Just last Friday, May 5th, MASCLab held a virtual version of our annual Podfest celebration. While we missed the opportunity to host everyone in person, it was wonderful to see so many familiar places and We’re grateful for everyone who was able to join us!
One aspect of past Podfests has been our “podluck,” where members of the community bring their favorite dishes to share. In lieu of the podluck, we asked Podfest participants to submit some of their favorite recipes. Lucky for you, we’ve compiled them in a cookbook here! And here you can access an accessible Word Document version.
We were also able to do some collective reflecting about the event using Padlet. Below are a few of the thoughts that were shared about the event, and you can scroll down to view the full Padlet.
Media as Scholarship and Social Change
“I’m grateful for your presentations, innovations, and collaborative spirit. I’ve thought about this issue, “media as scholarship and social change,” a lot since the early 2000s. I had the privilege of participating in an early wave of new media advocates/practitioners, who worked closely with world-renowned scholars (e.g., historians Roy Rosenzweig, Eric Foner and Manning Marable). They were passionate about the use of new media (at the time CD-Roms and then the Internet) to disseminate new scholarship to new audiences, beyond the Ivy League, in the most democratic way possible…”
“MascLab is the next generation. You’ve done so much. Your innovations constitute a new form of scholarship, one that is unlike any other that preceded it, in part because your scholarship requires the active involvement of its intended audience (whose feedback then informs its redesign) and, in part, because your scholarship has an immediate impact on the public good. I haven’t been this excited since 2007, the last time I developed a history database (the Amistad Digital Resource with Manning). You are amazing. I’m looking forward to remaining in touch. Wishing you much success, Harriet” (An excerpt from a longer reflection)
Empathetic views on unfamiliar experiences
I’ve had a somewhat unusual experience of the pandemic with respect to MASCLab. I moved away from NY a year and a half ago, and so taking the lab’s life online has reconnected me in a really meaningful and welcome way.
A week or two into this new normal, I realized I was having a very similar experience to one I was hearing described in my professional circles: Churches generally struggle to serve people who are “shut in” to their homes, but the people in that situation who also have good internet access and literacy have been reenergized/reconnected by the opportunity to attend services and other gatherings *with their community* as opposed to having to depend on religious broadcasts that tend not to match their theology and piety and don’t private much connection to their “spiritual friends.”
I don’t have any pithy takeaway or breakthrough understanding to share in light of this realization, but I do think that the moment of embodied empathy will stay with me—and I hope guide my work as a practitioner in many of the communities to which I belong. I hope the positive aspects of our experience of the pandemic will guide our ongoing reflection about access and participation.
Image: I was interviewed for an article about online worship. Weird experience, especially because this magazine has a very different political/theological orientation to mine and my congregation’s.
Research with youth in digital spaces
Many thanks for a really thought-provoking and inspiring experience! I left podfest 2020 feeling energized and encouraged to explore creative methods of engaging in research with youth in youth-led spaces. Part of what I’m thinking about more now is, what makes a research method? What can be a research tool? During this time of social distancing, I’ve found myself spending a lot more time on Netflix, and often with colleagues / friends. I’m wondering about the creative potential of Netflix Watch Party as a way to engage in inquiry with youth (and making use of the chat function, which may be less intimidating than a traditional interview). I’m wondering about the use of Instastories to survey youth. I’m also wondering about the use of virtual world avatars and screen names when using Zoom to conduct focus groups with youth. Basically, I feel inspired to think more about methodological possibilities, particularly with Internet-based, digital space research centering youth identities and experiences. I’m thinking about all of this after listening to the Podfest and also having binge-watched 4 episodes of The Circle. Thanks for putting this together! I hope to finally be able to make the Wednesday Masc Lab meeting time in the Fall.
As we continue to cope with the current circumstances, we really appreciated the opportunity to gather with the larger MASCLab community, even if it was only virtually. If you’re looking for more ways to connect, we’ve put together a page (below) about ways to get involved (or stay involved) with the lab. We’re looking forward to finding new ways to support multimodal scholarship at TC!