2013-2014

DOCC 2013: Dialogues on Feminism and Technology

In 2013, FemTechNet initiated a networked learning experiment involving instructors and students from several institutions in the creation of a collaborative open course structure called a DOCC:  Distributed Open Collaborative Course on the topic of Dialogues on Feminism and Technology.

The first iteration of the DOCC 2013 took place from September-December, 2013. Ideas for DOCC courses to interact are listed here, with instructions. 

Feminism and feminists have been integral to technology innovation, yet as recently as June 2012, the New York Times carried an article about Silicon Valley that opened with the line:  “Men invented the Internet.”  As technology remakes academia and the arts, critical analysis of gender, sexualities, and race have been absent in much of this re-thinking of disciplines and practices. Since the early years of Internet availability, cyberfeminists have explored the use of the Internet for dialogue and participation across various socio-economic layers worldwide. Access and skills for women and various economically underprivileged communities of the world (such as populations from the developing world and inner cities of the U.S.) were central concerns for feminists in developing distributed and participatory environments for learning, training and information exchange.

Since the mid 1990s, cyberfeminists have spent significant time and energy in developing methods for inclusive teaching. The DOCC 2013 has been created as an alternative genre of MOOC, to demonstrate the innovative process of feminist thinking that engages issues of networked infrastructures for learning, learner-centered pedagogies, collaborative knowledge creation, and transformational practices of design and media making.

A MOOC (massive open online course) is typically organized and branded by a single (elite) institution. A 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).

The organization of a DOCC addresses the collaborative nature of learning in a digital age.  A DOCC is an alternative genre of MOOC.  A MOOC (massive open online course) is pedagogically centralized and branded by a single institution. The fundamental difference is that a 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). The organization of a DOCC addresses the collaborative nature of learning in a digital age. The DOCC2013 engages participants (from North America in this version) to teach NODAL courses, each of which is configured within a particular educational institutional setting. There is no single credit granting institution. Credit is offered to students through mechanisms that are already established within particular/situated institutions.

Instructors at fifteen universities and colleges participated in the DOCC 2013.  Each instructor of a NODAL course created a course that suited her or his students, institution, locale, and discipline. FemTechNet delivered ten weeks of course content covering both the historical and cutting edge scholarship on technology produced through art, science, and visual studies.  The core content consisted of 10 Video Dialogues that feature discussions among prominent and innovative thinkers and artists who address the question of technology through feminist frameworks.  Course content grew through the exchange among participants. Dialogues on Feminism and Technology used technology to enable interdisciplinary and international conversation while privileging situated diversity and networked agency.

FemTechNet facilitated a shared pedagogical activity called Storming Wikipedia designed to write women and feminist scholarship of science and technology back into our web-based cultural archives. By engaging in the practices of editing and revising Wikipedia pages, participants address the gendered division of labor of online encyclopedia authoring and editing which is skewed now toward male participation. Through the Storming Wikipedia activities we also seek to engage a wider group of participants in the effort of writing and maintaining a digital archive of feminist work in science, technology and media so that the histories of the future will be well populated by the ideas and people who took feminism seriously as a source of inspiration and innovation in the creation of new technocultures.

Because FemTechNet is a network, we refer to our convenings–whether institutional or community-based–as nodes. Below  are the locations of the 2013-14 nodes.

 

nodes

Alternative Venues

  • Sharon Collingwood, Minerva OSU
  • Course Title: Dialogues on Feminism and Technology, in Second Life
  • Number of Students: TBD
  • Level: All levels
  • Working Committees: Accessibility
  • Stephanie Rosen, Northampton, MA
  • Course Title: Mass FemTechNet
  • Number of Students: TBD
  • Levels: Adult
  • Working Committees: Accessibility

Bowling Green State University

  • Radhika Gajjala
  • Course Title: Feminism and Technology (Fully Online Course)
  • Number of Students: 15
  • Level: Undergraduate
  • Working Committees: WikiStorming, Video, Steering

Brown University

California Polytechnic State University

  • Jane Lehr and Sandi Clement
  • Course Title: Gender, Race, Science and Technology
  • Number of Students: 32-40
  • Level: 300-level/ Junior
  • Working Committees: Pedagogy, Commons, Assessment
  • Jane Lehr and Michael Haungs
  • Course Title: Project-Based Learning in Liberal Arts and Engineering Studies
  • Number of Students: 15-20
  • Level: 300-level/Junior
  • Working Committees: Pedagogy, Commons, Assessment

California State University, Fullerton

  • Karyl Ketchum
  • Course Title: Gender and Technoculture
  • Number of Students: 35 in each of two sections
  • Level: Undergraduate
  • Working Committees: Communications

Colby-Sawyer College

  • Melissa Meade
  • Course Title: Gender and Technoculture
  • Number of Students: 8
  • Level: Undergraduate
  • Working Committees: WikiStorming, White Paper

The Graduate Center, CUNY

  • Kathlene McDonald
  • Course Title: Feminism and Technology
  • Number of Students: 8
  • Level: Offered in Women’s Studies Doctoral Certificate Program
  • Working Committees: Archive, Assessment, Steering

Macaulay Honors College, CUNY

  • Lisa Brundage
  • Course Title: Imagining Gender: Exploring Narratives of Technology
  • Number of Students: TBD
  • Level: Undergraduate
  • Working Committees: Pedagogy, Commons

Ohio State University

Ontario College of Art and Design University

  • Maria-Belen Ordonez
  • Course Title: Dialogues on Feminism and Technology
  • Number of Students: 9
  • Level: Graduate
  • Support from: Caroline Langill and Paula Gardner
  • Working Committees: MBO: Communication; PG: Communications, Video

Pennsylvania State University

  • Karen Keifer-Boyd (lead) with Jennifer Wagner-Lawler and Eileen Trauth
  • Course Title: Gender, Art & STEM
  • Number of Students: 6
  • Level:  Graduate
  • Working Committees:  KKB: Pedagogy

Pitzer College

Rutgers University

  • Karen Alexander and Elaine Zundl
  • Course Title: Gender Race and Techno-culture
  • Number of Students: 2 (taught as independent study)
  • Level: TBD
  • Working Committees: KA: Pedagogy; EZ: Pedagogy, Assessment, WikiStorming

The New School

  • Anne Balsamo and Veronica Paredes
  • Course Title: Dialogues on Feminism and Technology
  • Number of Students: 17
  • Level: Undergraduate
  • Working Committees: AB: Commons, Video, Steering; VP: Commons, Archive, Video, Student

University of California, San Diego 

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

  • Sharon Irish, Sharra Vostral and CL Cole
  • Course Title: Dialogues on Feminism and Technology
  • Number of Students: 18
  • Level: Graduate
  • Working Committees: SI: Communication, Archive, Steering; CLC: White Paper
  • CL Cole
  • Course Title: Digital and Gendered Cultures
  • Number of Students: 24
  • Level: Undergraduate

Yale University

1 Comment

  1. References | Empowered by Making – A Feminist Digital Future for Everyone
    November 20, 2015 @ 3:25 pm

    […] Available at: http://femtechnet.org/docc/nodes/2013-2014/ [Accessed November 6, […]

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