Critical Pedagogy and the Digital Humanities

When:  August 14-16, 2014

Where: Lewis & Clark College, JR Howard Room 202  

Registration (Registration is reserved for ten Lewis & Clark faculty and four spots (at least three for faculty) from the other participating NW5C schools. Registration is on a first come first served basis.  The preliminary agenda is below.  


Many argue digital humanities is about building stuff and sharing stuff, reframing the work we do in the humanities as less consumptive and more curatorial—less solitary and more collaborative. But the humanities have always been intensely social, a vibrant ecosystem of shared, reworked, and retold stories. It’s time to think further about how technology can be used to build learning communities within the classroom, while also thinking about ways we can connect our students to a much larger global classroom.

This workshop will explore methods and approaches for using technology to teach the humanities. We’ll start at the level of the syllabus, thinking about how we organize and structure hybrid courses and course activities, before delving into specific tools and critical orientations to technology. Participants are asked to bring at least one sample assignment or syllabus, which will be used as the basis for much of the work we do as the course progresses. We recommend you bring your own computer, but can accommodate those who can’t. By the course’s conclusion, participants should leave with (at a minimum) an assignment or syllabus that better meets their own expectations of digital pedagogy in the humanities.


Jesse Stommel is Assistant Professor in the Department of Liberal Arts and Applied Studies at University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is Founding Director and Designer of Hybrid Pedagogy: a digital journal of learning, teaching, and technology. His particular expertise is in digital pedagogy, open education, and new media. He is an advocate for lifelong learning and the public digital humanities. He teaches courses about digital storytelling, horror film, American literature, Shakespeare, and electronic literature. He experiments relentlessly with learning interfaces, both digital and analog, and works in his research and teaching to emphasize new forms of collaboration. His favorite book is Moby Dick, and his favorite film is Night of the Living Dead. He has a clever dog, Mary, and two rascally cats, Loki and Odin. He’s on Twitter @Jessifer and his personal web site can be found at


Thursday, August 14

8:30 - 9:00 Breakfast

9:00 - 10:30 Introductions and Opening Activity

Suggested Reading:
“The Digital Humanities Made Me a Better Pedagogue: a Crowdsourced Article”

10:30 - 10:45 Break

10:45 - 12:15 Discussion: Critical Pedagogy and Hybrid Course Design

 Suggested Readings:
“The Digital Humanities is About Breaking Stuff” by Jesse Stommel
“The Decay of the Digital Human” by Jesse Stommel

12:15 - 1:00 Lunch

1:00 - 2:15 Lab: Building a Network to Connect with Digital Pedagogy and Digital Humanities Communities

Suggested Readings:
Personal Learning Networks: Knowledge Sharing as Democracy” by Alison Seaman
Guide to Getting Started with Twitter / Teaching with Twitter

2:15 - 2:30 Break

2:30 - 4:00 Lab:  Text Analysis, Distant Reading, and Mind-mapping

4:00 - 5:00 Workshop: Small group discussion of goals for assignments and syllabi

5:00 - 7:00 Opening Reception - East Courtyard outside JR Howard Hall

Friday, August 15

(Sean Michael Morris will co-lead the workshop from 8:30 - 2:30)

8:30 - 9:00 Breakfast

9:00 - 10:30 Discussion: Mindfulness and Digital Pedagogy

Suggested Readings:
“Net Smart: How to Thrive Online” (introduction) by Howard Rheingold
“Is it Okay to Be a Luddite?” by Sean Michael Morris and Jesse Stommel

10:30 - 10:45 Break

10:45 - 12:15 Lab: Collaborative Writing Environments

Suggested Readings:
“Tools for Collaborative Writing” by Sean Michael Morris and Jesse Stommel
“Theorizing Google Docs: 10 Tips for Navigating Online Collaboration” by Jesse Stommel

12:15 - 1:00 Lunch

1:00 - 2:30 Discussion: Hacking the LMS: the LMS as Portal for Connected Learning

Suggested Readings:
“Hacking the Screwdriver” by Sean Michael Morris and Jesse Stommel
“Beyond the LMS” by Sean Michael Morris

2:30 - 2:45 Break

2:45 - 4:30 Workshop: Small group and individual work on assignments and syllabi

4:30 - 5:00 Discussion: Check in with large group about progress



Saturday, August 16

8:30 - 9:00 Breakfast

9:00 - 10:30 Discussion: Assessment, grading, alternatives to traditional grading, etc.

Suggested Reading:
“Grading the Grade” by Chris Friend and Jesse Stommel (and the Storify of the conversation)

10:30 - 10:45 Break

10:45 - 12:15 Lab: Mapping, Timeline, Augmented Reality and Mobile tools

12:15 - 1:00 Lunch


1:00 - 2:30 Workshop: Small group and individual work to polish assignment / syllabi

2:30 - 3:30 Closing Discussion 

Register now or for more information or questions, please contact Miranda Carney-Morris,, 503-768-7220.