Antigonish 2.0 – the plan

America this is quite serious.
America this is the impression I get from looking in the television set.
America is this correct?
I’d better get right down to the job.
It’s true I don’t want to join the Army or turn lathes in precision parts factories
I’m nearsighted and psychopathic anyway.
America I’m putting my queer shoulder to the wheel.

– Allen Ginsberg, America, 1956

The Backstory: Fifteen years ago, I lived in the suburbs of Bratislava, Slovakia, next to a corner store that sold absinthe.

Bratislava’s medieval city centre was all cobblestone and Hapsburg extravagance, but the suburbs where the teachers’ sublets were located were concrete sameness for miles, broken only by public statuary and tram stops and the requisite pubs and potravinys.

My apartment came furnished with an old secretary desk, two chairs, a bright red plastic rotary phone, and a folding couch that served as a bed. I thought of it as mid-century modern, even if was more Soviet than stylish. I loved that apartment.

In Bratislava in 2002, I drank absinthe and cheap wine and listened to mixtape CDs I’d burned on Napster: Tom Waits and Edith Piaf and Stevie Wonder and Allen Ginsberg reading America, aloud. I was thirty; a Canadian English teacher abroad. I only made $400 a month, but I’d paid off my student loans and I’d helped out my mother and I didn’t know enough to know that I should aspire to more. I read Umberto Eco. I was trying to self-educate my way into getting a grip on the 20th century, even as the 21st was shaping up post-911 to be a spectacle of a different sort.

I walked a lot. In the middle of Bratislava, in a square near the Danube, there was a monument…a striking, harsh-looking modernist metal sculpture topped by the Star of David, and chains. It stood out from the other Fathers of the Revolution monuments.

This sculpture is Slovakia’s monument to its Jews. It is a strange, stark public penance. A plaque tells its story.

In WWII, Slovakia sold its Jews.

The Slovak Republic – a client state of Nazi Germany established in 1939 after Hitler mobilized into Czech territory – made a deal. In exchange for keeping Slovak workers out the war effort, they agreed to deport their Jewish population, whose roots in Slovakia went back 500 years. In the deal, the “republic would pay for each Jew deported, and, in return, Germany promised that the Jews would never return to the republic.” According to Wikipedia, the deal was initially for “20,000 young, strong Jews,” but the Slovaks eventually agreed to deport the entire Jewish population for “evacuation to territories in the east.”

In 1942, the first mass transport to Auschwitz came out of Slovakia. In total, in 1942 alone, 58,000 Jews were deported by the Slovak Republic. 99% of them are reported to have died in the concentration camps.

I took the above picture of the monument one sunny autumn afternoon, in black and white film on an old Pentax K-1000.  I framed it in the frame with the little wooden doors, and it has lived with me on three continents since. I still don’t know entirely why.

It makes me think of Allen Ginsberg’s voice, intoning America aloud in that little Soviet-stark apartment, teaching me histories I didn’t know. It reminds me of things I’d rather not acknowledge about human nature.

We sell each other out, we humans, the picture cautions me. Our better angels regret it later. But we sell each other out.

The picture forces me to ask what part I am playing in the world, what wheel my shoulder is turned to, or turned away from.
***

The Rest of the Story: Back at the end of November, I wrote about adult education and a piece of history far closer to my own part of the world.

The Antigonish Movement was, in the 1920s and 30s, an adult education & cooperative movement based out of the Extension Department of St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia. Led by Father Moses Coady and Father Jimmy Tompkins, Irish Catholic cousins from Cape Breton, the Antigonish Movement fostered the idea that ordinary people could take control of their circumstances and their economy through critical thinking, scientific methods of planning and production, and co-operative entrepreneurship, taught in kitchens and community halls, and via radio and whatever means were available.

It had a huge impact. Even today, the legacy of the Antigonish Movement dots the Maritime provinces in the form of credit union buildings, which got their start through the cooperatives that Coady and Tompkins fostered.

So.

I look at our media literacy and information literacy landscape – our democratic society, interconnected and border-blurred as it is – in the lead-up to Trump’s inauguration as President of the United States on January 20th, and I shudder. Arms race tweets. Putin. Fake news. White supremacists gloating. Wikileaks uber alles. Basically, it’s the West Wing version of what danah boyd calls the hacking of the attention economy, not just by trolls but by a Troll in Chief.  Messy through multiple lenses…and by my lights, potentially terrifying no matter where one lives or what one’s party affiliations are.

But I am not a foreign policy analyst. I am a digital literacies educator…and that is the lens I focus through.

So I proposed a new adult education movement for our times, an Antigonish 2.0. With a media and information literacy focus.

I said: To me, at this current moment, it is our societal lack of understanding and agency regarding media literacies and digital literacies – and thus the stories we tell ourselves about truth, decency, and each other – that is the poverty I know how to address.

And a whole freaking whack of you said…ME TOO.

So I’ve spent the past month in conversations with people – individual educators, people on the street, government folks, the excellent & quick-thinking Wendy Kraglund-Gauthier from the Coady Institute (yes, named after THAT Coady) at St. FX University – and we officially really and fer real *do* have an Antigonish 2.0.

We’ll draw on the model of the original Antigonish Movement of participatory learning – see below – but re-tooled for the 21st century and the local and global connections that digital makes possible. It’s particularly meaningful to get to do this with Wendy at St FX.

The Plan, As It Stands: As I noted in the first post, the Antigonish Movement had three key structural components: mass meetings, organized with community members from villages and towns around the entire region, study clubs, where community members gathered together in homes to study materials available, and the school for leaders, where members of the study clubs could attend six-week programs at the university in Antigonish, to prepare people for action and minimize business failures.

I see Antigonish 2.0 as having three potential layers or structural pieces, too.

The first layer will likely be mostly the people who commented on the original post – a distributed international network of people. Maybe mostly educators, with relatively high digital presence and the knowledge capacity to lead this kind of work, but in need of something to coordinate around and up-to-date resources on specific media/information literacy conversations. And the broader epistemology and truth conversations that we all need to work our way through to understand the times we’re living through.

Building a site and awareness and a hashtag around this first layer – and getting people connected to the work that initiatives like the Digital Polarization Institute are on about – would be how this layer would get started. INPUT WELCOME ON WHAT IT WOULD ACTUALLY NEED TO FUNCTION FOR PEOPLE. But basically the first layer would be self-selecting and networked; our mass meetings, for people who might be interested in taking on aspects of levels two or three in their institutions or their communities or spreading the good word.

