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2019-2020 HT Labs

Picturing the City: Using Photography for Engaged Teaching and Learning

November 8, 2019

Local photojournalist and educator J.M. Giordano led a workshop at UMBC’s Albin O. Kuhn Special Collections library, home to two million photographic prints as well as photography books and equipment. In collaboration with Beth Saunders, the curator and head of Special Collections, Mr. Giordano walked participants through his own pedagogical strategies for teaching photo history as well as the ethics of photographing within communities. Participants were also treated to highlights from Mr. Giordano’s series of photographs capturing the collapse of the steel industry, which is the focus of his long-term, transnational project. Participants had the opportunity to browse dozens of photographs capturing domestic and international labor with foci on issues of reform as well as propaganda. For access to digitized and curated collections of UMBC’s matchless photographic archive, visit the Digital Collections page. Here, users can access some of the materials used in the workshop, including work by Lewis Hine, the National Child Labor Committee, and historical photos of Baltimore.

Thinking Outside the Classroom:
Transforming Courses for Community Engagement

October 11, 2019

Dr. Earl Brooks and Dr. Jennifer Maher shared projects that resulted from their HT Lab Course Transformation Grants. Dr. Brooks discussed how he uses sound in his rhetoric and composition course, “Sounds Like Social Justice” to empower students to become critical listeners and sound composers. Participants were able to experiment with the open source audio editing software Audacity in their own imagined course assignments as well as listen to some of Dr. Brooks’s student projects. He also discussed how students in his transformed course research local nonprofits and community organizations in order to design sounds-based media for their websites or marketing materials. Dr. Maher shared the details of the community-engaged project that helped transform her course “Baltimore: Race, Rhetoric and Technology.” Dr. Maher’s class partnered with Community Closet, an organization that serves communities throughout Baltimore by hosting free pop-up clothing exchange; her students had a chance to run the pop-up during a community day as well as develop new promotional and branding materials for Community Closet. Dr. Maher also shared strategies for encouraging students to reflect on the spaces in which they moved, the people they met through community work, and their own assumptions and shifting perceptions of the city.

Creating Citizen Critics and Using Adobe Spark

September 27, 2019

In this HTLab, Dr. Eliseo Jacob led a workshop on using the free web-content builder Adobe Spark to engage students in social justice research and multimedia composing. Workshop participants learned about Spark’s flexible and intuitive tools for creating flyers and web announcements, short videos, and high-quality multimedia essays. Dr. Jacob also shared an assignment for his Brazilian Hip Hop class, which asks students to create web essays (similar to blogs or digital journal articles) that incorporates images and video into their research-based analysis. You can find Dr. Jacob’s assignment prompt and rubric on our resources page. He also shared strategies for encouraging student engagement with and peer review of each other’s projects, including student-led comment boards that create a “proto-public sphere.”

Dr. Jacob is Master Instructor of Portuguese in the Department of World Languages and Cultures at Howard University where his research and teaching interests include Afro-Brazilian literature and culture, urban space, the public sphere, and the digital humanities.