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Feminist Pedagogy for a Digital Age ("A Feminist MOOC?")


Material Information

Feminist Pedagogy for a Digital Age ("A Feminist MOOC?")
Physical Description:
Presentation Slides
Rosenberg, Leah R.
Department of English, University of Florida
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, FL
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Course materials for Panama Silver, Asian Gold
Spatial Coverage:


Feminist scholarship has long been an important point from which to question power, discrimination, and techno-centrism in scholarship and teaching. This meet-up focuses on contemporary issues and challenges for feminist scholarship, and specifically on a Feminist Pedagogy for the Digital Age. To start the conversation, Dr. Leah Rosenberg (English) will discuss her graduate course in Caribbean Studies and Digital Humanities entitled ““Panama Silver, Asian Gold : Migration, Money, and the Making of the Modern Caribbean.” This course was taught in concert with linked courses at Amherst College and the University of Miami for the benefit of shared learning, discussion, and Digital Humanities course project possibilities. This course models the DOCC (Distributed Online Collaborative Course) format, which is an improvement upon the current trend of the MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses). DOCCs question inherent assumptions involved in networked infrastructures for learning, and engage learner-centered pedagogies to create collaborative knowledge creation and transformational practices of design and media making.
General Note:
Presentation as part of the Spring 2014 UF Digital Humanities Working Group ( DHWG ) series of Meet-Ups on "Online Courses and Re/Sources".
General Note:
Presentation on the DOCC (Distributed Online Collaborative Course) "Panama Silver, Asian Gold: Migration, Money, and the Making of the Modern Caribbean" taught in Fall 2013.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
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Applicable rights reserved.
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Full Text


Feminist Pedagogy for a Digital Age ("A Feminist MOOC?") Leah Rosenberg, Associate Professor of English, University of Florida, rosenber@ufl.edu


is a pilot for inter collegiate digital humanities courses and was designed by Rhonda Cobham Sander (Amherst College), Donette Francis (University of Miami), and myself at the University of Florida. It was supported by the libraries of all three institutions and was a pilot also library supported DH courses at the University of Florida. We taught it at all three institutions in fall 2013 as a hybrid course with collaboration among campuses. It shares many of the objectives of the DOCC outlined by FemTechNet


What is a DOCC? Distributed Online Collaborative Course A DOCC is a Distributed Online Collaborative Course. It is a feminist rethinking of the MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) that has been widely used in distance learning education. A MOOC is pedagogically centralized and branded by a single institution. FemTechNet seeks to enhance the system using feminist principles and methods that support a decentralized, collaborative form of learning. The fundamental difference is that the DOCC recognizes and is built on the understanding that expertise is distributed throughout a network, among participants situated in diverse institutional contexts, within diverse material, geographic, and national settings, and who embody and perform diverse identities (as teachers, as students, as media makers, as activists, as trainers, as members of various publics, for example). Excerpted from FemTechNet : http://fembotcollective.org/femtechnet/faq for femtechnet/


Recognizes and engages expertise DISTRIBUTED throughout a network Approaches learning as a MIXED MODE and BLENDED experience Taught through COLLABORATIVE peer to peer processes Respects diversity, specificity, and the local across a network Collaborative creation of HISTORICAL archive Collaborative EXPERIMENT in use of online pedagogies What will the Feminist Dialogues on Technology course look like? Feminist Dialogues on Technology, uses technology to enable interdisciplinary and international conversation while privileging situated diversity and networked agency.


Not the DOCC on feminist engagements with technology and cultural innovation that was taught as nodal courses in Fall 2013 at Bowling Green State University Pitzer College CUNY Penn State Ontario College of Art and Design The New School Brown University Rutgers Pontificia Universidad Javeriana University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign Goldsmiths University of London Bucknell University SUNY UC Irvine Ohio State University Colby Sawyer College California Polytechnic State University Yale


The course emerged from the desire to explicate and thus facilitate the use of significant collection of literature, newspapers, journals, photographs that are relevant to the development of literature nationalism, and Independence in the West Indies that includes : J.J. Thomas Froudacity Claude McKay Songs of Jamaica and Constab Ballads The Poetry of Una Marson The All Jamaica Library The Independence anthology of Jamaican literature and nearly all books written by Herbert de Lisser


