“Why are the Digital Humanities so White? or Thinking the Histories of Race and Computation” – McPhearson

“Why are the Digital Humanities so White? or Thinking the Histories of Race and Computation” by Tara McPhearson

Article Citation: McPherson, Tara. “Why are the Digital Humanities So White? or Thinking of Histories of Race and  Computation.” Debates in the Digital Humanities.  Ed. Matthew K. Gold. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota Press, 2012. Web. 10 Feb. 2016. 

Abstract: McPherson makes the connection between the modularity of coding and computations in the 1960’s and 1970’s to the civil rights movements and segregation policies of that time. She is not saying that coders and programmers intended to extend modularity to politics and social issues, however, she is making the case that modularity in coding responds to the modularity in politics and vice-versa. She wants to bridge the gap between computation studies and cultural studies that focus on social issues and race.

Keywords: new media, digital humanities, race, computation, modularity, cultural studies

Further Reading:

Golumbia, David. The Cultural Logic of Computation. Cambridge, Mass Harvard University Press, 2009

Hansen, Mark B. N. Embodying Technesis: Technology Beyond Writing. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2000.

Kinder, Marsha. “Narrative Equivocations between Movies and Games.” In The New Media Book, edited by Dan Harries London: BFI, 2002: 119-32.

Turkle, Sherry. Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1997.

 

Key Quotes:

Further, I will argue that the difficulties we encounter in knitting together our discussions of race (or other modes of difference) with our technological productions within the digital humanities (or in our studies of code) are actually an effect of the very designs of our technological systems, designs that emerged in post–World War II computational culture. These origins of the digital continue to haunt our scholarly engagements with computers, underwriting the ease with which we partition off considerations of race in our work in the digital humanities and digital media studies.”

Within American, cultural, and ethnic studies, the temporal touchstones of struggles over racial justice, antiwar activism, and legal history are also widely recognized and analyzed.Not surprisingly, these two fragments typically stand apart in parallel tracks, attracting the interest and attention of very different audiences located in the deeply siloed departments that categorize our universities.”

-Making a case to analyze and discuss cultural studies alongside the technical/technological developments in history due to their interdependence.

Critical race theorists and postcolonial scholars like Chela Sandoval and Gayatri Spivak have illustrated the structuring (if unacknowledged) role that race plays in the work of poststructuralists like Roland Barthes and Michel Foucault. We might bring these two arguments together, triangulating race, electronic culture, and poststructuralism, and, further, argue that race, particularly in the United States, is central to this undertaking, fundamentally shaping how we see and know as well as the technologies that underwrite or cement both vision and knowledge.”

“In the post–civil rights United States, the lenticular is a way of organizing the world. It structures representations but also epistemologies. It also serves to secure our understandings of race in very narrow registers, fixating on sameness or difference while forestalling connection and interrelation. As I have argued elsewhere, we might think of the lenticular as a covert mode of the pretense of separate but equal, remixed for midcentury America (McPherson, 250).”

A lenticular logic is a covert racial logic, a logic for the post–civil rights era. We might contrast the lenticular postcard to that wildly popular artifact of the industrial era, the stereoscope card. The stereoscope melds two different images into an imagined whole, privileging the whole; the lenticular image partitions and divides, privileging fragmentation. A lenticular logic is a logic of the fragment or the chunk, a way of seeing the world as discrete modules or nodes, a mode that suppresses relation and context. As such, the lenticular also manages and controls complexity.”

“Modules “don’t promiscuously share global data,” and problems can stay “local” (84–85). In writing about the Rule of Composition, Eric Raymond advises programmers to “make [programs] independent.” He writes, “It should be easy to replace one end with a completely different implementation without disturbing the other” (15).Detachment is valued because it allows a cleaving from “the particular …conditions under which a design problem was posed. Abstract. Simplify. Generalize” (95). While “generalization” in UNIX has specific meanings, we might also see at work here the basic contours of a lenticular approach to the world, an approach that separates object from context, cause from effect.”

Modularity in software design was meant to decrease “global complexity” and cleanly separate one “neighbor” from another (Raymond, 85). These strategies also played out in ongoing reorganizations of the political field throughout the 1960s and 1970s in both the Right and the Left. The widespread divestiture in the infrastructure of inner cities can be seen as one more insidious effect of the logic of modularity in the postwar era. But we might also understand the emergence of identity politics in the 1960s as a kind of social and political embrace of modularity and encapsulation, a mode of partitioning that turned away from the broader forms of alliance-based and globally inflected political practice that characterized both labor politics and antiracist organizing in the 1930s and 1940s.”

