdays by 2.20pm. These revised questions will be assessed according to a grading rubric which will be provided to you.
Twitter vs. Zombies Assignment. We will play a game to familiarize the class on using Twitter in September. Game participation and a reflective essay later will be 5% of your total grade. Twitter vs. Zombies is a Twitter version of the “Human vs. Zombies” game. You can find out more about the game here. It’s a lot of fun ☺

Final Blog, Social Media following and Reflection Paper: Instructions to come closer to the date.

Course Schedule

Week 1: Introductions

Sept 4. HYBRID.
Due: Self-introductions and commentary on two posts on Canvas website.

Week 2: Social Digital Know-How and Attention

Sept 9: Reading: Introduction, “Why You Need Digital Know-How—Why We all Need
It” and Chapter 1, “Attention!”
Due on Canvas at 12.30pm and in class: Answers to Critical Questions.

Sept 11. HYBRID.
Due at 2.20pm on Canvas: (1) Revised Critical Questions. (2) Review of your
reviewers.

Week 3: Crap Detection

Sept 16. Read: Net Smart, Chapter 2: “Crap Detection 101: How to Find What You Need
to Know, and How To Decide If Its True”
Watch: Colbert, Stephen. “The Word—Wikiality.” Colbert Nation. July 31, 2006. Watch: Colbert, Stephen. “The Word—Truthiness.” Colbert Nation. October 17, 2005
Due on Canvas at 12.30pm and in class: Answers to Critical Questions.

Sept 18: HYBRID.
Due at 2.20pm on Canvas: (1) Revised Critical Questions. (2) Review of your
reviewers.

Week 4: Twitter vs. Zombies!

Sept 23. Introduction to Twitter. Class meets in COMPUTER LAB.
Sept 25: Twitter vs. Zombies assignment (N.B. Assignment will run September 25-27)

Week 5: Participatory Power.

Sept 30. Read. Net Smart, Chapter 3. “Participatory Power.”
Read: O’Neil, Luke. “The Year We Broke the Internet: An Explanation. An Apology. A Plea.” Esquire.com. December 23, 2013.
Due on Canvas at 12.30pm and in class: Answers to Critical Questions.

Oct 2. HYBRID.
Due at 2.20pm on Canvas: (1) Revised Critical Questions. (2) Review of your
reviewers.

Week 6. Social Digital Know-How and Collective Intelligence.

Oct 7. Read: Net Smart, Chapter 4: “Social-Digital Know-How: The Arts and Sciences of
Collective Intelligence.”
Due on Canvas at 12.30pm and in class: Answers to Critical Questions.

Oct 9. HYBRID.
Due at 2.20pm on Canvas: (1) Revised Critical Questions. (2) Review of your
reviewers.

Week 7: Social Has a Shape

Oct 14. Read: Net Smart, Chapter 5: “Social Has a Shape: Why Networks Matter.”
Due on Canvas at 12.30pm and in class: Answers to Critical Questions.

Oct 16. HYBRID
Due at 2.20pm on Canvas: (1) Revised Critical Questions. (2) Review of your
reviewers.

Week 8: Research on Niche Blogs.

Oct 21. Due in class. Niche blog proposal and market research.
Ideas: food blogs, beer blogs, pet blogs, mommy blogs, gadget blogs, gaming
blogs. Who has the highest readership? How can I tell? What makes them likeable? How do they broadcast their posts?

Oct 23. HYBRID.
Due at 2.20pm on Canvas: Revised blog proposal and market research.

Week 9. Peer Review of Niche Blog Proposals

Oct 28. PRECEPTORIAL ADVISING, NO CLASS.

Oct 30. Hybrid.
Due at 2.20pm on Canvas: Two peer reviews of your classmates revised blog
proposals and market research.

Week 10. Using the Web Mindfully.

Nov 4. Read: Net Smart, Chapter 6: “How Using the Web (Mindfully) Can Make You
Better.”
Due on Canvas at 12.30pm and in class: Answers to Critical Questions.

Nov 6. HYBRID
Due at 2.20pm on Canvas: (1) Revised Critical Questions. (2) Review of your
reviewers.
Week 11. WordPress and Starting Your Blog.

Nov 18. Introductions to WordPress—buy your own domain, use wordpress.com or
Stockton WordPress server. Class meets in computer lab.

Nov 20. HYBRID.
Due at 2.20pm. Intro page drafts and two introductory blog posts on topic due.

Week 12. Peer Reviews

Nov 25. HYBRID
Due at 2.20pm. Two peer reviews of each others’ websites.

Nov 27. THANKSGIVING, No class

Week 13. Establishing a Twitter Following.
Dec 2. Establishing a Twitter following: following, retweeting, being useful, liking,
distributing .
Due in class: Two blog posts.
Dec 4. HYBRID.
Due by 2.20pm: Report on first steps to establishing Twitter following, peer review of two of your classmates’ blogs.

Week 14. Revisions and Reflections.
Dec 9: Last Day of Class. Due: Revised blog and reflection paper.

