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Materiality, Embodiment, and Pedagogy Online


Joscelyn Jurich, Center for Engaged Pedagogy, Barnard

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As teaching and learning continued remotely into 2021, Materiality, Embodiment, and Pedagogy Online, the Center for Engaged Pedagogy’s interview series and resource guide addressed a potential challenge: How can online courses creatively center the material and embodied practices? We interviewed faculty and staff from a wide range of departments and disciplines about their pedagogical and disciplinary approaches, raising the following questions: What is the role of objects and the corporeal in the online learning process? How can the particular sensory experience of a book, manuscript, photograph or artifact exist and take on renewed or new meaning in an online course? What new pedagogical practices develop in the online context when physical objects, bodies and embodied practices are centered as sites of learning and when the traditional classroom has been necessarily transformed? 

We published our series on the CEP website as narratives of how instructors and staff creatively and critically approached these questions in their courses, their centers and libraries, and in their scholarly and creative work.  We centered our approach to this project firstly as a continuation of our 2020 interview series, “Virtual Tea with the CEP,”  that examined how faculty, students and staff made the adjustment to the sudden move to online teaching and learning.  

Materiality, Embodiment, and Pedagogy Online is in effect a continuation of our documentary approach to researching how faculty, students and staff have responded in their teaching, learning and scholarship to the pandemic context in creative, generative, and inventive ways.  Our aim in taking this approach with both series is to highlight the teaching and learning experiences of the Barnard instructional, student, and staff community in the pandemic context with three central aims:  to share innovations in pedagogical practices with the Barnard community and the wider community of educators and students far beyond Barnard; to create a resource guide of materiality, embodiment, and pedagogy materials that can be beneficial to educators and learners; to reflect critically on the potential and limitations of online teaching and learning.  Materiality, Embodiment, and Pedagogy Online revealed the immense creativity of Barnard instructors and staff in their approaches to pedagogy, to scholarship and to the integration of practices including meditation, zine making, and dialectical notebooks into their courses; it highlighted the enmeshment between the digital and the material and its implications for thinking critically about technology and the environment; finally, it opened reflection on what aspects of online teaching and learning are valuable to integrate into in-person courses.

This project was a collaborative one created by the team of the Center for Engaged Pedagogy, Barnard College.

Celebration of Teaching and Learning Symposium

See how Columbia faculty and students are transforming their courses and pedagogies.