I am highlighting the ways in which the organization of information and capital in the 1960s powerfully responds—across many registers—to the struggles for racial justice and democracy that so categorized the United States at the time. Many of these shifts were enacted in the name of liberalism, aimed at distancing the overt racism of the past even as they contained and cordoned off progressive radicalism. The emergence of covert racism and its rhetoric of color blindness are not so much intentional as systemic.Computation is a primary delivery method of these new systems, and it seems at best naive to imagine that cultural and computational operating systems don’t mutually infect one another.”

Further Questions:

  • On the premise of “lenticular logic is a covert racial logic,” how else can we apply the lenticular logic when speaking about race in society, literature, art, etc.? Does it become a theoretical lens and term to discuss the design of separation, misdirection of the overall image?
  • How can we use computation and cultural systems to discuss education? How does the composition classroom change based on these delivery systems? Is the rise of multimodality a result of this pairing?
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“When a College Professor and a High School Teacher Read the Same Papers” by Thompson and Gallagher

“When a College Professor and a High School Teacher Read the Same Papers” by Tom Thompson and Andrea Gallagher

(From What is “College-Level” Writing? Volume 2: Assignments, Readings, and Student Writing Samples).

Article Citation: Thompson, Tom and Andrea Gallagher. “When a College Professor and a High School Teacher Read the Same Papers.” What is “College-Level” Writing? Volume 2: Assignments, Readings, and Student Writing Samples. Eds. Patrick Sullivan, Howard Tinberg, and Sheridan Blau. Urbana: NCTE, 2010. 3-28.

Abstract: Thompson and Gallagher try to exhibit the differences between a high school instructor–focused on the standardized academic rubric for good writing– and the college instructor who is looking for “good writing,” however he/she defines it. They read through a below average, average, and above average papers and describe how they would grade and what aspects of the writing are lacking or exemplary. The two instructors then break down the differences between the two institutions.

Keywords: transition, first-year writing, high school writing, development, academic community, standardization, pedagogy, rubrics

Further Reading:

Mosley, Milka Mustenikova. “The Truth about High School English.” What is “College-Level” Writing? Ed. Patrick Sullivan and Howard Tinberg. Urbana, IL: NCTE, 2006. 58-68

Popham, W. James. Test Better, Teach Better: The Instructional Role of Assessment. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, 2003. Print

Key Quotes:

“Andrea [hs teacher], who is required to teach to the state standards, and who has therefore internalized those standards, reads with a mental checklist, regardless of (or in addition to) the rubric in play; Tom [college instructor], operating without such guidelines, (unless he imposes his own), is left to read from whatever perspective (or for whatever features) he finds most appropriate or compelling. These differences, we believe, are related to the different worlds we inhabit” (23-4).

“…the high school emphasis on standardization: standardized curricula, standardized tests, standardized rubrics…The goal is to be sure that a student in a given course masters a standard set of skills and knowledge, regardless of the teacher or the school at which the class is offered. This emphasis , combined with high student numbers and demand for accountability, leads to a need to simplify” (24).

“Although (or because) [rubrics] promote standardization, rubrics can lead to boring, overly structured papers. That is, teaching to a rubric can dictate too closely each step of the process, so that writing becomes a cookbook activity” (25).

“college professors hold high school teachers accountable for producing graduates with a standard set of skills, but they feel no responsibility to a similar system of accountability” (25).

“Students generally receive grades less frequently in college, and they don’t always appear to know how they’re doing in a particular course. If they’re not doing well, it’s their responsibility to seek out the extra help” (26).

“[Students] who internalized the descriptors of high performance levels on the standard rubrics–suddenly find themselves facing unknown (and often unpublished) criteria; they don’t know what an A paper looks like, and they might have a professor who won’t (or can’t) provide a clear description the way their high school teachers did” (26).

“While a competent paper doesn’t require rereading, a sophisticated paper invites it: that is, a sophisticated paper is one that the reader wants to reread. Word choice and sentence variety are used to bring out the voice of the writer, ideas are expressed with insight, and the organization subtly moved the reader from one idea to the next” (27, emphasis in original).

