Engaged Networks

The Engaged Network group in the DWRL focused on developing and mapping key types of conversations in the digital humanities field, with a particular focus on rhetorical pedagogy and collaborative work - that is, the issues at the heart of the DWRL's mission and the heart of digital work. In both cases, we looked at how conversations happened, and tried to figure out why they were occurring in that way. We live, as Cathy Davidson argues, "in a new era where the interactive and reciprocal relationship between private knowledge and community position has been blurred. Especially with the collapse of traditional community-based media (such as newspapers), one person's knowledge extends out through networks of affiliation and association in a powerful way." If affiliation and association form the core of contemporary media literacy skills, as Davidson suggests, then our pedagogical strategies and research skills must adapt accordingly. It is not enough to simply analyze these networks from afar, like archival or static objects; neither is it useful to merely plug in to the hot new apps, microblogging feeds and location-sensitive networking services. Rather, it is the primary - and difficult - task of any pedagogy or social media-based research to form sustainable and reciprocal relationships with others that enable us to cross spatial and temporal boundaries, that use multiple media channels, and that are sensitive to the emerging demands of any collaborative effort. The focus of the Engaged Networking Project was to explore these key issues by sustaining our social media presence and by developing new collaborative relationships with partners both on and off campus. The group was split into two projects -  an exciting collaboration with the Voices of Marlin project and a mapping project of the major sites of digital humanities online communities.

 Digital Media & Pedagogy Overview
The Digital Media & Pedagogy subset of the Engaged Networks group explored resources and best practices for both institutional and individual networking. Our work with institutional communication focused on researching how social media in general and Twitter in particular is used for information dispersion and self-promotion. We have leveraged the knowledge gained in this area to help the DWRL increase the frequency and effectiveness of its communications with internal and external stakeholders. Our other primary research interest had a particular goal in mind: identifying and creating metaresource(s) to guide educators and students in the digital humanities to relevant sites and provide a high-level view of the landscape as well as for a closer look at how institutions/groups/individuals can most effectively communicate within these circles. The output from this portion of our project has taken the form of an interactive map, a DWRL Delicious page, a Twitter feed, and a recorded workshop on relevant resources for DWRL members.