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Prototyping and Pedagogy in the Humanities



Jentery Sayers


Friday, April 24, 2015 - 2:00pm - 3:30pm


Pigott Hall (Bldg. 260), Room 252



Prototyping and Pedagogy in the Humanities

The humanities are not known for prototyping, yet legacies of exegesis, hermeneutics, and symptomatics in fact lend themselves to making persuasive arguments through physical objects, including objects made of paper, images, code, ink, circuits, and clay. Drawing upon English courses and lab research at the University of Victoria, this talk outlines various kinds of prototypes one might find in humanities teaching and research. It articulates how humanities prototyping may be facilitated and under what assumptions, with an emphasis on knowing as a material practice. In so doing, it draws upon existing syllabi and projects in order to give audiences a concrete sense of what prototypes do and why they matter. The talk then concludes with a few remarks on documenting and assessing prototypes in a humanities context. How do we understand prototypes alongside the academic essay? How do we account for design, process, and product? For what a prototype explains as well as what it conjectures? For how a prototype engages history, culture, and change over time?