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Page history last edited by Dr. Mary K. Bryson 16 years, 4 months ago




Theorizing Knowing:

Making Knowledge ::: Public

Public ::: Knowledge







the Grid


the Participants


Tech Tapas Wish List

“We need different ideas

                     because we need different relationships.”
                                                               —Raymond Williams

Prof. Mary Bryson



Research Profile with links to multimedia, publications and research sites.


 Office hours: Scarfe 309F, Center for Cross-Faculty Inquiry (Scarfe, Center block, 3rd floor)   Thursday 14:00 to 16:00; other times by appointment

"As I've said many times, the future is already here. It's just not very evenly distributed." William Gibson (NPR Interview)

"Early in the next millennium your right and left cuff links or earrings may communicate with each other by low-orbiting satellites, and have more computing power than your present PC. Mass Media will be refined by systems for transmitting and receiving personalized information and entertainment. Schools will change to become more like museums and playgrounds for children to assemble ideas and socialize with children from around the world. The digital planet will look and feel like the head of a pin." Nicholas Negroponte, Being Digital (1995)

This graduate seminar features transdisciplinary scholarship that is concerned with research questions that intersect around theories of knowing considered in relation to the production of a public, public space, citizenship in a public, difference/s and public knowing, life in a posthuman public, and what it is to know, publicly. Questions concerning publics, and public knowledge, get to the heart of what it is to think about Education – who can know, and what is our understanding of human life, that knowing might matter.

In our engagement with readings, public lectures, and class discussions, we will explore contemporary theory and research concerned with theories of knowing considered in relation to: community, agency and identity, access to and engagement with new technologies, initiatives to address and ameliorate inequalities, possibilities for social justice and civic engagement, and conditions for the design, production and marketing of networked technologies and locations. The readings and conversations will pertain to a diverse multitude of pedagogical environments, including libraries, chat rooms, activist sites (e.g., moveon.org, witness.org), community development projects (e.g., Vancouver Community Network), schools, blogs, Internet cafes, and relatedly, the retooling of performances of self, identity and technological competencies.

Conceptions of identity and notions of technological competence, as well as access to digital tools, are co-constructed and inter-dependent. From a community informatics perspective it is important to pay attention to convivialities and to gaps between local demographics and participation in creating, not just accessing, online resources and communities. To the degree that educational opportunities are made available in e-environments, the social cultural and political significance of networked digital media increases concomitantly.

Toshiba's 2005 "Back to School" Media Blitz

"We are no longer alienated and passive spectators but interactive extras [figurants interactifs]; we are the meek lyophilized members of this huge "reality show." It is no longer a spectacular logic of alienation but a spectral logic of disincarnation; no longer a fantastic logic of diversion, but a corpuscular logic of transfusion and transubstantiation of all our cells; an enterprise of radical deterrence of the world from the inside and no longer from outside, similar to the quasi-nostalgic universe of capitalistic reality today. Being an extra [figurant] in virtual reality is no longer being an actor or a spectator. It is to be out of the scene [hors-scene], to be obscene." Jean Baudrillard, DisneyWorld Company (1996)



Comments (Show all 51)

Dr. Mary K. Bryson said

at 8:01 am on Jan 15, 2008

Fascinating about the Grid and dreaming. Isn't it interesting how an organizational structure intended to facilitate can become hegemonic <<< good word.
We are meeting in 1006 this week, which is across the hall. If you don't have a CMS login and password yet, try to get one. They don't accept CWL logins yet - unbelievable, but true.

Dr. Mary K. Bryson said

at 8:03 am on Jan 15, 2008

Jot down some entries in the Tech Tapas Wish List b4 class. It's linked on the sidebar and the Home page. Thnx.

Dai Kojima said

at 9:23 pm on Jan 15, 2008

Waah! I'm trying to put together materials for my facilitation this week and people, it ain't easy. So much to include and so little time to talk about them at once. And they are important both "personally" and "publicly" :-p. Speaking of making knowledge public!

Linda said

at 8:32 am on Jan 16, 2008

Dai - just remember: less is more. ;)

palafre@... said

at 7:29 pm on Jan 16, 2008

How do I get my CMS login? OOOHHH.. will I have to go to the computer center to do that?

Dr. Mary K. Bryson said

at 7:56 pm on Jan 16, 2008

The instructions are printed on the wall in the Education CMS labs. <You know you are in an Education building when everything on the walls, rather than Art, or graffiti, is pedagogical text.>

Dr. Mary K. Bryson said

at 5:46 pm on Jan 19, 2008

three things to do today:
Go watch the YouTube about/by Gordon on the Participants Page.
Fill up the blank spaces on the Tech Tapas list.
Add your own Participants info.

Michele D. Sorensen said

at 10:59 am on Jan 21, 2008

I am here -- but don't appear on the participants page. Can someone inform me?

Linda said

at 4:20 pm on Jan 21, 2008

In prep for Thursday's class, check out the wiki I created on Hayles.

Dr. Mary K. Bryson said

at 9:38 pm on Jan 22, 2008

Take a look at the newly edited description of the Grid assignment, on the Assignments page. I have tried to clarify what kinds of activities that I had imagined this activity might support, and how it's relevant to the course themes. Use the comments page to add questions or comments. Make sure the Grid looks really different by Thursday.

Dr. Mary K. Bryson said

at 11:14 pm on Jan 22, 2008

See the new item on the Sidebar for ppl to seek project collaborators, and ask project questions.

Gordon Fitt said

at 1:59 pm on Jan 25, 2008

Hi everyone,

I'm having trouble with one of the links to the article, "From Realpolitik to Dingpolitik or How to Make Things Public."

When I choose the link it takes me to the MIT press site where I can buy the book, but it is out of print.

Has anyone found the article?


Linda said

at 4:21 pm on Jan 26, 2008

I'm having the same problem.

Dr. Mary K. Bryson said

at 7:57 am on Jan 28, 2008

Fixed. Thanks for letting me know. M

Dr. Mary K. Bryson said

at 8:32 pm on Jan 29, 2008

I loaded an MP3 (audio) file onto the Calendar today, which is a podcast of Bruno Latour, talking about From Objects to Things, a lecture he gave about the work that you read. Do let me know if the file works. You should be able to right-click the link, save the file locally, and play it in ITunes, or anything else that will play audio files.

Dai Kojima said

at 11:58 pm on Jan 30, 2008

> Mary,
Worked beautifully! It's a little trippy, but fun listening to him talk.
> All,
I'm having so much fun in the "Library" section adding books and all. I have a book fetish-I like reading them, and I like smelling and touching them. I'm really interested in learning what you are reading, watching and listening to as this course progresses. I hope we can build a wicked library that we can come back to even after this course.

palafre@... said

at 12:10 pm on Feb 2, 2008

Hey Guys!!!! I'm not sure.. maybe this has NOTHING to do with our class... but somehow i see the notion of the public here... Anyway.. just wanted to share this with you because it is VERY COOL!!!!!!


indiradutt@... said

at 3:55 pm on Feb 2, 2008

I think that site is fun. I was part of happenings like that in Toronto in 1995-1997.

vtriggs@... said

at 9:18 am on Feb 7, 2008

I'll bring coffee today!

Dr. Mary K. Bryson said

at 2:47 pm on Feb 8, 2008

RIP was not called for today. I awoke the computer from its poignant sleep when I got home (long story) and have made it stay awake all day. No sleep. So I have your proposals. M

Gordon Fitt said

at 4:56 pm on Feb 8, 2008

Hi Mary,

Here is a link to an article about open access journals vs. "locked-down" journals.


If you think it is appropriate, could you add it to the supplemental readings for the calender.

Linda said

at 7:23 am on Feb 10, 2008

Great article Gordon. Thanks for finding it.

Linda said

at 8:02 am on Feb 10, 2008

Size matters, and when we open our grid and it explodes with a huge white box declaring POWER......something had to be done. Access and identity and everything else sat in the back seat hoping to be opened too. We have a space economy with visual markers implying importance. Thoughts?

