Saturday, February 26, 2011

touching: physically, emotionally, interactively

Wednesday, March 2 – People and their lives, how to touch others, to empathize
• read ALL BOXES in Ito. Remember what Zandt has to say about empathy and sympathy.
how are these stories? what do they do? how do they help people understand the arguments of the book?
• how does your project touch you? how can it touch others? how do you plan to reach out? 

digital youth research homepage:  
media ecologies, friendship,  
intimacyfamilies, gaming, creative production, work 

=> • inventories and brainstorming write ups, document online presence, logbooking
All through the class you will keep a logbook of what you have done, what you are in the middle of doing, what you are working toward. You will turn in a cumulative log each time you work through one of the five stages of the class. [Learning Outcomes Assessments or LOAs are taken for our department from this class. At the end of this course you will turn in extra copies of some assignments to be used anonymously in department assessment efforts.]

=> • storyboard (crafty, electronic, or online), includes presentation & digital picture
A storyboard is a form of visual thinking and planning. It allows you to visually demonstrate to yourself and others a sequence of steps in an interactive and/or collaborative process. It allows you to reorder your procedures, to brainstorm with others, and to create consensus. You will present your storyboard and turn in a digital picture to document it. 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Activisms begin telling stories.... and how?

Wednesday, Februrary 23 -- Activisms & Stories 
• we will examine the four required books, Ito, Boler, Zandt, and Hands, together with the recommended books, Mitchell and Rodgers, to think about the activisms feminists consider, implement, critique, share, disagree about, and entangle. What scholarly maps do these draw upon? [Pluto Press] In addition to what you have read of these books already, you should also read for this week the last two chapters of Hands' book: Chapter 6 on Alter-Globalisation & Chapter 7 on Constructing the Common. 

[If for any reason you are unable to complete that reading, then choose two chapters we have not yet read from Ito and from Boler. Bring in all the books you can too, including the optional ones if you have them, Mitchell and Rodgers. You should have completed Zandt by now. Be sure you are caught up on all the reading we have already done. We are going to try to put all these books into inter-relations with each other, to consider the kinds of relationships they have to various kinds of activisms and various kinds of feminisms.]

• we will work on the stories for projects, for the workshop we will participate in for the Theorizing the Web conference, and for the learning outcomes women's studies considers meaningful for those finishing the program. How might these all come together in a meaningful way? What will it take to interconnect them? 

After taking an entire program of study in women's studies, finishing at the end with the senior seminar, women's studies would hope that all students would be able to:
1)  identify and develop a coherent analysis of women and gender in relation to significant issues -- in this case, social media;
2)  demonstrate understanding of social and/or cultural differences, inequalities, and/or relations of power;
3)  draw appropriately on a range of work in women's studies scholarship, creative work, and theory
(both from this class and other courses already taken);
4)  know how to document evidence and/or research (make good arguments and use proper citation practices);
5)  show competence in presentation skills: writing and other forms of presentation. 

think flexible, think all this (together and separately) is not about being perfect, but about engaging, trying things out, and participating with energy, creativity and effort! But not something written in stone, or fill in the formula.

Jarah has updated her blog and it is now ready for you to use to think about and share your thoughts, experiences with brainstorming projects, and to ask other students, Jarah and myself for feedback. Go to:  

• first half hour of class we will spend time on your posts to Jarah's blog, responding to her questions, connecting all to ideas about projects and collaborators. A quick break then.
• a big chuck of time then next mapping out some feminist approaches to social media, and the idea of how stories might work for us here. The story is the argument you make for why you should do this, in the most accessible form possible: think this way: first there was this concern, then there was this idea about how to address this concern, then there were these things to do, then these people get together to do that, then various things happen, then a project emerges. Consider this essentially a project plan that is visualized as well as written.
• finally last bit of class: we can try to brainstorm ideas as a class for the conference workshop, using the list of LOAs as a foundation. This gives us your input and you a chance to think on your own.


View Larger Map
MAPPING? Think Google maps, think scaling down to the backyard of a house, and then up and around a neighborhood, then back up to whole region, part of the hemisphere, and then choose our lovely planet itself. What do we mean when we say "local" and "global"? Think instead of layers of locals and layers of globals. Think of scoping and scaling -- not just these geopolitical maps, but ones across time (local nows how they looked to folks at that moment, and globals of various sorts: the second wave, the twentieth century, late capitalism), and also ones of scope of knowledges and activisms (Redstockings in the Women's Liberation Movement, The Boston Women's Health Collective and OBOS, the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, transnational feminisms, women of color feminisms in the US, women's studies or gender studies or sexuality studies). 

What does it take to map the books we are reading? What sorts of geopolitical entities, historical moments, feminisms & politics are they examples of? How can you tell? What helps us consider these questions? 


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Stories of Friendship

Brassard  clickit!
Wednesday, February 16 – Friendship
• read Ito, Hanging, section 2 (79-116), look through Boler, Hard Times, read the Introduction (1-50) 

• what stories are you going to tell?

Just seen on Twitter, I favored and retweeted it:

hrheingold Howard Rheingold
I'm learning openly as I go along, which means experiments & failures. I try to sell that to my students as a feature, not a bug. ;-)

Boler, 38: Tactical Media:
"expressions of dissent that rely on artistic practices and do-it-yourself (DIY) media created from readily available, relatively cheap technology and means of communication.... 'projects that people do opportunistically--seizing available or unclaimed resources....'"
• personally I call these "worn tools." Not the cutting edge ones, the hottest thing either technically or commercially, but stuff that is around easy to pick up and mess with. One of the reasons I use blogger for class websites, for example. Found tools, like found art....


See too: what does it add to our readings?
Check out the new project: women videobloggers and YouTube.
Note: "New research directions regarding women’s online practices. We aim to explore vloggers’ insights regarding
• diverse expressions of gendered identities,
• online audiences and cross-gender dialogue and response,
• our Open Access Research Design using their platform of choice, YouTube
• women’s under-representation within web-based communities"

What about transmedia storytelling?
What about transmedia activisms?

Katie's talk You are not the author anymore: transmedia
Our earlier post, description of the class: transmedia

Boler, 33: "Contradictions will be central to all we study." 
 • How enabled/disabled/created/altered are these by the networks of technology and commerce they are embedded within? 
• What about the hard to resolve optimisms/pessimisms Boler works hard to consider fairly? 


Friday, February 4, 2011

Media Ecologies

course shape • scholarship and • practice

    1.    Strategy — what’s your big idea?
    2.    Story — help people understand it.
    3.    Tools — set up simple tools that make it easy for contributors to see what’s happening and get involved.
    4.    People — who are you trying to reach? how can they help right now?
    5.    Prototype — build fast. test and improve it together.
 (Shake and repeat.)

1.   Strategy — what’s your big idea?

Wednesday, February 9 –  Media Ecologies
• read Ito, Hanging, intros and section 1 (xi-78) and look through Mitchell, Data, for contexts and politics, for example, Flanagan, Woodward, Hayles; and/or check out Pink Noises, book and website.
• teams and partners begin project visioning: Tara Rodgers will inspire us by visiting to discuss the history of her website Pink Noises, the book that came out of it, and her projects. The book is available as a Google ebook, and the website is: You can also catch her on tumblr.


Scholarship: who are these people anyway? How can you find out? Spend some time online finding out everything you can about them, and bring in notes about it all to class to share and discuss. Check this out for example: Conversation with the Digital Youth Project • Look at this article from The Washington Post, and consider the assumptions behind it that Ito's book makes visible in its discussion of "genres of participation." What else do you notice? 

• Let's discuss box 1.2 Michell (42-45), so look at that part closely and think about practices described and the frameworks the book uses. 

• Remember that you can download the Ito book as a free PDF file (click "DOWNLOAD THIS BOOK" here), and get a condensed version of it for free on the Kindle.
• Why is this book available in these forms and at these costs? What is this all about? Who are the people and organizations involved? What sort of project is this? (For students in 300 too, how is this an "epistemological project"?) 

• Look here for some thoughts on eBooks and how to improve the state of eBooks. What do you think? Did this change your thinking in any way? Why or why not?  
• And this

• Although the Mitchell book is recommended, you need to spend time finding out everything you can about it, at the library, online, by finding out everything you can about the authors named, and so on. (What else is left and covered by "so on"?) How do you do this? 

From one online review
"As the editors of Data Made Flesh note, while the discourses of cybernetics and communications have historically separated immaterial information from the materiality of bodies, recent developments in science (e.g. genomics), economics (patenting of biological materials), entertainment (video games) and aesthetics (transgenic art) have challenged this separation, in which “‘information’ and ‘bodies’ seem to function almost as ripples that pass from pools of liquid across one another” (p. 2). While a number of other cyberculture books tend to obsess over the future possibilities that digital technologies present, Data Made Flesh begins from the position that the practices are, in a sense, already ahead of the theory. The issue, then, is not to imagine new hybrid, cyborg forms, but rather to eschew the data-flesh dichotomy altogether, to think of embodiment as inseparable from the concerns of control. Thus, each of the chapters in Data Made Flesh focuses on 'those moments when information and flesh co-constitute one another' (p. 2). Contributions include essays on both historical and contemporary issues by Richard Doyle, Mary Flanagan, N. Katherine Hayles, Robin Held, Eduardo Kac, Elisabeth LeGuin, Timothy Lenoir, Mark Poster, Steve Tomasula, Anne Vila, Bernadette Wegestein, Kathleen Woodward and editors Robert Mitchell and Phillip Thurtle." 

• "About this talk: Media and advertising companies still use the same old demographics to understand audiences, but they're becoming increasingly harder to track online, says media researcher Johanna Blakley. As social media outgrows traditional media, and women users outnumber men, Blakley explains what changes are in store for the future of media.Johanna Blakley studies the impact of mass media and entertainment on our world."