::fibreculture:: FemTechNet - new network and teaching initiative

Melissa Gregg melissa.gregg at sydney.edu.au
Fri Sep 14 04:36:27 CEST 2012

Apologies for cross-posting


I am writing to introduce you to FemTechNet*, an international network of scholars and artists who are conceptualizing, designing, building and implementing the world's first DOCC* (Distributed Online Collaborative Course), a feminist rethinking and redoing of the unidirectional, massive, somewhat imperialist MOOC* (please see definitions of our terms below).

Our DOCC, Feminist Dialogues on Technology, will be offered September-December 2013, on fifteen campuses around the world, at least one each per continent.
Members of our network who do not take or teach the course can follow and participate in this pedagogic experiment in a variety of voluntary capacities, small and large.

First step: we request that you join our network!
(To learn more, see these interviews published on Digital Media and Learning: Bodies in Classrooms <http://dmlcentral.net/blog/liz-losh/bodies-classrooms-feminist-dialogues-technology-part-i> and Learning from Failure <http://dmlcentral.net/blog/liz-losh/learning-failure-feminist-dialogues-technology-part-ii> or sign up for our upcoming NITLE <http://www.nitle.org/help/digital_humanities_events.php> seminar: October 4, 4pm EST.)

Our current home (under development) is located on the fembotcollective.org <http://fembotcollective.org/> website one of our many institutional collaborators.
 (Using the Pull-Down menu "Participate"): here you can join our listserv to become part of the conversation, and to stay informed about our progress and needs.

In the next few weeks, we will be finalizing the list of schools that will offer the course next year, and you are hereby invited to offer the course at your institution.

By signing on to teach one of our nodal courses, you receive an adaptable, customizable set of learning objects, BOLs*, created and evaluated by the network, as well as fifteen other colleagues and classrooms with which to interact. Of course, you also will get to teach our Dialogues: 10 recorded conversations with pre-eminent feminist scholars and artists working about and with technology (the list of speakers will be announced shortly on the listserv).

Please communicate directly with me if teaching the course at your institution and to your students seems of any interest to you: alexandra_juhasz at pitzer.edu.

We are also particularly eager to network the course to colleagues outside of Europe and North America, so if you can forward this announcement to appropriate international feminist colleagues, that would be very helpful.

Thanks for your interest and please see terms below.

Alex Juhasz, Media Studies, Pitzer College
Anne Balsamo, Media Studies, The New School for Public Engagement in New York


FemTechNet is a network of hundreds of international scholars and artists who work on or with technology in a variety of fields including STS, Media and Visual Studies, Art, Women's, Queer and Ethnic Studies. Activated by Alexandra Juhasz <http://pzacad.pitzer.edu/~ajuhasz> and Anne Balsamo <http://www.designingculture.org/release-0711/CommercialAbout.html> , the network will design, implement, and teach the first DOCC (Distributed Online Collaborative Course), a feminist rethinking of the MOOC. Our course, Feminist Dialogues on Technology, will be offered in fifteen classrooms, at least one in every continent, in the Fall of 2013. Our project uses technology to enable interdisciplinary and international conversation while privileging situated diversity and networked agency. Building the course from a shared set of recorded dialogues with the world's pre-eminent thinkers and artists who consider technology through a feminist lens, the rest of the course will be built, and customized for the network's local classrooms and communities, by network members who submit and evaluate Boundary Object that Learn—the course's basic pedagogic instruments.

DOCC: Produced collectively by FemTechNet, Dialogues in Feminism and Technology delivers (and grows) ten weeks of course content covering both the histories and cutting edge scholarship on technology produced through art, science, and visual studies. Recorded conversations between luminaries in these fields will anchor each of ten weeks of themed content, but from there, each professor will tailor a course best-suited to her students, institution, locale, and discipline from a diverse, robust, and growing database of “Boundary Objects that Learn.” Shared assignments will link learners around the globe as their own efforts become part of the feminist database and dialogue.

Boundary Objects that Learn: Readings, media, web-resources, and conversations that have been both submitted to and evaluated for teaching by the network. A feminist rethinking and remaking of the boundary object, our network will together create situated, variable, responsive teaching tools best suited for particular learning communities and environments.

“A boundary object <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boundary_object> is a concept in sociology <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sociology> to describe information used in different ways by different communities. They are plastic, interpreted differently across communities but with enough immutable content to maintain integrity. The concept was introduced by Susan Leigh Star <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susan_Leigh_Star> and James R. Griesemer <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_R._Griesemer> in a 1989 publication (p.393):[1] <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boundary_object#cite_note-Star1989-0> ””
MOOC: Massively Open Online Course <https://sites.google.com/site/themoocguide/> .

MELISSA GREGG | Senior Lecturer
Gender and Cultural Studies | Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

J406, Quadrangle A14 | The University of Sydney | NSW | 2006
T +61 2 9351 3657 | F +61 2 9351 3918 | M +61 408 599 359
E melissa.gregg at sydney.edu.au | W http://sydney.edu.au

New book: Work’s Intimacy

Also out: The Affect Theory Reader (edited with Gregory J Seigworth)

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