tishaturk: (OTW)

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If you're reading this post, you probably already know at least a little bit about the ways in which the OTW has gone to bat for vidders over the years. I mean, yes, the OTW has done a lot of other great stuff too; I am endlessly grateful for Transformative Works and Cultures, I love Fanlore, and I hear there's also some big fic archive or something. But it's the OTW's work on behalf of vidders, AMV makers, and other fan video artists that means the most to me personally, as a vidder and vid fan.

I'm grateful not only for the achievements themselves but for the organization that's facilitated them. The OTW has enabled fans to collaborate on big projects, to pool our skills and expertise, in ways that would otherwise be difficult if not impossible. Without the OTW, I would still have been furious about DMCA-related takedowns of vids, but I wouldn't have known where to begin fighting back. I wouldn't have known it was even possible to file an exemption petition, much less known how to do so; I just don't have that kind of legal training! But because of the OTW, I've been able to participate anyway: to lend some tech know-how to the people who do have the necessary legal expertise, to bring a vidder's voice to the hearings in DC. I'm proud to be part of this work and grateful to the OTW for the opportunity to contribute what I can.


Speaking of which: This year's DMCA hearings have been scheduled for the end of May, so I will once again be joining Rebecca Tushnet and Francesca Coppa at the Library of Congress to explain, in the smallest words possible, why vidders need to be able to break encryption on Blu-ray, DVDs, and DRM-protected digital downloads. Some of the arguments on file have already yielded that special "oh my god you did not just say that" combination of hilarity and outrage that I have come to associate with the DMCA exemption process, so the hearings themselves should be... memorable.

I will also be going to several conferences in the next six months.

Gendered Politics of Production symposium

details )

Fan Studies Network conference

details )

Feminisms and Rhetorics

details )
tishaturk: (professional geek)
I spent a couple of months this winter working on a research project that predates my work on vids and vidding: an academic essay that I wrote quite some time ago is finally going to be published this year, and I've been revising it to get it ready to go. I mention this only because the reviewers' comments made me see that some of the things I've been thinking about vids apply to other literary forms more specifically than I'd previously realized. So my extensive revisions to the article included the incorporation of some language that I've developed for talking about vids, and the editor was pleased with the changes. \o/

But in recent weeks I've been thinking and writing about vids again: working on an article to submit to the Transformative Works and Culture special issue on remix video, prepping for a couple of conference presentations this spring.

The exciting news there (and the reason for the title of this post) is that the Computers & Writing conference proposal reviewers responded to my proposal for a standard stand-at-the-front-of-the-room-and-talk presentation by saying "Vidding looks really interesting! And complicated! And we think you need to do a 75-minute mini-workshop on it rather than just a 15-minute talk, so you can explain the history and show more vids and lead a discussion of vids' pedagogical potential."

As a native midwesterner who has, however unwillingly, absorbed certain gendered behavioral norms, my immediate impulse was to say "Oh, gosh, are you sure? Really? Me?" Fortunately, I overcame this impulse (with the help of my fannish impulses, which were shouting YES SHARE THE SHINY FUN THINGS WITH OTHER PEOPLE WHO MIGHT LIKE THEM) and said "I would be thrilled to run a mini-workshop on vidding! Thank you!" Because, let's face it, vidding is awesome and more people should know that.

Having 75 minutes to work with means, among other things, that 1) I can show more than one vid, and 2) I can show longer vids. I love Star Trek Dance Floor, but I've shown it at conferences so often simply because it's short. Of course, I am now in danger of paralysis induced by the sheer vastness of options available to me, but I think I'm up to the challenge of narrowing my options. I may ask for help, though. :D
tishaturk: (professional geek)
I'm in the Remixing (Techno)Feminist Pedagogies half-day workshop at C&W 2010 (where I'll be presenting on vids and vidding tomorrow, woo-hoo!), having just participated in a breakout session on using technology to foster collaboration in the classroom.

In the wake of this morning's session on Twitter, I'm thinking a lot about using Twitter in next semester's FYC class, and possibly other classes as well. (I've also got a post brewing about Twitter vs. Facebook and why I think that, despite having resisted Twitter for years, I'm going to prefer it to Facebook; more on that later.) The most immediate uses I can think of have to do with collaborative research processes, so part of what I'm thinking about is how to build up to that—how to scaffold the tech use. One idea: having students tweet discussion topics or questions before class rather than going over them in class; this way we all get to see them ahead of time. (I've used a version of this idea successfully in seminar in past years, so this would just be a new platform.) I like the way this strategy helps decentralize the classroom and rewards students who prefer to contribute textually rather than orally.

We also talked about hooking these micro-posts to longer-form writing, possibly through blog posts (I got to plug Dreamwidth!).

Really, though, we spent less time talking about tech than talking about what our starting points need to be. What do students already know? What don't they know? What do we assume they know that they might not? What platforms and tech are students actually using? What activities and discussions do we need to build into the syllabus to faciliate students' use of any of the various tech options? We talked about how we might need to start by helping students learn to read these sites: rhetorically, what are the differences among self-representation on (for example) Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace?

Pam Takayoshi brought us back to the question of relationships: how do we foster students' relationships with each other and with us as instructors? Wendy Anderson suggested a great first assignment—a questionnaire filled out and submitted online—that introduces students to Blackboard but also lets her start to get to know them in ways that foster not only individual teacher/student relationships but also a better classroom dynamic.

For me, the takeaway points were that 1) flexibility is key: students have to be able to fulfill assignments in multiple ways; we have to have a backup plan in case the system goes down, in case students' primary online access is via phones rather than computers, etc.; 2) we need to stay focused on the learning goal, not the technology—which sounds obvious, but in the excitement of Shiny Tech Toys, it can be easy to let the tech drive our pedagogy, and ultimately that doesn't end well.


tishaturk: (Default)
Tisha Turk

November 2016

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