The second layer – from our perspective here in the Maritimes – would be capacity-building among local institutions as well as among any Layer One individuals interested in joining in with an eye to building institutional media/digital literacies and capacity. We’re looking at a grant to hold a summer institute or mini-conference – essentially our school for leaders – that would be open both to members of Layer One but also focus on getting buy-in from Atlantic institutions, for faculty and staff development….for people interested doing media literacies and critical literacies stuff in formal classes. We’re looking at August 2017. We have a lot to figure out.

The third layer is my real, original goal, the study clubs: getting past institutional boundaries to having the Layer One and Two people starting up localized workshops for people in their own communities, people not necessarily affiliated with higher ed. Workshops at libraries. Discussion series in bars or restaurants. Participatory art events. Kitchen parties. This is the part where people get – collaboratively – the kind of information they need to be critical citizens and consumers within an attention economy run from the top down; our Hunger Games mediasphere come to life. This is the part where people (maybe?) learn to rise and hold mass media accountable for the narratives we are sold. This is where, in whatever small part, I can put my queer shoulder to the wheel of spectacle that’s turning our time, right now, and try to make a difference.

So that sometime down the road I don’t find myself standing in a square in front of a sculpture, saying about some population being symbolized in wrought iron, Yes, a terrible shame. We sold them out, to Nazis. We even saw it coming. (shrug) What can you do?
***
If you’d like updates on this initiative as Wendy and I work to get it up and running…send an email to bstewart@upei.ca. We welcome you. :)

temporarily embarrassed millionaires

(This one’s long. Sorry.)

Ronald Wright’s A Short History of Progress (2004), quotes John Steinbeck as saying:
“socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but temporarily embarrassed millionaires” (p. 124).

This expression has stuck with me for nearly a decade.

When I first read it, it sent me back another decade or so to a small book I read when I first went back to school after teaching in the Arctic.

A little red book, but not THAT little red book. Still, a book that brought ideas of communal action and adult education home to me, in a very literal way.
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Myles Horton
and Paulo Freire‘s We Make the Road by Walking is one of those dialogic educators’/theorists’ conversations captured as texts that education faculties were very fond of teaching from in the late 90s. It was my intro to adult education as a field and an ethos, and in a sense, a reintroduction to my own Maritime history and sense of place.

It was my introduction to the idea that education need not be a lofty enterprise separate from the lived experience of being somewhere, and from somewhere.

With the death of Fidel Castro last weekend – and even my own FB feed making evident the vast difference in the narratives Canadians and Americans have been sold about Cuba over the past nearly sixty years – it feels maybe *too soon* to be talking about socialism and public education and communal action.

But with the election of Donald Trump to the US Presidency this month – to which my FB feed had a more coherent response of pretty broadly-distributed OH SHIT – and his appointment of the Amway-adjacent & public-school-attacking Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, it feels maybe too late NOT to be talking about public education and communal action, at least. (I can take or leave the socialism, depending on the interpretation. It’s the totalitarianism and cults of personality I’m wary of.)

And here we circle back to the temporarily embarrassed millionaires.

(Bear with me. I swear all these synaptic connections cross.)
***

One of the interesting parts about coming of age as an adolescent and (semi)conscious citizen of smalltown PEI, Canada, in the 80s was that – in spite of lacking both social media and cable TV – I inhabited two equally-confusing places simultaneously: my own latter-day Avonlea, with its dour social mores passed on relatively unchanged since their airing in Anne of Green Gables, and Reagan’s America.

I lived in both.

I was a kid of the 99 Luftballons era. I listened to the words…and I wrote poems about nuclear disarmament to the United States President. I did not write to my local mayor, or to Trudeau Senior.

As the twelfth-grader is to the ninth-grader in the classic high school pecking order, so the US is to Canada on the world stage of power and Mother Do You Think They’ll Drop the Bomb? I learned to understand that whatever risks nuclear weapons posed to my possible survival in that brief window of the reheated Cold War, when I was twelve, it wasn’t a matter of President Reagan *wanting* to blow me up in any personal rendition of The Day After.

(I realize now he’d likely have been hard-pressed to find PEI on a map.)

But in a place tacked onto the edge of the continent and economically downtrodden for the better part of a century or more, you gradually figure out that you’re not at the centre of anyone’s calculations about the world.
***

What this has to do with Horton & Freire is all about education, to me.

(NOT education as a simple, linear path to success and prosperity for the marginalized…or those who think they are. That’s a complex mythology that tends to serve up false expectations and disappointment, at best, across cultural, racial, geographic, and economic marginalization. Not that there are necessarily better answers, only that the playing field Simply. Does. Not. Level. On those fronts, read Sara Goldrick-Rab on the costs that education exacts from those least prepared to pay, and Tressie McMillan-Cottom on the link between for-profit schools and increasing inequality.)

I’m thinking more in the vein of adult education.

In We Make the Road by Walking, one of the threads of conversation between Horton and Freire – the one that stands out most in my memory – is this question of whether systematized education can be transformational for marginalized people(s), or whether it replicates all the inequalities baked into society’s/societies’ existing systems.

Horton and Freire, lions of educational practice and leadership in their own Appalachian and Latin American contexts, have differing perspectives on this, with Horton asserting that change within a system gets co-opted by the system itself, while Freire suggests a “one foot *in* and one foot outside” approach to systematized learning.

My own career has been more in the vein of Freire. I work for an institution, however precariously.

But in the context of these strange days of Trump’s pre-presidency, I find myself drawn to concepts that go beyond the boundaries of institutions as ways of trying to rethink education and communal action and where we all go from here.

Concepts and initiatives like #4YOS – four years of individually-pledged, distributed service as means of fighting hate in local, concrete ways. Efforts to make communities stronger, more inclusive places.

For myself, I’m particularly interested in how we fight the strange cocktail of victimization and entitlement that hate leeches onto and deploys in its service. I’m interested in how media and social media are part of the problem, and what we do about it.

I’m also interested in the not-solely-American concept of the temporarily embarrassed millionaire. The person – whatever their economic circumstances – clinging to idealized privilege in the rearview mirror with their cold dead hands. Sure that Trump’s gonna make them a contender again.

I went looking for historical models for what to do about this mess, systemically. And Horton was the first person I thought of, because the temporarily embarrassed millionaires have always – somehow – made me think of Horton.