Further Questions:

  • I understand the frustration between the standardized vs the fluid teaching methods of high schools and colleges, however, why is there more pressure in this article for the college to be standardized? There are few references to what high school teachers can do to liberate the students and far more push for the colleges to tighten up the writing.
  • This chapter makes no mention of the different modes and genres the colleges require the students to write in, nor do they suggest a benefit either way. Why is there no debate between the usefulness of the writing skills learned? Why is there no mention of the academic prose juxtaposed with the non-academic prose?

“Academic Writing as Participation: Writing Your Way In” – Blau

“Academic Writing as Participation: Writing Your Way In” by Sheridan Blau

(From What is “College-Level” Writing? Volume 2: Assignments, Readings, and Student Writing Samples).

Article Citation: Blau, Sheridan. “Academic Writing as Participation: Writing Your Way In.” What is “College-Level” Writing? Volume 2: Assignments, Readings, and Student Writing Samples. Eds. Patrick Sullivan, Howard Tinberg, and Sheridan Blau. Urbana: NCTE, 2010. 29-56.

Abstract: Blau explains how he develops “academic communities” in the classroom by having students workshop unfamiliar genres in small groups to establish the conventions of the genre which in turn creates a discourse/academic community where the instructor becomes a guide/editor. This approach creates an environment where the students become knowledge makers instead of just knowledge learners.

Keywords: transition (31), first-year writing, high school writing, discourse community (31), development (31), academic community (49), postpedagogy,

Further Reading:

Bazerman, Charles. “System of Genres and the Enactment of Social Intentions.” Genre and the New Rhetoric. Eds. A. Freeman and P. Medway. London: Taylor and Francis, 1994. 79-101.

Miller, Carolyn R. “Genre as Social Action.” Quarterly Journal of Speech 70.2 (1984): 151-67

Key Quotes:

“The problem then may be seen as a developmental one. How can faculty members who want to initiate students into the discourse community of their subject and prepare students for writing academic papers in their subject help their students to take initial steps into the discourse proactices of a particular disciplinary community without alienating those students, when many of the students do not aspire to join that particular academic community and may not imagine themselves vevery becoming members of any academic community?” (31).

“The informing premise of this project, in other words, is that students will best learn to produce academic discourse the way they learn to produce any other specialized discourse: through their cultural experience as members of a discourse community, where they master the discourse to the degree that they (sometimes very gradually) become active contributing participants in the community” (31)

“[The workshop] is ostensibly designed to introduce students to the genre of the commentary (and eventually the response) that will occupy a central place in my literature class, but, more crucially, it serves as the foundational experience for building the kind of classroom culture that will foster the development of students as contributing members of a legitimate academic community, an academic community not unlike those to which college and university faculty members belong in their identity” (49)

“Classrooms can be organized–largely through shared writing–into academic communities where students can experience a developmentally appropriate induction into the practices and world of disciplinary discourse, where students experience themselves as contributors to that discourse, as they quite literally produce and share knowledge with other members of the academic community whose work they have read and whose positions and ideas they are familiar with from conversation and ‘publication'” (49).

“Student ownership of genres of writing in their classroom community and their familiarity with classmates whose work they read and respond to confer on students the kind of authority and relationship to knowledge, to knowledge producers, and to knowledge production that contributors to professional and scholarly journals typically posses” (50).

“What students are learning (not learning about but learning how to do) is how to produce knowledge through their contributions to an academic discourse in a genuine academic community” (50, emphasis in original).

 

Further Questions:

  • I like the idea of student knowledge making in the small groups and readouts to the full class, however, wouldn’t the instructor still have to intervene and still provide the more intricate conventions? Wouldn’t the instructor still have to show a history of the genre the class is trying to create? Otherwise, wouldn’t this be pretty surface level?
  • It sounds like it would take weeks of writing for the students to get to this level of understanding. Can’t the student still be instructed on the basic conventions and rhetorical situation and produce in the genre and publish in their academic community?

Thinking Toward Holistic Composition: Jody Shipka Chapter 1

We have the absolute pleasure of hosting Jody Shipka in March at Eastern Michigan University. Several of the faculty at EMU have talked about Shipka’s work as “smart” and “important work on multimodality,” so I decided to buy her most recent book to host a couple reading discussions on campus before the visit. For our computers and writing course, we were assigned the first chapter out of Toward a Composition Made Whole, which I will discuss here.

