Glen Lowry's RSS Feed en QR_U Shareworker Presentation / Image notes <a href='' title='sharing-notes'><img width="150" height="150" src="" class="attachment-thumbnail" alt="sharing-notes" title="sharing-notes" /></a> <a href='' title='fU-moodle'><img width="150" height="150" src="" class="attachment-thumbnail" alt="fU-moodle" title="fU-moodle" /></a> <a href='' title='OED-share-list'><img width="150" height="150" src="" class="attachment-thumbnail" alt="OED-share-list" title="OED-share-list" /></a> <a href='' title='notebook-overview'><img width="150" height="150" src="" class="attachment-thumbnail" alt="notebook-overview" title="notebook-overview" /></a> <a href='' title='Scholz-digitial fluency-quote'><img width="150" height="150" src="" class="attachment-thumbnail" alt="Scholz-digitial fluency-quote" title="Scholz-digitial fluency-quote" /></a> <a href='' title='scholz-future of learning-quote'><img width="150" height="150" src="" class="attachment-thumbnail" alt="scholz-future of learning-quote" title="scholz-future of learning-quote" /></a> <a href='' title='carroll-entangle-quote'><img width="150" height="150" src="" class="attachment-thumbnail" alt="carroll-entangle-quote" title="carroll-entangle-quote" /></a> <a href='' title='carroll-pressure-govt-quote'><img width="150" height="150" src="" class="attachment-thumbnail" alt="carroll-pressure-govt-quote" title="carroll-pressure-govt-quote" /></a> <a href='' title='notebook-key-ideas'><img width="150" height="150" src="" class="attachment-thumbnail" alt="notebook-key-ideas" title="notebook-key-ideas" /></a> <a href='' title='carroll-brutal-criticality'><img width="150" height="150" src="" class="attachment-thumbnail" alt="carroll-brutal-criticality" title="carroll-brutal-criticality" /></a> <a href='' title='peck-catering'><img width="150" height="150" src="" class="attachment-thumbnail" alt="peck-catering" title="peck-catering" /></a> <a href='' title='peck-creativity-fix'><img width="150" height="150" src="" class="attachment-thumbnail" alt="peck-creativity-fix" title="peck-creativity-fix" /></a> <p><a class="a2a_dd a2a_target addtoany_share_save" href="" id="wpa2a_2"><img src="" width="120" height="16" alt="Share"/></a></p> blogging emily carr university english101 SIM social media Mon, 05 Dec 2021 18:31:55 +0000 Glen Lowry 31568 at Mobile Media / Changing Educational Landscapes (An Overview) As a synopsis of Mobile Media: Changing Educational Landscape (Parts I, II, III), I would like to highlight: 5 Things to Consider in Changing Educational Landscapes 1. Changing (verb transitive):  Changing is both an adjective and a verb. The imperative facing educators is to figure out how we engage with this change in positive, meaningful ways. Within <a href=''>[...]</a> blogging emily carr university SIM social media Wed, 16 Nov 2021 00:24:06 +0000 Glen Lowry 31533 at Mobile Media: Changing Educational Landscapes (Part III) Part III of three part series on Educational Landscapes looks at some of the new strategies I call on in my teaching. Many of these approaches are mediated by recent advances in mobile and social media. III. Beyond Participation: Engagement To help focus discussion on active, positive change, I’d like to draw on Eric Gordon’ [...] emily carr university SIM social media Tue, 15 Nov 2021 17:35:39 +0000 Glen Lowry 31532 at Mobile Media: Changing Educational Landscapes (Part II) This is a continuation of a discussion presented in Mobile Media: Changing Educational Landscapes (Part I). Myth of the Digital Native: put it to rest Before I discuss mobile affordances, I thought I’d touch on the idea of the digital native. This is a topic others have discussed, but I think it is crucial to [...] social media Mon, 14 Nov 2021 17:09:40 +0000 Glen Lowry 31529 at Mobile Media: Changing Educational Landscapes (Part I) This three-part series looks at the impact of mobile media and social media on post-secondary teaching and learning. Joy James invited me to the UWO to talk about my research at Emily Carr University of Art + Design, and my discussion draws heavily, a conference I recently attended at the New School in Oct. 2011. Part [...] elearning emily carr university mobile media mobilityshifts SIM social media Sun, 13 Nov 2021 17:37:07 +0000 Glen Lowry 31528 at ebook: is it a book? “It’s probably not even a book,” one Emily Carr design student shared, during last week’s briefing on the power and potential of the ebook. As a content partner and SIM centre collaborator, I’d been invited to attend Jonathan Aitken’s upper-level design class to discuss a larger ebook research/production project. The first meeting was about learning [...] SIM Tue, 11 Oct 2021 19:36:38 +0000 Glen Lowry 31498 at In Istanbul: ISEA 2011 As I was trying to get my bearings in Istanbul, surfing on line in my place at the Three Apples Suites (just off Taksim). I was struck by this rather beatific reflection. I will have more to say about ISEA 2011 and the Istanbul Biennial and the panel that  Elizabeth Monoian and Robert Ferry invited me <a href=""> read more <span class="meta-nav">»</span></a> ISEA2011 public-art SIM Sat, 17 Sep 2021 04:42:01 +0000 Glen