April 6 Collaboratory

Critical thinking is both a condition of and a compliment to art-making—world making in Dewey’s pragmatic and democratizing sense of art as experience—that sparks more exploration and more experience

-Doris Sommer




Our “Open Space of Democracy Collaboratory” continues on Thursday with you working on terms and concepts. By noon on Thursday please follow the instructions (and the examples) on the Ephemera page of the course blog. Here is what you need to do:

Post on your blog a list of key terms/concepts in your individual project and at least three excerpts or quotations from our readings that explain or align with each term/concept.

The work here is 1) to define your terms/concepts and 2) to return to the Readings so that this archive of conceptual energy will continue to fuel your project. We will begin class on Thursday with what you discover in making these connections.

Our collaboration laboratory is designed to guide your research on and creation of projects that exemplify the practice of American Cultural Studies. Our “center without walls,” to borrow William Wulf’s words, will use our class time to interact, access, share materials and methods. The productivity of the collaboratory depends on your individual work, and the productivity of your individual work depends on the collaboratory.




Project Description

The Projects Page on the course blog now includes a rough draft of a project description. Kerrin and I will continue to work on this description as we continue our work.

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Field Work Posts

In addition to Nick’s post What am I doing. . . What am I doing? we talked about in class today, have a look at Tyler’s cross-cultural discussion of tattoo culture Tattooing should be Righteous, Miles’ idea about how to capture the creative space of the music festival, and Patrick’s emerging Reverend Crocker Project.

In Patrick’s case, note well how a short piece from The Providence Journal provides Patrick with a touchstone.(The scanned scrap is above is linked in the post)  The “winds of change” illustration suggest a “war of position” (Gramsci) playing out in the American south—evident in the final sentence of the news article. “Walls reared by hate are strong, but Atlanta is demonstrating that understanding, readiness to abide by law, and common decency can knock down the biggest walls without trouble.”