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A young person, in shadow and profile, gazes at their own video feed as they take a class online from home, faced with a webcam.
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Introduction

We are now nearing the two-year mark of a global pandemic that has had such a profound effect on every aspect of our lives. As students, educators, administrators, and researchers, we have had to adapt our academic practice in ways that blurred the lines between our public personas and our private lives. We have had to learn about and embrace various forms of technology in order to enable remote teaching, learning, and collaborations, all with little control over the scale and extent of the invasiveness made possible by these technologies. It is at this crucial conjuncture that we offer this Themed Issue of the Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy on surveillance and educational technologies.

As we said in the call for papers for this issue: “The COVID-19 pandemic has served as a magnifying glass, revealing all the ways our systems are broken.” Indeed, social fault lines have not only been exposed and exacerbated in the harsh light of the pandemic response, but even more so through the ways many institutions chose to ignore it while hoping to continue with some version of business as usual. But, just as a magnifying glass reveals faults, it shows us opportunities for repair: we cannot simply fix what is broken, but also must work toward eliminating systems that are not “broken” but working as designed—to the detriment of marginalized and vulnerable populations. Thus, while we develop counternarratives and critiques, we can also draw on more expansive visions of abolition, which demand “that we change one thing, which is everything” (Gilmore 2018).

Bluntly, many of these surveillance systems and computational tools shouldn’t exist. While the emergency circumstances under which people and institutions have adopted them during the pandemic make such developments somewhat understandable, now that we have a better understanding of the concrete consequences in our pedagogy and in our students’ lives, we really have no justification to continue using these tools in these ways. We must change not only the punitive technology we use, but the educational mindset and broader world that rationalizes it.

This issue is not the first, nor will it be the last, collection of such critical work, but as we spend more time within this pandemic paradigm, we are accumulating clearer and stronger evidence and narratives of the harms surveillance-oriented educational technology brings, making it much less understandable for justice-oriented educators to excuse their use. The pandemic has crucially highlighted the need for consent, compassion, and care, and one of the striking things about many of the pieces in this issue is that they are self-reflective rather than analytical. Many of the authors situate themselves in a fraught system of monitoring and punishment and analyze or question their roles in bringing potentially harmful surveillance to bear on others, especially the students they are meant to nurture. It’s also notable how many of these projects address remote proctoring and Learning Management Systems (LMSs). For many institutions, the pandemic supercharged the already pervasive use of LMSs and proctoring systems in the transition to remote instruction. As the uptake of these tools and protocols increased, so did the outcry around the invasiveness and consequences of their use. Consider these pieces both as scholarly research, and as a call to action for justice, within and beyond education.

In “Toward Abolishing Online Proctoring: Counter-Narratives, Deep Change, and Pedagogies of Educational Dignity,” Charles Logan invokes Audrey Watters’ notion of the “edtech imaginary” as a way of exploring how remote-proctoring companies develop powerful narratives about the necessity and usefulness of their products, and how we might establish counternarratives that move us closer to the abolition of these discriminatory technologies and their effects.

In “Back Doors, Trap Doors, and Fourth-Party Deals: How You End up with Harmful Academic Surveillance Technology on Your Campus without Even Knowing,” Autumm Caines and Sarah Silverman alert us to the dangers and complications of allowing fourth-party vendors access to institutional data through backdoors created by third-party relationships. With Proctorio as the primary example, they unpack these relationships in an accessible and clear way, while outlining the different kinds of fourth-party partnerships that institutions might unknowingly find themselves in. Caines and Silverman also lay out a harm index, a useful framework to measure the levels and scale of harms that remote proctoring services can cause. The authors include an example of their collaborative autoethnographic reflection, which provides a glimpse into the tedious but necessary steps needed to thwart corporate control over faculty and student data.

Jessica Kester and Joel Schneier’s “Soft Surveillance: Social Media Filter Bubbles as an Invitation to Critical Digital Literacies” discusses having students engage with the surveillance-derived filter bubbles of their own social media feeds in order to develop critical digital literacies—a way for students to “critically look at their digital practices through their own digital practices.”

In “Resisting Surveillance, Practicing/Imagining the End of Grading,” Marianne Madoré, Anna Zeemont, Joaly Burgos, Jane Guskin, Hailey Lam, and Andréa Stella assert that grading systems are an element of larger systems of surveillance at educational institutions and that grading is incompatible with antiracist pedagogies. They offer a variety of experiences where they either individually or collectively operated against or outside the schema of grading, and push us to “reimagine the purpose of schooling” in light of these struggles.

For Issue 20, we also wanted to create space to explore issues around educational surveillance that wasn’t constrained by the formality of more traditional journal articles, so we invited submissions to our Views from the Field section. We are very pleased to present five thought-provoking pieces that critically engage with the experience of being surveilled by educational technology and the potential consequences of this surveillance on our collective wellbeing.

We start off with “Why Don’t You Trust Us?”, a compelling piece from undergraduate student Sinéad Doyle, who generously shares her own experience of being subjected to additional surveillance during the pandemic and how this sort of invasive surveillance can blur the lines between public and private in counterproductive ways. Lance Eaton’s “The New LMS Rule: Transparency Working Both Ways” imagines what it would look like if we turned the tables and gave students the same level of access to instructor activity on LMSs as these platforms give instructors to student activity, noting the power imbalances built into conventional LMSs. In “Pedagogy and the Expansion of Surveillance at the City University of New York,” Marc Kagan continues the exploration of the potentially insidious nature of LMSs by pointing out the dangers of allowing unfettered and unregulated administrative access to online courses, highlighting the potential role of labor organizations in challenging this threat. “Black Mirror Pedagogy: Dystopian Stories for Technoskeptical Imaginations,” by Daniel G. Krutka, Autumm Caines, Marie K. Heath, and K. Bret Staudt Willet, provides a way to help students interrogate their own techno-optimism through the use of Black Mirror-inspired speculative-fiction narrative building. And finally, Chris Miciek’s creative text, “Field Notes from the Education to Employment Pipeline: A Career Development Perspective,” gives us a bird’s-eye view history of the contested imbrication of education and labor-market requirements, highlighting the historical and ongoing processes wherein students are inured to the use of technological surveillance in readiness for workplace surveillance.

In addition to the pieces on surveillance in education, we are pleased to include two general-interest articles before we pause publication for our migration to a new publishing platform.

The first, “Authoring an Open-Source Game for a Faculty Open Educational Resources Workshop: A Case Study” by Katherine Foshko Tsan, is an excellent piece on using Twine, an open-source interactive narrative building tool, for faculty development focused on OER. This piece highlights how using these sorts of narrative tools can be a compelling way to engage with faculty while opening new space for them to learn about OER.

