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FemTechNet (# FemTechNet ). Distributed Digital Pedagogies: Collaborating Across Difference T.L. Cowan @ AgingSupermodel The New School Presentation link: 716 Aug 14, 2014 - Digital Pedagogies Institute, UTSC #DigPed14 Presentation:. Introduction to FemTechNet.

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femtechnet femtechnet

FemTechNet (#FemTechNet)

Distributed Digital Pedagogies: Collaborating Across Difference

T.L. Cowan @AgingSupermodel

The New School

Presentation link:

Aug 14, 2014 - Digital Pedagogies Institute, UTSC #DigPed14


introduction to femtechnet
Introduction to FemTechNet
  • an activatednetwork of scholars, artists, and students
  • workingon, with, and at the borders of technology, science and feminism in a variety of fields including STS, Media and Visual Studies, Art, Women’s, Queer, and Ethnic Studies.


collaborateon the design and creation of projects of feminist technological innovation for the purposes of engaging the interests of colleagues and students on advanced topics in feminist science-technology studies

  • seeks to engender a set of digital practices among women and girls, to teach and encourage their participation in writing the technocultural histories of the future by becoming active participants in the creation of global digital archives
ftn structure
FTN Structure
  • The Network
      • FemTechNet
      • Course Architecture
      • DOCC – Distributed Open Collaborative Course
  • The Course
      • Dialogues in Feminism &Technology (2013-14)
      • Collaborations in Feminism & Technology (2014-15)
ftn as cyberfeminist praxis
FTN as cyberfeminist praxis

FTN Whitepaper:

The FemTechNet DOCC rests on a pedagogical framework that we identify as “cyberfeminist.” For the past twenty years, cyberfeminists have worked diligently on projects to provide broader access to technology for women in diverse global contexts. They have developed strategies to transformWeb 2.0


environments into generative spaces for dialogue by drawing on feminist theories in the creation of new digital applications and web places, to focus explicitly on the quality of interaction among web users and the creation of infrastructures of synchronouslearning.

This cluster of courses draws on the experiences of cyberfeminist teachers, scholars and artists who have worked to develop skills and literacies of traditionally marginalized groups such as women and people of color and people working from the underresourced majority world. (FTN Whitepaper: 4)

cyberfeminist pedagogy
Cyberfeminist Pedagogy

“Like the theoretical and activist frames by the same name, cyberfeminist pedagogy would attend to the ways in which digital technologies both subvert and reinscribe gender, race, and other corporeal hierarchies in virtual space; it would be attentive to the productive and ironic play of cyberfeminist activism and theory. But cyberfeminist pedagogy would also commit to the tenets of feminist pedagogy such as ethics of care, community-based curriculum, collaboration, and embodied praxis.”

  • Rebecca S Richards, “I could have told you that wouldn’t work: Cyberfeminist Pedagogy in Action.” Feminist Teacher 22.1 (2013) 6-7
  • (As an example of cyberfeminism, check out

Transforming Higher Education with Distributed Open Collaborative Courses (DOCCs):

Feminist Pedagogies and Networked Learning

FemTechNet White Paper Committee | September 30, 2013

FemTechNet White Paper Committee:

  • Anne Balsamo, The New School, School of Media Studies
  • Penelope Boyer, ¡Taller! [Workshop] San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas
  • CL Cole, Media and Cinema Studies, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Megan Fernandes, Brown University
  • RadhikaGajjala, School of Media and Communication Studies and American Culture Studies, Bowling Green State University
  • Sharon Irish, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois,


  • Alexandra Juhasz, Media Studies, Pitzer College
  • Elizabeth Losh, Culture, Art and Technology Program, University of California, San

Diego (Committee Chair)

  • Jasmine Rault, Culture and Media Studies, Eugene Lang College, The New School
  • Laura Wexler, Yale University
ftn faq

Anne Balsamo & Alexandra Juhasz“An Idea Whose Time Has Come: FemTechNet– A Distributed Online Collaborative Course (DOCC)”

Who, what, how?

what is a docc
What is a DOCC?

