Why a DH class wouldn’t fly at LaGuardia

A bonus post from Sean

On Tuesday, I brought up that a Digital Humanities class wouldn’t happen at LaGuardia. I think I should explain why in some detail. 

  1. We don’t have that many people interested in it, and those that might be are scattered across areas and departments. 
  2. I would prefer to have support from our area coordinator and department chair. I don’t think I could get that right now. 
  3. Even if I had their approval, I would face a fight at the departmental curriculum committee. Some of their questions would be on point, such as what skills would this class highlight, but there would also be fights over turf. We have ten (soon to be eleven) different major programs in the Humanities Department, and I would be asked why the DH class should be in the Communication Studies Area, why shouldn’t it be in any of the other ones?*
  4. When last I checked, when we propose new courses now, we also have to figure out where it fits into Pathways and start that process, too.** 
  5. So, after doing all of that, I would need to go to the College Wide Curriculum Committee. Turf issues would likely show up again. After all, the folks in the English Department and in the Modern Languages could say that a DH class should be under their auspices as well.***
  6. Finally, if I got it through all of that, since my full time position is non-instructional instructional staff, and my teaching is an adjunct, there is no guarantee I would get to teach it. Any of the full timers could request to teach it and bump me.****

*When an adjunct and I proposed Intro to Sports Media, the New Media Studies and Film and TV people said we had no business doing this. We had to rework the proposal to “Sports COmmunication”, focusing on podcasting and radio work, which has worked out, but the Film and Studies person actually went to the Dept Chair to try to squash the proposal all together. 

**And this process isn’t a guarantee. I have tried at least six times to get Voice and Diction into Pathways and I’ve never had success. At first, because it has a focus on linguistics, I tried Scientific World. I was told it was too “creative”. Then I tried Creative Expression, but I was told that there was too much linguistics material in it. In sum, Pathways is an idiotic system.

***After the departmental curriculum committee mess with Sports Comm, I expected a turf fight at college-wide because our English Dept has a journalism option. They didn’t, though, mostly because their work is mostly written word, and we avoided that with the podcast assignments. 

****This almost happened with Sports Comm. One of our full timers went to our then coordinator saying that even though she had no background in sports, she should teach it because she wanted to teach all the courses we offer. Our coordinator said no, but he passed away a few years ago, and the person in charge now might not feel the same way.