Education 2035!?

I was lucky enough to participate in the Education 2035 workshop at MSU on October 31, 2018. Understanding the impact of technology on the educational experience is not a new question, but with the emergence of A.I., the possibility that computers can do some of the work of teaching is becoming more and more important. Indeed, I’ve done work with grading tools around writing. These tools, used in the right way, can be helpful with the basic work of grading sentence structure. They can tell you have written a run-on sentence. They cannot tell you if what you wrote makes sense. Does it reflect critical inquiry, knowledge integration, or analysis? These question require a person with knowledge to wrestle with what you wrote. The key to technology is that it remain grounded in the limitations of machine logic. While it may seem strange, bringing professors from the College of Arts and Letters allows the scientists to think about how we think about technology. Our talks where in a lightning round format. I spoke about Afrofuturism and how that framework allows to imagine the future differently. Art and design linked to Afrofuturism is deeply shaped by a need to provide tools for black liberation and uplift. What can it mean? Well, one slide simply reminded the audience “There are black people in the future.” A simple statement, but the implication for the present are meaningful. Black people will survive and they will continue to strive toward a better tomorrow. There struggle will challenge the mainstream to do better and that challenge can benefit society as a whole.

Reclaiming History at Network Detroit

I presented at the 2018 Network Detroit conference at Wayne State University. This was my first presentation in the region and in truth talking about my Florida themed work seemed a little odd. Not because it was not good work, but because as I move into this new position at MSU, I am seeking to vision projects that are rooted in my Michigan context. As I think about my DH work, I’m looking at frameworks that examine ideological links between people of color that can cross borders and capture ideology that unite the circumstances facing African-Americans. On the other hand, this work forced me to think about the structure and practice I used. I’m thankful for the great feedback I got from the participants.

Image Comics and Creator's Rights

I think the story of Image Comic is always mentioned in the context of the fantastic fanfare (and failure) linked to the emergence of the company in the early 1990s. I think we can't overestimate that moment. As this documentary hints at, the celebrity moment that was the emergence of Image Comic was also about a speculative bubble that defined the 1990s. While the creators that made the Golden Age (1938-1950) were unknown, the artists of the 1990s were stars. Oddly, the writers from this period were not as well known. It was a visual revolution at some level. Still, I think the idea of creators rights at the heart of the Image Comic remains an important part of the story.  As you learn here, the legacy of the fortune loss shaped those creators in the 1990s.  Check this short documentary out and read my interview with Chris Roberson  to find out more about the debate about creator's rights in comics.