PDF available here: ASTU 260_2019
This course is motivated by the teachers, researchers, and students that are changing the ways in which research and knowledge is shared within and beyond the academy.
Universities are not insular. As a “public good” (Nixon), universities both produce knowledge and disseminate it to the public for use and application. The process of translation, however—from university to public and vice versa—is not always smooth, nor is it always beneficial or reciprocal. Knowledge translation, the movement of knowledge from the university to the public, is impacted by a number of factors, including race, class, gender, and ability, which directly impact how information is received and deployed. Indeed, knowledge does not exist outside of everyday structures of power: it is subject to capitalism and colonialism; it is distorted by ideology and it can be bent by governments towards specific political ends. We must always ask, as Michael Buroway does, “knowledge for whom? And knowledge for what?”
In this course we will together take up the theories and ideas surrounding knowledge dissemination, translation, and mobilization, with particular emphasis on the ways in which knowledge travels (or doesn’t travel). Over the term we will be addressing some key questions: What is the historical landscape of knowledge dissemination and how is that landscape shifting in the contemporary moment? Who decides what knowledge is and how does power facilitate and impede dissemination? In what ways has the Internet and open access changed how we think about knowledge dissemination? And if we have increased access to information does that mean that all knowledge should be made public. Does, as Kim Christen ask, “information really want to be free”?
A large portion of this class is hands-on and practice-based. You will apply readings and class discussions to practical applications of knowledge dissemination, translation, and mobilization. For example, you will translate an academic article into a “popular” media format (e.g. webpage, YouTube video, comic book, etc.). With guided instruction, you will also have opportunities to take up photography, social media, and broadcasting as means to translate and mobilize your own expertise. Throughout the course, you will rigorously engage with and expand your own roles and responsibilities as consumers, translators, and producers of knowledge.
By the end of ASTU 260 you will be able to:
- Take an informed, responsible position on knowledge dissemination, translation, and mobilization, and readily synthesize conversation/debate on these topics;
- Identify and critique knowledge to action gaps (KTAs) in relation to key power structures (race, gender, class);
- Assess the efficacy of scholarly knowledge that has been translated into to a public form and provided clear, concise feedback on examples;
- Clearly and effectively disseminate and translate scholarly knowledge using a range of media including photography, wikis, and broadcasting;
- Analyze and critique the forms (e.g. race, class, gender) through which knowledge dissemination and translation is enacted;
- Recognize the need for informed, compassionate, rigorous, and diverse leadership in knowledge dissemination;
- Confidently and effectively share your own scholarly knowledge.
In addition, throughout the course, students will be able to hone the following skills:
- Critical reading · Library research · Writing and argumentation
- Audio production · Photography · Project planning
- Collaboration · Wikipedia Editing · Social media
Readings[*] (listed alphabetically):
Brown, Kimberly Juanita. “Regarding the Pain of the Other: Photography, Famine, and the Transference of Affect.” Feeling Photography . Edited by Elspeth H. Brown Thy Phu Duke University Press, 2014. Available via UBC library website (search “Feeling Photography”)
Christen, Kim. “Does Information Really Want to be Free? Indigenous KnowledgeSystems and the Question of Openness.” International journal of communication, 2012. Volume: 6: 2870-2893. Available via UBC Library website.
Giesz-Ramsay, Tracy. “University of Victoria Digital Humanities Expert on the Privatization of Knowledge” National Observer. June 17, 2018. https://www.nationalobserver.com/2018/06/17/opinion/university-victoria-digital-humanities-lab-expert-privatization-knowledge
Golumbia, D. (2016). Marxism and Open Access in the Humanities: Turning AcademicLabor against Itself. Workplace, 28, 74-114. http://ices.library.ubc.ca/index.php/workplace/article/view/186213/185391
Graham, I. et al. “Lost in knowledge translation: Time for a Map?” Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions Explore this journal 26 (2006): 13-24.
Halbert, H.and L. Nathan. “Designing for Discomfort: Supporting Critical Reflection through Interactive Tools.” Proceedings of the 18th ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work & Social Computing. Pages 349-360
Harris, David; Schneegurt, Mark A. “The Other Open Access Debate.” American Scientist; Research Triangle Park Vol. 104, Iss. 6, (Nov/Dec 2016): 334. Available via UBC Library website.
Lorde, Audre. “The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House.” https://www.muhlenberg.edu/media/contentassets/pdf/campuslife/SDP%20Reading%20Lorde.pdf
Nakamara, Lisa. “The Unwanted Labour of Social Media: Women of Colour Call outCulture as Venture Community Management.” Available via UBC Library website.
