3. Online Public Intellectual Work Through Social Media: Engagement Strategies and Pedagogical Practices

Instructors:
Kimberly McKee (Grand Valley State University)
Krista Benson (Ohio State University)

Social media and public intellectual work is particularly appealing to marginalized scholars, including scholars of color and queer scholars. This workshop explores how scholars use social media tools in research and instruction, paying careful attention to how these platforms facilitate scholars’ engagement with a public audience. Participants learn personal and pedagogical applications of social media and public intellectual work through platforms such as Wordpress, twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and tumblr. We begin by focusing on the different ways of engaging with information on each platform, their limitations, and their benefits.

Participants begin by being presented with different presentations of intellectual work in the public sphere to see the range of ways that scholars use social media as digital humanities work, including participation in conference hashtags on twitter and instagram, activist and scholarly blogs, and the ways that community activists engage intellectual work on tumblr, twitter, and Instagram. We also explore how online activism has been blurring the lines between scholarly work and activism around race, indigeneity, and sexuality.

Additionally, we reflect on how we teach social media and online engagement in classes, as well as the pedagogical opportunities offered by these digital humanities platforms. We examine social media’s role in shaping individuals and communities. Participants evaluate how social media platforms express political, social, and cultural power. Additionally, participants analyze how social media expands and limits conversations on issues concerning race, gender, sexuality, and diaspora.

This workshop will conclude with a practical application of these platforms. Participants will leave the workshop with examples of engagement and plans for ongoing participation for scholarship and/or instruction using the platforms best-suited to their work. Participants should bring some kind of topic or area of their work that they would like to enhance with social media or public intellectual work.