Our second general-interest article, “Poetry in Your Pocket: Streaming Playlists and the Pedagogy of Poetic Interpretation” by Stephen Grandchamp, shares how the use of Spotify playlists made poetry more accessible to students and helped to recontextualize poetry in a more contemporary setting. This approach helped students understand and participate in the shifting meaning and significance of poetry, and gives hope for those of us who find interpreting poetry a little intimidating.

We want to acknowledge the patient and incredible work that managing editor, Patrick DeDauw, and editorial assistant, Chanta Palmer, have done to keep us on track and wrangle the many moving pieces that needed to come together to produce this issue. Our deep gratitude to the members of the JITP editorial collective for all their behind-the-scenes work and support. We also want to acknowledge the reviewers who took time out of their busy schedules to provide valuable feedback to our authors and note that it has been a privilege to be able to work with the authors to bring you Issue 20. We are deeply grateful that we were all able to come together during this pandemic to give shape and space to this important conversation, and we hope you will join us in doing what we can to ensure an equitable and surveillance-free educational future.

References

Gilmore, Ruth Wilson. 2018. “Making Abolition Geography in California’s Central Valley.” Interview with Léopold Lambert. The Funambulist 21. https://thefunambulist.net/magazine/21-space-activism/interview-making-abolition-geography-california-central-valley-ruth-wilson-gilmore.

About the Editors

Chris Gilliard is a Visiting Research Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School Shorenstein Center. His ideas have been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Wired Magazine, The Chronicle of Higher Ed, and Vice Magazine. He is a member of the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry Scholars Council, and a member of the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project community advisory board.

sava saheli singh is an independent researcher who just completed a postdoctoral fellowship with the eQuality Project and the AI + Society Initiative, both at the University of Ottawa. She created the award-winning Screening Surveillance, a series of short, near-future speculative fiction films. This public education and knowledge translation project calls attention to the potential human consequences of big data surveillance. She co-produced the first three films as a postdoctoral fellow with the Surveillance Studies Centre at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, and is currently in post-production on the fourth film in the series which she also co-wrote and co-produced. sava received her PhD from New York University’s Educational Communication and Technology program. As an interdisciplinary scholar, her current research interests include educational surveillance; digital labour and surveillance capitalism; restorative justice and abolition; speculative fiction; and critically examining the effects of technology and techno-utopianism on society.

A laptop in a classroom displays a Zoom class in session.
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Introduction

Normal teaching and learning processes are occurring amidst difficult and confusing times: the ever-intensifying impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the growing awareness and recognition of racial and social injustices, and the looming emergency of climate disasters threatening to dismantle entire communities. Despite the increasingly precarious circumstances, instructors and students have adapted, relying intensively on digital tools to replace some or all face-to-face instruction. There is little doubt that the changes brought about in the past 15 months will affect the future of teaching and learning, yet how exactly remains to be negotiated.

In this issue of the Journal of Interactive Technology & Pedagogy, we sought to continue the conversations taking place in our general issues while likewise providing a special forum for instructors to reflect directly on the experience of teaching amidst COVID-19 and its rippling aftermath.

The pandemic brought to the forefront for many the importance of considering how digital technologies shape teaching practices and afford opportunities for learning that do not and need not replicate “analog” modes of instruction. This very set of concerns has driven the JITP editorial collective from the founding of the journal, and we therefore felt duty-bound to create a space for authors to share their creative and critical reflections on this potentially decisive moment in the development of online and distanced modes of instruction. We intended for this issue’s featured section to not only serve as a reminder of the resilience of teachers and students working and learning through the crisis, but also as an opportunity to rethink the structures of mentorship and teaching that drew many instructors to the academic context in the first place. In this regard, a broader question that is implicit through many of the articles in this issue is whether the conventional structure of the academy is tenable when public health—the very fabric of society—unravels. We hope this issue provides an opportunity to rethink existing instructional practices and improve upon them.

General Issue

The articles in this issue touch on a variety of themes related to online communication, digital privacy, pedagogy of culture and representation, as well as online collaboration. Sean Molloy and Carissa Kelly consider assignments in which students create YouTube videos as a way of thinking about writing to various audiences in “Classmates, Family, Friends, Followers, Allies, Opponents, Enemies, Bosses, Trolls, Haters, Users, and Google: Understanding Digital Audiences On YouTube.” The authors explore how students can mobilize YouTube to transform essays into an audio-visual medium and expand possibilities for communication across space and time. Through publicly hosted video essays, students can reach larger—though not always friendly—audiences well beyond their instructor and, through this, participate in diverse cultural conversations across social media.

Charles Woods and Noah Wilson argue in “The Rhetorical Implications of Data Aggregation: Becoming a ‘Dividual’ in a Data-Driven World” that social media users do not have “meaningful access” to privacy policies (and thus to the platforms governed by them) if they lack a genuine understanding of the ways their data is aggregated and used by platform providers. Using key insights from contemporary scholarship on the politics of algorithmic user profiling, the authors provide guidelines for a scaffolded assignment sequence that begins with rhetorical analysis and then uses peer collaboration to understand and integrate key concepts.

In “Experiential Approaches to Teaching African Culture and the Politics of Representation: Building the ‘Documenting Africa’ Project with StoryMapJS,” Mary Anne Lewis Cusato and Nancy Demerdash-Fatemi propose a digital solution to the problem of U.S. student reliance on stereotypes and misinformation about Africa and African peoples and cultures. Through a creative collaboration between two courses, students confronted biases and misrepresentations permeating Western perceptions of Africa. Here, collaboration serves as a way to challenge student assumptions and produce a better collective understanding.

Spencer D. C. Keralis, Courtney E. Jacobs, and Matthew Weirick Johnson showcase the platform TimelineJS in “Collaborative Digital Projects in the Undergraduate Humanities Classroom: Case Studies with Timeline JS,” highlighting the intuitive aspects of the technology, and exploring how it can enhance student learning experiences in classes like a World Literature survey by providing a way to actively and collaboratively engage with primary source material. In its multimodal functionality, TimelineJS is a unique learning tool for both processing and presenting information, the authors argue, and students can use it to think about the temporal and spatial relationships between moments in history and in fiction. Many of these themes, particularly that of collaboration, are echoed in the dialogues driving our editing process at the JITP. Our open review process establishes conversations among authors, reviewers, and editors, providing mentorship and opportunities for reflection.