Dr. Mary K. Bryson said

at 5:31 pm on Feb 10, 2008

All weekend I have been raving to friends and family about the joys of teaching WITHOUT my computer. I loved the last class and am rather shocked at the impact on the social space of the class - on the sociality of the public impacted by the removal from the scene of the machine as a key mediative device. We moved our bodies into very different positions, and related to each other differently. The quality of the dialogue was also very different. Fascinating. M

Linda said

at 9:22 pm on Feb 10, 2008

I spend a lot of time at work in front of a computer, the more time face to face with people the better. I though our unplugged class was the best yet.

Yasmeen said

at 2:29 pm on Feb 14, 2008

I just read Mary's comment on having a class minus ( for sad but now ok reasons) a computer. I really noticed a completely different quality to the classroom atmosphere last class and really enjoyed it as well. Nothing like the talking at the kitchen table!

Dr. Mary K. Bryson said

at 6:27 pm on Feb 27, 2008

Thursday this week, meet in 2006, the Mac lab, and then we will move over to our classroom.


pearlh@... said

at 11:49 am on Mar 4, 2008

Hi all: Linda and I are bringing the goodies for this week of March 6th. Cheers...Pearl

Dr. Mary K. Bryson said

at 7:43 am on Mar 7, 2008

I have posted Conversation with Peter Cole, which is a compendium of responses to questions I forwarded (and I missed one person's question, SORRY)... Linked from Calendar.

Dr. Mary K. Bryson said

at 3:50 pm on Mar 11, 2008

Anyone bringing coffee this week, or snacks?

Dai Kojima said

at 6:43 pm on Mar 11, 2008

I will bring coffee & munchies.
P.S. I will show 10 cool/useful things you can do with your cell phones in a tech tapas demo. Make sure you bring your cellies if you got one.

Dr. Mary K. Bryson said

at 3:02 pm on Mar 12, 2008

Does anyone need 1006 for Tech Tapas, or shall we meet in our classroom tomorrow? And thanks on the coffee/munchies, Dai. Very nice. :)

Dai Kojima said

at 1:14 am on Mar 13, 2008

I can do mine in the regular classroom.

Dr. Mary K. Bryson said

at 7:08 am on Mar 18, 2008

I was in Whole Foods on Sunday, and so thought about Dai, and you folks, and bought something I will bring Thursday. If someone wants to brings something else though, since it's kind of a 'hungry time slot' that would be ok. Likewise if someone else wants to grab a portable coffee urn thingy.

Dr. Mary K. Bryson said

at 6:17 am on Mar 19, 2008

If you didn't get the email from the class list, I have had, regrettably, to cancel class, Thurs this week. Back on schedule next week. Sorry about that, and see you all soon. M

Dr. Mary K. Bryson said

at 7:48 am on Mar 19, 2008

This is primarily for Gordon, whose email I don't have at this specific moment -- http://www.gimpgirl.com/calendar/view.php?view=day&cal_d=30&cal_m=3&cal_y=2008

Dr. Mary K. Bryson said

at 8:17 am on Mar 28, 2008

How is this for cool?
In The Coming Community (1993), Giorgio Agamben writes:

If human beings were or had to be this or that substance, this or that destiny, no ethical experience would be possible... This does not mean, however, that humans are not, and do not have to be, something, that they are simply consigned to nothingness and therefore can freely decide whether to be or not to be, to adopt or not to adopt this or that destiny (nihilism and decisionism coincide at this point). There is in effect something that humans are and have to be, but this is not an essence nor properly a thing: It is the simple fact of one's own existence as possibility or potentiality...[2]

Linda said

at 12:05 pm on Mar 31, 2008

That quote reads quite spiritual, as if pulled from a traditional book about enlightenment or such. Being and Presence as the guide to human potentional versus structure, which is illusionary. Interesting.

vtriggs@... said

at 7:46 pm on Apr 2, 2008

I'll bring snacks tomorrow...see you then.

Yasmeen said

at 10:05 am on Apr 16, 2008

Loved the presentations the last two weeks and was inspired by them!

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