I’m just back from the annual Cultural Studies Association conference in Riverside, CA, and I’m excited to share the announcement I made at the panel, “FemTechNet: Transforming what and who counts in digital education”, where I spoke alongside Alexandra Juhasz (Pitzer College), Elizabeth Losh (UCSD), and Ivette Bayo Urban (U Washington). My presentation (for the most part) was about the current project that the FTN Ethnic Studies Committee is currently undertaking to create a pedagogy workbook. The entire presentation/announcement is below the image. To navigate directly to the digital book, click on the cover image below.
Building a Collaborative FemTechNet Race and Ethnic Studies Pedagogy Workbook
I am one of the new co-chairs of The Critical Race and Ethnic Studies Committee of FemTechNet, which is composed of a handful of graduate students, post-docs, librarians, and alt-ac professionals. As a committee of primarily junior women of color scholars we keenly feel the pressures of women of color in academia. We understand that for junior scholars the labor of developing one’s pedagogy is extensive. And for these teacher-scholars, experimentation in the classroom can be a risk, even though our institutions encourage and exhort us to practice digital pedagogy, to teach online, to be innovative teachers. The experience of participating in FemTechNet is incredibly valuable and something we believe in deeply, but we know from experience that participating in FemTechNet can be rather time consuming. To make it worse, our home institutions often don’t understand what FemTechNet is or what it requires of us, while offering little support to develop pedagogical skills (especially at small resource poor colleges and state schools). These skills are important as we need to prove that we are exemplary when applying for jobs, or when being evaluated for tenure and promotion. To help scholar-teachers develop these valuable abilities we are leveraging the collective intelligence and experience of the FemTechNet network to produce a practical resource for those who endeavor to share and support others, and those who seek to learn and improve their own skills.
Acknowledging the challenges of teaching these sensitive and contentious topics of race and gender in a time of political contention, economic retrenchment, and increasing institutional precarity for departments of ethnic, gender, and humanisitic studies, this workbook is an ongoing project to build resources for faculty members who are often overburdened at their home institutions, but are willing to take on the difficult task of teaching about gender and racial inequity in our information culture. The book is live, but it is also very much a work in progress.
We would like to highlight (and continue to build) the diversity of FemTechNet through curating and highlighting the existing transnational and multi-ethnic projects already on the site and point towards gaps and possibilities. Considering technology through a race-based and ethnic studies lens highlights the importance of community-based learning and service in feminist digital pedagogies. This is a collaborative, living document that is curated by the Ethnic Studies Committee. It will grow as more instructors teach at the intersections of gender, race, and technology and share their materials.
Submissions are ongoing and we encourage you to share your own Femtechnet content, syllabi, videos, references, and pedagogical resources. Of course, submissions need not be limited to DOCC courses, and we welcome all contributions. Please submit materials to: firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re asking that submissions include contact information, biographies, term taught, and institution or context, as everything will link back to the original author to promote responsible citational practices. All submissions will be cited with links back to the original author.