Nelles, Paul. “Dissemination of Knowledge” in Jonathan Dewald’s Europe 1450 to 1789: Encyclopedia of the early modern world (ebook, available through UBC library – find book, click on “D” and find “Dissemination”).
OCAP Principles, https://fnigc.ca/ocapr.html
Posner, Miriam. “What’s Next: The Radical, Unrealized Potential of Digital Humanities.” https://miriamposner.com/blog/whats-next-the-radical-unrealized-potential-of-digital-humanities/
Scharfe, Nick. “Creative Commons-ense? An analysis of tensions between copyright lawand Creative Commons.” Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice, 05/2017, Volume 12, Issue 5. Available via UBC Library Website.
Senier, Siobhan. “Indigenizing Wikipedia.” https://epress.trincoll.edu/webwriting/chapter/senier/
Tuck, Eve. “Suspending Damage: A Letter to Communities.” http://pages.ucsd.edu/~rfrank/class_web/ES-114A/Week%204/TuckHEdR79-3.pdf
Wikipedia. Ten Simple Rules for Editing Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Ten_Simple_Rules_for_Editing_Wikipedia
Wiwchar, David. “Genetic researcher uses Nuu-chah-nulth blood for unapprovedstudies in Genetic Anthropology” https://hashilthsa.com/archive/news/2013-07-22/genetic-researcher-uses-nuu-chah-nulth-blood-unapproved-studies-genetic-anth
Wyton, Moira. “Erin Fields is breaking down barriers and empowering students at the
UBC Library.” https://www.ubyssey.ca/features/our-campus-erin-fields/
Fifteen percent of your grade will be based on your demonstrated attendance and the quality of your participation online and in class discussions.
Twitter: On the class schedule you will also note a Twitter prompt for each week/class. For both the online in person portions of the class you are responsible for contributing to the class Twitter feed. Use the hashtag #ASTU260 to archive your tweets in our timeline. The Twitter prompts are also great places to start conversation in class!
Tweets relative to ASTU 260 allow me to gauge student interaction with the material and provide blended support targeted at student needs. Twitter also provides a secondary environment for classroom discourse—where we can continue conversations, expand on ideas, and share resources.
In class: When in the classroom, it is absolutely essential that you arrive prepared to discuss the course material in detail. All readings must therefore by read prior to each class and must be brought to class for discussion purposes. Be prepared to share your ideas and to work in small groups. There will also be some, short in-class assignments to complete.
Note: If you are uncomfortable speaking in class, or using Twitter, please come and speak to me and we can arrange an alternative assignment.
Response papers (online content)
You are responsible for responding to one article for each week of the online portion of the course (3 summaries total). Responses should be 500-750 words and must make SPECIFIC reference to the text (i.e. cite the text and ground your own thoughts in those citations). You DO NO have to summarize the entire piece of writing: detailed close reading of a certain idea or paragraph is encouraged.
Responses are graded for 1) demonstrated knowledge and understanding (concepts, ideas, relationship among ideas, uses key vocabulary); 2) critical thinking (use of processing skills: making inferences, synthesizing, forming conclusions); and 3) communication (expression and organization of ideas and information).
Here are some possible ways to frame your response (feel free to use your own):
- How is the assigned work related to ideas and concerns discussed in the course? For example, how does the assigned piece relate to other assigned articles? How does it relate to the syllabus?
- How is the work related to problems in our present-day world?
- How is the material related to your life, experiences, feelings and ideas around knowledge?
- Did the work increase your understanding of a particular issue? Did it change your perspective in any way?
- Evaluate the merit of the work: the importance of its points, its accuracy, completeness, organization, and so on.
- You could also indicate here whether or not you would recommend the work to others, and why. What audiences would it appeal to?
Email your responses to me (email@example.com) by Thursday of that week, 11:59pm PST. Responses should be submitted in a Word document: double spaced, 12-point font. Use the subject line: “ASTU 260 Article Summary [1,2,3]”
These assignments are graded for clarity of ideas, accuracy of information, and quality of writing/expression. Late submissions will be penalized 5% per day. Assignments more than 5 days late will not be accepted.
Learning Outcomes: The goal of this assignment is to provide students with a scholarly base for the course while providing guided instruction on reading and writing on academic writing.
In groups of three, create a photo essay that illustrates the ways in which knowledge is either produced, circulated, or repressed on the UBC Point Grey Campus. Be creative and use this opportunity to learn more about the UBC campus.