Forum on Teaching in the Time of the COVID-19 Pandemic

While the articles included in the forum for this issue cover a range of topics, two distinct themes emerged from the submissions. First, any semblance of instructional continuity has clearly depended on maintaining social engagement and support for students while teaching in remote and online learning environments. Second, our online pedagogies, even when cobbled together in the midst of crisis, should be used as opportunities to interrupt the reproduction of social inequality. These concerns emerge in large part from the growing general consciousness about social injustices spurred by the continued development of movements like Black Lives Matter (BLM) and others, forcing a general reckoning with questions of racism, policing, and oppression beyond the public denialism that has long characterized mainstream discourse.

Maintaining social engagement and support online

Many instructors faced the reality of teaching during a period of intense emotional and psychological trauma, as the height of the pandemic has claimed the lives of friends and loved ones. Our daily routines have been upended, and commonplace social practices of care have moved out of reach, prompting extended periods of isolation and leaving little time for the work of grief and mourning. Like never before, instructors of all educational levels had to consider techniques for encouraging social engagement, not only as a means of learning content but also as a means of coping with the trauma inflicted simply by living during a pandemic. Several of the authors in the forum describe approaches they have adopted to foster resilience among students, like developing tools to promote online engagement, relationship-building, and coping strategies.

Adhering to social-distancing practices also created challenges in providing students real-time feedback for effective learning. In “Assessing the Effectiveness of Using Live Interactions and Feedback to Increase Engagement in Online Learning,” Beth Porter, John Doucette, Andrew Reilly, Dan Calacci, Burcin Bozkaya, and Alex Pentland describe the use of an in-browser video chat app that provides metrics of users’ participation, and discuss the implications and current limitations of using the app to promote engagement, feedback, and learning even when collaborating across distance.

Salome Apkhazishvili, Serene Arena, and Renee Hobbs explore how teacher professional development can take place in online environments in “The Help Desk as a Community-Building Tool for Online Professional Development.” The authors found that relationship-building strategies that emphasized participants as co-learners empowered instructors with a sense of interconnectedness, agency, and community—as well as the technical and pedagogical support—during the dramatic pivot to online learning.

Recognizing the trauma students were likely to face during the pandemic, Antigoni Kotsiou, Erica Juriasingani, Marc Maromonte, Jacob Marsh, Christopher R. Shelton, Richard Zhao, and Lisa Jo Elliott describe a collaborative and interdisciplinary process of creating a mobile app for students to track their emotions and develop coping strategies in “Interdisciplinary Approach to a Coping Skills App: A Case Study.”

Teaching toward social justice

The COVID-19 crisis not only necessitated that we as educators consider how learning can take place through technology, but also, in its clear interconnection with crises of racial and social justice more broadly, the need for antiracist and social-justice–informed pedagogy has become even more urgent. Many of the authors here look at how we can move from thinking theoretically about questions of inclusivity to designing digital classrooms, courses, and assignments that put these theoretical concerns into concrete practice, centering trauma-informed pedagogy and racial justice.

In “‘The Future Started Yesterday and We’re Already Late’: The Case for Antiracist Online Teaching,” David L. Humphrey and Camea Davis note the potential for educational technology to serve as a tool of academic liberation, while critically evaluating not only the shortcomings of purely technical fixes in achieving this aim, but also how the use of such technology can serve to maintain control and reinforce existing oppressive societal structures. The authors direct attention to the conspicuous absence of antiracist pedagogy in mainstream theories of online learning, and call for a shift that centers antiracist pedagogy to the benefit of all.

Also noting the inequities that became even more apparent amidst the pandemic, Michael Mandiberg considers how feminist theories of care might help us in achieving these goals.In their piece, “Trauma-Informed Pedagogy in the Digital Media Pandemic Classroom,” Mandiberg brings the insights of trauma-informed pedagogy to bear on the use of technologies like Adobe Creative Cloud technologies and their web-based clones.

These adaptations seeking to humanize the differently technologized pandemic classroom have a great deal to offer to broader projects of rethinking the current structure of teaching and learning from pre-K through college. Mary Frances (Molly) Buckley-Marudas and Shelley E. Rose describe one such model of post-pandemic pedagogy that aims to do just that: in “Collaboration, Risk, and Pedagogies of Care: Looking to a Postpandemic Future,” the authors describe their work founding the Cleveland Teaching Collaborative and, as the title implies, three primary pedagogical thematics that may help set the stage for important changes in the future of education.

Final Thoughts

Although this is one of many forums for reflection on teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic, JITP has sought to provide creative and research-based ways to incorporate and center digital technologies in responsive and responsible pedagogy for nearly a decade. Whether included in the special forum on teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic or not, many of the articles included here consider the ways instructors can craft or maintain more equitable digital spaces for students’ individual and collective reflection. The pandemic forced many instructors to adopt instructional technologies for the first time or reevaluate tools they were already using, driving us all to consider which platforms and methodologies are most accessible and useful for this new and not-so-new world of teaching. Such considerations have shed light on larger pedagogical practices that will continue to inform and change our approaches to teaching in the future, asking us to reimagine our classrooms both within and outside of emergencies like this.

About the Editors

Anna Alexis Larsson is a PhD candidate in English at the Graduate Center, CUNY, and adjunct lecturer in English at Queens College and LaGuardia Community College, CUNY. She serves as program manager of BlabRyte, a community writing web app, in addition to being a member of the editorial collective of The Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy. Her research interests include ecological theories of writing, transnational literacy and translingualism, and feminist rhetorical studies. Her dissertation investigates the tension between inquiry and performance in the composition process—particularly within First Year Writing programs—to build a theory of reparative practice and apply it through a grant-funded and award-winning online writing environment.

Teresa Ober is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Notre Dame working in the Learning Analytics and Measurement in Behavioral Sciences (LAMBS) Lab. Teresa completed her PhD in Educational Psychology from the Graduate Center, CUNY, specializing in Learning, Development, and Instruction. Teresa’s present and intended future research interests broadly overlap with developmental and cognitive psychology, and the learning sciences. More information about her most current work can be found here: https://tmober.github.io.

Nicole Zeftel is a Clinical Assistant Professor of composition and professional writing at the University at Buffalo and received a PhD in Comparative Literature with a Certificate in American Studies from the Graduate Center, CUNY, in 2018. In her previous position as an Instructional Technology Fellow at the Macaulay Honors College, CUNY, Nicole studied how creative digital projects promote active learning. In addition to her work in the digital humanities and composition pedagogy, Nicole’s research focuses on the intersection between nineteenth-century American women’s literature, religion, and medical discourse, and she is currently working on a book about the impact of spiritualism on women’s writing.

