Take aways from online course.
- I felt closer to my students than I imagined could happen in a five week course. The combination of them being online and their blogging about subjects that were important to them gave me a greater window on their lives than I had in a conventional classroom.
- Time creep. Teaching online left me surprised by how much time teaching seemed to be taking. On the one hand, there was no assigned classroom time. But on the other, online teaching happened all the time. My students were working different schedules, working on the class at all hours. This was the first time I’d taught the course (either on or offline) and my students had questions about readings and assignments I hadn’t anticipated and which needed to be answered. I hadn’t realized how much conventional class times and office hours define and confine class work.
- I do like Canvas better than Blackboard. (Shh, don’t tell.)
- I liked having a group with my students on Facebook.
- Five weeks goes by very fast!
… Read the rest
This summer I’m doing something new. I’m teaching a class on online communities and cultures for California State University Dominguez Hills (new class) and it’s all online (new experience). I confess, I was nervous. How much of my teaching is, after all, dependent on personal interaction in the classroom?
My reaction after the first week? I love it.
I’ve taught several hybrid courses where the class meets for seven or eight weeks and then does half of its other “meetings” through online interactions. They went pretty well, but it felt like a huge leap between that and an all online course. I was fortunate in that my friend, Adeline Koh, had taught an online class on a similar topic and generously shared materials and advice.
The first bit of her advice that I took was to hold the class using Canvas‘ learning management software rather than using the university’s Blackboard system. It’s my first time using Canvas as an instructor and it does have some quirks of its own, but I like it miles better than Blackboard, perhaps because it makes discussion and peer review such central parts of its structure. The surprise was how fast the students adapted to it given that they all come from a background of using Blackboard. So far, no complaints. A side benefit is that since their enrollment in the Canvas class isn’t dependent on their university status, when a few were dumped from the course due to non-payment, they were able to stay up on the work while they worked out their enrollment status.… Read the rest
(These notes form the rough basis for a panel talk with Anne Cong-Huyen and Anne Choi at HASTAC 2016.)
The idea that became a class that became a research project
The process began in fall 2011 when I began discussing on my personal blog and on Twitter whether or not “the gothic” would be a fruitful lens for examining Chicana/o literature, especially in the reading of classic works like Rudolfo Anaya’s Bless Me Ultima and lesser known ones such as Alicia Gaspar de Alba’s Calligraphy of the Witch. In building the idea of the course and imagining its syllabus, I received input from Chicana scholars and writers both online and in person. Loyola Marymount University’s department of Chicana/o Studies gave me the opportunity to teach this course in Spring 2014 as a Chicana/o literature course, cross listed with the English department. The class was made up of 32 students, mostly seniors, with a number of Chicana/o studies majors and minors as well as a significant number of English majors.
Idea – wondering about the existence of a Chicanx gothic as a way to read / understand Chicanx literature.
Class – defining and exploration of the Chicanx gothic
Archive – create a site where students could create and link to digital object / writings exploring an aspect of the Chicana/o gothic
Site: (used WordPress, Weaver theme, on personal domain)
As of Spring 2014, when this course was offered, while there was sizable exploration of the American gothic, even and including in connection with African American literature, there was only a single article and dissertation on the subject, both by Tanya Gonzalez.… Read the rest
These are my remarks as part of the MLA 16 roundtable: Repair and Reparations in Digital Public Spaces.
As I begin to pull together my thoughts on the subject of repair and reparations, I find the ideas I had in January 2015 when Adeline and I, over plates of Korean fried chicken first began discussing the subject of reparations in digital spaces are not the same as they are today in January 2016.
Originally, and in keeping with our Texas location, I was most concerned with issues of how digital tools, themselves at best neutral, are used and abused to re-enforce and expand the hegemonic imperial nation state, to militarize and police the US Mexican border against and at the expense of economically and politically colonized bodies.
I’m still concerned with this, but I want to focus my remarks this afternoon on issues of repair versus reparation. Much has been discussed recently on care and repair practices. So why then use the term “reparation”? Repair can be a positive thing. The term denotes fixing, making something that doesn’t work or properly function or function better. But repair is also utilitarian and philosophically neutral. Repair is not revolutionary. Physical repairs, as Gloria Anzaldúa discusses in Borderlands, are forever being made to the border wall, the 1,950 mile open wound, where the ocean meets the shore, where Tijuana touches San Diego. This decade has seen much fence and wall building and repair. Yet no one, I believe, would call these repairs “reparations.”… Read the rest
This was written as a position paper for MLA16’s roundtable Disrupting DH.
Note: The title of this piece is shamelessly borrowed from Barbara Noda’s “Lowriding Through the Women’s Movement,” a piece which creatively addresses the power a group made up of women of color could have on individuals during the women’s movement. It was published in the classic, This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color.