Horton and Lilian Wyckoff Johnson, a teacher and professor, established the legendary (and interracial) Highlander Folk School in the mountains of Tennessee during the Great Depression. It was both an educational and political space, for organizing and training labour unionists while conserving and enriching the local cultural values of that specific geographic place. Highlander later served as a site for Civil Rights and social justice organizing, and ultimately had its charter revoked under accusations of communism. It re-incorporated as the Highlander Research and Education Center, and continues to do work in local leadership training, environmentalism, and economic justice.

Highlander operated outside systematized, institutional, formal education.

Part of me thinks whatever we’re going to do now, we don’t have time to wait for systematized, institutional, formal education to address the blossoming of outright bigotry that Trump’s election seems to have released on both sides of the border (I mean the US and Canada, for those of you used to the word “border” meaning Mexico). The system can catch up later if it wants.

But Highlander had a Canadian equivalent that fewer people outside my neck of the woods know about.

It was called The Antigonish Movement, a Maritime adult education, cooperative, and microfinance movement of the 1920s and ’30s that led to the development of local credit unions that still dot the landscape around Maritime Canada. Its vision was as education-focused as it was economic: it was a vision of human emancipation. And for all it was a relatively radical movement for its time, it had its roots in two stalwart institutions of Maritime Canada: the Roman Catholic Church and the extension department of St. Francis Xavier University, located in a tiny little rural industrial town called Antigonish, Nova Scotia.

The Antigonish Movement centered around the endemic poverty and marginalization people in these small rural towns experienced.

Geographic marginality is often a marginality of benign neglect rather than overt oppression, at least where the ongoing benefit of systemic white supremacy operates. But – and particularly in the economic context of the 1920s and ’30s, before Canada had any form of social safety net – benign neglect can nonetheless result in grinding, structural, seemingly inescapable poverty. And this experience – among others – can produce temporarily embarrassed millionaires, who feel victimized by their lack of what they perceive as their rightful status, but are disinclined to examine why.

The Antigonish Movement was about examining why. It was formed to fight the “weird pessimism” of constant outmigration from the Maritime provinces and its attendant social attrition and decay among those who remained. It was about working collectively to change that.

It was about the idea that the “local economy could be revitalized if the right type of learning was cultivated in ordinary people: especially critical thinking, scientific methods of planning and production, and co-operative entrepreneurship.”

The Antigonish Movement had three key structural components: mass meetings, which Extension Department members organized with community members from villages and towns around the entire region, study clubs, wherein community members gathered together in local homes to study materials available on economics, cooperative principles, and business organization, and the School for Leaders, wherein members of the study clubs could attend six-week programs at the university in Antigonish, to prepare people for action and minimize business failures.

In the late 1930s, at the peak of the Antigonish cooperative influence, there were 1100 study clubs around the Maritimes, with 10,000 participants. Wikipedia says, “by 1938 these study clubs had formed 142 credit unions, 39 co-operative stores, 17 co-operative lobster factories, 11 co-operative fish plants, and 11 other co-ops.” In provinces as small as these, it is impossible to over-estimate the human effect of this level of industry and change.
***

They used technology as part of this educational change process.

I remember learning about Antigonish back at the time I first read We Make the Road By Walking, and a prof told us stories of Father Moses Coady, one of the great lights and voices of the Antigonish Movement, using radio to broadcast to communities and villages throughout the Maritimes.

I thought about that as this post germinated the other day and I began to wonder what a modern-day Antigonish Movement would look like, could do.

The original was about collaboration and cooperation to address poverty and people’s lack of understanding and agency regarding their own circumstances. To me, at this current moment, it is our societal lack of understanding and agency regarding media literacies and digital literacies – and thus the stories we tell ourselves about truth, decency, and each other – that is the poverty I know how to address. To ask “why” about.

Media literacies as an educator has been what I *do* for the better part of twenty years. I have a Ph.D in Twitter and social media, more or less. And yet the contemporary media landscape and the fake news and the climate change news and the mainstream media’s failure to consistently label white nationalism by its name all have me overwhelmed.

If I am going to learn and teach against this tide I won’t be able to do it alone.

Could we? Together? In a systemic, local-global organized fashion? Is there value in an Antigonish 2.0?

The mass meetings would be easy, I think.  We would need each other for study groups. We could break out the best of what we all bring to digital and media literacies and dig in hard until we figure we can see behind the curtain for a moment.  We could then start our own local study groups/digital literacies initiatives in our own contexts. I personally happen to coordinate a Maritime university adult ed program – not *quite* an extension department, but hey – that I’d love to use in a School for Leaders capacity, if that part is still relevant.

I believe that education is a process of offering people tools – conceptual as well as technical – to understand their identities and possibilities and those of others within a structural framework that points to various paths of possible agency.

The temporarily-embarrassed millionaires won’t all be interested, nope. But is there something here, in examining the why and how of contemporary #digitalliteracies in ways that help people understand the systems shaping all our lives, that could make a difference?

I’m curious. I’m listening. I invite your ideas and feedback.

 

The Old School – Sexism, Social Media, Campus Culture, and Identities

Mostly, when I write and talk about social media, the riskiest thing I’m doing is destabilizing a few people’s dearly-held concepts about the ways in which scholarly influence operates and circulates within academia.

This past weekend, though, I had the privilege of doing something that felt much more dangerous – I talked about the culture of sexism and sexualized violence on campuses and in society at large. In a keynote, on a campus where last year’s student orientation chant about non-consensual sex hit Youtube and made national and international news. The audience, mostly from Maritime Canada higher ed institutions, were lovely. Designing the talk was terrifying.

Not because I was talking particularly outside my field: I wasn’t. I talked about it all through the lens of social media, as both a symptom of and contributor to the problem. I talked about #yesallwomen and about the UCSB shooting and Men’s Rights Activism sites and about how social media amplifies all aspects of who we are and what we think and believe, and reflects society’s power relations as much as it also actively tries to shape them. I talked about how the stories we tell ourselves about technologies are often deterministic, even scapegoating, focusing blame on gadgets rather than on ourselves. It was a culture talk, a structure talk, and a history talk, in addition to being a social media talk. I was proud of it.

