On Presentation



presentations start 13 February:
you have only twenty minutes for your team so you and your partner/s must plan carefully! after you present, you will facilitate discussion for about 40 mins. please set up before class start time!

what do presentations cover? First of all, think of these as gifts of some of your time and extra research to the class. They should not be focused on the text/s under discussion that day (we do that together in class) but should bring to the class something we don't all have (yet) in common -- some research that will enliven the contexts, both" insides" and "outsides" of the stuff we are reading. This research may be found on the web, journals, experiences, and need not be onerously collected. An hour or so of wandering around in transdisciplinary worlds and sharing things you have just discovered is right! We are not being exhaustive, but tweaking what we assume: trying to work with intensive knowledges, honed in memberships, and extensive ones, synthetic and exploratory. Be adventurous!

Our focus here is on the lively materialities that genealogies, theories, activisms are, intermixed in ways more and less easy to engage and understand, collected and distributed in embodiments that are and are not individual, human, animal, thing-ly, process and so on.

That means although we are interested in issues of belonging, identity, structure and agency, social movement and historical social change, all these have shifted in recent years in ways subtle and spectacular as we come to know more about complexity, systems, neurobiology, epigenetics, amid new knowledges, experimental metaphysics, and much more. And that we are in the middle of restructurings: economic, political, academic, globalizations: and all of these affect how we make, share, use, demonstrate, inhabit, and care for new knowledges.

1) So do think “social movements,” and do think “who are these people, what are they doing now and where?” Those are the best places to begin. What social movements have these authors participated in? What are the timeframes involved in publication of texts, in professional lives, in activist experiences, in world historical contexts?

2) And then, follow up with stuff that surprises you, that makes what we are looking at different than you expected, offers context, connects to what you care about most. Notice that the focus is not on critique. That doesn’t mean that we exclude it, just that we don’t overvalue it to the exclusion of knowing so much more. And that we wonder about critique itself as if it were the safeguard of “accurate representation” without also asking ourselves what that assumes, entails, and obscures? 

3) Think: how do we make this ALIVE! full of people, things with agency, dynamic shiftings among communities of practice, full of stuff we can all really CARE ABOUT! And stuff we truly don't have to know already. Things that humans are just learning now!

4) Work out contexts: some clues to these might be:
• google ngrams and trendings (see links from class website and Katie's UPenn talk) that work with books, cover & blurbs: note language, positionings, claims and authority, key terms
• where published? Look up publisher guidelines for authors on the web: what does that tell you? genre of writing? fields?
• when googleing books, see reviews and positionings, maps and cloud tags, similar books and categories, refs trails and reputation
• who is this person? what biographizing helps? where are they located institutionally and career wise? what different lives do you glimpse?
• historical time & timings – what was going on in US, elsewhere, and otherwise?
• what intellectual cohorts, lineages, schools of thought, etc. are networked here?
• what leading-edge knowledges are in play?

NOTE THIS WILL TAKE RESEARCH BEYOND JUST READING THE TEXT. Your presentations are intended to ADD ADDITIONAL info beyond the text. Note that our discussions are not confined to critique and interpretation even when concerned with these and with what they in their turn may leave out or let go unnoticed.

Are you familiar with Research Port? with the Google Ngram Viewer and Google Trends? Data visualizations such as on visual complexity? With Google Images, and reverse image search? What do you usefully return to again and again that you can share with us? 


In followup discussion consider:
• What assumptions does this material require US to reexamine? What does it suggest we might need to UNLEARN? (hypotheticals are okay here. more and less personal is fine.)
• Which social movements and timeframes are in play here? How are they similar and different to assumptions and experiences with these today?
• What has the author focused on and why? (shrewd guesses are required for much of this.)
• When it is clear that something has been left out, was leaving this out •a conscientious political choice, •an effect of location (what sorts?), •a necessary limit (of what kind?), •a problem of unexamined assumptions (they are?), •an unintended consequence of specific choices (such as?), •an issue of historical timing and/or resources of information, •a generational situation of cumulative knowledge (in what fields and generations?)….

CONSIDER AND NOTE ESPECIALLY issues of diverging audiences and distributed authorships....

Examples of Katie's handouts: http://thingmedia.blogspot.com/p/handouts.html
Come up with your own style perhaps? taking account of distributed audiences and authorships....
Handout12 Bateson Asilomar

From 7 Feb email:


Teams presenting should arrive for class about 15 mins before we start on the hour to set up. I will be around, and can give you the key to the supply room where the projector is kept. You should set it up and use your own laptop, or the PC department one, or another you can scrounge up that you like best. 

In other words, my laptop is not available for this. Make your own arrangements. BRING ALL THE CABLES AND HOOKUPS AND ADAPTORS YOU NEED TOO! 

If you want to do a dry run before class, email me and we will see what we can do…. 

NOTE:  if you give talks anywhere you will often be in exactly a situation in which you have to ask about all this, know what stuff you prefer, have your own cables and adaptors and so on. So this is a professional skill you are acquiring here. 

AND, NOTICE ALSO: this makes some of the labor and the infrastructures, equipment and considerations VERY PRESENT FOR YOU. Some one has to do all this and know all this (and more of course, in many additional materialities we hope to explore as well). 

STUFF! infrastructures, labor, boxing and unboxing, who does what. 

So be attentive to all that as you work it all out. There will be some similar issues, learning of practices, and ways of having to confront the complexities of coordinating complex systems involved in everyone taking on DIRECTOR roles in the class, the signups we will do next time. 

There are many reasons for doing all this, but among them is to cultivate a bit of technological, organizational, and systems jouissance. 


You have now lots of handouts I’ve created and can see the style I have developed myself over time. ALL PRESENTATIONS SHOULD COME WITH HANDOUTS! Preferably a single sheet, double-sided, and enough copies for everyone in the class that you bring yourself to the class: 7 copies will do it. 

SEND AN ELECTRONIC VERSION TO ME TOO: but not to my katking@umd.edu email, but to my gmail account: katiekin@gmail.com. Our system will often throw out or eat attachments, so to make sure I really have it and easy to retrieve down the road, I need it at gmail. 

To be able to search for it easily please use this format for the subject header to gmail: yourlastnameonly 621 whatitis. For example, King 721 handout1. 

And name the file the same way. THINK: if Katie were to download this would she be able to tell from the file name what it is and who it is from without opening it, but just from the filename? would that be unique so it doesn’t get mixed up with someone else’s? 


Just as Sara pointed out so well last class, the content matters but so does our performance of it, our abilities to put into words what we are doing and feeling and how that actually is a part of what we are doing, but has been “boxed” to be made invisible/unfeelable/unspeakable in the infrastructure: for reasons good, bad, inadvertent and more. Just easier! with what consequences? 

NOTE: these are not just stupid rules, they are “standards” I have developed after years of working with students and seeing how my workflow is affected and what makes life for me (and others) easier and better (as I understand it). 

NOTE: how hard/easy it is to take this to heart: resistance, already a practice, remembering it, taking it seriously, secretly sure these things are unfair impositions. Or discovering that one just simply cannot remember to do it with the best will in the world. Or that reading the email and keeping it for reference just seems utterly impossible (and secretly rather unfair or whatever). 

Thinking, rethinking, meta-thinking, coordinating, feeling out being embedded in complex systems…. 


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