The first chapter, “Rethinking Composition / Rethinking Process,” focuses mostly on setting up the idea of “a composition made whole.” She first explains it through the use of technology, but she reminds us that “a composition made whole requires us to be more mindful about our use of a term like technology” and all manners of stakes that are associated with the medium (20-21, emphasis in original). She also says, “As we embrace (or even reject) newer technologies, as we anticipate the way communicative landscapes might continue to change, it is also important to keep in mind the rich, material, multimodal dimensions of classroom practice, of learning, and, in fact, of living” (21). The reason why I quote her at length here is because this is an idea that is present in the entire chapter as she explores how technology has been used in classroom scholarship and pedagogy, as well as how writing and composition are used int he discussion. This chapter works through the history of composition studies, but not exactly in a way that is redundant of previous works. Instead, she looks into the suggestions made through scholarship for a more integrated approach to composition studies.

Much of this chapter is referencing scholars such as Sean Williams (2001), Geoffrey Sirc (2002), Lee Odell and Christina Lynn Prell (1999), Kathleen Yancey (2004), Douglas Downs and Elizabeth Wardle (2007), and several others that published in the last 20 or so years. Her goal is to show the dynamics of communication and the everyday use of multimodality pleading to “keep in mind the rich, material, multimodal dimensions of classroom practice, of learning, and, in fact, of living” (21). Her claim for a composition made whole is to “consider how they are continually positioned in ways that require [students] to read, respond to, align with–in short, to negotiate–a streaming interplay of words, images, sounds, scents, and movements” (21). She backs up this idea using a quote from Jewitt and Kress: “meanings are made, distributed, received, interpreted and remade…through many representational and communicative modes–not just through language” (qtd. in Shipka 21-22). Thinking about the dynamics of multimodality, she asks us to revisit the terms authoring, composing, composition, literacy, and writing. , many of which are touched upon, but not interrogated in this first chapter.

The rest of the chapter discusses the history of the composition field and the entangled discussions around the CCC’s name including communications and how the field should have aligned itself with communications. She goes through a series of “what if” scenarios, imagining what the field of composition would look like if scholars communicated and collaborated together with communications. The what if scenarios culminate in a list of questioning, but one that really highlights this discussion is one of the last questions: “What if our courses and research efforts attended to how social and personal motives, the body, historical circumstances, and the resources one has on hand impact both how and what one can do, mean, or understand?” (28). I think these are important questions to ask, and it is clear that Shipka believes that the alignment of the two disciplines would only enhance the work that students are doing, especially when it comes to making the multimodal composition “whole.”

This discussion around a composition made whole brings in many ideas, similar to those in ecological studies and Actor Network Theory where all things are connected and influenced by both human and nonhuman actors. Her interest in talking about technology in the more specific way, including all aspects of a classroom environment, would make the composition experience more holistic and genuine instead of the static, created genres of writing that are often associated with education. This first chapter sets up interesting points of contact with scholars and students alike when it comes to writing and composing, and I look forward to the rest of the book and her talk in just a few months.

Shipka, Jody. Toward a Composition Made Whole. Pittsburgh, PA: U of Pittsburgh, 2011. Print.

“Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society” – Introduction – Williams-

Raymond Williams – Introduction to Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society

MLA Citation: Williams, Raymond. “Introduction.” Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford UP, 1976. 11-26. Print.

Abstract: Exploritory history and nature of key vocabulary in the study of culture and society. Words to talk about and investigate issues/problems of meaning in a certain area.

Keywords: Keywords, Language, Value, Culture, Etymology, Vocabulary, Formations of Meaning, Linguistics, Meaning, Context

For further reading:

(no references)

Quotes from Text:

“When we come to say ‘we just don’t speak the same language’ we mean something more general: that we have different immediate values or different kinds of valuation, or that we are aware, of intangibly, of different formations and distributions of energy and interest” (11).

“One central feature of this area of interest was its vocabulary, which is significantly not the specialized vocabulary of a specialized discipline, though it often overlaps with several of these, but a general vocabulary ranging from strong, difficult and persuasive words in everyday usage to words which, beginning in particular specialized contexts, have become quite common in descriptions of wider areas of thought and experience” (14).

-This makes me think of the difference between disciplinary, interdisciplinary, and transdiciplinary studies.

“It is, rather, the record of an inquiry into a vocabulary: a shared body of words and meanings in our most general discussions, in English, of the practices and institutions which we group as culture and society” (15).

