Tag Archives: MOOCS

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Theorizing Motherhood In DH

This week I am requesting permission to create an Individualized MALS degree that combines Digital Humanities with Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. The purpose of this combined major is to weave DH praxis (theory and practice) and feminist maternal perspectives into a thesis project that identifies “Mother Studies” as potential new area of inter-disciplinary coursework within the academy.

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As we all know (here in this class and on the blog) — Digital Humanities is a relatively new field that is currently exploring its relevance, theory, and action. “Attempts to define the digital humanities represents a foray into contested terrain” (Matthew Gold, Digital Humanities), and yet DH has been successful in a) accessing funding, b) perpetuating a discussion of itself, c) offering classes at universities around the world. While MOOCS are just one arena where DH exercises its muscle, there is much to explore that could be useful in examining and developing “Mother Studies.” A few of those platforms are: interactive texts (such as the ones featured on the Commons), feminist archives, online exhibits, and projects like UCLA’s Hypercities; which could facilitate a mapping of history that includes aspects of HERstory (populations that have not been included in normative discussions of the recorded past. See also, Cold Spring Harbor Library.

If Digital Humanities offers a glimpse into theory and practice of “Mother Studies,” then the starting place for accessing content will be drawn from existing sources in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies literature, popular culture, and identity politics. These things shaped the feminist movement(s) of the sixties, seventies, and eighties and have continued to inform subsequent generations of procreators. GC’s own Barbara Katz Rothman has been writing about birth and motherhood since the 1980s. I suggest multiple perspectives can be added as theoretical and material resources expand to include a social, philosophical, psychological, economic, and global discussion as it pertains to m/otherhood, fatherhood, and family study.

An examination into “Mother Studies” is the logical symbolic daughter of the ever expanding, and microscoping feminist discourse. In 2011 Sage Publishing released The Encyclopedia of Motherhood. The three-volume work included feminist arts organizations, activist agencies, and academics spearheading new work about motherhood. At the same time here in New York City I began a three-year museum project on the Upper East Side. The Museum of Motherhood focused on exploring and exhibiting academic and artistic works about women, mothers, and families.

Intellectuals who believe this subject has merit have laid much groundwork. In conclusion, by combining Digital Humanities with Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies I aim to construct my thesis project interactively. I will take an interdisciplinary approach to shaping the theory and practice of “Mother Studies” by a) pulling from existing sources, b) engaging the academic “collective,” c) establishing a framework with which to view the topic as a scholarly endeavor, b) utilizing DH theory and tools to enhance evaluation and discussion.

*Photo credit:

Photo Credit:
Company: TBWA\, SPAIN, Madrid
Executive Creative Director: Guillermo Gines and Juan Sanchez
Creative Director: Bernardo Hernandez
Copywriter: Vicente Rodríguez
Art Director: Bernardo Hernández and Ely Sánchez
Account Supervisor: Inés DIaz-Casariego
Advertiser’s Supervisor: Criistina Infante and Jorge Huguet
Photographer: Sara Zorraquino
Producer: Nuria Mazarío
The Outdoor Advert titled UMBILICAL CORD was done by Tbwa\ advertising agency for brand: Sony Playstation in Spain. It was released in the Apr 2007. Business sectors are: Cannes 2007 Press Bronze, Cannes 2007 Press, Point of Purchase posters.

The Importance of Place

By, Martha Joy Rose (you can call me Joy 🙂

Screen shot, Madonna, Material Girl video (1985)

Screen shot, Madonna, Material Girl video (1985)

To quote Madonna, “we live in a material world.” Bodies are the containers for our intellectual, sensation-filled, pleasurable, and of course painful lives. My material body is the place from which I interact with the world. The biological shape it takes interprets data and responds accordingly. It is my home, and its receptors process my life experiences. That’s why I titled this first blog for the Digital Praxis Seminar “The Importance of Place.” For people wishing to push past the limitations of the material world, online portals provide unique opportunities to connect beyond the place and space individuals physically occupy.

During the first Digital Humanities Seminar class participants wrote one-sentence definitions of DH. My short and sweet assessment was, “DH is the intersection between information and technology.” Expanding on that idea is the notion that every subject within the interdisciplinary humanities has the potential to be available via the internet. These systems have already begun to change the learning landscape through MOOCS (Massive Open Online Courses) and digital libraries. Optimally the internet expands opportunities and enhances the physical/mental landscape into information highways, hyperrealities and more. This is a fascinating new frontier with its own possibilities and limitations. We are still at the forefront of this burgeoning new “place” learning to manage the opportunities presented and the pitfalls created.

This summer I watched Morgan Spurlock’s special on CNN delving into Futurisms. You can see the YouTube video here. The episode is a sometimes-frightening glimpse into humanity’s technological future, of which each of us plays a part, like it or not.

Because I still live in a body, but because my body lives in a world of rapidly developing technologies, I embrace the importance of both spheres relatively. I exercise my body, eat right, and love my physical form (in all its stages), but I am diving full steam into the new important space of digital humanities where information and connections find scope and life online. I absolutely think it is the next important place to be.

(If anyone needs extra help getting in the wordpress groove, I’m happy to help. Just write me at my gmail address and we’ll set up a chat time by phone)
My Twitter Handle is: TheMediaMom
E-mail: MarthaJoyRose@gmail.com
Website: MarthaJoyRose.com