Based on the success of previous years of digital pedagogy roundtables, aka poster sessions, aka digital demos, the editors of the Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities collection put together a proposal for the Modern Language Association Convention in January 2016, Austin, Texas, where we will continue to keep Austin weird! We have a great line-up of projects and keywords to demo the evolution of digital pedagogy since that first poster session in 2012.

Curating Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities

Curating Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities opens outward one of the most hidden acts of our profession: teaching. Often only students and faculty are privy to the workings of a classroom setting or results of a particular assignment. For this electronic roundtable, we propose to expose, discuss, and demonstrate not just the acts of learning and teaching, but also the interaction between our evolving reliance on digital tools as a way to engage with public humanities.

New digital methods of critical analysis are reshaping academic practices in profound ways as scholars use digital tools and platforms to rethink their assumptions about what can or should happen in higher education classrooms. In digital humanities courses, scholars help students use data-mining to examine large textual corpora, with the goal of interrogating assumptions about literary genres; in composition and rhetoric classes, students examine new rhetorical modes employed in networked spaces of communication such as Twitter; scholars in multiple disciplines use online platforms to connect their students with one another; and literature scholars help students use digital tools to collaborate on the kinds of projects that were once the domain of solitary scholars.

Aside from examples found in journals such as Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy–an important locus for digital presentations of digital pedagogy work for many years–much scholarship on digital pedagogy takes the form of second-hand reflections by faculty members on their teaching. By contrast, participants in this roundtable will present a range of concrete examples of the materials that make up successful digital pedagogy practices. The round table, taken as a whole, will document the richly-textured culture of teaching and learning that responds to new digital learning environments, research tools, and socio-cultural contexts.

Digital pedagogy has had a regular presence at recent MLA conventions, including two electronic round tables in 2012, “Digital Pedagogy: An Electronic Roundtable” organized by Katherine D. Harris and “Building Digital Humanities in the Undergraduate Classroom” organized by Brian Croxall and Kathi Inman Berens; sessions sponsored by the CIT on “Games for Teaching Language, Literature, and Writing” in 2013 and “Augmented Reality for Teaching and Learning in the Humanities”  in 2014; “Digital Pedagogy: An Unconference Workshop” organized by Brian Croxall and Adeline Koh; and Jesse Stommel’s talk, “Digital Pedagogy: A Genealogy,” at MLA 2015. We will extend the work of these sessions to share models of effective pedagogy by grappling with the overall impact of the digital on pedagogy in humanities as instantiated in particular teaching materials.

Co-presiders Katherine D. Harris (@triproftri), Matthew K. Gold (@mkgold), and Rebecca Frost Davis (@FrostDavis), co-editors (with Jentery Sayers, @jenterysayers) of the born-digital project Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities: Concepts, Models, and Experiments, will open the session by explaining how the digital has changed practices, perspectives, and locations for humanities pedagogy. Open digital publishing has revolutionized pedagogy through broad sharing, reusing, and hacking of digital assignments. The digitization of primary sources enables students to engage in authentic research activities, while increasingly available digital tools offer new avenues for students to analyze humanities materials. Finally, the digital has changed the classroom itself, blurring the geographical, temporal, and personal lines between class, community, and globe, through ongoing collaborative projects and opportunities to interact with all sorts of audiences.


After a brief introduction to the panel’s rationale by the co-presiders, the audience will be invited to visit each presentation station where each roundtable participant will discuss a particular term in the context of teaching and learning and then demonstrate pedagogical artifacts drawn from actual courses, classrooms, and projects.

At each station, attendees will also be invited to contribute their own examples of effective digital pedagogy artifacts by tweeting to the hashtag #curateteaching, which will be shared in the active conference twitter back-channel, projected live at the front of the room during the session, and posted to Github ( and the MLA Commons after the session.


1. Interface

Kathi Inman Berens (@kathiiberens) will share artifacts that represent a broad range of pedagogical interfaces, defined as the space where learners, curricula, digital environments and teachers constitute each other dynamically.

2. Multimodal

Virginia Kuhn (@vkuhn) will present artifacts that demonstrate how our ways of teaching must shift to foster critical engagement with the extra-textual (sound, image, video) registers of meaning, especially in digitally networked multimodal texts.

3. Video

Daniel Anderson (@iamdan) will share artifacts that demonstrate the range of video-based digital pedagogy moving from an audio-visual version of the textual writing process to “post-cinematic” video influenced by the participatory, ubiquitous video of smart phones, social networks, and gaming, as well as algorithmic composition, and interactive sensor-based video.


4. Failure

Brian Croxall (@briancroxall) will explore four different tiers of failure within a classroom that depends upon technology, showing how moments of failure create opportunities for engaged learning.

5. Queer

Edmond Chang (@edmondchang) will explore the digital as a constellation of spaces, practices, and protocols that can be both liberatory and regulatory, both queer and deeply normative. Queer digital pedagogy is about finding, creating, and playing with multimodal and polyamorous questions, algorithms, archives, and artifacts, analog and digital, flesh-to-flesh and virtual.


6. Hybrid

Jesse Stommel (@Jessifer) will explore resources that show how digital tools can be used to extend the classroom beyond its own bounds: continuing discussion outside scheduled class time; connecting a classroom in one geographical place with communities elsewhere; creating genuine audiences for student work; and empowering students to be co-teachers.

7. Poetry

Chuck Rybak (@ChuckRybak) will present examples of poetry-related digital pedagogy resources from four categories: digital tools, coding and encoding, creative writing, and pedagogical history. How can teachers of poetry rhetorically assess digital tools so that learning and inquiry eclipse the bright lights of technology employed?

8. Defining Digital Pedagogy

At the front of the room, the co-presiders will ask participants to reflect on and share their definition of digital pedagogy.  This crowd-sourced definition will be aggregated and analyzed through Voyant text analysis, with the results presented in our github repository: