FemTechNet Distributed Open Collaborative Course: Performing Difference, Exquisite Engendering, and Feminist Mapping

FemTechNet Distributed Open Collaborative Course: Performing Difference, Exquisite Engendering, and Feminist Mapping

Karen T. Keifer-Boyd (The Pennsylvania State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1665-1.ch016
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Abstract

This chapter is about three pedagogical experiments: Performing Difference, Exquisite Engendering, and Feminist Mapping. Performing Difference is a project in which university students write and perform a conversation developed from their blog dialogue with students at another university about identity informed by readings, activities, and processes; and from dialogue on feminist disability studies informed by readings, videos, and other materials and activities. Exquisite Engendering is a pedagogical experiment in remixing virtual and physical issues of race, body, and difference into videos to teach elementary school children about social justice. Feminist Mapping is a pedagogical project that considers gender intersected with other identities in mapping places, concepts, and objects. These three pedagogical experiments are part of FemTechNet's Distributed Open Collaborative Course (DOCC), an approach to teaching that fosters dialogue to imagine, and then create, an equitable and socially just education.
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Introduction

The Distributed Open Collaborative Course (DOCC) is a feminist approach for 21st century learning and teaching with social media connectivity. The DOCC is open access, multimodal publishing, collaborative research and publication, and transdisciplinary education. DOCC has intervened in education discourse on the authority of insular knowledge and one-way modes of communication in massive online courses toward multivocal and multimodal communication, learning, and knowledge production. The DOCC is (un)structured with distributed leadership who share goals of creating pedagogical practices that are inclusive and participatory toward eco-social justice education and activism.

In 2012, I responded to a FemTechNet (FTN) invitation for a Distributed Open Collaborative Course (DOCC). With an interest in experimenting with potentials of new media for feminist pedagogy, the emerging DOCC project based in feminist pedagogical principles resonated with me. Two colleagues joined me in co-teaching a DOCC “node” in Fall 2013 that we called G-STEAM. Gender (G-) issues of privileged patriarchy in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) cuts across the humanities, arts, and sciences. The purpose of G-STEAM is to provide support and feedback to emerging researchers working toward transdisciplinarity from a theoretical position of intersectionality (e.g., of gender and race, ethnicity, sexuality, age, socio-economic class, ability, etc.). Each semester since Fall 2013, I have connected courses that I teach to the DOCC and co-created pedagogical experiments: Performing Difference, Exquisite Engendering, and Feminist Mapping. This chapter is about these DOCC pedagogical experiments.

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