An autumn leaf in sharp focus before a vibrant autumnal background.
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Introduction

In their introduction to the previous issue of The Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy, the editors wrote of the profound and ongoing loss they felt assembling a collection of essays as the global crisis of COVID-19 unfolded. We have built Issue 18 under these same circumstances. This issue is a testament to the efforts of the JITP editorial community and our authors, who continued to collaborate on pedagogy scholarship amid increased burden. Its contributors, reviewers, editors, and stagers have endured radical shifts in their work and family lives—especially true for those who are caregivers and members of marginalized communities—and have fielded the emotional, economic, and physical toll of the pandemic. To be mindful of our colleagues’ current realities and our own, and to try to mitigate the pandemic’s often inequitable impacts, we attempted to be flexible with deadlines and offer increased opportunities for feedback where we could. We balanced this commitment with retaining JITP’s editorial workflow and publication schedule, which aims to provide space for the needs of early-career scholars as both editors and authors.

While these articles in some cases represent several years of work, a number of them speak specifically to how our teaching responds to such immediate external pressures. The COVID-19 pandemic has resurfaced some long-standing tensions about the role of educational technologies in teaching and learning. Instructors may be forced to adopt proprietary platforms that come with troubling implications for data privacy. An increasingly shifting landscape drives us to learn these new technologies while anticipating the continual changes in data standards, provenance practices, and platform ubiquity and ownership that will require future time and effort. Since exciting new research and teaching methods require extensive training, instructors set out to extend their network of collaborators and provide supportive infrastructure to this challenge. Individual scholars continue to incorporate technological and data literacy into their classes, impelling students to experiment with analytical practices that vary with institutional context and intellectual tradition.

A number of the articles deal explicitly with questions of loss, recovery, and intervention. In “Reading Texts in Digital Environments: Applications of Translation Alignment for Classical Language Learning,” Chiara Palladino argues for the creative use of translation alignment technologies as a means of facilitating Classical language learning. Classical studies requires that scholars attempt to synthesize information themselves without the benefit of consulting native speakers, and so Palladino offers translation pedagogy involving the comparison of multiple sources as a unique way of teaching slow, methodical information processing, a skill set particularly relevant to our present moment of information saturation. Palladino discusses a series of digital tools and assignments from her own course that, together, carry the pedagogical lesson that all reading is a reflective process. The translation process she describes does not establish one-to-one equivalences, but, rather, requires students to consider the “continuous dialogue between cultural and linguistic systems.”

In “Back in a Flash: Critical Making Pedagogies to Counter Technological Obsolescence,” Sarah Whitcomb Laiola seeks a similar remedy in the face of software expiration. As 2020 ends, so too does Adobe’s support of Flash, a medium in which e-lit has thrived. An NEH-funded project, AfterFlash, offers some balm to the loss, preserving access to texts born digitally in Flash and Shockwave, but it fails to preserve a means for generating them, and such generation, Laiola argues, is essential to student understanding of the texts themselves. She shares her experimentation to simulate that creative process, specifically investigating Stepworks as a classroom alternative, but also suggesting a path forward as one technology inevitably gives way to another. Preservation, after all, isn’t about rescuing only artifacts, but also the processes and pedagogies those artifacts enable.

Courtney Jacobs, Marcia McIntosh, and Kevin M. O’Sullivan are on a rescue mission of their own to collect and provide access to models of the printmaking tools of the past. In “Make Ready: Fabricating a Bibliographic Community,” they share their experiences creating 3Dhotbed, a repository of 3D-printable models, to investigate book production and printmaking. For scholars of book history, the files themselves can enable the critical hands-on work that has informed the discipline for nearly seventy years. The collection, though, is greater than the sum of its replicated parts. As the authors put it, “The future success of 3Dhotbed is not solely based on the volume, diversity, or rarity of individual items, but also on the ability of the platform to put these items in conversation.” Jacobs, McIntosh, and O’Sullivan’s work is meaningful to those outside their fields as well. In constructing 3Dhotbed, they have identified pitfalls and opportunities in navigating institutional partnerships, striking the balance between academic protocols and broader access, and continuing to expand the field beyond the Global North.

In “Using Wikipedia in the Composition Classroom and Beyond: Encyclopedic ‘Neutrality,’ Social Inequality, and Failure as Subversion,” Cherrie Kwok explores a different kind of loss—the damaging effects that can occur when attempts at neutrality gloss over difficult truths. Kwok invites instructors and students alike to leverage the power of failure to explore the very nature of language. Like others in her field, Kwok notes that Wikipedia can serve as a tool for teaching tight writing and edit-a-thons can generate deep student investment in intervening in the cultural record. But Kwok sees even greater value in what her students learn as they try to achieve Wikipedia’s second foundational principle of writing articles “from a neutral point of view.” They learn that language is not neutral and our attempts to make it seem so only cloak the systematic biases and issues of positionality.

As much of this issue makes clear, the people engaged in digital-pedagogy teaching and research provide essential infrastructure for this work. In “Interdisciplinarity and Teamwork in Virtual Reality Design,” Ole Molvig and Bobby Bodenheimer describe the evolution in logistics and pedagogy of a course they taught, Virtual Reality Design, at Vanderbilt University. In particular, they note that the interdisciplinary and collaborative requirements of their team-based course gave rise to a community of like-minded researchers over time. Regarding a growing demand for support of data visualization, Negeen Aghassibake, Justin Joque, and Matthew L. Sisk offer a different approach to cultivating such interdisciplinary collaboration: leveraging the library. In “Supporting Data Visualization Services in Academic Libraries,” the authors identify a host of factors that can lead to more successful support of responsible data visualization and the fundamental literacies that underpin it. Data visualization, they note, is not just about products, but about the scholarly processes that require well-aimed questions, research, data and data management, ethical practices, and design—in addition to software and hardware decisions.

The articles in our Forum on Data and Computational Pedagogy attend to how these concerns arise in the classroom when using computational methods to teach processes of data collection, transformation, and presentation. In our call for papers, we asked submitters to address the challenges and opportunities that arise when teaching with data and promoting data literacy. We were especially interested in how students and instructors grappled with issues of power and agency when acting as “data users” (Gonzalez and DeVoss 2016). The authors of the articles in this Forum span academic job roles and work in a wide variety of institutional contexts that inform their data pedagogy. What coheres their contributions is a humanistic approach to data analysis—one that understands working with data as an exploratory and iterative analytical process of regularization, and which foregrounds data’s context-embeddedness and malleability. As Katie Rawson and Trevor Muñoz (2016) remind us, this feature of data is too often obscured when we think about data “cleaning” as its preparation for scholarly work rather than recognizing “messiness” as an integral part of the work itself. By recognizing the analytical agency we have to remediate data, we may develop the commitment to using data-driven methods for justice, resisting the potential of data analysis’s associations with correctness and order to propagate bias and do harm (D’Ignazio and Klein 2020).

