I know you’ve been holding your breath for the second installment of my musings on and eternal search for effective stereotype-breaking strategies. So here goes. Today I take on the elusive term “race” as a myth that students approach rather curiously: with great resentment. And I think I’ve figured out at least part of the reason why. Let me try to explain:
I attempted to have a conversation with my students this week about white privilege. They read “The End of White America?” by Hua Hsu, published in The Atlantic in 2009. I also had them look at this hilarious video made by Smirnoff in 2006, which Hsu mentions.
So, they had read (or were supposed to have read) Hsu’s essay on the “beiging” of the white race in the United States, the increasing diversity of American popular culture, and the ensuing backlash against multiculturalism and retrenchment into whiteness. Continue reading
In this article I wish to reflect at more length on the topic of “archaeology of digital media,” which happens to be the topic of discussion this week for the weekly Digital Pedagogy Seminar for first-year Brittain Fellows. Although many literary scholars are certainly well-versed in historical approaches, myself included,… Continue reading
The Georgia Tech Pride Alliance and the Writing and Communication Program have joined the community, corporate, and collegiate movement across the country by co-producing a Georgia Tech It Gets Better video. It Gets Better is a national movement to reduce bullying and suicides among LGBTQ youth. The video was produced and directed by Jesse Stommel, Marion L. Brittain Postdoctoral Fellow and Julie Champion, Student and President of Georgia Tech Pride Alliance, with a musical score by Matt Morris.
Stommel and Champion were inspired to work on this project after seeing the wonderful video produced recently at NC State. Like the NC State video, the Georgia Tech It Gets Better video features personal interviews in recognizable campus locations with nearly 50 students, faculty, staff, administration, and alumni of varying sexualities and backgrounds. Continue reading
Texts That Challenge Convention Sipai Klein, Amanda Madden, Jennifer Orth-Veillon, Britta Spann At Georgia Tech, Brittain Fellows are expected to live and teach by the latest technological advances. This would seem to suggest not only teaching what we call “non-conventional texts” such as games, websites, film, and social media, but… Continue reading
I hope this will be the first of a series of posts on a running theme: the unintentional eloquence of soundbite culture. For several years now I’ve been interested in the communicative potential of inarticulate speech and writing. It’s part guilty pleasure (I look for Sarah Palin in the news for nearly the same reasons I watch America’s Next Top Model); but a hopefully bigger part of my interest derives from a genuine fascination with the ways in which gaffes can be translated into eloquence, gibberish into poetry, nonsense into social commentary.
Such translations are already easy to find in the form of parody: here are William Shatner reading a Palin speech as beat poetry, John Lithgow performing a Newt Gingrich press release, Obama supporters combining hyperbole and understatement via a Joe Biden gaffe, and my personal favorite Twitter meme, ShakesPalin. Continue reading
Last Monday, I attended one of the Workshops on Digital Scholarship being offered through the Emory Digital Scholarship Commons this semester. This series offers workshops on a variety of topics ranging from “Creating an Online Presence I: Take Control of Your Online Personality” to “Hack Your Theme: Customize WordPress Themes… Continue reading
On Saturday, October 22, I attended the 2011 Media Law in the Digital Age conference, co-sponsored by Kennesaw State University’s Center for Sustainable Journalism and Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society. After the morning’s plenary session, I attended a panel on “Online Community Building and Managing: What are the Legal and Editorial Concerns You Need to Know?” Continue reading
Ready for the next installment of our discussion about the digital divide, access, and privilege? This time, we’ll focus more of our attention on how issues of gender, sexuality, and ability should be addressed when we incorporate new media and technologies into the communication classroom. We’ll start the seminar off… Continue reading
This is the first installment of what I’m hoping will be a recurring discussion about breaking students of a nasty habit: the tendency to rely on harmful preconceptions when engaging with literatures, cultures, and traditions that they aren’t very familiar with. In the title of my column, I’m using “myth” in two (of the many) meanings of the term: as stereotype (a widely circulated falsehood); and as culturally significant narrative (a local, communal, or national “true” story). My research explores the way twentieth-century US writers of color incorporate culturally specific mythic narratives in their literature. When I bring aspects of this research into the literature and communication classrooms, I inevitably come up against significant hurdles… Continue reading
Brittain Fellows participate in semester-long postdoctoral seminars that address the theory and practice of digital pedagogy as well as the theory and practice of technical communication. Fellows may choose to complete Postdoctoral Certification Programs in Digital Pedagogy and Technical Communication. In the fall, all new Brittain Fellows take part in the D-Ped seminar, in which they discuss theories and methodologies to help them develop innovative teaching and scholarship in communication. Several members of this seminar often voluntarily extend their discussions in the spring.
The nearly ubiquitous phrase “technology in the classroom” both invokes and elides a great deal. When we use this term—whether in an article, a job interview, or a hallway—we usually mean things like Twitter, blogs, course management software, or the actual computers that we or our students may use during a class session. In other words, “tech in the classroom” is often translatable as “digital pedagogy,” and indeed this is the central concept we intend to invoke: progressive newness—new media, new ways of teaching. Continue reading
You did as he who goes by night and carries the lamp behind him – he is of no help to his own self but teaches those who follow – “We need some positive, happy stuff.” … Continue reading
This week, I’d like to continue my series of provocations by posting another short piece about a topic that raises questions I can’t easily answer. Earlier this week, a piece of natural language processing software, dubbed Watson, developed by IBM, successfully and decisively defeated two human opponents on the game… Continue reading