• Labor, bodies, humanities, and technology

    I wonder if anyone is interested in talking about the intense labor that is involved in setting up projects that use humanities and technologies together in a thorough way, or that use online technologies for teaching in any discipline.

    The kinds of sessions that are being proposed are fascinating. I want to know and do everything! At the same time, I don’t want to teach from inside a computer; rather, I don’t want to spend any more time in front of a computer than I already do.

    First, my body is paying the price. Second, all of this is labor intensive. What kinds of workplace guarantees have to be negotiated so that eager instructors have the security to invest the time into developing these for instruction, or even experimenting to see which ones might be good?


  1. Rebecca says:

    At my workplace, we face similar challenges in making our collections more available to researchers. For a variety of reasons, sometimes it is easier to do things the “old-fashioned” way, just to get things done and get the stuff out there to people. Yet we would also like to be able to devote greater time and resources to doing more advanced things, and even be able to “blue-sky” some things. It’s partly a question of balance. Definitely also resource allocation, vision (two wonderful but potentially scary terms that can lead to too many committee meetings), etc., etc. I don’t know quite where else to go with this right now, but your post resonated with me, and I’ll bet it does with some others, too.

  2. Gavin Craig says:

    I love this, partially I think because it makes us think about the shape of the technology we use as well. How much does the size of the screen matter? Are there ways to use mobile devices to encourage mobile projects, and when we say mobile, are we talking about smartphones, tablets, net books, laptops?

    I think the framing devices of the body is really useful, especially in terms of the performance or cultural studies sides of the humanities. You’re right about the physical as well of the intellectual dangers of bringing ourselves to where the technology is. But how much can we do if we bring the technology where the bodies are?

    I hope this gets talked about more. 🙂

  3. felicia says:

    I like this topic too. I plan to talk about free and open source software and cloud computing from a perspective that will showcase the behind-the-scenes people-power instead of the computer power.

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