And it went well, though I can’t entirely credit my carefully-crafted navigation of the semiotic landscape of gender and power. It worked in part because I didn’t actually have to introduce the topics of conversation or carry them into the arena for discussion: I followed on the heels of the very sincere and very illustrious Wayne MacKay, whose bio features his Order of Canada and the fact that he chairs committees and councils on cyberbullying and sexualized violence on campuses and is a lawyer and professor and former President of my undergraduate institution.

(My bio, on the other hand, pretty much mentions that I have a Twitter account. To thine own self be true.)

It wasn’t punching above my weight that felt dangerous. It was the in-between space of the topic: the fact that what is sayable about the reality of gendered identities and sexual politics these days is fraught and limited. The fact that – and this is at the core of everything I tried to say – they have ALWAYS been fraught and limited. The fact that as a 42 year old grown woman with a big-ass vocabulary, using the word “patriarchy” in a public conversation – online or in person – still makes me nervous. Because I don’t much enjoy being diminished and abused, full stop, and while correlation may not be causation, I tend not to stick my hand back on the stovetop after a burn.

When high-status white males lend their voices to framing these conversations, it’s easier. Their very presence does the discursive work of legitimating the topic, making it a Very Important Thing and not an attack from the margins. In the case of Saturday’s conversation, it also helped that we were addressing college and university student services professionals who live and walk the talk of diverse, inclusive campuses far more adeptly and viscerally and vigilantly than many in higher ed. But Wayne and the gentleman who opened the day also introduced terms like misogyny and rape culture to the conversation, leaving me free to deepen that conversation rather than spend my hour trying to justify having it in the first place. Their acknowledgement of sexism and sexual violence as problems within campus cultures was key.

But the very identity positions that enable white Boomer males who sit at tables of power to speak of sexism and sexual violence without being seen as accusing also allow them to reify frameworks that neutralize and distance these phenomena, whether they mean to or not. Talk of hookup culture and social media and values serves to make this a “kids these days” conversation, not a conversation about the imbalance of power and identities in our culture. It makes the problem new. It makes us – the grownups – less complicit.

Let me be very precise. This is not new…it is old school, in the most literal sense. We are simply forced – by virtue of an immersive and intrusive news culture and the rise of risk management and institutional optics – to talk about it.

I talked about this in terms of stories. Stories are the ways in which we understand who we are, and our stories of culture and technologies right now are failing to give us any tools we need to develop productive identities for the world we’re in.

I told a story about obscene phone calls. When I was nine or ten, my mother and I had a caller who harassed us for months before the threat of being traced finally got rid of him. Screen Shot 2014-06-09 at 9.32.07 PMEarly on, before my mother banned me from answering, I heard the deep, heavy breathing on the other end of the line. I suspect he said more to my mother, because I remember the sharp staccato of her voice, fearful and indignant. I knew from my friends that if we’d only had a man in the house he could’ve gotten on the line and scared the caller into going away. I decided that when I got old enough to get my own phone line I’d put it in my initials, not my name…because I was female. I also began cultivating the deepest, most rumbling voice I could. I wanted to be heard.

Of course, by the time I got old enough to have a phone line of my own, call display had largely wrecked the obscene phone call market and its capacity to assert power and create fear without actually facing personal consequences. The heavy breathers had to go underground and wait for the Internet, for underbelly pockets where they could congregate, no longer isolated, and reflect and amplify each others’ fledgling desires to exert power without consequence, to create fear in vulnerable others. The desires are not new. The technologies of our time regulate and constrain the identities we get to try on for size.

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Mount Allison women’s rugby, 1993

So do our cultural artefacts, and our frames of reference. I  told a story about the chant that scandalized Canadian higher ed last fall. I said that while I shared Wayne’s dismay at the fact that it was part of orientation in 2013, I didn’t share his shock: I knew the words. Twenty years ago, at the university where Wayne was later President, I learned that chant at a rugby game.

The student leaders interviewed last fall about the chant said they’d never really listened to the lyrics. I had. I’d heard and understood, just as I understood the rest of the songs that made up the raucous rugby identity: I just didn’t know what the hell to do with any of it, because I did not know if I could object and still belong. The rugby club was the first mixed-gender space I’d found where I did not feel diminished by the fact that I did not interact like a *lady.* Rugby didn’t take itself too seriously, and I thought I had to not take myself too seriously, either. So I sang along and I drank along and I tried to straddle the cognitive dissonance of it all, and mostly I failed and felt prudish and then tried harder. I did not even know it was supposed to be different. I did not know how to get outside it. It was called a tradition and it appeared to be the water we swam in and so I joined in and perpetuated it because I wanted that sense of belonging and I had no role models for a different discourse. And that is not new, either…but in the smallest ways it is shifting. Because peer-to-peer media don’t just de-isolate the heavy breathers, but those on the other end of the line. They allow outpourings like #yesallwomen as much as they allow forums for MRAs and PUAs. They allow those of us who work on campuses to connect and engage and try to set different frames of reference for campus identities, different examples, different discourses for belonging. They will not magically solve anything. But used well, they can be the kind of signal that enables people – male, female, whomever – to begin to be able to think about objecting, and changing traditions, without having to give up hope of belonging.

Or so I said Saturday. In the end, that talk didn’t feel nearly so risky in the delivery as I’d feared and I was heartened and for a minute I even thought, “maybe it’s not so hard to have this conversation after all.”

Then George Will popped up in The Washington Post yesterday. And I laughed at my naivete and realized this conversation has barely begun.
***

You’ve probably seen the article by now, deriding “the supposed campus epidemic of rape: aka “sexual assault.” Note the scare quotes. That’s the tone of the whole piece: “micro-aggressions” and “survivors” get the same contempt. The article conflates the recent trigger warning kerfuffle with an overall moral panic about how progressivism has made everyone on campuses “hypersensitive, even delusional, about victimizations.” Will asserts that victimhood is a coveted status on American campuses, one that now confers privileges.

I won’t bother to explain that it is not a privilege but a human right to assert that one is not just a sexual object, even when one is treated that way. I won’t bother to explain that when one DOES assert this right one is often treated to the very questionable privilege of being publicly excoriated and shamed by people like Will himself.

(I will bother to explain – to all of us, even the most active in peer-to-peer communications – that when the surge of people talking about structural grievances like racism and sexism and rape threats and able-ism and the right to speak from identity positions we do not happen to fully understand, share, or agree with begins to sound like victimhood as privilege, we might want to hold that judgement. Because yes, identity and power politics are messy and conflated right now. Yes, it can make some of us with actual structural privileges in the matrix of societal domination feel unfamiliarly – even unfairly – silenced in arenas we are unaccustomed to, and yes, some people will navigate these new discursive regimes in ways that are sensationalist or distasteful or whatever. This is the price of a performative public sphere. Nobody gets to be neutral).

