Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali’s blog about education

Serendipitous Crashing: Successful Connecting #disruptingdh

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The weirdest thing happened yesterday. With joyful consequences. 

Tl; dr I wrote something in haste on a Google doc last night related to “The unbearable whiteness of the digital” (it’s one page long) and shared it out on Twitter; some people really liked it and someone even used it in teaching today! 

A while ago, Shyam Sharma and I comtributed a book chapter to  Disrupting DH (edited by Dorothy Kim and Jesse Stommel). Our chapter is an amalgam of some HPJ articles we had written, another book chapter we wrote for another book, and a blogpost of mine. Anyway. Because I’m part of that book, someone I don’t know invited me to join a panel for a conference called ASA. I have no idea what that conference is (still don’t actually) but I joined because I sooo love this book and I don’t mind participating virtually. 

Tricky thing is, I forgot the name of the person who was organizing the panel and just assumed he would contact all of us a while before the conference. Long story short, there was miscommunication and the conference wasn’t on my radar and I ended up realizing the panel we were on was on at 10pm my time..at 9pm my time from a DM from Jesse. He was saying conf wifi wasn’t good enough for me to join via hangout but i could send a video. Then we realized it’s too short notice for me to do even THAT. So I decided to write something quick for Jesse to read aloud. I opened up our book chapter, copied some paragraphs into something semi-coherent and added a paragraph spontaneously about tables and equitable participation and reflected on this particular incidence of not being able to really have a voice at the table… 

You can read the thing (one page). And the book should be out soon inshallah! 

But I’m just reflecting on this moment. That Jesse and I figured out a way to make something good of this situation, and that perhaps sharing that Gdoc was more useful overall than being at the event. That way, my words were shared f2f via Jesse’s voice, but also others online could easily read them (faster than video imho) and benefit from them and even someone used it to teach today. In India. Man! Talk about serendipitous connections.

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