Alexis worked on hackathons including the Make the Breast Pump Not Suck hackathon (love it!) and others to bring people together to hack policy, services, & norms related to postpartum experience.
loves Alexis's work. Breast pumps are awful! Jean is director of CompSci equity project at UCLA. Jean taught high school & middle school English and social studies and got excited about critical pedagogy & addressing systemic issues.
Jean's research focuses on equity issues in computer science education.
Jean's recent research tries to elevate the voices of youth who have been pushed out of the world of computing and are experiencing their first computing class in high school.
How can we push the tech industry to recognize that they are responsible for the ethical implications of what they create? How can we get involved in changing this? Jean wrote a graphic novel called Power On about teens + CS & CS heroes addressing inequity.
Cliff works in teacher education and the same project as Jean, also with YR Media where youth produce and create media.
Cliff's work is at the intersection of computational thinking, critical pedagogy, and creative arts expression.
Marisa shares about porous authorship structures as opposed to the black box model of academic publishing.
Co-design process is reciprocal, traditional publishing is extractive.
Takeaways: Who are you trying to reach? Why now? Who is the right person to distribute the info? What kind of media does your audience consume? When?
Santiago asks what resources were helpful to panelists in beginning sharing beyond academia.
All the work from YR media is meant to be shared with the public. Research focuses on pedagogy, curriculum, and process.
Cliff makes it a point to present to educators, publish op eds, trade pubs.
It's important to consider the writing style in trade publishing & for non-academic audiences to make it readable, break the mold grad school may have pushed you into.
Have conversations about your work with people outside of your work and relationships and partnerships can develop. "Academia's not necessarily meant to get you to be a public intellectual." Read more journalistic writing, academics who write trade books
"Academia's not necessarily meant to get you to be a public intellectual." Read more journalistic writing, academics who write trade books.
Think about who surrounds you. Are you only talking to other academics? Don't drop your non-academic friends & family. Meet people outside academia.
Jean was an avid reader of graphic novels & manga but hadn't written one before and had to learn to write a comic script instead of description.
"Graphic Novel Writing for Dummies"-type resources can be helpful to learn how experts in the medium work (like Neil Gaiman or Superman writers).
Academic publishers often do a small run like 400 copies. Other outlets have wider reach.
Popular media is a lot of eyes if the people who you're trying to reach consume that outlet. "Where are people's eyeballs?"
There's value in directly impacting fewer people, too.
There's the question of impact and the question of scale and how you should negotiate that depends on the project and your goals.
For the Breast Pump hackathon, the goal was to change the narrative of breastfeeding from personal choice to structural one (importance of employment policies, healthcare) and prepped for communicating with the media.
Another goal was to change the culture of the media lab because the breastpump project wasn't future-focused enough or was too weird; deliberately targeted academic publishing as well to push back against that perception.
How do you balance the output demands & needs of academia/academic publishing with these non-traditional forms of sharing your work? How do you communicate the impact and value of this work within the academic context? How do we move past the h-index?
Why should I spend so much time on the peer review process? How deep is that impact? It can feel hard to justify but toggling or balancing and using academic vocabulary with peers can sharpen our thinking about those issues.
You can increase citations to underrepresented scholars and include voices from outside academia when you author academic work.
"Balance doesn't exist in my life right now... COVID has made things work."
Jean has an academic position as a researcher but steps of advancement aren't tied to tenure because the work is grant-based. Getting academic AND non-academic audiences excited about a graphic novel because it's based on research & translating research is important.
Getting academic AND non-academic audiences excited about a graphic novel because it's based on research & translating research is important.
I'm excited that my first, maybe only book, is a graphic novel because the kids in my family are reading it.
It's a graphic novel published by an academic publisher (MIT press).
We need to speak to academic audiences AND other audiences. Be intentional and strategic.
Being at a liberal arts institution is different than being at an R1. What department, school, or college you're in will affect what kind of output is considered as impact.
Some institutions will value podcasts and other media.
published an academic paper about the breastpump hackathon and followed that with a toolkit for people who want to host hackathons. It can be helpful to think through things as you write academic work and then leverage that thought process when writing popular work.
It can be helpful to think through things as you write academic work and then leverage that thought process when writing popular work.
What advice would you give to early career scholars who want to pursue academic careers and also sharpen their skills for creating art/writing outside academia?
You panelists are inspiring. Who inspired you?
Mike Rose from UCLA. Both Cliff & Jean had him as a professor. He translated academic knowledge to a mainstream audience. Cliff learned about the writing process from him.
How do I convey through storytelling the same message as research, but in a powerful, motivating, engaging way?
Mike was always practicing the art of beautiful writing. Every day he was writing on a yellow notepad with a pencil. It wasn't an egotistical, egocentric practice. He was thinking deeply about the people he had met & trying to convey their stories.
Artists we enjoy like David Bowie, Yayoi Kusama. Re-read books like you want to write - Jean re-read the March trilogy. Be inspired by the different ways a story can be told.
Catherine D'Ignazio (<3 Data Feminism)
Mitch Resnick & Natalie Rusk
Get in the habit of doing primary ethnography, engage with real people in real life that you're accountable to, transcribe your conversations with them, it's transformative for you as a speaker & them as a listener.
The Shakers thought about rendering their own religious views through arts, which is close to the practice of making public scholarship.
Ethan Zuckerman had students practice non-academic writing
Sarah Pink's Sensory Ethnography