But the privileges of victimhood are not the conversation Will is actually in. He’s in the conversation about who has the right to do what to who; the conversation about what we uphold as unwritten codes of whose bodies and actions and decisions count. This is smack in the middle of Todd Akin “legitimate rape” territory. This is about the privilege to exert power without consequence, to maintain stability in the categories of who counts as a vulnerable Other. This is an old conversation, but one we didn’t have to have publicly for a long ol’ time because respectability politics is powerful, silencing stuff and belonging has long been the price of speaking back.

So I’d like to thank George Will for prompting me to take my keynote from Saturday public. Again, let me be very precise. This issue is not new, and the only privilege here is the privilege that Will is daring us to wrest from him, in Charlton Heston “from my cold, dead hands” style. He may dismiss the #survivorprivilege hashtag that arose in response to him. But he cannot silence it. And as someone who has worked on higher ed campuses for the past fifteen years, I see that as a positive beginning.

the post-MOOC-hype landscape: what’s REALLY next?

My #mri13 keynote panel talk last week was on “the post-MOOC-hype landscape.” It was supposed to be about what I think we can do in the current “we have a lousy product” hype gulch before it all gears up again to bend the ear of NYT readers all over academia. And Silicon Valley.

The short version (see slide 4) is this: there are currently two solitudes in the MOOC conversation, and it’s not a cMOOC/xMOOC divide. One solitude – the mainstream media discourse – is essentially a unicorn, in the sense that its promises are fantasies of salvation and solutionism that have very little to do with the actual practice of higher education. The other – the practitioners’ discourse(s), broadly represented by the various interests around the table at #mri13 – is a Tower of Babel. Still, this solitude, loosely and cacophonously affiliated as it is, nonetheless leans towards discussing MOOCs in terms of learning. And in the wake of twenty-odd months of hype in which the dominant public narratives about higher ed have been all glorious revolution or ghastly spectre, I think it’s time to seize this (likely momentary) lull in unicorn sales and try to talk about MOOCs as learning. We need to make ourselves familiar with what the post-hype landscape of higher ed looks like, and address the issues and opportunities it’s left us with. In learning terms. On as many public platforms as we can. In stereo.

In other words, challenge the empty narratives that your administrators or your faculty have been sold. Find ways to talk about why what you’re doing matters. Change the narrative from unicorns back to what education is about: learning. End story.
***

Maybe I got it wrong, though.

In the revisionist history of my own mind, the “post-MOOC-hype landscape” is now forever linked to the unplowed freeways of the post-apocalyptic ice-storm-in-Texas landscape that stormstayed plenty of conference attendees in Arlington for the weekend. I got out, though dramatically. I pretty much hopped off the panel stage and into a taxi van with Dave, Mike Caulfield, Emily Schneider, two gregarious business dudes from Montreal, and a most intrepid driver, who happened to have grown up in India and had never seen snow in his life. The seven of us, strapped into our seatbelts over a set of summer tires that God never intended for ice, bumped steadily over a barren landscape of exit bridges and frozen plains speaking – at one point in the drive – in English, French, and Urdu all at once.

One of the Montreal business dudes managed to educate us all about bee death while also inquiring which language Dave & I make love in. (Apparently, folks, French comes highly recommended.) The other Montrealer, born on the subcontinent, sat in front and instructed the driver in their mother tongue on how to keep us the hell out of the ditch. A giant flashing billboard along the way proclaimed TRAVEL NOT RECOMMENDED. It reminded me of nothing so much as a scene from Mad Max.

But there we were, squished together.

It seems to me as good a metaphor as any for where we are with MOOCs and higher ed.

That second solitude – those of us whose research and practice focus on MOOCs right now – are like the seven of us in that little van. We’re a random collection. We don’t all know each other. We speak different languages and have different ideas about which ones are good for what. And we’re all of us inching forward in a space rendered unfamiliar by a freak storm – in one case ice, in the other, hype – that nobody’d expected in that particular context.

I got it wrong in the sense that the real ‘what’s next?’ may not be grappling with the unicorn narratives.

I think ‘what’s next?’ is working out the conversation IN the metaphorical van. Some who see MOOCs as learning focus on the pursuit of its ever-more-finely-honed measurement. Others are more inclined to dismiss measurement as irrelevant to the networked synthesis of ideas that forms the backbone of their approach to education. A hundred more do something in between. We don’t necessarily know how to talk to each other. It became evident around the Arlington bar tables last week that the chasms between practitioners’ varying versions of learning and knowledge are so deep some aren’t even really aware that the rest of us are IN the van.

That blindness – which we all, me included, probably suffer from to some extent – is dangerous. It’s dangerous because people keep trying to shove the future of education as a public enterprise into the van, without asking questions of what counts as education and of who benefits – and loses – if it becomes seen as a consumer commodity.

I don’t believe data has the sole answers to these questions. Conversations about theory and Big Data being post-theory kept emerging in Arlington, and have flowered further in the blog-to-blog flurry of discussion that’s circulated since we all escaped the Texas ice (Martin Weller & Mike Caulfield have written posts that make great bookends on the issues the End of Theory raises; Tanya Joosten & Jim Groom, among others, held court on the issue at the bar). But the elite university data scientists are notably absent from this networked conversation.

There are more solitudes here than my slide deck lets on. And like the unicorn narratives, Big Data tends towards being a totalizing vision.

Ontologically, the networked approach to MOOC learning and the AI-rooted machine learning approach are very different animals. They always have been, and the fact that we’re even all in this little van together bumbling through the post-hype landscape is as much a linguistic accident as anything: one NYT article and two very different conceptions of the Internet happening to education got hitched together on one wild ride.

I think there’s potential in that: there’s a lot about what analytics can tell us that interests me. But algorithms are not neutral, in my worldview. The Big Data researchers bring institutional clout and status to the conversation along with what struck me, in many cases, as an almost entirely un-self-conscious absolutism in their approach to knowledge and learning and the capacities of correlative data. And that raises issues about the future and direction of higher education and learning, far more than unicorn narratives ever did. When I say the MOOC narrative needs changing, I don’t mean it needs to become a monolith – it won’t. Part of its power is that many new stories of learning and education can nest themselves within it. Nor do I particularly expect to change the data scientists’ narrative on MOOCs and learning – except when they try to argue knowledge as truth over my prime rib dinner. But in the post-apocalyptic, supposedly post-hype landscape that was Texas, the biggest ‘what’s next?’ I actually came away with was the question of whether those of us most deeply invested in MOOCs at the moment can learn to live and work together in any real way.

