Archive for March, 2012

April 2: Katherine D. Harris on “Risking Failure by Playing Around with Digital Pedagogy”

March 29th, 2012

Please join us on Monday, April 2, 6:30-8:30pm when we will be delighted to welcome CUNY alum Katherine D. Harris (San José State University) to speak on DH in the undergraduate classroom.

Details are below – we look forward to seeing you!

Time & Place: Monday April 2, 2012, 6:30-8:30pm, Room 6417, CUNY Graduate Center

Katherine D. Harris: Risking Failure by Playing Around with Digital Pedagogy”

In Planned Obsolescence: Publishing, Technology and the Future of the Academy, Kathleen Fitzpatrick warns that academic futures need to be governed by expansive change: “We need to think less about completed products and more about text in process; less about individual authorship and more about collaboration; less about originality and more about remix; less about ownership and more about sharing” (83). If scholarly communication needs this type of revision, then I suggest so too does undergraduate pedagogy.

But, something happens when we start incorporating Digital Humanities and digital pedagogy into the undergraduate classroom, something that’s not embraced in academia: failure. Digital Humanities scholarship requires collaboration and playfulness – both risky endeavors in any Humanities classroom because of the need for assessment, structure, rules, and bounded learning. But, what happens when we modify some of the institutional structures and student learning outcomes to accommodate these two methods for learning and add into the curriculum a requirement for building something, anything, within the undergraduate classroom? The students collaborate, play around, and build materials for public scholarship, but we all risk failure – and then learn from it.

Using the Beard-Stair Project as an example, I would like to discuss a student-driven project that is run outside the institutional boundaries of a traditional English Department curriculum and the inherent risks, failures, and disappointments that are integral to this type of productive learning environment. Though the students collaborate, play around, and build materials for public scholarship, both I and the students have to accept some failures that are then assimilated into the project.

Katherine D. Harris (Tenured Assistant Professor, English and Comparative Literature, San José State University) specializes in Romantic-Era and 19th-century British literature, women’s authorship, the literary annual, 19th-century history print culture and history of the book, textuality, editorial theory, Digital Humanities, and pedagogy. Her work ranges from pedagogical articles on using digital tools in the classroom to traditional scholarship on a “popular” literary form in 19th-century England. Much of her work can be explored on her research blog: http://triproftri.wordpress.com.

Many thanks to The Center for the Humanities at The Graduate Center, CUNY for sponsoring this event.

css.php