Session Ideas–Dawn Dietrich

Let me first say that I’m very interested in the general topics (1-5) you proposed to get us started!  I’d like to see us discuss all of them, if possible.  A few thoughts and links to these topics:

Critical Code Studies

There is a group called Critical Code Studies, under the direction of Mark Marino, which looks at the effects of code on a wide range of rhetorical acts.   Here is their website–with their introduction following:

As digital humanitarians continue to turn their attention to the software and hardware that shape culture, the interpretation of source code offers a rich set of symbols and processes for exploration.

Critical Code Studies names the practice of explicating the extra-functional significance of source code. Rather than one specific approach or theories, CCS names a growing set of methodologies that help unpack the symbols that make up software.  

Academic Library and/or Digital Learning Commons?

Secondly, a large issue of debate around academic libraries seems to center on the move from being primarily a print book and journal repository to a physical and virtual site for networking, a hub for digital content, and a learning commons geared toward the 21st century user.  Some people are reluctant to see the print repository go (or decline) while others are embracing the dramatic changes underway in the form of e-books, online journals subscriptions, and libraries designed primarily as meeting/working spaces teaming with wireless and mobile technologies.   Our library at WWU is hosting a series of talks this month with nationally recognized librarians, library design teams, and directors of learning commons.  It’s been eye-opening to see the range of responses to these dramatic changes taking place in the academic library.

Redefining the Academic Library Speaker Series at

Disappearance of the Literary Canon?

A related topic in my field seems to involve the disappearance of the literary canon (whether traditional or multicultural) as digital processes/skills/creative content production appear to be valued more highly than traditional literary content.   As professors and students work with an increasingly fragmented literary curriculum, what is lost and what is gained?  Does literary studies require the shared knowledge of texts, literary paradigms, and literary history?  An excellent essay that details some of the issues at stake is William Paulson’s “The Literary Canon in the Age of Its Technological Obsolescence,” which is available as a Google book:

Copyright Issues

I recently gave a campus talk on plagiarism as a form of art.  It certainly seems as if the culture of remixing is at odds with traditional notions of intellectual property and copyright, but does it have to be either or?  What if there were modified copyright restrictions, with creative content moving back into the realm of the public domain within a limited period of time?  I’d also be interested in talking about the innovative ways that creative content producers are offering versions of free content along with enhanced “versions” that are for sale, often constituting something like collectibles, one-of-a-kind-art, or versions that offer an annotated form of the working process (or material not included in the free content, etc. ).


It seems obvious that within a short period of time our students are going to be downloading their textbooks on their personal e-reader, probably for a fraction of the cost of print textbooks, even with the e-reader thrown in.  I’ve seen some of the amazing textbooks that now contain videos and interactive material.  I’d like to know more about how to re-think textbooks within a digital framework and how they’re essentially becoming a different learning tool.  Does anyone have experience with this topic?

This seems to tie in with the idea of flip teaching, too, where the instructor creates podcasts of any lecture material and uses classroom time for interacting with students or having students interact with each other.  Students  “see” the lectures outside of class.

Looking forward to meeting everyone!


Categories: General, Proceedings of THATCamp |

About dawn.dietrich

I teach courses in electronic literature, new media, Japanese anime, trash cinema, and cybernetic fiction, so I already deal with issues of literature and technology, but I'm interested in re-thinking my current pedagogy and how I might use mobile technologies, social networking sites, and other communication modes in the classroom. I attended HASTAC last December and was tremendously excited by the exchange of ideas there.