In “Ethnographies of Datasets: Teaching Critical Data Analysis through R Notebooks,” Lindsay Poirier writes on how her students confront datasets as cultural objects in an undergraduate course called Data Sense and Exploration at the University of California, Davis. Here, she draws from cultural anthropology’s experimental ethnography to guide students through a series of weekly lab assignments in which students record field notes while performing analysis of dataframes in R. Each of these labs invokes a concept: routines and rituals, semantics, classifications, calculations and narrative, chrono-politics, and geo-politics. She characterizes her students’ work with data as “ethnography” because of “their consistent, hands-on engagement with the data” and the opportunity it provides for “reflections on their own positionality.” This approach encourages students to see themselves as “critical data practitioners” who can account for, as well as critique, the “incompleteness, inconsistencies and biases” of publicly available data.

In “Thinking Through Data in the Humanities and in Engineering,” Elizabeth Alice Honig, Deb Niemeier, Christian F. Cloke, and Quint Gregory assess how students in two disparate fields engage with data’s embedded context. The authors describe an interdisciplinary effort at the University of Maryland, College Park, to teach the same historical network dataset to students in art history and engineering, as each group of students brought their entrenched disciplinary assumptions about data analysis and visualization to the same assignments. While the authors’ engineering students tended to value consistent design conventions in an approach framed by a pre-set analytical objective, their art history students tended to want to bring insights from visualization back to the dataset. On the flip side, the engineering students were less likely to incorporate context and “texture” in their visualizations, while the art history students tended to be less adept at properly labeling their graphs or ensuring their visualizations made effective communication choices. From the authors’ exploratory study, they conclude that emphases on digital training within humanities courses and project-based learning in engineering courses may not be enough alone for students to overcome these tendencies, and that additional formal training may be required.

In “Numbering Ulysses: Digital Humanities, Reductivism, and Undergraduate Research,” Erik Simpson describes the pedagogical implications of humanities data creation for Ashplant, a collaborative digital project developed in conjunction with Grinnell College students. As the students worked to describe James Joyce’s Ulysses in tabular form for presentation online, they were forced to reckon with the frustrations posed by data entry involving complex humanities materials. In the process, students found their digital humanities work placed in dialogue with analog methods of analyzing Ulysses, which already used numerical and hierarchical systems of classification. The piece closes by building on these pedagogical lessons to suggest a series of ways that undergraduate research might engage with the “creativity, resistance, and questioning” of digital work.

In “Data Fail: Teaching Data Literacy with African Diaspora Digital Humanities,” Jennifer Mahoney, Roopika Risam, and Hibba Nassereddine reflect, too, on the frustrations and failures of a data curation and visualization project. Situating their work within scholarship on Black Digital Humanities, they articulate the difficulty of reconciling “fragments of information” when trying to avoid reproducing or amplifying gaps in the archives they used for research. Having set out to plot networks of participation in Pan-Africanist intellectual and social movements, the authors describe the “virtually meaningless” initial results that revealed some flawed assumptions of their project’s methodology. Their writing, however, exceeds mere process narrative by reflecting on this realization’s implications for their own and others’ projects—their non-result, it turns out, provided an opportunity to reappraise their methods and identify the aspects of their dataset the methods didn’t capture. Moreover, as secondary-education teachers and students, the authors argue that high school students might have similar data epiphanies were such digital humanities projects featured in high school English language arts curricula, using students’ development of data literacy to promote inclusivity by way of representation and equity in the cultural record.

Data Literacy in Media Studies: Strategies for Collaborative Teaching of Critical Data Analysis and Visualization” addresses intra-institutional partnerships between librarians and faculty to support teaching critical data literacy. In this article, Andrew Battista, Katherine Boss, and Marybeth McCartin provide a template they use to encourage a variety of instructors to teach visualization instruction sessions each term. The model distributes the labor of teaching across a set of collaborators and supports the professional development of these instructors as they create shared and reproducible pedagogical materials. The program they describe is one that is ultimately more sustainable and “has a broad and demonstrated impact on student learning, strengthens ties between the library and the departments we serve, and allows librarians and data services specialists the opportunity to learn and grow from each other.” While directed toward teaching librarians, the piece also proves useful for faculty considering library partnerships to enrich the data or information literacy offerings of their programs.

Like teaching, this issue results from the work of many hands. The editors would like to thank every member of JITP’s editorial board who contributed energy to its publication under such difficult circumstances. An issue of this size required an especially large number of reviewers, and the editors deeply appreciate their willingness to entertain the unexpected requests. And, of course, we are grateful to all the authors who shared their work with us for consideration. Future issues of JITP will, undoubtedly, share work specific to the particular pedagogies of the pandemic itself. Nonetheless, we hope that this collection of essays will encourage reflection on how our teaching has always been called upon to respond to changing circumstances and must continue to do so. What we need, especially now, is more teachers sharing what works and what doesn’t, more authors responding to change as they see it happening in their work, and more voices calling out for change where it is not yet happening.

Bibliography

D’Ignazio, Catherine, and Lauren F. Klein. 2020. Data Feminism. Cambridge: The MIT Press.

Gonzales, Lauren and Dànielle Nicole DeVoss. 2016. “Digging into Data: Professional Writers as Data Users.” In Writing in an Age of Surveillance, Privacy, and Net Neutrality, edited by Cheryl E. Ball, special issue, Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy 20, no. 2 (Spring). http://technorhetoric.net/20.2/topoi/beck-et-al/gon_devo.html.

Rawson, Katie, and Trevor Muñoz. 2016. “Against Cleaning.” Curating Menus (blog), July 6. http://curatingmenus.org/articles/against-cleaning/.

About the Editors

Kelly Hammond has focused on the intersection of humanities and technology in the classroom for over twenty years. She is currently the Director of Digital Pedagogy at the Chapin School in New York City. She is also pursuing her master’s degree in Digital Humanities at the City University of New York’s Graduate Center, and she serves on the editorial collective of The Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy. Kelly is particularly interested in building online communities to facilitate dialogue and collaboration within the small but growing number of DH practitioners in K–12 environments. She is developing and testing the efficacy of micro-pd—tiny and targeted professional development to help faculty grow, even in times of crisis. She’s also a budding writer. Her fiction has appeared in online journals such as drafthorse and earned an Editor’s Prize from the Chautauqua Journal.