Your assignment must have a focused perspective or argument to hold it together. For example, you could take photos of the price tags on textbooks at the UBC bookstore as a commentary on the neoliberalization of education or of the Musqueam house posts outside of the Museum of Anthropology as an example of the University’s engagement with Indigenous knowledge.
If you are including people in your photographs each individual must sign a consent form (provided in class). I recommend that the number of photographs including people be kept to a minimum.
Just as in a written essay, your group should brainstorm a topic, conduct research, and employ that research in in the essay, but your ideas must be primarily conveyed through photographs, which you and your group must shoot and curate. Consider your topic carefully before beginning. Storyboarding your project is recommended.
Compose a one-paragraph introduction to the essay (200-300 words) and captions for each photo (limit 140 characters).
Photo essays may be submitted on the platform of your choice (e.g. Storymap, Atavist, Spark Video, Medium, Instagram, Google maps, etc.). The introduction must be included in the platform in some shape or form. Please also email me the project and the intro as a word document. Use the subject line: “ASTU 260 Photo Essay”
**We will be sharing projects in class**
Learning Outcomes: This project encourages students to think critically about the ways in which information moves (or doesn’t move) on the UBC campus. Students will also practice knowledge dissemination via visual and digital mediums and to practice writing for a public audience.
Wikipedia edit-a-thon and Reflection Paper
For this assignment, students will be working in groups of 3-4 to edit a Wikipedia articles on academic topics relevant to your group. Students will be responsible for selecting, editing, at least one existing Wikipedia entry (we will not be building new pages). The edit-a-thon will take place in class and training will be provided on site.
Choosing a Topic:
Identify a course-related person, concept, movement, or media. You can begin with material discussed in class or follow your own academic interests. Once you have decided on a topic, search Wikipedia for coverage of it. If an article exists, read carefully and identify any gaps you may find.
- Is there an article on your topic? If not, why do you think this is the case? If there is, is the information sparse or limited?
- Does your article link to important related topics and themes?
- Is your topic missing significant or relevant people, events, or concepts?
- What sources are cited on your topic? Are important voices missing?
- How is the article categorized? Are there categories that should be added?
- Look at articles with similar topics to you own. How do they structure information?
What to turn in:
1) Gap Analysis (1200-1500 words): A gap analysis is a detailed look at what is
missing from the Wikipedia article on your chosen topic. It includes critical insight into why certain material might be missing and how those gaps might be addressed. Following an introductory paragraph, which presents your topic and reasons for choosing it, your gap analysis paper should build an argument using references to the existing Wikipedia page and resources that you have located to help you to address the gap. Finish the paper with a conclusion summarizing your argument and gesturing towards how your research might impact other articles on Wikipedia. Email me a draft of your gap analysis (as a double-spaced Word doc) at least 12 hours before the edit-a-thon. Use the subject line “ASTU 260 Gap Analysis.” The final gap analysis is due the day after the edit-a-thon, providing the opportunity to revise given your experiences in editing. One gap analysis per group.
2) Email me a word document with your edits and additions and the URL of your entry by the date listed in the below schedule; include the final draft of your gap analysis. Include a screenshot of the original entry. Use the subject line: “ASTU 260 Wikipedia Assignment.” If you have concerns about how the work load was distributed in your group you may address these concerns in the body of the email. All details will be held in confidence.
Note: I am not so much interested in the amount of content you add or change as the critical insight you bring to those changes, so worry less about the amount of content you are adding and more about the quality of the changes and your ability to justify them in the gap analysis.
Learning Outcomes: This assignment provides students with hands-on training in writing and editing Wikipedia and provides a real-time opportunity to contribute to the production and dissemination of knowledge on one of the world’s largest open access platforms.
Knowledge Translation Project and Reflection Paper:
Find a scholarly article (details on what constitutes a “scholarly article” will be discussed in class) on a topic of your choice. Drawing upon class readings and lectures, translate this research for a lay audience in a popular genre and medium of your choice (e.g. webpage, podcast, comic book, zine, YouTube video, snapchat video, etc.).
Your translation must: 1) identify an audience; 2) Communicate a need for the information to be taken up by that audience; 3) synthesize key ideas from the article; 4) translate those ideas creatively in a way that can be readily taken up by non-experts; 5) clearly acknowledge the original source material.
Examples of knowledge translation can be found here: https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/assets/info/res/mhr/if-res-mhr-creative-kt.pdf
Prepare to talk about your translation process (problems and successes of your process and final project) with your peers in class. Further details in the below schedule.
