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FemTechNet (#FemTechNet) Distributed Digital Pedagogies: Collaborating Across Difference T.L. The New School Presentation link:

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Presentation on theme: "FemTechNet (#FemTechNet) Distributed Digital Pedagogies: Collaborating Across Difference T.L. The New School Presentation link:"— Presentation transcript:


2 FemTechNet (#FemTechNet) Distributed Digital Pedagogies: Collaborating Across Difference T.L. Cowan @AgingSupermodel The New School Presentation link: Aug 14, 2014 - Digital Pedagogies Institute, UTSC #DigPed14 Presentation:

3 Introduction to FemTechNet an activated network of scholars, artists, and students working on, with, and at the borders of technology, science and feminism in a variety of fields including STS, Media and Visual Studies, Art, Women’s, Queer, and Ethnic Studies.

4 collaborate on the design and creation of projects of feminist technological innovation for the purposes of engaging the interests of colleagues and students on advanced topics in feminist science- technology studies seeks to engender a set of digital practices among women and girls, to teach and encourage their participation in writing the technocultural histories of the future by becoming active participants in the creation of global digital archives

5 FTN Structure The Network FemTechNet Course Architecture DOCC – Distributed Open Collaborative Course The Course Dialogues in Feminism &Technology (2013-14) Collaborations in Feminism & Technology (2014- 15)

6 FTN as cyberfeminist praxis FTN Whitepaper: whitepaper/ The FemTechNet DOCC rests on a pedagogical framework that we identify as “cyberfeminist.” For the past twenty years, cyberfeminists have worked diligently on projects to provide broader access to technology for women in diverse global contexts. They have developed strategies to transform Web 2.0

7 environments into generative spaces for dialogue by drawing on feminist theories in the creation of new digital applications and web places, to focus explicitly on the quality of interaction among web users and the creation of infrastructures of synchronous learning. This cluster of courses draws on the experiences of cyberfeminist teachers, scholars and artists who have worked to develop skills and literacies of traditionally marginalized groups such as women and people of color and people working from the underresourced majority world. (FTN Whitepaper: 4)

8 Cyberfeminist Pedagogy “Like the theoretical and activist frames by the same name, cyberfeminist pedagogy would attend to the ways in which digital technologies both subvert and reinscribe gender, race, and other corporeal hierarchies in virtual space; it would be attentive to the productive and ironic play of cyberfeminist activism and theory. But cyberfeminist pedagogy would also commit to the tenets of feminist pedagogy such as ethics of care, community-based curriculum, collaboration, and embodied praxis.” Rebecca S Richards, “I could have told you that wouldn’t work: Cyberfeminist Pedagogy in Action.” Feminist Teacher 22.1 (2013) 6-7 (As an example of cyberfeminism, check out

9 Transforming Higher Education with Distributed Open Collaborative Courses (DOCCs): Feminist Pedagogies and Networked Learning FemTechNet White Paper Committee | September 30, 2013 FemTechNet White Paper Committee: Anne Balsamo, The New School, School of Media Studies Penelope Boyer, ¡Taller! [Workshop] San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas CL Cole, Media and Cinema Studies, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign Megan Fernandes, Brown University Radhika Gajjala, School of Media and Communication Studies and American Culture Studies, Bowling Green State University Sharon Irish, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign Alexandra Juhasz, Media Studies, Pitzer College Elizabeth Losh, Culture, Art and Technology Program, University of California, San Diego (Committee Chair) Jasmine Rault, Culture and Media Studies, Eugene Lang College, The New School Laura Wexler, Yale University

10 FTN FAQ Anne Balsamo & Alexandra Juhasz “An Idea Whose Time Has Come: FemTechNet – A Distributed Online Collaborative Course (DOCC)” Who, what, how?