Meet Your Faculty and Librarians


Course Description This interdisciplinary introduction to digital humanities and the use of historical research in literary analysis examines two often overlooked labor migrations that profoundly influenced the shape and timing of the emergence of modern Caribbean literary culture: The immigration of Chinese and Indian indentured laborers into the French, Dutch, and British West Indies between 1838 and 1917, and the emigration and return of the Afro Caribbean workers who went to Panama to build the canal between 1904 1914 The premise of the course is that capital from these two migrations bankrolled the entry of black and Asian Caribbeans into the educated middle class, thereby fostering the conditions that produced the first generation of nationalist politicians, as well as the first generation of Caribbean writers to achieve international acclaim. The historical archives for both migrant groups are limited and biased, providing rarely if ever the perspective of West Indian workers or indentured Asians. Literature has therefore played a critical role in imagining the migrations and their influence on the contemporary Caribbean and the descendants of the migrants


Vision hope that the course will become part of a broader initiative to make visible to other teachers and scholars new ways of incorporating archival material into research on Caribbean literature and culture. Since the Panama and Asian migrations are rarely privileged in stories Caribbean nationalists tell about the region, we want to use the project to intervene more broadly in the way Caribbean literary scholarship imagines the Caribbean cultural diaspora and interrogates the ways in which both traditional and colonial archival sources shape the stories we can tell about the Caribbean region. We hope our experiment will sow the seed for future collaborative courses involving students at institutions in the Caribbean, Panama, China, and/or India, capable of working with relevant documents from these regions in languages other than -Rhonda Cobham Sander


Course Objectives: Literary and Historical To gain a knowledge of key concepts, themes, tropes, styles, and aesthetic concerns of Caribbean literary discourse through examining literature about these two migrations both that written during the migrations and contemporary literature that examines these migrations. To integrate this historical research into literary analysis using contemporary historical studies, and primary historical sources such as government reports, oral histories, historical photographs, newspapers, and memoirs To enhance collection in two key areas: West Indians in Panama and Asians in the Caribbean To illuminate some of the limitations of the colonial archive records of subaltern and disenfranchised people and t echniques used by Caribbean scholars, writers, and ordinary people to challenge and/or employ these colonial historical sources to illuminate the experience of indentured Asian immigrants and West Indians working in Panama.


Faculty & Librarian collaboration for this course consists of : Collaborative design of syllabus including assignments (bi weekly conference calls October 2012 June 2013 with librarians when needed plus 2 day meeting at UF hosted by the libraries.) Pooling resources for guest lectures & for digitizing materials (5 guest speakers on line, streamed to three campuses) Working with librarians from each campus to choose appropriate technology and design technology based assignments and then to teach these to students.


The three classes used technology to collaborate They shared their assignments in the course Pbworks Wiki & Guest Lectures and Q&A with speakers via Vidyo Zotero provided a shared library of resources identified by faculty, students, and librarians. Technologies that have worked well: PbWorks WordPress, Zotero Vidyo Collaborative EXPERIMENT in use of online pedagogies


Research methods and Digital Humanities To use hands on assignments to teach research methods for newspapers photographs, memoirs historical accounts, government records, oral histories. To introduce students to the technology used in digital archiving (producing metadata, exhibit labels, finding guides) digital humanities (e.g PBworks timelines and mapping programs, Zotero WordPress, contributing to Wikipedia)


Respect for the diversity, specificity, and the local & Critical Engagement with Technology The course explores challenges posed by digital archiving and addressed the quest ion of how we can avoid reproducing the colonial structure of existing historical archival materials Students note the absence of web presence for the Caribbean authors they study and see their work as potentially intervening in the US European orientation of Wikipedia and other digital sources on literature Students produce digital research projects (such as finding guides, curated exhibits, timelines) that annotate and explicate literary and primary historical sources that address the bias and lacunae in the existing archive. Successfully completed projected will be added to the Digital Library of the Caribbean (www.dloc.com) to enrich the information available about these sources and help future scholars and students to make use of them.