Knowledge translation reflection paper (500 words): Your reflection paper for this assignment should further convince me of the strengths of your translation. What audiences does your piece translate knowledge to? How does your translation benefit the public? What does your chosen medium convey that the original text could not? You should end by discussing what you learned from the assignment. How has your work shaped what you know about knowledge translation and dissemination? What were the biggest challenges? What would you do differently if you were to do the assignment again? Please submit by email in a double-spaced Word doc with the subject line “ASTU 260: Knowledge Translation Assignment.”
Learning Outcomes: The purpose of this assignment is for students to practice reading, parsing, and translating academic research into mediums designed to reach broader audiences and to think critically about the ways in which knowledge is influenced and adapted in its translation across platforms.
Below is the tentative schedule for ASTU 260. Content is subject to change depending on guest speaker availability. Readings are listed in the left column, guest lectures, workshops, assignment due dates are listed in the right.
For our in-person classes, please have all the readings easily accessible (printed out or saved to a laptop, with your notes readily available (e.g., in the margins) so that we can readily refer to them. Due dates are your responsibility.
|Online Content (July 3-27)|
|Topics and Readings||Activities and Assignments|
|Knowledge Production and the Neoliberal Academy
|Knowledge Production and Power I
|Knowledge Dissemination and Power II
|In-Class Content (Aug 7-29)|
|Topics and Readings||Activities and Assignments|
|August 7: How Knowledge Moves (and how it doesn’t)|
|August 8: How Knowledge Moves (and how it doesn’t)|
· Twitter topic: What was your initial reaction to The Internet’s Own Boy?
|August 12: Ethics of Knowledge Mobilization|
|· Wiwchar. “Genetic researcher uses Nuu-chah-nulth blood for unapproved studies in Genetic Anthropology”
· OCAP Principles
|· Case Study, “Bad Blood”
· Twitter topic: Is data a public good?
|August 13: Ethics of Knowledge Mobilization|
||· Visit to Residential School History and Dialogue Centre
· Twitter topic: what did you learn about knowledge dissemination at the RSHDC?
|August 14: The Digital Humanities|
|August 15: Photo Essay Presentations|
· Brown, “Regarding the Pain of Others.”
|August 19: Wikipedia, Gap Analysis|
· Senier, “Indigenizing Wikipedia”
· Ten Simple Rules for Editing Wikipedia
|August 20: Wikipedia, edit-a-thon|
|August 21: Labour & Community Engagement|
· Nakamara. “The Unwanted Labour of Social Media: Women of Colour Call out Culture As Venture Community Management”
|August 22: Labour & Community Engagement|
|· Nakamara. “The Unwanted Labour of Social Media: Women of Colour Call out Culture as Venture Community Management”||
|August 26: The Business of Publishing|
|· Guest Lecture: Alyssa Arbuckle, “Open Scholarship”
· Twitter topic: How do you think you can contribute to open scholarship?
|August 27: Museums and Knowledge Dissemination|
|· Halbert and Nathan, “Designing for Discomfort”||
· Visit to Museum of Anthropology
· Twitter topic: tweet a photo of an exhibit that you think matches the Halbert and Nathan article.
|August 28: The Future of Knowledge Dissemination?|
|· Golumbia, “Marxism and Open Access”||· Knowledge translation workshop
· Twitter topic: tweet a final question about knowledge dissemination. Where do you think the field needs to go from here?
|August 29: Knowledge Translation Presentations|
|· Final presentations on knowledge translation assignment (5 minutes)||· Wrap up and review Twitter topic: final thoughts/comments #ASTU260
· Final knowledge translation due
Attendance: Attendance is mandatory and important in order for us to fulfil our responsibilities to one another. Students who plan to be absent for athletics, creative endeavours, family obligations, travel, work, or other similar commitments cannot assume they will be accommodated, and should discuss their commitments with me. If you’ve been unavoidably absent, it is your responsibility to ensure you are caught up on notes, announcements, etc.
Take down the email of classmate that you can ask for notes in the case of an absence.
Academic accommodation: UBC accommodates students whose religious obligations conflict with attendance, submitting assignments, or completing scheduled tests and examinations. Please let me know at least one week in advance if you require any accommodation on these grounds.
The University supports students with a disability or ongoing medical condition by addressing barriers may affect their academic success. Types of conditions supported by UBC’s Access & Diversity team include (but are not limited to) mental health conditions, neurological disabilities, chronic health conditions, and physical disabilities. Please contact an Access & Diversity advisor to request a letter of accommodation, and then come see me to discuss how best to meet your needs throughout the course <http://students.ubc.ca/success/student-supports/academic-accommodations>.