New Article: Introducing Digital Humanities Work to Undergraduates

My new essay, Introducing Digital Humanities Work to Undergraduates: An Overview has just been published in the journal Hybrid Pedagogy. Abstract: “This article provides a brief overview of an assortment of digital humanities projects that can be implemented in primarily undergraduate-focused institutions. Readers should be able to decide on what level they would like to start at, and build some possible ideas to “scaffold” the project, or stages of development and release for the project. At the end of the overview I offer an activity that can be easily applied by instructors interested in conducting digital humanities workshops at their institutions and an annotated list of additional resources. My goal is to provide an easy introduction for instructors to think through possibilities for incorporating the digital humanities within an undergraduate curriculum with either free or inexpensive digital tools.”

Available for Web Design/Development Freelance Work

If you’re thinking of getting an academic website–or any website for that matter–made, please think about contacting me. I’m planning to start doing freelance web dev/design work this summer. Email me at adelinekoh[at]gmail[dot]com if you’re interested, or if you’d like to do any work I might not be able to take on. You can see samples of my work here: Digitizing Chinese EnglishmenTrading Races, Postcolonial Digital Humanities. Please email me to discuss rates and availability. Thanks.

Academic Bad Faith

One of the most important concepts I have learned is what Jean-Paul Sartre has called “mauvaise foi”, usually translated into English as bad faith. Bad faith applies to a lot of things around us. It illustrates what happens when we are complicit in structures of dishonesty, structures of oppression, but pretend to be the opposite. It happens when we lie to ourselves that we do not have the choice to speak up or fight against this oppression, because we do not have the freedom to. Bad faith is a form of self-deception. In his introduction to The Wretched of the Earth, Sartre describes the paternalistic French colonialist, who practices bad faith when he believes that his treatment of the colonized is good and deserves gratitude from them, rather than anger, violence and revolution.

I was embroiled in a social media dustup yesterday that to me demonstrated a form of academic bad faith. I won’t go into too much detail, but essentially screenshots of a private discussion on Facebook were shared with someone, who shared them on Twitter publicly. Those screenshots showed me complaining about being “whitewomansplained.” “Whitewomansplaining” is a combination of the terms “mansplaining”–when a man patronizingly assumes that he knows more than a woman about any topic and proceeds to explain to her, sometimes incorrectly, things that she already knows, and “whitesplaining”–when white people define for people of color what should or should not be considered racist, therefore revealing their own racism. I complained about being “whitewomansplained” because I felt I was being patronizingly told how to behave in a public space on social media by a white woman. Immediately, once someone screenshotted my discussion, I was accused of bullying the white woman and things escalated on social media, largely without any of my own participation.

What struck me the most about the dustup is the ways in which it was automatically assumed that there was no validity to the concept of being “whitewomansplained”–because, presumably, all of us are in higher education and have (or are working towards) PhDs, where we are supposed to have learned about issues of structural inequality and identity politics. This assumption, I am finding, is less and less true–not all of us have the same kind of knowledge of these issues, or sympathy for them. We assume that because we are in academia, we must somehow be in a golden realm where no one ever does anything racist, sexist, homophobic or ableist, because we have so much learning we must be above these things.

This is academic bad faith. Bad faith is assuming because we are in academia that these structures of oppression do not exist in our world. Bad faith is assuming that microaggressions never occur in academia. Bad faith is being arrogant enough to assume that we are always conscious and cognizant of our power in relation to others, and that we never abuse it. Bad faith is assuming that we are always aware of our privilege, or that we have none.

We need to realize that even though we are in academia, that structures of oppression do exist, and micro and macroaggressions take place every day, every hour, and that we might be too privileged to notice. We need to admit to ourselves that sometimes we make mistakes and we are complicit in these structures and acts. To do otherwise is to practice bad faith; to think that we are simply doing what we are doing because we do not have freedom to act otherwise; and to lie to ourselves about the consequences and ethics of our positions and actions. My friends in less privileged positions have taken me to task on various occasions for my own blindness to my privilege, and for these interventions I am grateful. We should be better.

Niceness, Building, and Opening the Genealogy of the Digital Humanities: Beyond the Social Contract of Humanities Computing

My new article, “Niceness, Building, and Opening the Genealogy of the Digital Humanities: Beyond the Social Contract of Humanities Computing” has just been published by differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies. If you can’t access the paywalled version I’ve also uploaded an earlier version here. Abstract: “This essay explores the ‘social contract’ of the digital humanities community. I argue that the social contract of the digital humanities is composed of two rules: 1) the notion of niceness or civility; and 2) the possession of technical knowledge, defined as knowledge of coding or computer programming. These rules are repeatedly raised within the public sphere of the digital humanities and are simultaneously contested and criticized. I claim that these rules and the social contract come from humanities computing, a field commonly described as the digital humanities’ sole predecessor. Humanities computing has historically differentiated itself from media and cultural studies, defining itself as a field that uses computational methods to address humanities research questions rather than exploring the impact of computation on culture and the humanities. I call for a movement that would go beyond this social contract by creating multiple genealogies for the digital humanities; by arguing that current conceptualizations of the digital humanities have not only developed from humanities computing but also include additional fields such as new media studies, postcolonial science and technology studies, and digital research on race, gender, class, and disability and their impact on cultures around the world.”