As George Siemens said in the opening to the very first #mri13 session, these are issues of power. Educationally, ideologically…hopefully not apocalyptically.

Hang on tight, kids. The next van ride’s aimed for Charlottetown, for #mri14. It almost NEVER snows here in July, I promise. ;)

A *Brief* History of Reading and Culture

Normally, on this blog, I write my way towards what some idea of what it means to participate in digital media culture; what it means in terms of identity and relationship to the world to live on social media.

But this coming month, I’m trying on a new hat. Or an old hat. One I’ve left unworn for awhile.

I’m developing and teaching a short, intensive Masters in Education course for UPEI called “Building a Culture for Reading in a Digital Age”.

Which is exciting (hi students! Meet my Internet!). And also a little daunting: this course is about reading, as an educational and cultural activity. And reading hasn’t been my primary focus in over a decade.

I was once, actually, a high school English teacher. And a literacies specialist. I have a Certificate in Special Education focused around working with children facing challenges in learning to read.

It’s funny. I think and write a lot about identity, but not necessarily about the aspects of my own professional identity that pre-date my digital life. My career and life trajectories haven’t been especially linear, and so whole parts of who I once was never fully made it over the threshold of my transition to the life I live now, both online and off.

But preparing for this course has sent me back to a very particular space, an in-between space where I had one foot still balanced in my English degree/reading teacher world and one foot testing new waters of academia and digital selves: the year I spent exploring ideas of reading and culture and what it might mean to know in a digital age. It was late 1999 and early 2000 and I lived in Halifax in a two-story upstairs apartment in a falling-down house, and I wrote a hundred page M.A.Ed thesis in a tiny attic room on a Hewlett-Packard desktop that had less computing power than any telephone you can buy, these days.

That thesis later got published by European Graduate School‘s New York Studies in Media Philosophy and I am eminently grateful to them as, six computers and three countries and full circle back around the world later, I’d otherwise have long since lost any digital trace of it. Sure, its earnestness makes me cringe and the neologism of “techknowledge” was, um, kinda undertheorized…but what I learned in the long, meandering process of writing my solitary way to those ideas on knowledge and digital culture laid the groundwork for my forays into social media and digital identities and everything that’s come since.

And, with this course, some of that groundwork may actually come in handy.

If we’re talking about building a culture for reading in a digital age, we need first to explore what a culture for reading means to people; what kinds of images and practices it calls up. Before we leap into exploring the digital, I want to throw a bit of what Foucault might call a genealogical light on reading, to think about the ways in which traditional reading culture reflected certain kinds of power structures within society.

What was the pre-digital culture of reading into which most of us were inducted in late 20th century schools and homes?

Well, conveniently, I wrote about a lot of that and where it came from in my thesis. Basically, the pre-digital culture into which most of us were born was a culture descended from the concept of The Book as sacred artifact, a culture based in the veneration of writing, and a culture in which reading was deeply tied up with knowing. For a few thousand years, at least in the European historical tradition, status as a knowledgeable person has been tied to capacity to read.

Funnily, though, it didn’t start that way. Back in the time of Socrates, writing – and by extension reading – weren’t very popular.

And because I wouldn’t be very popular either if I made my students read my entire M.A.Ed thesis, I have kindly condensed the forty or so pages of that tome exploring the history of reading, culture, and knowledge into what follows below. You’re welcome. ;)

(Relevant excerpts from the 2000 thesis are in quotations. Helpful commentary from the 2012 version of me is interspersed.)

The Greeks and Writing and Truth
“Socrates was an avowed dialectician who considered the written word mute,
inflexible, and unable to distinguish between suitable and unsuitable readers
(O’Donnell, 1998, p. 21). In ancient Greece — or the ancient Greece knowable
today — Socrates, and, after him, Plato, were vehement and passionate
defenders of the dialectic method of speech and argumentation, which was
based in dialogue, logic, and rationalism, and believed to be the path to truth
(Pirsig, 1974, p. 331). This systematic process of cross-examination in pursuit of
truth represented both a technology, in the sense of a tool aimed at a specific end,
and a culturally specific intersection through which meaning and status — in this
case not only of truth but perhaps of Socrates himself — were created and
supported. He railed passionately against “[M]aking truth the helpless object of
men’s ill-will by committing it to writing” (O’Donnell, 1998, p. 21); against
abandoning the dialectic process of face-to-face communication and the
resulting illumination of that rubbing together of minds. Socrates appears
to have been a scathing critic of all other technologies of communication in
his era: his primary focus of attack was actually not writing, but rather rhetoric,
which he positioned in a dualistic relationship with dialectic and rent apart from
there. Some of his most powerful critiques of rhetoric, though — that it
constituted manipulation and a pandering appeal to emotion rather than truth —
he likewise applied to writing, positioning both systems of communication as
inferior to dialectic because of the “muteness” of their audiences (O’Donnell,
1998, p. 20).”

You will notice I am quoting Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance as a source for my appreciation of Greek culture. Take everything I say, therefore, with a grain of salt. Or two.

So Socrates was against writing because it wasn’t dialectic. Here’s the interesting part about that. Dialectic was, for Socrates and much of the ensuing…oh…two thousand+ years of European scholarship, tied to a belief in the possibility of objective, external truth. And while Socrates lost the battle against writing – which is, of course, ironically the only reason we have record of his railing against it, since Plato conveniently wrote it all down in the Socratic dialogues – his concept of truth stuck around as an ideal.

Dialectic as Truth
“For Socrates, dialectic was truth, and truth as absolute, independent of
interpretation. “Early Greek philosophy represented the first conscious search
for what was imperishable in the affairs of men (sic). Up to then that was within
the domain of the Gods, the myths” (Pirsig, 1974, p. 336). This notion of
truth as the immortal principle, made tangible through dialectic, was still a
fragile entity in Socrates’ day, part of a tense political struggle for ideological
dominance. Dialectic truth was set, in proper dialectic dualism, against
rhetoric and the Sophists’ prevailing concept of arete, or good: a more relativist
position whose maxim ran along the lines of “humanity is the measure of all
things.” Although the politics of the struggle took Socrates’ life, within
generations his concept of objective truth as the ultimate goal had prevailed,
subsuming “the good” as a mere fixed idea, and granting Socrates and his
dialectic a semblance of immortality.”

