Processing Personal Reflections amidst Our Collaborative Class Session
It started with my first road trip by myself from Cincinnati to College Park. I’m from northern India, and to my knowledge, I believe I am the only non-US person from the group. I was excited to see digital humanist scholars from all kinds of social locations gathered for Humanities Intensive Learning and Teaching (HILT) 2014 here at the University of Maryland, College Park. The first thing we were asked to do was to go the bathroom and take a selfie, which definitely suggested to me an experimental pedagogy being practiced by Jarah Moesch in our “Refracting Digital Humanities: Critical Race, Gender, and Queer Theories as (Digital Humanities) Methods” class. To me, it was a way of studying public and private spaces and visualizing and processing how they affected us in our personal and political lives in terms of access and experience. As a part of my own pedagogy that involves taking responsible risks geared toward intellectual productivity, most of the research methods I came to adopt over the course of the week focused on participant observations, collaborative teamwork, personal writing, and focus-group type intensive discussions.
I have been staying in Pasadena for the course of the institute, and every morning, I have been getting up at 4 am to get ready and get here on time. Classes have been intensive, followed by diverse forms of social and networking events. As academics, it should come as no surprise to most of us that coffee has been acting as the replenishing fuel to my normal functioning. From using affective tools like memory, body, and space to more technological tools such as our computer hardware and software, phones, microphones, headsets, Arduinos, Play-Dohs, Makey Makeys, and various other collaborative technology that aim to improve human and technological relations, I’ve had an insight as to how to better apply critical race, gender, and queer theories to my research in cyborg and feminist theories. I’m excited to use some of the tools and programs we used over the course of this week in my future classrooms. Both feminist and writing themed classrooms can undoubtedly benefit from a wholistic approach to understanding technology’s relationship(s) with our personal lives. I’m especially interested in researching further how humans and other species with both manufactured and visible different abilities can benefit from this public yet marriage of affectivity and machinery, in theory as well as praxis.
I leave here with a whole lot of memories and a great wealth of acquired knowledge that I can’t wait to apply in my own local settings in Ohio and in India.
Thank you UM and MITH for making this intensive HILT week possible!
Here a few photos that I took to document my experience (most of them were taken at the UM campus in College Park, while two of them were taken at NASM, DC):