Digital Beards

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This article was written on 15 Aug 2013, and is filled under authority, english, Pedagogy.

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Digital Beards 6 – A class on cultural power dynamics within a class on writing about tech


I spoke with my friend and fellow English Teacher, Ryan Bateman, about an upcoming ENGL 213 (Writing About the Sciences) course which he has tailored to focus on the evolving power-dynamic issues stirred up by the advance of technology. The discussion ranges far and wide: We share some  melancholy over the increasing triviality of certain analogue devices; Ryan enumerates on the apparent development of tension (classist? political? philosophical?) between “glassholes,” who may or may not deserve the term, and an increasingly distinct counterpoint population–concerned about liberties such as privacy, security, solitude, nature, etc.–who definitely have legitimate concerns but who also, definitely, entertain the membership of a few violent jerks; to the fascinating implications for authority  as surveillance and sousveillance reconfigure our conceptions of public and private. So the discussion is far-ranging indeed, but I think we return often enough to how important this subject is to the writing classroom for the discussion to fit well, here.

Oh, and I mention a certain successful Kickstarter venture for re-representing The Origin of Species  not just in its original iteration, but in all its iterations simultaneously via a beautifully minimalist design which you can see below. I am buying it.

Featured Photo Credit: Charlotte Spencer! via Compfight cc

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