Since Plato had written Socrates into hero status, basically, and Western culture’s earliest philosophical texts and heroes have long been those of Greece, the truth that Socrates argued for got cemented into our mindset, conflated – ironically – with the writing he railed against. Add to that the co-mingling of the Abrahamic religions of The Book and Greco-Roman classical culture in the structures of the early European Church – for a thousand years the guardian of what counted as “knowledge” in the West – and you have a whole lot of power that gets invested in reading and writing.

How Dialectic as Truth Became Writing as Truth, and Truth as Dogma
“When later societies looked back to this perceived Socratic
Golden Age for wisdom, the wisdom they were able to access was bound
up in the intersection of authorial writing and absolute truth: in the
conventional wisdom, literally, of a community whose ideology was based in the
“common knowledge” of truth as external and discoverable. Thus the literate
practices that developed around writing led to it being taken up, powerfully, as
a tool of truth, to texts being read as paths to truth, with meaning contained
inherently in them, rather than in transaction between reader, author, and
culture. This was reinforced in the Roman and early Christian cultures by the
relative scarcity of texts, and by the religious nature or the high cultural status
of many that did exist. As Purves points out, “[T]he position relating the text to
the world was most vociferously held in those periods when there were
relatively few texts as compared to the present time when the number of texts
in the world probably matches the number of molecules of water in a good-sized
lake” (Purves, 1990, p. 46). The sanctioned writings of the “peoples of the book”
— Jews, and then Christians and Muslims — were taken up within those
communities as the Word of God, and the surviving writings of the Greek
ancients were seized upon by the Grecophilic Romans as equally singular
truths, if not of Gods, then of honoured chosen ancestors, knowers of truth.

By the eighth century C.E., the concept of external truth had become ensconced
in the form of deity. As an increasingly powerful Catholic church gained control
over large segments of the feudal economy and its governance structures,
writing — which had likewise become a medium of the church — came to
represent knowledge itself, in the form of Roman Catholic doctrine and ritual.
A monoculture of power based on the Word of God held sway across Western
Europe.

In Nattering on the Net: Women, Power, and Cyberspace (1995), Dale Spender
details a Europe of 1450 wherein the church essentially controlled knowledge: theirs
was the key to what was known, both literally, because most documents were housed
in the scriptoria of monasteries, and figuratively, because the church represented
God. This independent, absolute God actually fit easily with the classical conception
of truth as Immortal Principle. What was written, and in a monastic world,
sanctioned by church process and protocol, was taken up as truth, independent
of human bias or interference.”

Then, of course, everything changed, power-wise. Except for the truth part. We held onto that sacred cow for another five hundred years or so. You could argue we are still grappling, culturally, with whether to let it go, or not. In a sense, that’s what this course is about: this watershed period of the digital doesn’t just usher in new ways of reading but far broader ways of knowing.

But long before our contemporary digital communications revolution came the print communications revolution.

The Gutenberg Revolution
“In approximately 1453 C.E., a German named Johannes Gutenberg
transformed a wine press into a functional printing press equipped with
movable type, and the print era was effectively brought into being. The concept
of print had not been inconceivable before Gutenberg, and his use of movable
type was an adaptation on a much older Chinese system, but his press is
thought to have been the first in Europe to function effectively and make
printing a reasonable enterprise. It was certainly a successful enterprise, and
within a very short period of time, printers and presses were springing up all
over Europe (Spender, 1995, p. 4). These printers were, for the most part,
entrepreneurial folk who would have had more in common with mechanics and
businesspeople than with clerics, and though the content of almost all known
early print texts was religious, it was not all as pious in its nature as the
church might have hoped.

While Gutenberg’s press was used to publish his famous edition of the Bible,
it was also used from its earliest days to print indulgences, or tickets that
absolved the purchaser from punishment for sins. The existence of
printing presses and printing businesses whose goal was economic rather than
spiritual soon had an impact on the types of texts in circulation: for the first
time in centuries, secular tracts, pamphlets, and books came into being and
into the hands of citizens. The church’s monopoly on information
dissemination — on knowledge — was broken: other ways of “[E]xplaining the
world, apart from the religious version which represented the church as
all-knowing and all-powerful” (Spender, 1995, p. 3) had begun to take hold.

How the Printing Press Ended God’s Monopoly on Truth
The church’s monopoly on education was undermined by the secular
information and institutions made possible by the printing press, and as a
result, its power over the literate practices used to create knowledge also began
to slip. Texts began to be published in the “vulgar” spoken languages of Europe
rather than in Latin, thereby undermining the doctrine-based education system
of the church and enabling people who wanted to challenge the status quo to
spread their ideas. A German monk named Martin Luther harnessed the
capacity of the printing press to spread information quickly and in common
language so effectively that his “Ninety-five Theses” fractured the church itself,
commencing the Reformation movement and even drawing the church into use
of the printing press to defend itself. As Spender succinctly explains: “The
Church was caught in a bind. It could ignore at its peril the leaflets and
posters which were circulating so widely and which were so critical of its8
practices. Or it could descend to the same vulgar level…so began the first
poster war in history. The Church’s critics leafleted the masses; and the
Church tried to defend itself in a medium that it despised and condemned. The
winner was the printing press” (Spender, 1995, p. 4).

The printing press also changed what it meant to create text, taking it out of
the monastic confines of individual scholarship and placing it within a new
structure of power grounded in economic principles. This redesignation of text
impacted the societal image of knowledge, since the two had been so thoroughly
intertwined, and made it something it had never overtly been before: a
commodity, a product with exchange value. Removed from the hallowed
domain of God, words and ideas and various wisdoms became articles of trade.
As Paul Levinson puts it: “Knowledge has always been power, as witness the
role that monopolies of knowledge among priests and others have played
throughout the millennia. But knowledge first became a commodity in mass
culture, to be bought, sold, traded, and otherwise exchanged, in the aftermath
of the printing press. Today, computers have quickened, expanded, and
otherwise amplified this process into the ‘information society’ that we now
inhabit” (Levinson, 1997, p. 34). Such commodification laid the foundation for
many of the principles that inform societal operations today, with our memoirs
and our educational packages and our digital information systems all for sale.
This departure from the medieval conception of the knower as the instrument of
God opened the door for the eventual development of familiar concepts such as
intellectual property, patents, and copyright.