Gregory J. Palermo is a PhD candidate in English at Northeastern University. His research and teaching focus on the metaphors for disciplinary knowledge that structure digital methods used for plotting academic fields. His dissertation argues that citation analysis can be a tactical means of bringing together work from disparate traditions and promoting equity in scholarly publishing. His pedagogy foregrounds the implications of borrowing methods, rhetorical choices with data, and how algorithmic processes increasingly used for pattern-seeking analysis and surveillance can be useful for remix, intervention, and resistance. He has been a Research Associate and Project Manager for the Digital Scholarship Group in Northeastern University Library, a Graduate Fellow of the NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks, and a co-instructor at the Digital Humanities Summer Institute (DHSI). His work has appeared in the Journal of Writing Analytics and Digital Humanities Quarterly (DHQ). He has been a managing editor of DHQ and now serves as an editor of The Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy.

Brandon Walsh is Head of Student Programs in the Scholars’ Lab in the University of Virginia Library. Prior to that, he was Visiting Assistant Professor of English and Mellon Digital Humanities Fellow in the Washington and Lee University Library. He received his PhD and MA from the Department of English at the University of Virginia, where he also held fellowships in the Scholars’ Lab and acted as Project Manager of NINES. His dissertation examined modern and contemporary literature and culture through the lenses of sound studies and digital humanities, and these days he works primarily at the intersections of digital pedagogy and digital humanities. He serves on the editorial boards of The Programming Historian and The Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy. He is a regular instructor at HILT, and he has work published or forthcoming with Programming Historian, Insights, the Digital Library Pedagogy Cookbook, Pedagogy, Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities, and Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, among others.

A college student stands by a classroom window wearing a leather jacket holding a Google Cardboard to their face.
2

The Potential of Extended Reality: Teaching and Learning in Virtual Spaces

The irony of writing about extended reality (XR) at this time when so many of us have been thrust into the virtual is not lost on us. The situation is reminiscent of the world depicted in Cline’s Ready Player One (2011), in which the entire population uses virtual reality (VR) to escape the increasingly precarious environment outside their doors. Works such as “The Machine Stops” by E. M. Forster (1909), or He, She, and It by Marge Piercy (1991), provide a dystopic vision of a virtual future, but now, we need—perhaps even crave—optimism. The virtual offers us a way to connect; the possibility of engaging with each other even from a distance. We also need to find ethical and sustainable ways going forward to employ a medium poised for mass adoption. This issue demonstrates the power of XR in pedagogical applications, community partnerships, and future gatherings.

This special issue focused on XR—most often referring to virtual and augmented reality (AR)—emerged from our shared excitement about the potential of immersive media to support innovative pedagogy at all levels of education, but also from our healthy skepticism about the limited circles of people actually empowered to shape this process. The full reality–virtuality continuum, a concept first introduced by Paul Milgram and his colleagues in 1994, encompasses everything from virtual reality theaters and mixed reality headsets to augmented reality experiences on mobile devices. Until very recently, the higher end of XR was limited to specialized labs and researchers. As both the technology itself and the means of creating content have become more accessible, the field has expanded and diversified.

Some researchers include 360º imaging and 3D video in the XR mix, especially if experienced immersively; others might also extend the concept to include ambient technologies in “smart city” and “smart home” applications. At its core, the XR we are exploring in this issue is about designing an immersive and interactive experience in the service of teaching and learning. While XR in the future may boast the seamless interfaces of science-fiction fantasy, today’s implementations mostly remain awkward, partial, and experimental. This is not a bad thing. As scholars, we still have room to maneuver and to change the terms of use before the technology is naturalized into an invisible, yet costly, necessity for twenty-first–century learning.

Working in the field at this critical moment, we noticed the lack of scholarship engaged with humanistic concerns regarding XR technologies in pedagogical applications. The literature is dominated by rigorous publications on the technical side describing developments in the field of computer science, and by informative case-study examples from museums, journalistic applications, and popular entertainment. Pedagogical experiments in K–12 education, industry, building technologies, city planning, and medicine, meanwhile, have clearly demonstrated the potential of XR applications for teaching and training. Yet the critical conversations around the medium itself, its affordances, challenges, and opportunities for educational use, still take place within small, often isolated pockets of discipline-specific practitioners. We meet up in local working groups, at conferences and workshops, on Twitter—and now in the pages of JITP. One of our objectives in putting together this issue is to bring these different groups into deeper conversation with one another, promoting critical knowledge construction in the field while building out a body of citable literature in humanistic XR studies. We hope this issue helps expand the field to include a greater diversity of voices and experiences.

In the future, the pressing questions of our current circumstances may find answers in XR. Take for instance the growing number of virtual conferences, virtual tours, and virtual open houses already happening in response to the shift to remote learning and working conditions. Although made more urgent by COVID-19, the creation of virtual labs, virtual workspaces, virtual archives, and virtual art studios has long been the dream of XR researchers. Now is the time for scholars to envision and build this future with or without the collaboration of the big tech companies (most recently Apple and Verizon) that have been quietly buying up XR platforms and start-ups in anticipation of a pivotal moment like this. How will we ensure our values are embedded in the XR systems that emerge, or that the resulting models of pedagogy are immersive, interactive, accessible, and collaborative? Even as we go online with our teaching, we realize how much we’re missing from lived experience in physical proximity. How can we leverage the affordances of the real in pursuit of the digital? How does the digital expand access, opportunity, vision, and community? How might XR facilitate lifelong learning applications and the global communities these interventions make possible? The articles in this issue begin to explore these questions in greater depth, and offer potential avenues for further development, especially in terms of community engagement and social justice. This special issue also makes clear that diversity, in all its many forms, is an essential component for XR-based teaching and research, especially as we consider ways of applying intersectional analysis to applied learning.