Lowry 31476 at Fall 2011 / New Year’s Greeting ENGL 100: Introductory Lecture Notes I’m sure others have said this, but I think the start of Fall term should be the beginning of the new year. For those of us working and studying in North American colleges and universities, the day after Labour Day, first day of classes, might be replace Jan. 1 as <a href=""> read more <span class="meta-nav">»</span></a> emily carr university Mon, 12 Sep 2021 17:20:20 +0000 Glen Lowry 31449 at On close-reading-for ENGL 101 students among others <p><em>Caveat</em>: the following post is directly concerned with helping my English 101 students prepare for an assignment and may not be particularly valuable for practiced and practicing readers and writers of poetry. That said, I always appreciate feedback, insights or different points of view on this topic.</p> <p><strong>Death of the poet, long live the poet</strong></p> <p><em>There are many ways to read a poem, as many readings as there are readers.</em></p> <p>This postmodern chestnut has been linked to much unfortunate (anti-pomo, anti-theory) anger about the unbridled "relativism" of contemporary cultural theory. Nevertheless, while the death of the author is not a debate I am interested in returning to, it is perhaps useful to thinking about expectations around the act of close reading.</p> <p>Because it has helped us to shift of focus away from the desire, wishes, or intentions of an individual creator (poet, artist, architect) and on to the shared acts of meaning making (readers, audience), it constitutes a vital recognition of the fact that knowledge is socially created. It is crucial in helping literary scholars to think about how these processes are undertaken or performed in relation to poetic texts.</p> <p>Recognizing that the act of performing a close-reading of a given poem—i.e., this week's in-class assignment for ENGL 101—is a scary proposition for many, I thought I'd try and help ease some of the tension by offering a quick, thumbnail sketch on how I approach close reading.</p> <p><strong>The artist who reads it</strong></p> <p>As, Jacqueline Turner suggested in lecture (quoting Octavio Paz)</p> <p>“The poem demands the demise of the poet who writes it and the birth of the poet who reads it.”</p> <p>The practice of reading a poem is similar to analyzing an artwork (as Jacqueline also suggested). As such, it shouldn't be too much of a stretch for artists and designer who are familiar with critiques to develop interesting and engaging readings.</p> <p>In thinking about it more, I realize that the "reader" in my opening statement actually assumes that not only there are many readers, but perhaps more importantly, that these readers are skilled. The best way to develop one's skills is to practice doing. When confronted with a text or image that challenges social and aesthetic (linguistic) norms or conventions, we need to approach the work through the eyes of a maker, to think about the writer's choices, the material she chooses to work with, any references</p> <p>In the case of reading poetry, learning to do this involves developing skills through reading, re-reading, and analyzing actual poems—ideally as many poems as possible, in variety of forms, and from different perspectives. It means sharing readings.</p> <p>Like musicians, photographers, dancers etc., readers are defined through their material practice, the doing. Their relative level of skill is tied to their willingness to perform and practice basic and not-so-basic exercises and their participation in a larger group of practitioners.</p> <p>To this end, I would suggest to students—or anyone who wants to develop their facility reading poetry—that they share their readings with others. In a class situation, this can be done on Moodle or by email.</p> <p><strong>Unpack it</strong></p> <p>In trying to work closely with a particular poem, one needs to slow things down and to pay careful attention to the language of the poem. As I suggested in lecture, it is good practice to live with the poem, to rewrite key parts of it, and if possible to read it aloud. Try the poetic syntax and diction across your tongue. Try reading it aloud to a friend. This is can be a struggle, and may be slightly awkward, but it helps us to find those moments of "torqued" language. It makes us aware not only of what the poem is trying to say but more importantly how it goes about meaning making. </p> <p>As I tried to demonstrate in our collective reading of Dorothy Trujillo Lusk's "SAXOfeigntly," it is useful to begin by focusing on a key element of the poem—often something that is strange or remarkable. In the case of "SAXOfeigntly," we started with diction, her odd sounding/looking word choices: "farküntry" and "mercanarische künstelry."</p> <p>From here we moved on to other aspect of the poem with an awareness of Lusk's particular play with the look and sounds of the words. Lusk's use of words that do and do not quite resemble contemporary English draws attention to questions of linguistic authority or history and the potential fluidity of the written word, or so we argued. (For more on Lusk's writing, <a title="Cue resources" href="" rel="nofollow">CUE resources</a>.)