How The Church Responded
The book, then, symbolized an end to church hegemony over knowledge,
but it was not the political danger to the dominance of the
church that was addressed in its resistance to this change. Rather
the church emphasized the purported dangers of embracing the new and
unholy technology, positioning its opposition in moral terms.
Like the modern critics, the Church did not state its grievances in
terms of self-interest. Religious dignitaries did not go about
complaining that the book was challenging their power, reducing
their influence, and marginalising their professional skills. Rather
the objections were all about the damage that was being done to the
individual and the community…discipline would disappear, brains
would go soft, honour and uprightness would be sapped by all this
salacious, violent, permissive literature. (Spender, 1995, p. 48)”

Recognize any parallels yet between these claims and contemporary pearl-clutching concerns over digital media? Not that many of the concerns aren’t legitimate, on the terms by which we were raised to understand life and knowledge and education and ourselves. But there are power interests involved and invested in these understandings.

One of the key threads of my M.A.Ed thesis traced these previous cultural shifts in power and knowledge that occurred when past communications revolutions took place. Socrates lamented the loss of memory to writing. The monastic culture – and the all-encompassing authority – of the Catholic Church suffered irrevocably when the printing press made not just hand-copying but the whole idea of knowledge AS copying obsolete.

And all the hand-wringing about the terrible things happening to our children because of digital practices? They read a lot like Don Quixote, published in two volumes in 1605 and 1615, wherein the protagonist buries himself in his books so deeply – individual, independent reading was a new practice in European culture at this point – that, from so little sleep and so much reading, loses his wits and his capacity to distinguish real from imaginary. He then, of course, became an icon for all the generations after who saw in his story the possibilities of literary imagination and format.

That doesn’t mean the losses for those invested in monastic culture in 1500 or so weren’t real. It doesn’t mean Socrates wasn’t right about memory. It just means that when we talk about reading in a digital age, we need to think carefully about what is being protected in the lamentations and critiques.

Truth: from God to Gatekeepers
The gatekeeping of knowledge practiced by the church became gatekeeping
practiced by publishers and scholarly institutions, based in the class values
and practices of those who owned the technology and those who controlled
what knowledge meant. The democratization of knowledge was minimized
by these gatekeeping entities, and by access to reading itself. Schooling in
alphabetic literacy remained the province of relatively privileged social
elites — or more particularly, of the males of those elites — in most European
countries until the nineteenth century (Spender, 1995, p. 52). Thus the
majority of people who lived in the Europe so dramatically affected by the
printing press likely never had the opportunity to read a book, let alone write
one.

Eventually, alphabetic literacy spread, and reading and literate
practice became societal goals by the nineteenth century (Spender,
1995, p. 46). Still, this did not represent democratic access to the status of
knowledge-creation, as the gatekeeping surrounding publishing and
the culture’s texts of truth, canonized by academia, remained intense.

The concept of absolute truth did shift in its embodiment from God to
science, eventually, in relation to the changes initiated by the printing press,
but there was no transformation of the absolutism itself, only its qualities.
Likewise, outside science, the authority that had been invested in God became
invested, instead, in writing itself — and the writing of Western culture came to
be understood as representative of that culture and its truths.

Thus the technology which so impacted the conventions of writing, the
conditions of its production, and the issue of access to it, still had little effect
on the cultural attachment to an overriding concept of external, Socratian truth.
Literate practices of the manuscript era and the print era shared the common
bond of faith in a universal principle, however differently conceived, and the
familiar concept of authorship is still grounded in, and etymologically linked to,
a notion of truth beyond human interpretation.

Where Truth in the Print Era Might Have Turned Out Differently
There were moments — in hindsight these are always readily available — when
things might have gone another way. As Janet Murray explains in Hamlet on
the Holodeck, early novels, including the sequel to Don Quixote, played with the
conventions of linear narrative and monologic voice, emphasizing borders and
constructions rather than the seamless representations, apparently whole and
received, which came to dominate the forms and conventions of print. Murray
points out that “[I]n the eighteenth century, Laurence Sterne wrote a self-
deconstructing memoir called Tristram Shandy in which the narrator inserts
black pages, numbers chapters as if they had been rearranged, claims to have
torn out certain pages, and sends us back to reread certain chapters. In short,
he does everything he can to remind us of the physical form of the book we are
reading” (Murray, 1997, p. 104). There were opportunities, then, for multiple
perspectives to emerge, but things did not take shape in that way. Print, in the
maturity of its high modernist form, was predominantly a technology of linear
narrative and hidden construction: a technology whose usage tended to
reinforce the culture’s dearly held beliefs in order, classification, and the
immortal principle of truth.

James O’Donnell suggests that the forms of authorship and narrative that constituted
the hegemony of the printing press era are now being subsumed in a new age:

The author is already an endangered species, and rightly so.
The notion that authoritative discourse comes with a single
monologic voice thrives on the written artifact. Both oral
discourse (before and beyond the written word) and the
networked conversations that already surround us suggest
that in the dialogue of conflicting voices, a fuller representation
of the world may be found. The notion that reality itself can
be reduced to a single model universally shared is at best a
useful fiction, at worst a hallucination that will turn out to
have been dependent on the written word for its ubiquity and
power. (O’Donnell, 1998, p. 41)”

So. There you go. The reading most of us grew up with was deeply tied to cultural concepts of knowledge, status, linearity, and a single version of truth. Thus endeth today’s reading from Stewart, B. (2000). Literate Practice and Digital Worlds.

See, students? Don’t let anybody ever tell you you’ll never use your Master’s thesis again! Ahem.

In the interim, tell me. How do you think digital technologies and digital practices change our relationship to the concept of truth?

***
Works Cited
Levinson, Paul. (1997). The soft edge: a natural history and future of the information revolution. New York/London: Routledge.

Murray, Janet H. (1997). Hamlet on the holodeck: the future of narrative in
cyberspace. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

O’Donnell, James J. (1998). Avatars of the word: From papyrus to cyberspace.
Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press

Pirsig, Robert M. (1974). Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance. New York:
William Morrow.

Spender, Dale. (1995). Nattering on the net: Women, power, and cyberspace.
North Melbourne: Spinifex Press.