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Meeting (2018-10-22)

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on October 20, 2018 at 2:49:53 pm



Meeting Time:       Monday, October 22, 2018, 2:30-4:00

Meeting Location: Transcriptions Center (SH 2509)

Meeting Zoom:     For anyone who needs to attend by Zoom please let Alan know in advance; we can use Alan's "instant" Zoom ID (default meeting Zoom):  https://ucsb.zoom.us/j/760-021-1662


Purpose of today's meeting

  • Initial brainstorming (see also the Google Doc "Drafting Board for Ideas" in which some of our ideas have already been collected)


1. Overview

  • Current centers and expanding sense of "center"
    • ACGCC (director: Candace)
    • COMMA (director: Maurizia)
    • EMC (director: Bernadette
    • Hemispheric South/s (director: Stephanie)
    • L&E  (director: Tess)
    • L&M (director: Kay)
    • Medieval Literatures (director: Heather) (Jessica Zisa)
    • Transcriptions (director: Alan) (RA: Alanna Bartolini)
    • Las Maestras (directors: Cherríe, Celia)
    • Global Latinidades (director: Ben)
  • The description/definition of "centers" now on our department website:
    • From the "About" page:
      • "The UCSB English Department offers courses in a full range of literary historical periods, national and transnational literatures in English, and critical approaches. It is distinctive for eight multidisciplinary centers that cut across traditional boundaries and allow facultypost-doctoral and visiting scholars, graduate and undergraduate students to collaborate on critical and creative activities. The research clusters reimagine what it is to teach the humanities, privileging collaborative knowledge-practices as the necessary complement to the traditional classroom. This model of balanced education is the foundation of a robust English major.
    • From the "Research Centers" page:
      • "The first generation of the department’s centers, started in the 1990s, include the Transcriptions Center, the Early Modern Center (EMC), and the American Cultures & Global Contexts Center (ACGCC). A second generation, Literature & Mind Initiative (L&M), Literature & Environment (L&E), Hemispheric Souths (HSs), the Center on Modernism, Materialism, and Aesthetics (COMMA), and Medieval Literature, began 2008-10. All the centers have a distinguished record of funded research, colloquia, and curricular “specializations” for students.  For more on the centers, please see this excerpt." 
    • From the "Research Centers Excerpt" (by Alan Liu) page:
      • (See the page, which contains an excerpt from an article by Alan that describes the center model)



2. Cross-center programming

  • Possible ideas:
    • Lecture Series (Maurizia suggests: "a trans-center lecture series organized around a topic that may interest all the different centers--a topic that may be approached from different methodological and theoretical perspectives, and therefore capable of respecting the specificity and work of each center")
    • Two- (or three-) center synergy events
      • A round-robin of center-center "what are you doing?" meetings each year (e.g., Transcriptions meets to share ideas, trends, with any other center)
      • Center-center events (eg., a Transcriptions and L&M event based on Kate Hayles' Unthought book) 
    • Transcriptions workshops on digital methods/tools for other centers (cf., Nicole Dib's Critical Pedagogy workshop series this year) 
    • Other ideas? 



3.  Engaging undergraduates in our centers (and helping to increase enrollments and majors)

  • Possible ideas:
    • Curriculum:
      • Starting center-themed courses that have the potential to become large courses (feeder courses into the major)
        • Example: Ken's course
        • Possible future examples? (Alan's idea for courses titled "Telling Stories with Data", and "Writing for the Internet") 
      • Center contributions to the repertoire of "Uses of Literature" (English 11) courses
      • Creative-writing tie-ins to the centers?  (e.g., "Writing New Media Fiction," "Writing Climate Fiction"?)
      • Start center-themed courses with the potential to draw in Latinx, Asian-American, and other students? 
    • Research
      • Channel some of the Arnhold Collaborative Research Groups (and RAs) into/through the centers?
      • Undergrad RAs for centers?
      • Starting research projects designed to include undergrads
        • Start projects designed to engage Latinx, Asian-American, and other students?
    • Event Programming:
      • Designing events for undergrads and including undergrads. E.g.,
        • Speakers who are asked specifically to address an undergrad audience
        • Undergrad reading groups (c.f, Alanna's idea for Transcriptions this year)
        • Low-stakes "show and tell" and other formats (not necessarily poster shows)
        • Skills-building events for undergrads: E.g.,
          • "Learn to Present" workshops
          • "Build a Professional Web Presence" workshop
          • "Build a Portfolio" workshop
          • "Writing an Application" workshop 



4. Publicizing the work of the centers and department (and helping to increase majors as well as to recruit grad students)

  • List Las Maestras and Global Latinidades on the dept. web site as "centers"?
  • Creating a coordinated online strategy:
    • Blog: Create a department "blog" on which we publish posts from the centers reporting on initiatives and events; publish interviews with speakers and alumni; feature recordings of events; show photo slide shows; etc.
    • Social Media: Have centers draft tweets to be sent out by the dept "Social Media Director" on the dept. Twitter account (and also draft posts as appropriate for the dept's Instagram and Facebook accounts). Such tweets could be queued up in advance for posting, or they could be generated as part of reporting on new blog posts. We could also appoint grad students to "live tweet" center events. Centers would have their own hashtags, e.g., #ucsb-transcriptions
      • Create timed social media campaigns for the purpose of:
        • Reaching undergraduates at the beginning of quarters (as well as just before each academic year)
        • Publicizing the dept. and centers in Oct.-Nov. before the graduate-student application deadline in Dec.
        • Publicizing the dept. and centers in March during the graduate recruitment season.  



5. Funding and Staffing Strategy

  • xx





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