"Hello, World!" and welcome to my academic home away from home.
Homepage: http://djs.web.illinois.edu/ (Here)
Office Hours: Wednesdays 4-5pm (Fall 2020)*
(I hold these via Zoom. Current students have links in their Moodle sites, and are invited to drop-in at these times. Others should contact me via email to get the link.)
(Nota Bene: I have hidden my office number and office phone number, as I am working from home during the pandemic.)
I'm an Assistant Teaching Professor† in the Sociology Department, where I teach (mostly) online and blended courses.
This (academic) year (2020-2021) I am teaching:
There is an important trope in the world of online teaching. We distanced, digitized teachers often self-identify as "the guide on the side" rather than "the sage on the stage" (King 1993, Morrison 2014). This meme can appear trite, but it can also serve as a powerful pedagogical touchstone. I try to serve the learning of my students as a teacher/student who loves lifelong learning himself, a designer of virtual learning spaces that welcome students to take more control over their own educations, and a host of courses and cohorts exploring interesting sociological themes and literatures. But my overarching role is that of a guide, a guide through a field of tensions. [more...]
Some research networks in which I am currently embedded:
My current research agenda connects my teaching and service with my interests in the scholarship of teaching and learning, science and technology studies, the sociology of knowledge, and the sociology of law. These literatures inform the several research projects summarized in my research agenda, and form the core of my larger research agenda: exploring the diffusion and transformative potential of such innovations in learning by mapping the public discourse about them. I am compiling and curating many scores of thousands of texts from both popular and scholarly sources, and will be subjecting all of them to analysis through machine learning techniques (e.g., topic modeling) and some of them to human coding and interpretation. The larger mapping project is a long-term endeavor, but in the near- to mid-term range I have been studying specific innovations both historically and through action research. [more...]
Some organizations with which I am currently providing service:
Teaching and research, one hopes, will serve the public good. But the work of academics includes some combination of "research", "teaching," and "service" as relatively distinct aspects of the job. [...]
For other teachers who are interested, I have begun to curate some pages with links and leads to useful resources. These emphasize online interactions for now, while we're working through the pandemic:
For students who are interested, I have begun to curate some pages with links and leads to useful resources:
For everyone navigating the current pandemic, here are some links I like:
* I am also available by appointment, if we can coordinate one in spite of the swamp-in-a-tempest that is contemporary email.
† The official title is "Teaching Assistant Professor," but this just creates confusion: Is he a teaching assistant? or a professor? (Rather silly branding IMHO.) But titles are often misleading. What matters is that I am a teacher, which is to say that I am an experienced and reflective learner who guides other learners through fields I know. Teaching follows learning: It does not take precedence. Students do well to take that to heart, and to take responsibility for their learning. Faculty and other mentors are only guides.
‡ "Transdisciplinary" in the broadest sense of the term. The collaborators working on these challenges come from multiple natural science disciplines, but also cross the boundaries of the two/three cultures to include sociologists (and other social scientists) and humanists.
Revised: 2020.10.31 (Halloween Edition)