Jameson and the Post-Modern Question of Cynical Fragmentation
This might be the wrong way to address the fact that I'm going to experiment with Twitter in the next class I teach, but the idea came to me as I was reading Chela Sandoval's "Fredric Jameson: Postmodernism is a Neocolonizing Global Force." So maybe I had the passing thought before reading about the impact of the electronic/technological revolution on the ability to frame criticisms of the dominant discourse, but I wondered if technology could still be used as a method of bringing back together some of those communities fractured and silenced by technology. Almost all students have cell phones or access to computers, so what kind of impact can we have when collapsing distances of space and time via 140 character tweets to students, prodding them to think about generative classroom themes outside the classroom? This endeavor might have an invasive quality to it, so I'll continue to reflect on it before I make it a part of classroom participation.
If I do follow through with this, I'll be sure to have an anonymous survey available to students so they can evaluate the pros/cons of the collapsed time vs. community building potential. I will be sure to leave some space for comments/opinions, which I will use to gauge whether or not it is something I will continue with for the entire semester. Starting with Jameson's criticism, it might very well sound as though I'm anticipating negative results as a part of some greater self-fulfilling prophesy against an over-reliance of technology in the classroom, but as an educator, I would have little motivation to isolate and discredit a new media object if I didn't believe there could be a potential positive effect on the knowledge building community of the class.