Several of the articles in this issue focus on using XR for social justice. In “Immersive Pedagogy: Developing a Decolonial and Collaborative Framework for Teaching and Learning in 3D/VR/AR,” Lorena Gauthereau, Jessica Linker, Emma Slayton, and Alex Wermer-Colan draw from a symposium held at Carnegie Mellon University and conversations held with librarians, technologists, developers, and faculty in attendance there. The authors advocate for continued conversations regarding integration, use, and review of 3D/VR/AR teaching and learning technologies. In “Developing Virtual Reality Modules Aimed to Enhance Social Work Students’ Skills and Reinforce Knowledge,” Nicholas Lanzieri, Henry S. Samelson, and Jonathan Bowen describe how multiple approaches to the use of VR in therapist training—360º video and avatar-based game environments—can be embedded into a social work curriculum. Their work demonstrates how prior exposure to environments and potential conversations can enhance live engagement with a diverse set of clients. One of the more revelatory examples of XR technology applications is evidenced in the essay, “‘Relational Presence’: Designing VR-Based Virtual Learning Environments for Oral History–Based Restorative Pedagogy,” by Jennifer Roberts-Smith, et al. This article describes an approach to designing VR that intentionally makes users aware of their virtual environments in order to situate themselves apart from the oral histories they experience in simulations. In this piece, Roberts-Smith et al. introduce the Digital Oral Histories for Reconciliation (DOHR) project (dohr.ca), which worked in partnership with the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children Restorative Inquiry (restorativeinquiry.ca) to create a VR experience intended to expose the truth of institutionalized racism and to empower the survivors to “build more just relationships for the future.”

Several of our articles also engage with the potential for partnership building and community engagement through historic sites, landscapes, and the university/college campus. In their article “Representing Indigenous Histories Using XR Technologies in the Classroom,” Amy J. Lueck and Lee M. Panich argue for the wider adoption of XR technologies such as annotated 360º video tours at key locations on campus to help undergraduate students understand and intervene in the continued erasure of Indigenous histories from existing commemorative landscapes there. This emphasis on community partnerships is echoed in the issue’s fifth article. In “Blending Disciplines for a Blended Reality: Virtual Guides for a Living History Museum,” Juilee Decker, Amanda Doherty, Joel Geigel, and Gary D. Jacobs demonstrate how an interdisciplinary partnership between a university and a local museum offered the opportunity for students to develop digital storytelling skills and multimodal literacy. In “Barriers to Supporting Accessible VR in Academic Libraries,” Jasmine Clark and Zach Lischer-Katz address both accessibility and the important role of libraries in VR creation, implementation, and support as we scale up from experimentation to broad-based implementation strategies.

Especially exciting and filled with generative possibilities are the kinds of lessons learned from case studies arising out of various pedagogical contexts and disciplines. A diverse team of David Neville, Vanessa Preast, Sarah Purcell, Damian Kelty-Stephen, Timothy D. Arner, Justin Thomas, and Christopher French, describes a whole-college approach in “Using Virtual Reality to Expand Teaching and Research in the Liberal Arts.” Their approach to infrastructure development highlights how a smaller institution can make XR happen at a thoughtful, systemic scale—in harmony with existing pedagogical values and practices—in a highly selective teaching-focused undergraduate setting. “Truly Immersive Worlds? The Pedagogical Implications of Extended Reality” by Tamara O’Callaghan and Andrea Harbin provides specific examples of the kind of VR and AR applications an instructor might use in a liberal arts context. Specifically, they investigate how 3D models of historic sites and AR overlays on historic documents can serve as virtual tools to enhance the physical space. Another example, from Alison Burke, Elana Blinder, Leah Potter, and David Langendoen in their article, “Mission US TimeSnap: Developing Historical Thinking Skills through Virtual Reality,” shows that VR is a promising and useful tool for K–12 history education. Their TimeSnap game has helped to increase students’ engagement with historical documents, narratives, and terminology. Thinking critically about such XR engagement is not limited to the humanities classroom. In the sciences, there have been several applications supporting laboratory work and surgery, but in “Virtual Chirality: A Constructivist Approach to a Chemical Education Concept in Virtual Reality,” authors Samuel R. Putnam, Michelle M. Nolan, and Ernie Williams-Roby demonstrate how it is important not only to use XR in teaching, but also to bring students into the process of building applications. Together, these articles provide an interdisciplinary view of how XR technologies are shaping education at all levels through a critical engagement with interdisciplinary applications.

This issue celebrates pedagogical innovation and forward thinking, but we would be remiss not to acknowledge that it will be released at a time of profound loss, reflection, and fear. The Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy was founded and remains housed at the Graduate Center, CUNY, in New York City, a city losing multitudes of souls, including brilliant academics, each day. All of us have felt this loss, and it is only because of the incredible dedication and hard work of everyone involved that this issue was published at this time. The greatest thanks go to our managing editor, Patrick DeDauw, who not only ensured that the process of publishing this issue was streamlined and efficient; he also made it enjoyable despite the most incredible of obstacles. Patrick, you are our hero. We would also like to acknowledge the willingness of our authors to work through revisions and copyedits with grace and professionalism amidst a global crisis. And to our reviewers, please know your service is very deeply appreciated.

One final personal note: this issue is dedicated in memory of Dr. David Greetham, a founding member of the Interactive Technology and Pedagogy program at the Graduate Center, CUNY. Without his foresight and inspiration, many digital innovations cited in this issue would not have been possible.

Bibliography

Cline, Ernest. 2011. Ready Player One. New York: Crown Publishers.

Forster, E. M. 1909. “The Machine Stops.” Oxford and Cambridge Review (November).

Milgram, Paul, Haruo Takemura, Akira Utsumi, and Fumio Kishino. 1994. “Augmented Reality: A Class of Displays on the Reality–Virtuality Continuum.” Proceedings of Telemanipulator and Telepresence Technologies 2351: 282–92.

Piercy, Marge. 1991. He, She, and It. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

About the Editors

Amanda Licastro is the Assistant Professor of Digital Rhetoric at Stevenson University in Maryland, as well serving on the editorial collective of the Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy. Her research explores the intersection of technology and writing, including book history, dystopian literature, and digital humanities. Publications include articles in Kairos, Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities, Hybrid Pedagogy, and Communication Design Quarterly, as well as a recent chapter on social annotation in Digital Reading and Writing in Composition Studies, published by Routledge. Her grant-funded project on virtual reality was awarded the Paul Fortier Prize at the 2017 Digital Humanities conference, and has been featured in the Baltimore Sun and Baltimore Magazine.

Angel David Nieves, BArch, MA, PhD, is Professor of History and Digital Humanities at San Diego State University in the Area of Excellence in Digital Humanities and Global Diversity. He is the author of An Architecture of Education: African American Women Design the New South (University of Rochester Press, 2018). Nieves’s scholarly work and community-based activism critically engage with issues of race and the built environment in cities across the Global South.

Victoria Szabo is a Research Professor of Visual and Media Studies at Duke University. Her teaching and research focus on critical and creative approaches to interactive and computational media in the arts and humanities. She was the founding director of the interdisciplinary PhD program in Computational Media, Arts & Cultures, and currently heads the Digital Humanities Initiative at the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke. She is also Chair of the ACM SIGGRAPH Digital Arts Community.

