If you have not already read Cathy Davidson’s new book, you should be. It is the first positive discussion of the changes happening in Higher Education that I’ve seen in a long time. Davidson takes the words that scare the bejesus out of us tweed jacket types (i.e. “crowdsourcing,” “gaming,” “relevance,” “open source”) and puts them on the table for discussion in a bold but generous way. She encourages those reading her book to see it as a field guide to our new learning environment, which is still in the condition of becoming. Most importantly, however, she reminds us that as educators it is our duty to keep changing–to unlearn material that has caused us to stagnate and look to the emerging trends for clues to what lies around the corner. Could it be video games? I have no idea. Neither it seems does Cathy. But she deserves credit for asking the questions about what is truly wrong in academe that most have avoided and providing a few suggestions of how to overcome our current malaise/stagnation.
If you are in Chicago, Cathy Davidson will be speaking on the Future of the Humanities at the Chicago Humanities Festival on Saturday, November 5 at 11am at the UIC Forum. See the Chicago Humanities Website for more details. http://www.chicagohumanities.org/en/Genres/Public-Affairs/2011f-State-of-the-Humanities.aspx