“[Keywords] are  significant, binding words in certain activities and their interpretation; they are significant, indicative words in certain forms of thought” (15).

Moving beyond proper meaning, “We find a history and complexity of meanings; conscious changes, or consciously different uses; innovation, obsolescence, specialization, extension, overlap, transfer; or changes which are masked by a nominal continuity so that words which seem to have been there for centuries, with continuous general meanings, have come in fact to express radically different or radically variable, yet sometimes hardly noticed, meanings and implications of meaning” (17).

“The massive impersonality which the Oxford Dictionary communicates is not so impersonal, so purely scholarly, or so free of active social and political values as might be supposed from its occasional use” (18)

“The written language used to be taken as the real source of authority, with the spoken language as in effect derived from it; whereas now it is much more clearly realized that the real situation is usually the other way round” (19).

-Is this still the case?

“The vitality of a language includes every kind of extension, variation and transfer, and this is as true of chnge in our own time (however much we may regret some particular examples) as of changes in the past which can now be given a sacral veneer” (21).

“In practice many of these processes begin within the complex and variable sens of particular words, and the only way to show this, as examples of how networks of usage, reference and perspective are developed, is to concentrate, ‘for the moment’, on what can then properly be seen as internal structures” (23).

Further Questions:

In Williams’s context, World War II greatly changed the way certain words are used. He explains that there needs to be a large event to change language quickly, but what about technology? Language rapidly changes now due to technology and the concept of “viral” videos and content. Has technology greatly changed etymology?

When words are changing and have different meanings in different contexts, is the written language truly more true to the source? In a search for keywords, how can the use of the words be captured if they are used in instant messaging, in applications, forums, and conversations?

Portfolio Teaching: A Guide for Instructors – Reynolds and Davis

Nedra Reynolds and Elizabeth Davis – Portfolio Teaching: A Guide for Instructors 

MLA Citation: Reynolds, Nedra, and Elizabeth Davis. Portfolio Teaching: A Guide for Instructors. 3rd ed. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2014. Print.

Abstract: Portfolio keeping is a key tool to analyze process and demonstrate the ability of the creator. Portfolios are useful tools in the classroom, but they are also important in the workplace for disciplines that need to show process and product.

Keywords: Portfolio, Assessment, Teaching, Writing, Reflection, Variety, Choice

For further reading:

Yancey, Kathleen Blake. 2009. “E-Portfolios a Decade into the Twenty-First Century: What We Know, What We Need to Know.” Peer Review 11 (1): 28-32.

Yancey, Kathleen Blake, ed. 1992. Portfolios in the Writing Classroom: An Introduction. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English.

Quotes from Text:

“Portfolios are good choices for evaluating performance or quality of learning in courses that emphasize clinical practice, scientific methods, writing or written analysis, creativity, or craft” (4).

“Portfolios bring to the assessment situation a genuinely rich set of options for determining what learners know or are able to do and how they have engaged with their learning” (4).

“Although presentation (or best-works) portfolios might seem more suitable for assessment, learning (or process) portfolios can also be appropriate for assessment situations when choice, variety, and reflection are their foundation” (5).

“When students choose or are assigned to keep a learning portfolio, the purpose would be to collect, select, and reflect on artifacts for their own benefit, not to prove to a teacher, a coach, or a supervisor that they should pass a course, receive an award, or get a promotion” (5)

“Learning or process portfolios specifically intended for a writing course ask portfolio keepers to collect and present evidence of their writing and thinking processes” (6).

“Presentation portfolios showcase a final product, either to prospective employers or other professionals, and/or are subject to some form of assessment” (6).

“[Presentations] portfolios vary widely, but they share a similar goal: to convince an audience of the portfolio keeper’s achievements, abilities, or talents” (6).

“What the portfolio has to say about the process of creating and presenting those artifacts is central to assessment of student learning through portfolios. Just as in a print portfolio, selection and arrangement of artifacts is the starting point for your portfolio keepers” (8).

“Though they will be able to include things likes videos or audio clips or a link to a blog that they could no in a paper-based portfolio, the artifacts will provide to link them together and to provide the evidence of learning” (8).

As they chose entries or make decisions about arrangement, portfolio keepers must practice reflection, giving careful consideration to the effect of each option. As they introduce variety to their work…they must weigh the strengths of each choice and consider how it helps them accomplish their purpose in creating their portfolio” (15).