11 What is a DOCC? Distributed Open Collaborative Course a multi-situated connected course on a shared theme built and sustained by many faculty and students, using collaboratively designed Key Learning Projects, Interactive Activities, and shared, open resources (Video Dialogues; readings; guest lectures from within the network), based on the feminist model of distributed expertise, and feminist methods including dialogue, accountability, horizontally-oriented, peer- engaged transformative learning.


13 “A DOCC is different from a MOOC in that it doesn’t deliver a centralized singular syllabus to all the participants. Rather it organizes around a central topic,” said Balsamo in an article this week in Inside Higher Ed. “It recognizes that, based on deep feminist pedagogical commitments, expertise is distributed throughout all the participants in a learning activity, and does not just reside with one or two individuals”an article latest-mooc-alternative-a-docc/#.U-wPpYBdXH0

14 Why Now? Feminist epistemologies and pedagogies have taught us that it matters not just what you learn (i.e., the hypodermic MOOC method – ‘sage on the stage’) but who you learn with (‘guide on the side’). Adjunct methodology – multi-sited; shared-resources; insist on redundancy; beyond efficiency; need for connection; affective network; feminist response to exploitative labour practices & institutional hierarchies Feminist analysis & intellectual & cultural histories - more than “add women & stir” method

15 DOCC Guidelines for “Collaborations in Feminism & Technology” 2014-15 Each DOCC 2014-15 will: 1. Foreground DOCC Methodology for knowledge creation, which relies heavily on dialogue and other feminist practices. 2. Engage questions of Feminism and Technology, through the use of course materials, and at least one Key Learning Project or student/faculty collaboration. 3.Contribute something to help build and sustain the DOCC; each instructor should sit on a FTN committee towards this end -- Pedagogy, Assessment, Communications, Archives, Accessibility, Steering, White Paper, Technology, etc. 4. Engage foundational works by feminist scholars, artists and activists—by viewing a video dialogue, wikistorming, using shared critical resources, etc.

16 FTN Key Learning Projects Feminist Wikistorming Key-Word Videos Feminist Mapping Community Participation via Blog Commenting Object Making/Exchange (final project) projects/

17 FTN Interactive Projects (graded or ungraded) Twitter Tag Exquisite Corpse Video Project Situated Knowledges Map

18 FTN Teaching & Learning Resources an open-ended structure for Teaching & Learning Resources that reflects some of our shared pedagogical philosophies and priorities— including anti-racist, anti-colonial, trans-, queer and crip feminist content and teaching methods. Recognizing privilege structures within our network/welcome (From upcoming manifesto: Accountability is a feminist technology)

19 FTN Design – Feminist Technology in Action Videos – archive of feminist thought in action Assignments – feminist pedagogy in action Wikistorming, Blog Commenting – activist pedagogy (see video)video Campus, Community & Self-Directed Learning – collaborations across difference “Collaborations in Feminism & Technology” new course experiment – Launching Sept 22, 2014 (stay tuned)

20 Meetings, Office Hours & Workshops Open Online Office Hours (OOOH!) Pedagogy Workshops Town Hall Meetings Summer Workshop/Institute pedagogy-initiatives/

21 Building & Sustaining FemTechNet Collective Structure Committees & Working Groups (aka Feminist Organizing) PedCom Communications Fundraising Video Whitepaper Steering Accessibility Archives Ethnic Studies Technology (The Commons…)


23 Distributed, Open, Collaborative Communication Facebook - (closed group) 295438/ 295438/ Schedule - ftnsummer-workshop/ ftnsummer-workshop/ Collaborative notes - (etherpad > google doc) for-day-3-ftnsummer/ for-day-3-ftnsummer/

24 Questions? Comments? T.L. Cowan FemTechNet Chair of Experimental Pedagogies School of Media Studies Lecturer - Culture & Media, Eugene Lang College The New School @AgingSupermodel Long link: content/uploads/2014/08/Cowan_FTN_DigPed- 2014_UTSC1.pptx content/uploads/2014/08/Cowan_FTN_DigPed- 2014_UTSC1.pptx

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