</p> <p>There are many aspects of a poem readers tend to focus on when performing a close reading. Personally, I tend to pay attention to the following.</p> <ol> <li>It is very often valuable to think about the title, how it is activated in the poem? How is the poet working with or against the conventions of titling work?</li> <li>Think about how the poem works against expectations, how it sets readers up to think we are move in one direction and then moves in another (e.g., Lusk finishes her poem in standard English).</li> <li>What can we tell about the poem's narrator? Where is she? Where is he going? How does the poem allow us to construct this identity?</li> <li>Look for any allusions (references to other works of art, literature, history, culture). What function do they play? How is the poem positioned relative to these references, how does it provide commentary on them (for or against)?</li> </ol> <p>The more you can work on the poems in <em>Open Text</em> or online, trying out these different approach the better prepared you will be for your in-class.</p> <p><strong>try out your readings on others</strong></p> <p>Feel free to share insights questions about particular poems. Use Moodle forums. Meet for coffee to go through a few poems. Talk about them over the telephone.</p> <p>The most important thing is to keep reading and to try working through a variety of different poetic styles and approaches. So-called "difficult poems," like abstract or highly conceptual artworks, require that you live with them for awhile, or if possible return to the work again. In the case of the in-class assignment, while you might know the actual poem that will be asked to discuss, there is a good chance that you will recognize it from the anthology.</p> <p>If you feel that you want to read more about the practice of close reading, here are the two very different approaches— useful guidelines, not rules—I posted on Deqq: and</p> Mon, 25 Jan 2022 18:10:19 +0000 Glen Lowry 30941 at Human? more or less <strong>The inevitable question</strong> <p>Last week in lecture, a brave student put up his hand and asked: <em>isn't all this technology dehumanizing</em>?</p> <p>For the past week, I've been trying to think of how to respond to this question, wondering how I might situate my own interest in new media while keeping the question open. I think the question of "the human"—how this idea or category functions in relation to the key ethical, political, legal (juridical), cultural, and environmental concern—is absolutely fundamental and can not be wished away with short responses. It probably requires a multitudes of tweets and retweets just to get the ball rolling.</p> <p>The following post goes someway to provide a rough sketch of what I see as some of the important underlying issues in the human/post-human debate. It also provides a few cultural texts/contexts that have helped me to think about the impact of digital media on teaching literature and the arts.</p> <p><object classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000" width="320" height="265" codebase=",0,40,0"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="src" value="" /><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><embed type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="320" height="265" src="" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object></p> <strong>A bit of background</strong> <p>The question of the (de)human was raised in response to my clumsy introduction of, a microblogging application we have implemented to open an extra channel for students and instructors to continue discussions beyond the lecture hall—e<em>xtra </em>in the sense of being in addition to seminars, regular office hours, and Moodle fora. It is important to note that this concern about the (de)humanizing effect of social media surfaced in the midst of a larger anxiety about a change in the format of the course delivery.</p> <p>This semester my Emily Carr colleagues and I have been charged with teaching English 101: Intro to Poetry & Drama as a lecture course (with breakout tutorials) rather than as a seminar course. Predictably, the format change has caused significant trepidation among students and faculty, even before the course began. Many saw it as a regressive move—a retreat to the old model of the sage on the stage.</p> <strong>I like change</strong> <p>I should confess that, despite misgivings about the economic impetus for restructuring of first year English, I saw the change as a valuable opportunity:</p> <ol> <li>to rethink the curriculum,</li> <li>to radically shift our approach to teaching literature and composition,</li> <li>to work together with a group of seven colleagues (7 sages on the stage) to re-animate the lecture format.</li> </ol> <p>I saw and see this change in the delivery model as a vital point of entry into a much larger set of questions around 21st century cultural literacies, especially these impact Art, Design, and Media education.</p> <p>Having taught first year English for most of past fifteen years, mainly in seminar classes, I am familiar with the pros and cons of small group learning. Furthermore, I have <em>no interest</em> in returning the massive survey courses—e.g., English 101: Beowolf to Hemingway. Yet, from my teaching, learning, and research on creative and critical collaborations, I've become concerned about a kind of complacency (mine own and others) with regard to received knowledge about the role and function of culture. A concern that, for me, goes to the heart of how and what we teach when we teach English.</p> <strong>Teaching beyond print-culture</strong> <p>In the context of English, Critical thinking is one of the key learning outcomes. This usually means that students are encouraged to practice textual analysis (<a title="close reading" href="">close reading</a>, see also this <a title="Harvard Writing Centre how to do close reading" href="">howto</a> from the Harvard Writing Centre) and to participate in in-class discussions (usually modeled on the <a title="explanation of Socratic method" href="">Socratic method</a>). Critical thinking is important. Given the current anti-intellectualism of our political leaders, I think it is vital. However, what often passes for critical thinking tends to rely on various out-of-date assumptions about communication and the importance of print culture.</p> <p>What happens when we consider 1/ the nature and transformation of texts as we move from analogue output (objects) to digital texts (an environment) and 2/ the impact of communication technologies on staging and mediating meaningful dialogue or debate? In a nutshell, I wonder how long English, as an academic discipline, will last after the disappearance of the book. What comes next?</p> <p>Being able to interpret or unpack literary texts and then to be able to engage in dialogue with one's peers—these are absolutely fundamental skills. And university English can be (often is) an extraordinary opportunity for many people to learn about influential cultural texts and critical contexts. Having devoted a life to reading, studying, writing about, and publishing literary texts, I am aware of power of Literature and print-based culture.</p> <p>Nevertheless, we need to be clear that English Studies, as it developed during the twentieth century, came to be dependent on the availability of print media, which was became affordable with the mechanization of printing processes (<a title="movable type in the twentieth century" href="">movable type</a>), and print-based literacies, which were a major focus of government investments in educations and culture. As consequence, English as we now know it is deeply intertwined with the development both of mass media and the influence of the British Empire.</p> <p>Since the 1950's with the advent of television and the emergence of post-colonial resistances throughout the English speaking world, this has begun to slowly change. Across a number of fronts, there has been a dramatic shift in power and a growing mistrust of print-culture, particularly outside dominant cultures. (Perhaps, I need to follow this up on a post about <a title="Stuart Hall references" href="">Stuart Hall </a>and legacy of the Birgminham University <a title="History of Cultural Studies at Birmingham" href="">Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies</a>.)</p> <strong>If you google it, does it not bleed?</strong> <p>The state of literature, the nature and meaning of twenty-first century communications technologies, a world without printed texts—books and newspapers—these are huge philosophical and sociological concerns. And I can't begin to answer them here. I'm not even sure, to be candid, that I want to save English by transforming it, or updating it. Still, I have trouble ignoring the impact of new media on how, why and what we teach under the guise of English.</p> <p>What strikes me about our current situation—in many ways this is crucial to how we might positively transform the Humanities—is that the new modes of communication, which are irrevocably reorganizing all facets of twentieth century life, have yet to take hold in English class. Granted many of us now rely on Moodle, Blackboard or other Course Management Systems. Most universities I know have committed to "smart classrooms" and trying to provide faculty with computers and lcd projectors in the classroom. And in many institutions, the course packs that replaced books as a less expensive alternative are in turn being replaced by <a title="OCW Consortium" href="">Open Courseware</a>. I imagine too that many instructors are increasingly dependent on Youtube, Flickr, Google and other web-based tools to provide supplementary materials.</p> <p><a title="wikiproject Murder Madness Mayhem" href=""><img class="size-full wp-image-107 alignnone" title="beasley-murray-course" src="" alt="" width="500" height="363" /></a></p> <p>In good old Marxist terms, one might have talked about this change in terms of base and superstructure. I might ask how can we discuss about the importance of English Literature, when even the most committed of us have all begun to abadon books? If reading and writing are what matter to us, why are we not shifting our focus on to wiki's, blog post, email discussions, or even tweets.</p> <p>Why are more of us teaching courses like UBC Prof. John Beasley Murray's wiki-based "Murder, Madness, and Mayhem: Latin American Literature in Translation"? Granted this is a Spanish Literature course, but I sure we can develop similar approaches with English texts and contexts.</p> <p>If it is critical engagement that motivates us, might we not be more inclined to find connections between the growth of English what do we make of Google's recent struggles with China?</p> <strong>Social knowledge / social space</strong> <p>Relative to books, newspapers, and other older forms of mass media, Social media open new possibilities for educators and cultural producers, particularly for artists, educators, and designers.</p> <p>It used to be that if you wanted to participate in political dialogue you would have to travel to a particular space: <a title="Agora, ancient Athens" href="">Agora</a>, <a title="Althingi introduction" href="">Altingi</a>, Parliament, House of Commons. Likewise for so called "higher learning," one would have to travel to the University: <a title="University of Bologna" href="">Bologna</a>, Oxford, Heidelberg, Harvard, or the U of T. The central buildings for these great universities were their libraries. Much like the banks or treasuries at the centre of political capitals, the university library functioned as storehouse for what was most valued: information, debate, knowledge.</p> <p>The traditional function of libraries has been superseded. Digital Archives such as <a title="project gutenberg" href="">Project Gutenberg </a>or perhaps more importantly those collected by Google are rendering libraries obsolete. This does not mean that I think librarians and archivists are no longer relevant (as my original draft of this post suggested (see comments bellow). In fact, the opposite is true their knowledge and skills are increasingly important as we struggle make sense of the at times overwhelming flow of information. With the emergence of the web and growing ubiquity of mobile communications, individuals can participate in political dialogue, scholarly research, and various cultural forms of cultural production from almost anywhere. The most powerful institutions will be those who can facilitate access to their massive storehouses—e.g., MIT or the Bodelian library at Oxford.</p> <object classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000" width="320" height="265" codebase=",0,40,0"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="src" value="" /><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><embed type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="320" height="265" src="" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object> <p>The example of the Back Dorm Boys (<a title="Back Dorm Boys" href="">wikipedia entry</a>), featured in the above video, is instructive: the original response by the English speaking media to their viral youtube posts was to poke fun and to marvel at the number of "hits" these videos they were getting. Few recognized that these videos were produced by Wei Wei and Huang Yi Xin, two students at the Guangzhou Arts Institute, or that their off-centre mimickry of American culture might be anything but a pale imitation of the real thing, if one is allowed to refer to the Back Street Boys as such.</p> <p>The a tendency to disparage new forms of communication limits the development of new ideas, and in so doing, it allows for the exclusion of individuals and groups who don't immediately fit the norms of a dominant culture. Perhaps the ability to normalize or naturalize certian modes of representation to the exclusion of others is, unfortunately, one of the most enduring legacies of the Humanist project.</p> <p>Arguably some of the most influential and innovative interventions in contemporary culture are happening off or under the radar of West's major arts/culture institutions, and are often hard for people to recognize or accept as Art or Culture. This idea, as controversial as it is, has been fundamental to the reconfiguration of curatorial practices, particularly in the wake of curator Okwui Enwezor's radical (re)programing of the Document for <a title="Documenta 11 website" href="">Documenta XI </a> across a series of geographically dispersed platforms (<a title="Frieze article on Documental 11" href="">Frieze Article</a>)—to give one famous example.</p> <strong>A conclusion of sorts</strong> <p>This long, a slightly rambling post has touched on a number of complicated issues around the cultural politics of representation, including thinking about the history of English Studies, the Enlightenment, Post-coloniality, contemporary Curatorial practices and more. The points I've raised in the post are but the tips of a much larger idea flows, which I will continue to explore in future posts. Nonetheless, I hope they might help situate this prickly question of "the human" or more to the point our assumptions about the dehumanizing nature of these technologies with were are so embroiled.</p> Tue, 19 Jan 2022 17:35:04 +0000 Glen Lowry 30942 at