Imagine Otherwise: Adrienne Shaw on Accessible Online Teaching by Design

Aug 6, 2020 | Podcast

Welcome back you fabulous Imagine Otherwise listeners! Thanks for supporting the show’s crew as we took a much-needed July production break. We’re back now and have some fantastic episodes lined up for you.

To kick things off, today’s episode tackles something many of you are navigating right now: how to take your courses online in the middle of a pandemic while making them truly accessible to students and faculty alike.

More than just a call to reproduce in-person teaching in digital environments, this pivot to online education has a powerful potential to help us reshape higher education for the better, to ensure it embodies the racial, gender, and disability justice principles those of us in the interdisciplines have long championed. But that takes rethinking some of our most basic assumptions about what education means and who it is for. 

In episode 115 of Imagine Otherwise, I interview Temple University media studies professor (and my wife!) Adrienne Shaw, whose approach to the classroom provides a variety of ways educators can foreground accessibility in their daily work. Our conversation illustrates some of the more practical aspects of what it means to do pedagogical and scholarly work in quarantine, as well as the kinds of work/life blurriness we’re all navigating now.

In the interview, we chat about building assignments and course structures that enable students to participate in diverse ways; why online teaching is often more accessible for faculty with chronic pain and other disabilities; how administrators can better support teachers and mitigate uncertainty; and why creating accessible education systems by design rather than exception is key to how Adrienne imagines otherwise.

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You can also read the transcript and show notes on the Ideas on Fire website, which have links to Adrienne’s work and all the concepts, people, and events we discuss on the show (great for teaching!).

Guest: Adrienne Shaw

Adrienne Shaw is an associate professor in Temple University’s Department of Media Studies and Production and is also a graduate faculty member in the Lew Klein College of Media and Communication.

Her book Gaming at the Edge: Sexuality and Gender at the Margins of Gamer Culture (University of Minnesota Press, 2014) won the 2016 Outstanding Book Award from the Popular Communication Division of the International Communication Association.

She is a founder of the LGBTQ Game Archive and co-curated Rainbow Arcade (2018–19), an exhibit of thirty years of LGBTQ video game history at the Schwules Museum in Berlin Germany. She is the co-editor of the Rainbow Arcade exhibit catalog (2019), Queer Game Studies (University of Minnesota Press, 2017), Queer Technologies: Affordances, Affect, Ambivalence (Routledge, 2017), and Interventions: Communication Research and Practice (Peter Lang, 2018).

Adrienne became a Higher Education Video Game Alliance Fellow in 2018. She is an associate editor for the Journal of Communication and series editor for NYU Press’s Critical Cultural Communication book series.

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