It's Diablogical!
A Collaborative Diablog on Feminist Pedagogy
The Project, the SLP version
Categories: Reflections

The inspiration for this collaborative blog project (or this diablog?) is a writing assignment that KCF and I have to complete in 8 consecutive Fridays for the remainder of the summer. Here is our abstract:

Teaching with Blogs and Blogging while Teaching: Using Blogs to Expand Access to Feminist (Cyber)Spaces

In the spirit of feminist scholarship we have found that blogging creates opportunities for accessibility to shared knowledges in exciting ways within and beyond the classroom. In this essay we wish to critically reflect on the value of blogs for feminist educators through the lens of accessibility. Using our multiple experiences teaching with blogs and blogging while teaching, we will argue that creating and participating in blogs in our lives and in the classroom allows us to complicate how “accessibility” is frequently framed in terms of who has access and how that access is determined by race, class and gender privileges. We envision this complication as not counter to but in connection with critical discussions of web accessibility as usability for a wide range of readers/writers. Taking the format of a written dialogue, we will draw upon theories of feminist pedagogy, feminist technology, and our investments in our own experiences, identities, and research interests as a Chicana feminist and a white feminist troublemaker.

Reflecting on our various pedagogical exercises and activities on and with our blogs we will discuss access in terms of:

  • Visibility: Making the writing process accessible for both teacher and student.
  • Creating Community: Blurring the lines and challenging binaries between online/offline, real life/academic life, students/teachers, mind/body, public/private.
  • Training: Providing students with the skills for critically engaging with technology.
  • Engagement and Evaluation: Giving the blog participants and readers more opportunities to engage with each other and to share their own research/knowledge in creative ways.

We have decided that it might be helpful (and fun) to use a blog to document and engage in the process of thinking, diabloging, and writing about feminist pedagogy, technology, blogs and accessibility. Hopefully, we will be able to write in this blog on a regular (daily?) basis. Then, we will meet every Friday afternoon to write some more and discuss our ideas (the ones we have written about on our blog and other ones that spontaneously come up). I know that KCF has taken some amazing notes on our discussion from yesterday and is planning (since she is a great planner) to post our notes/schedule here.

So, how will this work? We aren’t quite sure yet (maybe we spent too much time trying–and failing–to come up with a witty title. Too bad blogology or blogagogy are already overused–we could still use diablogical or busting blog binaries). Here is an example of one way in which to dialogue with each other: The Kitchen Table. Have you seen this KCF? Two amazing Princeton profs, Melissa Harris-Lacewell and Yolanda Pierce, post letters to each other about a variety of issues. Here is what Professor Pierce writes about the project in her first entry:

So, my hope is that this blog creates a “kitchen table” in cyberspace for those of us who struggle with being on the inside of an institution, but still feel like outsiders. I hope there are others, like ourselves, who enjoy conversations about race, religion, politics, and popular culture – but informed by a historical consciousness. But most of all, I hope that we can model what has been glaringly absent in our own professional lives: a place of refuge and acceptance for all the roles we bring to the table. We are scholars, activists, mothers, and public intellectuals. And we need each other to survive and thrive. I hope there are other folks out there who’d like to join us on this journey.

I’m not sure that this is how I would like to dialogue, but I thought I would put it out there as an example. It might help us to start thinking about how to proceed. I like how they organize/imagine their dialogue around the kitchen table. Any examples you can think of or ideas for imagining our cyberspace?

1 Comment to “The Project, the SLP version”

  1. KCF says:

    I was going to leave my thoughts as a comment, but then I realized that I think they warrant their own entry — so, stay tuned for my entry to follow on my thoughts on the “kitchen table.”