Friday, May 29 • 10:30am - 11:45am
On Co-creating Syllabi and Collaborative Design for Inter-disciplinary Research and Instruction

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Anita Say Chan

Collaboration has emerged as an essential – if enormously fraught -stake for contemporary ecologies and economies of knowledge production. While it has long been central in the development of knowledge practices and data collection in the modern sciences, new information infrastructures today extend potentials for knowledge sharing across communities of difference in diverse fields, including indeed, those working around pedagogy. This panel focuses on the means by which the process of Collaborative Syllabus Design provides rich terrain for developing new tools and spaces to research new interdisciplinary pedagogical methods for the humanities and social sciences. The panel shares examples of – and experiences learned from – the practice of co-creating syllabi with partners “outside” one’s chosen discipline or department (ie. fieldwork contacts, or past/present research project, an existing NGO or community-based organization, or a fellow researcher with distinct research conventions and audience expectations) for a final project of a graduate seminar class on Collaboration Systems hosted under the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign’s Institute of Communications Research. Building from civic techno-science traditions of creating tools that move across diverse communities, and thus approaching syllabi as “boundary” objects and pedagogical technologies created through a function of collaborative social work and negotiation, the panel shares results from the co-creation processes. We offer proto-types in building tools for inter-disciplinary research and instruction that have the potential to extend new interfaces with social actors between and beyond the traditional academy.

The Private/Public (Sector) Engagement with Social Media: On Producing an Interdisciplinary Collaborative Syllabus
Paul Michael Leonardo Atienza

What are the similarities, differences, and compromises when constructing scholarship that informs and engages learning publics about daily technology use? Working across professional boundaries often marked as taboo, the author, a Phd Student in anthropology, and and his collaborative partner, a corporate social media administrator in designing pedagogical devices for undergraduate learning, negotiate the goals of a privatized institution with critical analysis and genealogies of digital and virtual ecologies of the everyday.

Collaborative Pedagogies and Expanding Vision to Picture the End of Nature
Jessica Landau 

Collaborating with an auction house specialist and jewelry artist around the theme of “Picturing the End of Nature,” we explore how thinking through the end of nature and understanding nature as a cultural construct not only enriches the way we discuss objects art historically within the academy, but also how these ideas influence an ethics of the ways we make and work as art world professionals. This paper offers a reflection on what it means to work collaboratively with a colleague outside the academy, and how this can open pathways for thinking about analytics and abstract theory not only in terms of interpreting cultural objects, but also in terms of the process of making, artwork, as well as the ways they influence professional life in both the art world and academy.

Technology and Us: Workshops on Embodied Play
Fabian Prieto-Nanez and Hong-An Wu

This presentation explores community-based collaborative pedagogy through video games with youth at the Champaign Public Library. Leveraging feminist approaches to technology developed under FemTechNet, we designed an eight week workshop series called “Technology and Us: Minecraft in Real Life.” This series builds on the existing practices of youth gaming that happens at the Teen Space of Champaign Public Library by introducing alternative ways of engaging with game texts through art-making. By experimenting with these different approaches, we wish to initiate discussions about technology, collaboration, identity and gaming with youth. While video game pedagogy has received fervent attention in recent years, most discussions have centered on further engagement with virtual reality. For "Technology and Us," we intend to explore the possibility of extending virtual realities to the physical lives of youth by the use of embodied play. Youth will experiment with embodying the visual rhetoric of Minecraft through physical play, and experience the limitation and logic of video game designs. We frame these activities in critical feminist approaches to technology as a way to expand discussions into different locations and age groups.

Mapping and Visualizing Social Issues: Collaboration, Theory, and Practice
Ned Prutzer

This talk outlines a collaborative syllabus, Mapping and Visualizing Social Issues, exemplifying the potential of collaborative projects toward data literacy instruction centered on otherness. With my collaborator, a colleague engaged in critical feminist criminological scholarship, I envision how a collaborative course design confronting issues of race, class, gender, and nation within students’ development of interventionist projects might operate. The syllabus couples critical theory and criminological theory in investigating the political and ethical implications of digital mapping projects and data visualizations, particularly those using crime data. This syllabus covers social issues as weekly case studies, pairing readings on theory with digital visualizations of those issues. The final project engages students in critical design and interpretation of large data sets drawn from a socially salient online archive. Accordingly, this talk engages with the conference theme of the changing nature of humanities research and scholarship alongside the interplay of technology, social identity, and education.

Design Interventions and Interdisciplinary Collaborative Pedagogy: Bridging Streets, Publics, and the Academy
Melissa Seifert

This paper considers an in-progress collaborative course co-developed by the author on the history and practice of street art. The class will materialize in Milwaukee with hopes of spreading to Chicago and Detroit. With a collaboration involving UW-Milwaukee history professor Joe Austin and street artist and UW-Milwaukee Architecture and Urban Planning graduate student Chelsea Wait, the project is geared toward local youth with support from an urban arts program, TRUE Skool, as well as the Milwaukee Art Museum. The course will historicize street art and teach practical skills for the safe production of graffiti; it will function as both an historical survey and a studio art workshop. Students will use their knowledge and creative skills to plan and produce artworks on abandoned houses in the city. This project demonstrates the necessity of nontraditional education and highlights productive ways academia can reach outside institutional borders to broaden learning publics.

Collaboration on Demand: Responsive Course Design
elizaBeth Simpson

The practices and frameworks of popular education and critical pedagogy offer many tools with which to elicit and engage the knowledge of students, or even to generate peer learning environments in which the line between teacher and student are blurred. However, it is rare to find these practices active in college classrooms, and more unusual still for educators to employ them in the creation of courses. To enlist prospective students in heuristic course design is to fully embrace their legitimacy as agents in their own learning. To broaden course design into a collaborative scholastic practice means breaking the tradition of single-authorship and the perks and burdens that come with it. This talk examines a practice of cross-disciplinary and inter-archal collaborative course design in which potential students and potential teachers contribute to the creation of a community resource in the form of a course syllabus.

avatar for Anita Say Chan

Anita Say Chan

Associate Professor, Feminist Data ManifestNO - Community Data Clinic - University of Illinois, Urbana
Anita is a community data collaborator, who founded the Community Data Clinic at the Univ. UIUC to extinguish the data chauvinism of the global tech industry, and empower the rich decolonial, feminist data methods innovated by community-based researchers... Read More →
avatar for Fabian Prieto-Nanez

Fabian Prieto-Nanez

PhD Student, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
avatar for elizaBeth  Simpson

elizaBeth Simpson

PhD Student, University of Illinois, Showing up for Racial Justice
In life and academia, I study the dynamics of collaboration, participation, responsibility, and agency, especially as they intersect with cultural work. My current are of focus is the inequity of participation in small groups based on perceived verbal competence, and the counteractive... Read More →

Hong-An (Ann) Wu

Assistant Professor, University of Texas at Dallas

Friday May 29, 2015 10:30am - 11:45am EDT
Heritage Room Kellogg Center

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