Distributed Open Collaborative Course

  • a multi-situated connected course on a shared theme built and sustained by many faculty and students, using collaboratively designed Key Learning Projects, Interactive Activities, and shared, open resources (Video Dialogues; readings; guest lectures from within the network), based on the feminist model of distributed expertise, and feminist methods including dialogue, accountability, horizontally-oriented, peer-engaged transformative learning.


“A DOCC is different from a MOOC in that it doesn’t deliver a centralized singular syllabus to all the participants. Rather it organizes around a central topic,” said Balsamo in an article this week in Inside Higher Ed. “It recognizes that, based on deep feminist pedagogical commitments, expertise is distributed throughout all the participants in a learning activity, and does not just reside with one or two individuals”

why now
Why Now?
  • Feminist epistemologies and pedagogies have taught us that it matters not just what you learn (i.e., the hypodermic MOOC method – ‘sage on the stage’) but who you learn with (‘guide on the side’).
  • Adjunct methodology – multi-sited; shared-resources; insist on redundancy; beyond efficiency; need for connection; affective network; feminist response to exploitative labour practices & institutional hierarchies
  • Feminist analysis & intellectual & cultural histories - more than “add women & stir” method
docc guidelines for collaborations in feminism technology 2014 15
DOCC Guidelines for “Collaborations in Feminism & Technology” 2014-15

Each DOCC 2014-15 will:

  • Foreground DOCC Methodology for knowledge creation, which relies heavily on dialogue and other feminist practices.
  • Engage questions of Feminism and Technology, through the use of course materials, and at least one Key Learning Projector student/faculty collaboration.
  • Contribute something to help build and sustain the DOCC; each instructor should sit on a FTN committee towards this end -- Pedagogy, Assessment, Communications, Archives, Accessibility, Steering, White Paper, Technology, etc.
  • Engage foundational works by feminist scholars, artists and activists—by viewing a video dialogue, wikistorming, using shared critical resources, etc.
ftn key learning projects
FTN Key Learning Projects
  • Feminist Wikistorming
  • Key-Word Videos
  • Feminist Mapping
  • Community Participation via Blog Commenting
  • Object Making/Exchange (final project)

ftn interactive projects graded or ungraded
FTN Interactive Projects (graded or ungraded)
  • Twitter Tag
  • Exquisite Corpse Video Project
  • Situated Knowledges Map
ftn teaching learning resources
FTN Teaching & Learning Resources
  • an open-ended structure for Teaching & Learning Resources that reflects some of our shared pedagogical philosophies and priorities—including anti-racist, anti-colonial, trans-, queer and crip feminist content and teaching methods.
  • Recognizing privilege structures within our network/welcome (From upcoming manifesto: Accountability is a feminist technology)

ftn design feminist technology in action
FTN Design – Feminist Technology in Action
  • Videos – archive of feminist thought in action
  • Assignments – feminist pedagogy in action
  • Wikistorming, Blog Commenting – activist pedagogy (see video)
  • Campus, Community & Self-Directed Learning

– collaborations across difference

“Collaborations in Feminism & Technology”

  • new course experiment – Launching Sept 22, 2014

(stay tuned)

meetings office hours workshops
Meetings, Office Hours & Workshops
  • Open Online Office Hours (OOOH!)
  • Pedagogy Workshops
  • Town Hall Meetings
  • Summer Workshop/Institute

building sustaining femtechnet
Building & Sustaining FemTechNet

Collective Structure

Committees & Working Groups (aka Feminist Organizing)

  • PedCom
  • Communications
  • Fundraising
  • Video
  • Whitepaper
  • Steering
  • Accessibility
  • Archives
  • Ethnic Studies
  • Technology (The Commons…)
distributed open collaborative communication
Distributed, Open, Collaborative Communication

Facebook - (closed group)

Schedule -

Collaborative notes - (etherpad > google doc)

questions comments
Questions? Comments?

T.L. Cowan

FemTechNet Chair of Experimental Pedagogies

School of Media Studies

Lecturer - Culture & Media, Eugene Lang College The New School


Long link: