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.,,, 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)