AI & Sci-Fi: Fall 2015 syllabus for Humanism, Science, and Technology

"Albert-Cuyp Family with Robot" by David Blackwell. Available on Flickr.

Faculty are given a lot of latitude when developing our sections for the liberal arts capstone class at LaGuardia, Humanism, Science, and Technology. The original impetus for this class was that I really, really wanted an excuse to teach the Battlestar Galactica reboot; that, and the theme dovetails with the NEH faculty seminar I was part of last year and will join again this coming year, Technology, Self, and Society. It pains me to say this, but BSG did not make the final cut: there were so many other excellent sci-fi films/shows suggested by colleagues and friends that more directly … Read more

Podcast Assignment (Part 2 of ?)

Podcast Prezi

The first round of podcasts from my composition class – reflections on at least one text from our class readings – were impressive. I learned a lot about my students: personal and background information that touched upon our class themes/topics, interpretations and connections with texts that had not come out in class, and the beginnings (for some) of larger projects. The second round of podcasts is more argument- and research-driven; students have to articulate a thesis, use research (including at least one scholarly source) to make their case, and conduct interviews. We informally called the first round of podcasts the … Read more

Podcast Assignment (Part 1 of ?)

Podcasting

As I mentioned here recently, my composition students will be preparing two rounds of podcasts this semester. They are recording their first podcasts tomorrow, and – based on some of the ideas they were bouncing around in class yesterday – I’m looking forward to the results. Several colleagues expressed interest in the assignment, so I thought I’d quickly create a repository for the methods/materials I’m using. Fair warning: this is all still very much in development.

The first podcast assignment can be made collaboratively or as a solo recording, and I set the minimum time limit as 3 minutes … Read more

Kicking Off the New Semester: Grading Contracts (Part II), Portfolios, Podcasts, & the End of the World

ENG 101 image

We’re almost through the first week of classes at LaGuardia. I’ve tweaked some old things, rolled out some new things, and based upon the insights/connections students are making in our initial meetings, I think a lot of great work is going to happen this semester. 1 I spent some time during the winter break thinking about the grading contract I used during the fall. While the grading contract was an improvement (in my mind) on my older grading practices – and I think it made things more transparent in general – the act of revision was still not prioritized … Read more

Class Reading/Viewing/Listening List: Race, #BlackLivesMatter, & Exclusion

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On December 19th I attended a panel called Teaching #BlackLivesMatter: Countering the Pedagogies of Anti-Black Racism at the Graduate Center, co-sponsored by Revolutionizing American Studies and the Advanced Research Collaborative. Several faculty members at the Graduate Center and from the area spoke (Kandice Chuh, Eric Lott, Nicole R. Fleetwood, Anthony Alessandrini) and a few GC doctoral students shared their thoughts as well (Laurel Mei Turbin, Kristina Huang, and Sean Kennedy). The GoogleDoc Collaborative Syllabus that started in anticipation of the event provides many ideas/links, including  “The Ferguson Theatre Syllabus” from the American Theatre site. Attendees added to both the … Read more

Teaching Comics Workshop

Below are the Prezi and the Zotero collection I prepared for the Teaching Comics workshop in the English department today, sponsored by the Composition & Research Committee at LaGuardia Community College. More resources can be easily added, so feel free to make suggestions.

 

Al-Tabaa, Najwa. “TEACHING! POW! COMICS! BAM!: Pedagogical Approaches to Comics in Post-Secondary Classrooms.” ImageText: Interdisciplinary Comic Studies 7, no. 3 (2014). http://www.english.ufl.edu/imagetext/archives/v7_3/introduction.shtml.
Aldama, Frederick Luis. Multicultural Comics: From Zap to Blue Beetle. University of Texas Press, 2010.
Chaney, Michael A. Graphic Subjects: Critical Essays on Autobiography and Graphic
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Technology, Self, & Society – NEH Seminar @ LaGuardia

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I am one of ten faculty fellows participating in an NEH-funded seminar on Technology, Self, and Society at LaGuardia. Today we’ll have the first meeting where we delve into the material  – we are responding to Sherry Turkle’s Alone Together. While reading Turkle I was also hearing Cathy Davidson’s remarks during our Opening Sessions. I found Davidson’s talk particularly engaging and important, especially as an educator at a community college. In my mind, we should be thinking of ways to use technology and social media to enhance collaborative and democratic practices in our classrooms rather than eschewing it … Read more

Contract Grading

GradingContract

As I prepped for the fall, I wanted to give students more agency in the grading process. And I wanted to clarify what college means for some of the first-year students who are grappling with the new academic venue. Without fail, at least a few students in each of my comp sections asks if they can miss a class, or step out, or leave early for whatever reason. It is not a moment where they are alerting me to their absence  – they are asking permission. Some of this is indicative the high school mentality and lack of college-preparedness … Read more

Call for Participants – Help Play-Test our El Teatro Campesino Game

ETC

Please help us play-test a theatre history role-playing game on El Teatro Campesino and the Delano Grape strikes! Andrew Kircher, Shane Breaux, Jane Barnette, and I are developing a game based on Reacting to the Past pedagogy to workshop at ATHE at the end of this month and we’d like to tweak the game as necessary beforehand. The game could be played in one class period, or perhaps two as the instructor sees fit. We would really appreciate your participation and feedback.

When: Friday, July 11th, 4pm-6pm.

Where: 2nd floor of Playwright Irish Pub, 27 W. … Read more

Doing Amateur Time & Investing in Sites of Memories

Reenactors and spectators at the Gettysburg Sesquicentennial

Amateur performance comes up an awful lot in my research these days: the Grand Army of the Republic productions put on by veterans and locals for charity throughout the late-nineteenth century, the efforts of Charles Sager touring the Midwest and staging his spectacle/pageant The Negro in the late 1890s, and – in more recent developments – the work done by Civil War reenactors. I’ve been thinking more about amateur performance as I’ve prepared for the Mid-America Theatre Conference in Cleveland (where I’m presenting later today). For my MATC paper, I attempt to set up a framework for analyzing performance … Read more