Feminist Pedagogy Initiatives

by T.L. Cowan, The New School

When groups of DOCC 2013 faculty met in July 2013, we realized that we were convening not only around a project, but also, importantly, around a process. As we came to decide how the course would be structured and how we would use online capacities (and work around online limitations) to do collaborative teaching across institutions, we wanted to figure out ways for our students to have access to a number of DOCC 2013 faculty, since one of the core principles behind the DOCC is that it matters not just what you are learning, but who you are learning with. So we devised this idea to hold online Open Office Hours that would be open to all DOCC 2013 students. These office hours can be found in the yellow highlights in our calendar https://femtechnet.newschool.edu/teaching-learning-resources/the-calendar/. During these office hours, students can contact faculty from many institutions and disciplinary backgrounds and have the opportunity be in an online discussion with students from diverse learning locations.


Another crucial aspect to the DOCC 2013 is that this is a world-making project not only for students, but also for faculty. DOCC faculty have collaborated on all aspects of the course: sharing syllabi, skills, funding and other resources, co-producing Video Dialogues, generating closed-captioning for the Videos Dialogues, and building the (always in development) online space that is the FemTechNet Commons. Through this course-building process we realized that most of us crave the opportunity to learn about teaching from other teachers, to have a chance to talk about our classes, assignments, grading habits and innovations, and to cultivate and share our pedagogical philosophies and practices. So we developed Open Teaching Hours for faculty (in green on the calendar), as times for us to converse about what we’re thinking and doing when we’re teaching. In addition to these Open Teaching Hours, we have also scheduled Focused Pedagogy Sessions for faculty to share their expertise on special topics related to DOCC 2013 specifically, and on feminist pedagogy more broadly.

These Focused Pedagogy Sessions (also in green in the calendar) include discussions on the following topics:


Making Keyword Videos – by Alex Juhasz – Pitzer College – This session is passed, but you can read about the key assignment: https://femtechnet.newschool.edu/key-word-videos/.  You can also learn how to make a Keyword Video here: https://femtechnet.newschool.edu/docs/videoinstructions/ thanks to the prowess of AJ Strout.

And you can check out Keyword Videos up & running here: https://vimeo.com/channels/femtechnetkeywords Stay tuned for new videos throughout the term.


Object-Making/Gift Exchange – cross-institution collaborative project– Alex Juhasz, Pitzer College and Radhika Gajjala, Bowling Green State University –


You can watch a video of the discussion here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaarwUPyOMA

Mark your calendars for upcoming Focused Pedagogy Sessions!


Effective Blogging – Liz Losh, University of California, San Diego – Wednesday, Nov. 13 12pm PST


Feminist Mapping – Karen Keifer-Boyd, Penn State University –  Friday, Nov 15 – 3pm EST https://femtechnet.newschool.edu/feminist-mapping/

Feminist Online Pedagogy – T.L. Cowan, The New School – Friday, Nov 22 – 12pm EST


Grading Non-Traditional Assignments – Laura Wexler, Yale – Monday, Dec. 2 – 1pm EST

Building Activities Across (International) Contexts = Radhika Gajjala, Bowling Green State University – Wednesday, Dec. 4 – 4pm EST

Digital Storytelling – Karen Alexander – Rutgers University – Thursday, Dec. 12 – 2pm EST

In addition to this work, DOCC Faculty have been doing amazing things: from collaborating on accessibility and ensuring that all of our Video Dialogues are available with closed captioning/subtitles (go here to find them: https://ats-streaming.cites.illinois.edu/digitalmedia/download/femtechnet/embeds.html), to holding a course for self-directed learners, run by Penelope Boyer – https://femtechnet.newschool.edu/selfdirectedlearners/ and here https://plus.google.com/u/1/communities/102819821160046892301?cfem=1

You can also check out Sharon Collingwood’s DOCC 2013 hosted on Second Life https://elliebrewster.com/2013/09/02/update-on-the-sl-discussion-group-on-feminism-and-technology/

These activities reflect the ways that DOCC 2013 faculty appreciate feminist pedagogy as an ongoing collaboration—across disciplines, institutions, stages of career and employment status. We learn from each other’s successes and failures; we build on each other’s knowledges and borrow from and add to each other’s teaching work, design, and principles. No one holds the trademark on feminist pedagogy—it is collective intellectual property.

For more on the feminist pedagogy informing this work, see the FemTechNet White Paper here: https://femtechnet.newschool.edu/femtechnet-whitepaper/