A set of networked points of light appear at once as stars and as a visualization of networked connection, over a background that looks like a night sky.
1

Introduction: Issue Sixteen

Conversations about digital pedagogy tend to revolve around the twin poles of unbridled enthusiasm on the one hand and entrenched skepticism on the other. Despite the institutional investment in the digital humanities evinced by the creation of specialized Certificate, Masters, and PhD programs across the country, including at Northeastern University, Duke University, and the CUNY Graduate Center, digital approaches to other disciplines, as well as digital pedagogy across the disciplines, often remain understudied. And despite possibilities afforded by digital tools for the increased engagement and shared knowledge production in the classroom, many instructors are wary of the challenges new technologies pose to the traditional learning process. In particular, instructors tend to be cautious of the perceived attention-deficit run by students constantly bombarded with fast-moving interactive images. One of the primary benefits of instructional technology, in fact, is probably the very thing that makes some instructors anxious about student attention spans: it is often interactive technology’s ability to pull content out of sequence that activates students’ analytic skills and enables sustained, problem-based concentration. So, for example, something as simple as a word cloud in which the size of each word corresponds to its repetition in a passage of literature can help to illustrate the main preoccupations of the text; the linearity of the text can mask these repetitions, but the instructional technology helps to draw them out.

As the essays in this edition of The Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy make clear, one of the benefits of a digital approach to pedagogy is that it can both slow down the learning process for students, as in the example above, and foster critical thinking about the implications, risks, and affordances of technology in the classroom. The characteristic tension in conversations about digital pedagogy between enthusiasm for, and skepticism of, digital tools and methods can obscure serious questions about surveillance, community, and experiential learning that the scholarship of digital pedagogy provides the opportunity to explore. Bringing these questions to bear not only on the types of assignments one designs involving digital tools, but also on the presentation of digital issues themselves, produces more engaging and inclusive curricula and activities that help make students critical digital practitioners at the same time as they learn subject material.

We are excited to share with you Issue Sixteen since it offers a deeper dive into some of the key questions that inform thinking about technology and pedagogy. For instance, Andrew Roth and Alex Christie remind us that failure in DH spaces and curriculums can be a productive site for learning. Their essay, “Beyond the Fear of Failure: Toward a Method for Student Experiential Autobiography Mapping (SEAM),” foregrounds exactly how inevitable technical failures can become important sites for innovative pedagogy. They argue that the seams, or fissures, that emerge when technical tools break down also become the very ties that make faculty and staff collaborations so productive. In their own collaboration, Roth and Christie explain how students practice important skills like problem solving and troubleshooting from an integrated project-based curriculum.

Karen Rose Mathews and Gemma Henderson’s collaboration at the University of Miami’s Lowe Art Museum, “Animating Antiquity: Student Generated Approaches to Recontextualizing Ancient Artworks Using Digital Technologies,” offers a tangible example of the ways technology affords opportunities for students to create knowledge that engages the public sphere. Using 3D models and prints, their students designed new modes for museumgoers to access the feel and function of ancient artworks. In their example of pedagogical innovation, both graduate and undergraduate students were able to create research dossiers as assemblages by integrating multiple experiential modes that could increase learning access.

The digital humanities have provided important sites for innovative approaches to experiential learning and interactive teaching. Jenna Freedman’s zine, “Weigh of Showing,” offers the zine genre as an alternative mode for assessing students’ involvement with course materials. She argues that there are multiple kinds of literacies that the formal essay format cannot always measure. In this, she posits that there are other ways of knowing, and that in other ways of showing, students can explore how they learn not only through writing but also through feeling, seeing, and listening.

Technology foregrounds the manifold forces that are changing the very idea of “the public,” since it opens new spaces for communication and community. In his “Changing Culture, Changing Publics: Redesigning the Rhetorical Public,” Philip B. Gallagher explores the ways in which rhetorical publics are changing to argue how user-based document design should respond to the Public’s new elevated status. He traces a rhetorical history of civic communication responsive to audience expectations, and examines how such communicative practices will need to adapt to the demands of technology and the knowledge communities they produce. As distinctions between private and public continue to blur, this question concerning the redesign of a rhetorical public will be increasingly urgent.

Even as technology offers the potential for more inclusive teaching and learning, it is important to be attentive to the moments when it reifies old patterns and practices of exclusion. Christina Boyles makes this point in “Finding Fault with Foucault: Surveillance and the Digital Humanities.” She argues that, while surveillance studies has done well to demonstrate the ubiquity of surveillance technologies and their erosion of personal rights, the fact that the effects of surveillance are not distributed equally is underappreciated. Indigenous peoples, for instance, have experienced some of the harshest forms of panoptic surveillance in lands claimed by the United States, and our inability to recognize this inequality only works to bolster the logics of conquest and the colonial machine. Her intervention reminds us that, as teachers and scholars, we must be willing to question the culture and the canon in the service of a more just future. This, along with the other essays in this issue, provides new avenues for thinking past old tensions in debates in digital pedagogy by examining the concrete implications of the work we do.

About the Editors

Shelly Eversley teaches literature, feminism, and black studies at Baruch College, City University of New York, where she is Associate Professor of English. She is Academic Director of the City University of New York’s Faculty Fellowship Publication Program and Founder of equalityarchive.com. She is the author of The “Real” Negro: The Question of Authenticity in Twentieth Century African American Literature as well as several essays on literature, race, and culture. She is editor of The Sexual Body and The 1970s, both special issues of WSQ, a journal by the Feminist Press. She is also editor of the forthcoming book Black Art, Politics, and Aesthetics in 1960s African American Literature and Culture (Cambridge), and is revising a new book titled The Practice of Blackness: Cold War Surveillance, Censorship, and African American Literary Survival. She earned her undergraduate degree at Columbia University, and her graduate degrees at The Johns Hopkins University.

Krystyna Michael is an Assistant Professor at Hostos Community College, City University of New York. Her current book project, The Urban Domestic: Homosocial Domesticity in the Literature and Culture of 19th- and 20th-Century New York City, explores the relationship between transformations in urban planning and domestic ideology through American literature of the city. She has published articles and reviews in The Edith Wharton Review, The Journal of American Studies, and Postmedieval and is a member of the editorial collective of The Journal of Instructional Technology and Pedagogy. She works on the development teams of the grant-funded CUNY-based OER platforms, Manifold and the CUNY Academic Commons, and her courses center around American literature and writing, the digital humanities, and architecture and city space.

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