There has been wonderful work recently on #TransformDH by the TransformDH collective discussing how racial / gender / sexual / disabled bodies in the academy are and always have been doing digital humanities work. Nevertheless, because hegemony constantly replicates the dominant discourse, there needs to be a consistent and constant engagement with issues of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class and able-bodiedness as its counter. To discuss this hegemony, I’m going to fall back on Chicana feminist praxis, which means locating myself and speaking from that position, with the hope that from that self-situated ethnography some insight into my concerns may come. This piece uses autoethnography to specifically discuss issues and effects of racial absence in the digital humanities community and what the costs of that may be. It begins to discuss how the discourse surrounding racial bodies and there absence in DH spaces replicates the discourse surrounding the invisibility / absence of women of color from second wave feminism.
Those who think Twitter is a waste of time, as opposed to it being a time-waster, are failing to see its potential.… Read the rest
Late to the party…
November is Digital Writing Month, which you can read all about at the website. Lots of great people are doing lots of amazing and innovative things. However, this people (me!) is going to work on updating this blog with a few goals.
Run all the updates needed on WordPress for the sites’ themes DONE!
- (possibly) Move my site over to my new domain, annemarieperez.com at ReclaimHosting.
- Update site information.
- Redecorate here — the place is looking kinda dated
- Blog some content
I’d say “watch this space,” but honestly you’d need to be pretty bored.… Read the rest
I was talking on Facebook today about this assignment, one I use across courses, but especially at the start of courses where we as a class are trying to define contested terms. The term “Chicana/o,” for example, has been defined a number of ways without having any one definitive meaning.
Here’s an example of it in action. Last Spring, when I taught a course on the Chicana/o Gothic, I asked my students to crowdsource definitions of Chicana/o and gothic the first week of classes. To do this, the students can search any sources, on or offline, to come up with the definition, citing their source. The catch is that each source can appear only once. If a previous student has used a source, they have to find another one. When we meet in class, these definitions become the basis for discussion and understanding how these terms are contested and what definitions would be most useful for us individually and collectively.
Image Credit: David Ludwig… Read the rest
I have my schedule for Spring 2015. I’m teaching three classes at Loyola Marymount — two sections of Rhetorical Arts on Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons and one section of Intro to Chicana/o Studies on Thursday evenings. I may also be teaching an online or weekend course on American Ethnic Literature at CSU-Dominguez Hills, we’ll see how that goes.
I taught Rhetorical Arts with the theme of “Digital Divides” last year. It worked well, but I’d like to spend more time studying rhetorical theory. I’m torn about what rhetoric book to use. I liked the book we used, Jason del Gandio’s Rhetoric for Radicals, but the university program is centering itself around The Rhetorical Act: Thinking, Speaking and Writing Critically by Karlyn Kohrs Campbell and Susan Schultz Huxman. On the one hand, The Rhetorical Act is clearly set up as a course book, which could make it easier to use. On the other hand, Rhetoric for Radicals deals a with digital rhetoric and the construction and influence of movements in a way that’s great for my topic. There’s also a huge price difference. The one the university is recommending is $172, whereas Rhetoric for Radicals is $16. Actually, as I write this, I’ve realized I want to stick with Rhetoric for Radicals, but I suspect I’m going to have to make a case for going against the rest of the program.
The Intro to Chicana/o Studies is a new prep for me. The people I teach with at LMU have been great about sharing their syllabi, but I want to put my own stamp on it.… Read the rest
Since today is November 9 it’s been a little more than a week since I started my commitment to write 30 minutes a day, every day this month. Not, as I planned, 30 minutes a day first thing — though I did do that 7 of the 9 days, stumbling to my desk with only a cup of coffee and light box between me and the early morning. But for the last two days, having stayed out late at the ASA conference, I’ve slept in meaning I had to write in the evenings. Last night, though I didn’t get home until after 11, and ended up writing until 1am. Today was a little more sane, with my 30 minutes happening in the early evening.
What’s it been like?
First, it’s been liberating. 30 minutes feels like nothing, too little to worry about getting done (and, in the beginning, too little to accomplish anything). On Tuesday, a teaching day, I woke up later than I meant to (sleeping is something of an obsession clearly) and my first thought was “clearly I can’t write this morning.” But then I felt afraid of putting other things before this writing time. So I sat down and did the 30 minutes. It did mean I ended up arriving at school 20 minutes before I had to teach, with my hair still damp, but the writing was done. Each day the writing has gotten done.
Second, doing 30 minutes of work on my manuscript every day has helped keep my job market anxiety in perspective.… Read the rest
A couple weeks ago I wrote about attacks by spammers on this domain. They’re generating so much traffic that I’m having to pay my domain host extra. The Bad Behavior software has helped, but caused it’s own problem. The spam traffic is so high that the log Bad Behavior keeps was filling up my disk space, even though the log purges itself every seven days.
Unable to solve the problem, I went back to P for help. Looking at the logs (so thank you Bad Behavior) he pointed out that a lot of the ‘bot traffic was directed at my login page. With his help I found a plugin Rename wp-login.php which does just what it said, helped me rename my login page so it’s not the WordPress default.
I know rationally there’s no point in being angry about this. Spammers spam. They do it for the money. It’s nothing personal. But I can’t help it, I’m angry my completely non-commercial domain is being attacked. I resent having to spend my time and P’s time in this arms race. I just want me and my students to have a nice space for our writing.
There, I’m done whining for today.… Read the rest