Adeline and I are thrilled to announce that we’ll be holding an “unconference” on digital pedagogy as a preconference workshop for the Modern Language Association Annual Meeting in 2013.
What are “Unconferences”?
The ten-year old unconference format emerged as a response to weaknesses of the traditional conference presentation. Unconferences are participant-driven gatherings where attendees spontaneously generate the itinerary. Perhaps the best example of the unconference format in the humanities thus far has been the THATCamps which originated at the Center of History and New Media (CHNM) at George Mason University. The growth of interest in the unconference format within the humanities can be seen by the exponential growth of THATCamps, from one event in 2008, to three in 2009, to twenty-six in 2011.
Why an “Unconference”?
For the last several years, the MLA conference has increasingly welcomed new styles of presentation such as lightning talks and electronic roundtables, all aimed at increasing interactive discussion among the attendees. The organization continues to call for more change. In the Spring 2012 MLA Newsletter (PDF), both the MLA’s Program Committee and its Executive Director encouraged MLA members to consider new forms of presentations for the upcoming convention in Boston.
Our three-hour “unconference” on the subject of digital pedagogy is an attempt to answer this call to re-envision the conference format and introduce yet one more form of presentation at the annual Convention.
Unconference Theme: Digital Pedagogy
Attendees of our Digital Pedagogy Unconference will consider: what would you like to learn and instruct others about teaching with technology?
While interest in digital pedagogy has grown along with the rise of the digital humanities, these two fields are not identical. Although all instructors are being increasingly encouraged to incorporate technology into their pedagogy, not all of these instructors may want to become digital humanists. As such, digital pedagogy has a broad application for scholars of language and literature.
- We expect to offer 50 seats for the unconference workshop and to charge a small fee to sign up.
- Expect a website for the unconference to be forthcoming in the summer/fall of 2012, with more details and instructions about how to sign up.
We’re both incredibly excited, and hope you’ll join us there!