Last week Nate of What in the Hell suggested to me that we both experiment with the 21 Questions Youtube video in our classroom and compare notes. I haven’t yet gotten a chance to look at the video Nate referenced but this got me thinking. With this medium we now have the technology to collaborate in teaching. Not only is it possible to assign texts that we would like to read together, but it is actually possible for us to design assignments that make use of the internet so that our students might collaborate with one another. Over at Perverse Egalitarianism the Braver reading group has, I believe, been a tremendous success. If I have not participated in that discussion it is because I have already been coded in a particular way such that I would be unproductive to the discussion itself and such that my views, honest as they are intended to be, would be characterized in a less than charitable or productive way. Nonetheless, the Braver reading group has shown that such forms of engagement are possible. Why not take it to the next level and develop courses together in tandem that would read one text together over the course of the semester. I am not suggesting that the entire course should share the same texts, but simply a single text. It would be possible to set up either wiki groups or yahoo groups that students would join so that they would be required to interact with one another across the country or the world, enhancing the entire learning experience through collaborative debate and investigation of both the text itself and the topics that the text generates. Simultaneously, faculty would be able to coordinate texts that they want to study or read in greater detail, generating potential conferences, journal issues, or edited collections with one another. This would be an effective technique both in generating shared research and new pedagogical approaches. Ultimately I would be interested in seeing an interdisciplinary approach to such “team teaching”. While I deeply value Nate’s thought and envy his grounding in Marxist thought, I think that such a pedagogical experiment would be most productive if somehow it could meld philosophy and lit courses, philosophy and sociology courses, philosophy and history courses, and so on. My desire is to learn from my colleagues in other disciplines: their research methods, their ways of posing questions, their ways of gathering evidences, their evidences and so on. This is one of the reasons that my experience teaching with Jerry the Anthropologist was so productive in my own thought and pedagogy. At any rate, it would be possible to form a collective where we form collaborative networks from semester to semester or every other semester or every couple of years, where we parcel up experiments and texts and form these networks. Ultimately our students benefit by being drawn into discussions with those outside of their local geography and engaging in discussions from a variety of different disciplinary perspectives. From a Marxist perspective such a pedagogy would be an element in the process of moving beyond the ghettoized university system to a more global sort of discourse, much like what we’ve already been doing here in the theory web where we’ve already been forming our own discourses, questions, trends, journals, publication projects, movements, and presses. Some of us have discussed the possibility of forming another EGS. This would be a step in that direction.

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