621 Assignments

First of all, FUN MATTERS! Some of what we are doing may look daunting, but really these can also be fun! Let’s work together to make sure that happens, no matter what!

[image credit:  These are cool folks! Check them out!]

Our assignments are intended to give you familiarity with some important, sometimes professional, styles of creating and sharing scholarly research. Please notice how much of our work together will be collective enterprises. This means that your individual ability to meet deadlines will collectively affect everyone in the class. So make attention to this a top priority, and if you find yourself needing help organizing yourself and planning for these kinds of things, please come to Katie asap to discuss and get help. If for any reason you find yourself falling behind (any reason, good or bad!) please try to be mindful as this begins to happen and come to Katie immediately. If for any reason you will simply be unable to meet one of the deadlines, please work with the pertinent class director as well as with Katie to come up with a workaround that will satisfy the needs of the class. No blame here, no sticks, just working to make sure that we can handle these things as gently for all as possible while meeting obligations. Accountability is at stake here, not blame. Working collectively is complex, but it can be supportive, and FUN too!

Each person will:

= Do two team research presentations ONLY 20 minutes long for the whole team!
Presentations will NOT be text based but bring to the class OUTSIDE ADDITIONAL research intended to contextualize the readings. They will include a HANDOUT, distributed to each member of class. After ONLY twenty mins of presentation, the team will facilitate 40 mins of group discussion, as class members interconnect the research with what they have read.

= We will also need • a director of presentations and readings, • a director of papers, and • three directors for papers' website and how to curate professional presences on the web, and • a director of posters.

= Everyone will collectively read three books: set one: McKittrick, Shotwell, Stallings.

= The Director of readings will coordinate who will read and do transmedia research on which of five pairs of additional books and their websites and other elements. The goal will be for each of the second set of materials to be read by half the class in turn and for us to pool our knowledge about them. Marcus or Neff; Haraway or Tsing; Górska or Svedmark; Roelvink or Wilson; Schulman or Wekker. (Recommended Bowker).

Non native speakers of English should discuss with Katie any alterations in this they may need, as should anyone else with requirements for adjustment. See Katie immediately to make these. Who will read which book of pairs will be decided by you all in consultation with the director of readings. We need to make sure about half the class has read each. The director of readings will work with class members to have these understandings in place by the date of the first team presentation. Modest substitutions are possible as time goes on, in consultation with the director who will adjust schedules with the aid of those willing to alter.

= Write a ten page paper to share in a class conference, conducted poster session style.
In the middle of the semester we will conduct in one class period two poster session style paper discussions in which you will share your current work with each other after having written a ten page paper. That means that some people will be presenting their work in various parts of the room, all at the same time, while other class members wander around the room, interacting with them as they discuss their projects, using handouts to focus interactions. After we spend time doing this, we will move into collective discussion and engagement all together. This means you create connections between your work and the work of others, and orchestrate a collective conversation. This is NOT about editorial suggestions for writing itself, but a substantive engagement with the IDEAS of your classmates as put forth in their papers. The papers will then be collected as an online book website that we will refer to for the rest of the semester. If non native speakers or others need adjustments here please work with Katie to make them carefully ahead of time.

[image credit:  Pointers here too!]

= create a substantive scholarly research poster, individually, or as a member of a team of up to 3 members.
Posters should synthesize the work you have done in the class, bringing together in some interactive way yours and others’ presentations and research, readings, and papers. They should demonstrate your wide and specific use of course texts. They may play with data analytics in some fashion, they may have creative elements (although they need to do this for a professional context), they will be predominately visual rather than textual. They should include both the RESULTS of your synthetic analyses, and also a way of showing HOW YOU GOT THERE! In the sciences you would show the experimental set up, the results and your methods. How should these elements be transformed for your sort of poster? You should have a fantasy scholarly venue in mind for the poster you, perhaps in a team, come up with. Posters have long been a staple of conferences in the sciences, sometimes in the social sciences, and increasingly today, in the humanities, especially in the digital humanities. Humanities style posters are still in development, and digital humanities posters are often unusually creative, with an eye to data analytics and visualizations. We will discuss these in the class. NO POWERPOINT PRESENTATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED FOR THIS ASSIGNMENT. However Powerpoint is actually often used as a kind of graphics manager to create the single slides that become a poster. There are lots of ideas for all this online, and we will also discuss this as well. We will need a director of posters, who will troll the web for resources, work with poster makers generating ideas, and on the last day of class, coordinate two poster sessions.

>>Website -- a collective website for class writings, with materials or links to each person's curation of their professional presence on the web

• The first half class will be devoted to discussions initiated by twenty minute presentations by student teams, exploring assumptions the materials require us to reexamine.
• The second half of classe will engage with Katie’s website presentations to collectively work out how we might encounter the stories these knowledges tell.

Sometimes we will also practice “prototyping” crafty posters or websites, each to “think with” our senses and body knowledges in physical formats and artsy feelings.


Prototyping activities introduce you to multimodal learning, what some call “flipping the class” or how to include “making” as a kind of learning. We will be making both posters and websites. If you are new to making the kind of posters that enhance critical thinking and cognitive skills, or want some ideas about how to craft them well, see the wonderful discussion on PDF by Leeann Hunter here:   (it takes some time to download). Hunter collects fabulous examples of posters here that will give you many ideas!

One way to curate your professional presence on the web is to create your own professional website. If you have never made a website, you might start off with a Blogger version. Blogger is what I use for the class website. I use Weebly for my professional website. Both of these are very simple. Or you might like to build a site on Word Press. If you have already begun crafting websites, pick your favorite platform for something new, or enhance what you already have going with projects from our course. A fun site with easy tools for all kinds of web prototyping activities you will find here:  

Instructions for sending attachments to Katie, handouts, papers, anything:

WHEN SENDING AN ELECTRONIC ATTACHMENT TO KK: not to my email, but to my gmail account:  . NOTE KIN NOT KING! Our system will often throw out or eat attachments, so to make sure I really have it and easy to retrieve down the road, I need it at gmail.

To be able to search for it easily please use this format for the subject header to gmail: yourlastnameonly 621 whatitis.

And name the file the same way. THINK: if Katie were to download this would she be able to tell from the file name what it is and who it is from without opening it, but just from the filename? would that be unique so it doesn’t get mixed up with someone else’s?