Academic ethics: As university scholars, we must adhere to ethical standards for research. As academic researchers on knowledge dissemination and translation via media, we are particularly obligated to meet the standards of UBC’s Behavioural Research Ethics Board (BREB). In the course of your research for ASTU 260, you are encouraged to read public (not private) postings to blogs, social networking sites, and online communities that are cited in academic articles and others that are relevant to your own research. You may not, though, post comments to any of these sites or email either the writers or their respondents, as this may unduly influence the individual and/or their online community.
Academic integrity: Academic integrity refers to the ethical and respectful conduct expected of every member of the University community, in our work and in our workplaces. More narrowly, academic integrity refers to presenting ideas that are our own and giving proper credit when we engage the ideas of others. Learning these practices is crucial for your work here at university, as failing to give others credit constitutes plagiarism. Submitting work other than your own, whether the plagiarism is intended or unintended, will result at the very minimum in a zero for the assignment, and can result in your expulsion from the university. Please consult the Faculty of Arts’ student page on Academic Integrity for more information <http://www.arts.ubc.ca/arts-students/plagiarism-avoided.html>. You may also find the Chapman Learning Commons’ “Guide to Academic Integrity” a useful resource for tips and tutorials on how to correctly cite your sources <http://learningcommons.ubc.ca/guide-to-academic-integrity/>. If you have any questions about how to engage the work of others while citing them appropriately, please do not hesitate to ask me.
Statement of respect and inclusion:[‡] Diversity is an intellectual asset that can benefit from common principles of critical thinking and academic guidelines in evaluation procedures in ASTU 260. Rexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic and heterosexist language will not be tolerated in class or in assignments
ASTU 260 is inclusive of gender identity, gender expression, sex, race, ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, ability, age, etc. Students, instructors, visitors and readings/media in ASTU 260 can raise controversial issues. Learners and educators expect to be treated respectfully at all times and in all interactions. Disagreements can occur among course participants without being disagreeable and offensive.
Please e-mail me your name and pronoun and how you would like these to be used.
Late assignments face a 5% penalty for each day late (including weekends and holidays) until one week (5 days) after the deadline; after that time, I will not accept the assignment. If you anticipate difficulties, be sure to speak to me well in advance.
Contacting me: During the in-class portion of our course, I check email once a day, and aim to respond within 24 hours, Monday to Friday, during business hours (9am-5pm). During the online portion of the course, it may take me 48 hours to respond. Messages sent at night, on weekends, and on holidays may not be read until the next business day. Please give emails a specific, clear subject line, starting with “[ASTU 260]” and keep the tone and style consistent with genres of professional correspondence.
Some (of the many) UBC Student Resources
UBC is a large university with many offices and people dedicated to supporting you during your time here as a student. Sometimes, because the university is so large, it can be confusing to know who can help you with what. Here are a few key resources that you may find helpful. If you need more information, then please do not hesitate to ask the Dual Degree Office (DualDegree.SP@ubc.ca) or me (firstname.lastname@example.org). We are happy to help.
The Dual-Degree Office
If you have questions about the program, please contact Belle Cheung, the Academic Program Manager for the Dual Degree program here at UBC, at DualDegree.SP@ubc.ca.
Arts Academic Advising
Please contact the office of Arts Academic Advising if you have questions about a course, want help planning your degree, or are experiencing a difficult time academically or personally.
UBC Counselling Services
Counselling Services is open to and free for all admitted and registered UBC students. Counselling Services provides a variety of services to help you live well, feel good, and achieve your goals. They can help you manage challenges related to mental health and mental illness so that you’re able to have the best university experience possible. Their office is 1040 Brock Hall, 1874 East Mall.
Enrolment Service Professionals
Each UBC student has a dedicated Enrolment Service Professional. Your ESP is the person who you contact for help with anything from paying tuition or making a budget to requesting a transcript. They can also guide you through UBC regulations and processes to make sure you get the support you need, when you need it. If you’re not sure who your ESP is, then contact the main office: 604.822.9836.
Chapman Learning Commons
Located in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre (IBLC), the Chapman Learning Commons (CLC) supports student learning in many ways, including peer academic coaching, online student toolkits (e.g., citation, plagiarism, group work, assignment planning), research support, and equipment loans—you can use their scanners and printers, but you can also sign out video cameras and other technology plus charge your laptop if you forgot a power cord. Note: their hours and services vary over August, so check their schedule (http://hours.library.ubc.ca/#view-chapman).
[*] You will require a UBC Campus Wide Login (CWL) to access readings via the UBC Library.
[†] Adapted from ASTU Instructor Kathryn Grafton
[‡] Adapted from the UBC Social Justice Institute (GRSJ)