“Variety in a portfolio refers to pieces in different genres or forms, as well as texts created in different media, for different purposes, and at different points in a student’s experience” (15)

“In the processes of collecting, selecting, reflecting, and then presenting the document to different audiences, portfolios enable teachers to focus on situation, habit and responsibility, self-presentation, arrangement, and audience. To present a successful portfolio, whatever the goals or guidelines of the portfolio situation, students must show that they can keep the situation and audience in mind, incorporating, where necessary or appropriate, appeals to reasons, to character, and to emotion” (17-18).

Further Questions:

What are some platforms that can be used for e-portfolios? What is the best way to represent a multimodal project?

“Coming to Terms: Composition/Rhetoric, Threshold Concepts, and a Disciplinary Core” – Yancey

Yancey, Katleen Blake – “Coming to Terms: Composition/Rhetoric, Threshold Concepts, and a Disciplinary Core”

MLA Citation: Yancey, Katleen Blake. “Coming to Terms: Composition/Rhetoric, Threshold Concepts, and a Disciplinary Core.” Introduction. Naming What We Know: Threshold Concepts of Writing Studies. Ed. Linda Adler-Kassner and Elizabeth A. Wardle. Boulder: Utah State UP, 2015. Xvii-xxi. Print.

Abstract:

Yancey summarizes the “spirit” of the Naming What We Know and introduces the research of each contributing author. She also introduces the idea of threshold concepts in juxtaposition of course outcomes. The threshold concepts attempt to shift away from goal oriented projects and the emphasizes process and way in which students/faculty learn..

Keywords: composition, threshold concepts, identification, writing pedagogy, curriculum development,

For further reading:

Meyer, Jan H. F., and Ray Land. 2003. “Threshold Concepts and Troublesome Knowledge: Linkages to Ways of Thinking and Practising.” ETL Project Occasional Report 4. http://www.etl.tla.ed.ac.uk/docs/ETLreort4.pdf

Muller, Derek. 2012. “Grasping Rhetoric and Composition by Its Long Tail: What Graphs Can Tell s about he Field’s Changing Shape.” College Composition and Communication 64(1): 195-223.

Yancey, Kathleen Blake. 2004. “Made Not Only in Words: Composition in a New Key.” College Composition and Communication 56(2): 297-328. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/4140651.

Quotes from Text:

“Identifying the threshold concepts presented here was a collective philosophical exercise involving exploration as much as consolidation of what we know. Moreover, that there are such concepts, features, and practices is evidenced by the conceptual map presented in the first part of Naming” (xix, emphasis in original).

-Explains the spirit of the project. Exploring and consolidation of what is current in the field in order to map the core concepts in rhetoric and composition.

“threshold concepts help us engage as teacher-scholars, whether we are teaching first-year composition students, designing a new major, engaging with doctoral students, or working with our colleagues in general education or writing across the curriculum” (xix).

-Threshold concepts give the language to both students and teachers-scholars to discuss the process and concepts of a discipline.

“Using the Florida State University doctoral program in rhetoric and composition as a site for analysis, Kara and I use three integrated doctoral curricula–the delivered, lived, and experienced curricula–as lenses for inquiry” (xxiii).

-Delivered is designed curricula in the syllabi, assignments, and readings. Lived is prior courses, experiences, and connections that contextualize the delivered curriculum. Experienced is student constructed, enacted upon by students. Acting on the delivered curriculum.

The introduction outlines eight points of agreement with threshold concepts:

  1. Writing is an activity and a subject of study (xxvii)
  2. Functions as both propositional statement and heuristic for inquiry, a heuristic we can…see with and through (xxvii-xviii)
  3. Provide a way of thinking, a framework for multiple kinds of work. (xxviii)
  4. They aren’t fixed but are rather contingent and flexible (xxviii)
  5. They are neither acontextual nor arhetorical, but are specific to a discipline and community of practice. (xxviii)
  6. They are employed in a given setting, variants of the threshold concepts can develop (xxviii)
  7. We need to be explicit in working with both faculty and students (xxviii)
  8. Ca be used to inquire analyze, interpret, and, ultimately, make knowledge (xxviii)

Further Questions:

What are all the threshold concepts?

Mostly focused on the positive aspects, but are there any negatives? Do they alienate individuals in the field if they are not followed?

Why are outcomes looked at as only an endgame an not process?