Collaborative creation of HISTORICAL archive


Susie Pearl Core MAID IN PANAMA Enhancing holdings concerning Asians in the Caribbean and West Indians, particularly women, active in Panama.


There are a number of Photos of the Colon Fire of 1940 that indicate the impact of the fire on the Afro Antillano Community in Colon. These were donated to the Pamana Canal Museum by Francis Williams


New Resources in dLOC added for the class Villalobos, Joan Victoria Flores. West Indian Women in the Panama Canal Zone, 1904 1914. Diss. Amherst College, 2010. Isthmian Historical Society competition for the best true stories of life and work on the Isthmus of Panama during the construction of the Panama Canal Mahase Snr Royard Pub. Co, 1992. Web.


Student Final Projects, 2013: potential enhancement of scholarly archive Yasmina Encountering cultures: the role of the Chinese shop in Jamaica, 1890 1940 Pagoda but also a general overview of scholarship and key concepts about Chinese immigration to Jamaica, including historical photos and newspaper articles about anti Chinese riots, and anti Chinese racism (Yellow Peril). Women of the Panama Canal There were very few open access or (proprietary) online sources of information concerning West Indian women in the Panama Canal projects. Nichols brings together information from two previously hard to access texts with images from primary sources to illuminate the different roles West Indian women played and to dismantle the general assumption that they were few in number and all employed in domestic work. Dhanashree Thorat Indian Indenture Dhanashree will discuss this herself, but in brief her project places the memoir of one Indo Trinidadian woman that narrates the story of her parents who migrated from Trinidad as indentured workers and places this story in the context of the large scale migration through mapping and a timeline.


Student Metadata Assignments Make West Indians Visible in the Archive of Canal Construction (2014) selected this item because it struck me as unusual and relatively unique. After looking at the photographs in Smathers Room 100, I noticed that not many of them had a West Indian central figure, especially the ones that were trying to capture the glory of the Panama Canal. For this picture to have a Canal worker as a primary figure is very interesting. I thought that it worked even better to emphasize the power and strength needed to finish the construction of the s the final product is quite powerful. I appreciate the effort that the photographer and Underwood and Underwood took with this photo to document not only the achievement of the Panama Canal in the eyes of Americans, but in the eyes of the workers as East chamber of Gatun Lock after filling, showing Gatun Lighthouse,


Current Metadata


metadata Subject: West Indian Male, Gatun Lock, Panama Canal b. Abstract: Possible West Indian Canal worker stands on building overlooking the filling of the Gatun Lock in Panama. Gatun Lighthouse visible in background c. Physical Description: stereograph black and white, black border with Underwood and Underwood Publishers trademark, dark complected man standing in right foreground, canal water and bordering machinery in left foreground, mountains and lighthouse in background. d. Photographer: unknown e. Date Taken:


Course materials are added to the archive Already in dLOC : syllabi, assignments, and powerpoint presentations Being added to dLOC : and videos of guest lectures and a finding aid or all the course materials Plans in the future for more developed lecture notes and commentary for teaching the course.


Further Collaboration Conference Panel on the course -We organized a panel at the International Conference on Caribbean Literature, to introduce the project and invite other faculty to join, and we are planning to collaborative DH project concerning the course Plan to teach the course collaboratively Fall 2015 Plans underway to produce a DH project based on the course


Meeting of Course Collaborators with SAMAAP at the West Indian Museum in Panama City, 16 November 2013


Panel on the Course at the International Conference on Caribbean Literature, Nov. 13 15, Panama City


Resources This course was possible because It was a priority for the Digital Humanities librarian It dovetailed with Smathers Panama Each campus made monetary & in kind contributions


Lessons We were able to produce course materials and research, to digitize documents and to create videos of guest speakers far beyond the value of the original funding which was @ $10,000 between the three campuses. However, to create future collaborate online courses, we will need to need more funding sources and better technology. This course leveraged resources in cash, labor, and technology from all institutions

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