I’m delighted that an interactive symposium on my book, hosted by the wonderful site Syndicate, has begun this week. The Learning Gene emerged as a pedagogical project directly out of this book project, especially chapter 5 (which is titled “Tomatoes in the Classroom”). I found it to be enormously useful, receiving four sets of commentaries on the book (each of which I’ve crafted responses to). It’s fascinating to note how this book, once published, has transformed into open-ended and dynamic conversations about form, perspective, the relations between knowledge and existence, and the very nature of hope (and despair). Over the next four weeks, each commentary and response will be published on Syndicate. I’m excited to find out what new questions and problems emerge from these conversations.
Here’s an updated line-up of our Podcasting & Process event series. Everyone is welcome!
Jan 12, 7pm @ Loft 112: “Politics,” featuring Kate Jacobson (CJSW) and Azren Raju (The Language Nerd)
Feb 1, 8:30am in the Visualization Lounge, first floor of Riddell Library, Mount Royal University: Guy Obrecht, performing Alvin Lucier’s “We are sitting in a room” (1969)
Feb 8, 10am in the Visualization Lounge, first floor of Ridell Library, MRU: Mickey Vallee, talking about “Voice, Intimacy & Control: Intersections in Sound & Science Studies”
Feb 9, 7pm @ Loft 112: “Sound,” featuring Mickey Vallee, talking about “Soundscape Cartography in Northern Alberta”
March 2, 7pm @ Loft 112: “Design,” featuring Meg Wilcox (Journalism at MRU) and Sean Perrin (Clarineat podcast)
There will be beer/cider by donations at the Loft 112 events; Loft 112 is wheelchair accessible through the front library, and washroom is gender neutral. These events are sponsored by the Faculty of Arts and Department of Humanities at Mount Royal University, as well as Pod Summit.
Although the podcast The Learning Gene hasn’t yet launched, the broader project has been underway for a full year. This past year, two groups of students have worked on the project in the context of a Feminist Philosophy class (in fall 2016) and a Philosophy of Science class (in winter 2017). You can peruse the full slate of assignments, readings and lesson plans of Feminist Philosophy and Philosophy of Science, if you’d like to learn more about the background of the project. And you can listen to the students’ audio projects here.
I decided to share my own first-ever audio essay as a pre-episode to The Learning Gene—in advance of the podcast’s launch. It’s posted here on this site in the spirit of “starting in the middle.” It’s actually a key backdrop to the podcast because it contains the project’s tagline: listening to things we don’t know how to listen for. This is something that Erin Manning expressed during our skype-conversation about teaching, and it captures the essentially open-ended ethos of this project. The audio-essay itself, however, remains somewhat of a draft (which is why it won’t be part of the official Season 1 of the podcast).
There are pedagogical reasons for sharing work that is provisional or not-entirely-polished, I think. Bhanu Kapil, the amazingly astute poet and post-colonial thinker, explains for example that there’s no rushing the process of creative work. A narrative becomes itself in time, she writes. And she really means it: writing requires duration. It can be so painful, this experience of the duration in which writing takes place, that she created a chant to accompany her own writing process: “I learned how to re-write my work with as much passion and joy and curiosity as I had given to the writing of it. I even invented a chant: Re-writing is writing. Writing is re-writing.” Read more
I am in the process of launching a podcast, The Learning Gene, as part of a bigger project that brings audio together with philosophy, science studies and pedagogy.
I’m sharing a pre-episode to the podcast in the spirit of starting in the middle. The podcast will launch with actual episodes shortly. As Isabelle Stengers writes, “What is unknowable is unknown” (2011, 261). Put otherwise, we don’t know what we don’t know. We start in the middle as a way to encounter the unknown. (Of course, “the unknown” could be a matter of concepts and relationships…. but it could also be a matter of craft, design and genre. I’ve left in some truly terrible audio quality in this pre-episode, for example– in part because I’m still not sure why the tape is so garbled in this rendered mp3! There’s a moment in my interview with Erin Manning in which I say, “Hi, Erin, it’s Ada!” but in the rendered version, you can barely hear a thing. I’m still mystified at what went wrong in the sound design process here). Read more