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Pedagogy & Teaching

What I Can Bear to Remember about Academic Job Video Interviews

It’s that season again: Skype and Zoom links are being clicked through in email inboxes, along with actual phone numbers being dialed, in order to participate in preliminary academic job interviews. Many friends and colleagues I know and love are aching through the process of those interviews (as well as on-campus interviews–go, peeps, go). I too once carefully created a convincing-enough library behind me, selected my shirt and jacket much more carefully than the pants no one could see under my desk, and tested my Wifi connection about a thousand times while shakily breathing over my Mac. I wished this process would be easier and, eventually, I found it to be easier by approaching the interviews differently and with different preparation techniques. In fact, once I figured out and then took up a handful of practices, I felt a greater sense of trust in myself as a scholar and determined …

Teaching Data Driven Cultures


In my recent blog post, Teaching Queer America, I reflected on my second senior seminar. In this post, I want to briefly touch on the pleasures of teaching my first intermediate-level course, Data Driven Cultures, at Trinity this spring. The course is fueled by a pair of basic yet profound question: how does the internet work, and how does it work upon us? Our daily existence is increasingly structured by code and data, from the algorithms that time our traffic lights to those that filter our search criteria and record our thoughts and ideas. In this course, we explored the possibilities, limitations, and implications of using digital methods and analytics to study issues that affect our everyday lives through a social scientific approach. We pay special attention to the ways we collect, trust, analyze, portray, and use data, most especially the tools and meanings involved in data visualization …

Teaching Queer America

This spring I taught two incredibly exciting courses. The senior seminar, Queer America, was comprised of a small group of students, primarily from our American Studies program. This is my second senior seminar at Trinity College and my first full-semester lgbtq studies course. Of course, the latter is the more shocking of these components: all of this queering I’ve been up to and I’m only just achieving this beautiful moment. I taught Queer(ing) New York with the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies with their Seminar in the Series course in 2013.

The course was framed around the following questions: What is queer about America? What can be and has been queered about America? What, if anything, is not queer about America?

I was really energized and excited to see what resonated with Trinity students. We began by diving into JSTimeline to map out key events in lgbtq history …

My Recommendation Writing Policy, and Advice on How/When/Who to Ask


Semester after semester, I find myself receiving an increasing number of requests to write recommendation letters. They are a pleasure to write. Unfortunately, my students often appear confused about who to ask or feel nervous to ask so that they send their requests at the last possible minute, thereby leaving me with little time to write the best letter for them. Another dilemma is that undergraduates often have never asked for letters and fail to supply all of the needed information, or do not know how to tell me the story of what they need and how they need it. Yet another issue is that students do not know the labor involved or the depths to which professors and others go in writing such letters.

In my new Pedagogy sub-page, “My Recommendation Writing Policy,” I share my recommendation writing policy with my Trinity students and also offer advice on how,

Didn’t I Just Get Here? Or: Reflections on My First Tenure-Track Semester


Whoa. It was August 1st and a chemist friend (god bless you, Ryan) and I are in a U-Haul on I-495 wrapping around Boston ever so slowly creeping to I-90 and then I-84 until we see Hartford on the horizon and I say, “That’s my new city, buddy!” Yes, Hartford has an actual skyline and I was ready to be romanced by this urban tract. As much as I learn and love about the city, I admit it’s tough at times as Hartford is dependent upon and revolves around car commuter culture attached to suburbs (which make up a large part of the State of Connecticut). Over the course of the semester, I’ll make some great connections and breakthroughs, and also connect to activists who want to change that dynamic. Looking for permanent housing–also: whoa and FINALLY–allows you to really get to know a place like you have not before…not …

Reflections on The Digital Image of the City: Hartford 2015

As the new semester is upon us–how did that happen so quickly?–I wanted to reflect back on my courses from last semester. I had a beautiful first semester at Trinity College, thanks mostly to those incredible faculty, staff, and students with whom I spend my days.

My senior seminar, The Digital Image of the City, which was a huge success–or so said the students on the final day, all smiley as they were on the last day (and as you can see on the image in the left)! I share a short explanation about the Community Learning Initiative course, describe the in-the-field and critical GIS research methods students used and applied, and then share their final presentations for apps, websites, or technological infrastructure to improve the City of Hartford for the common good. I also share the Trinity College Communications write-up regarding the course–thanks to them we also …

Gender & Geography Bibliography Hackathon a Success!


As I just wrote on the Gender & Geography Bibliography (GGB) website, during Geography Awareness Week in mid-November 2015, over 49 individuals and groups participated in the Gender & Geography Bibliography Hackathon! Over a 1,000 new entries–many of them sorely missing books, book chapters, and articles, a large number of which are blissfully not in English–now fill the GGB. Thank you to all who participated and cheered us on!

For those of you who still want to take part in the Hackathon, follow these instructions which explain in more detail how to head to our group at https://www.zotero.org/groups/gendergeog/ and request to join and Jack Gieseking (lead admin) will get a note to add you. From there, you and perhaps your friends–perhaps this is the new wild idea for wine night amongst the feminist dorks among us?? how fantastic–and follow the directions in previous posts. Email jack DOT gieseking …

Sharing Student Research from Data Driven Societies (Bowdoin 2014)


In the spring of 2014, I (Jen Jack Gieseking) taught Data Driven Societies with Eric Gaze. A geographer and a mathematician, a social scientist and a natural scientist, working together with 35 students with very diverse backgrounds and interests sought to answer one question: what can data visualization reveal and obscure about the world’s increasing obsession with all things data?

Students selected a social justice hashtag of their choice that related to issues of identity, privacy, economics, politics, or the environment. Over a month, students scraped Twitter data on their hashtag. (A hashtag is a term with a # in front of it that hyperlinks to all uses of the term that can range from #stopandfrisk and #smog to #gobears.) As students read media and conducted research about the issue they had chosen to study, they also began to create graphs, maps, and network analyses from the …

New article: Notes from Queer(ing) New York: Refusing Binaries in Online Pedagogy


My new article with the Journal of Interactive Technology & Pedagogy just launched this morning. You can read Notes from Queer(ing) New York: Refusing Binaries in Online Pedagogy by clicking here or read the abstract below.

In this paper I reflect on the construction and instruction of the outcomes of the Queer(ing) New York course (QNY). The case study of QNY demonstrates the pedagogical work of refusing norms and hierarchies that pedagogical models, particularly online courses, are assumed to maintain. QNY created an open course that queered the binaries of the public/graduate seminar and local/virtual. I draw from queer, feminist, and critical geographic approaches at the moment of the massive, open, online course (MOOC) fervor in order to queer models of online and open education. I also reflect on the impact of the course through in-class notes and data visualizations produced from social media and course analytics. I suggest that

My Advice to College Graduates


Over the last week, my graduating students have been asking me again and again for advice. Since I began my career in business, my advice has tended toward advice for those entering that arena first but I think it can be applied elsewhere. These seem to be the things I am repeating and as a shoutout to those students who asked and to remind myself for next year, I am including them below.

  1. Have a mentor in your new digs who keeps an eye on you and you stay loyal to too. However, mentors change so be prepared for change too.
  2. Always send handwritten thank you notes within 24-48 hours, even if you are unsure if whatever just happened warrants a thank you. If you want to dazzle, stick to Crane’s.
  3. Put yourself out there and offer to help, especially when you can learn new skills, extend the ones you

Updated OA Readings & New Page: Pedagogy


Firmly behind the practices and policies of open access (OA), I have used the fantastic Sherpa Romeo which allows for searchable publisher copyright policies & self-archiving to determine which of the possible versions of my published work that I am able to post online. Finally, it is all pdf-ed and posted! Hurrah! I encourage all academics to take advantage of Sherpa Romeo and share their work as well. Many thanks to the incredible Jill Cirasella (@jillasella) for introducing me to this site and its wonders.

You can find links to those works either under my CV or Publications. If you find something of interest not listed there, feel free to contact me directly via the information listed here.

Last but quite the opposite of least, I finally had time to think through a proper page on my framework and experience in regards to Pedagogy. I’ll …

“Queer(ing) New York”: Education for Change, on May Day and Beyond


The CLAGS Seminar in the City that I am teaching, “Queer(ing) New York,” will begin this evening, May 1st. Since creating this course, a lot of activists have wondered why we would choose to begin on International Worker’s Day. I see May Day as not only the right to work but the right to learn and to know. Free, open, and accessible education–like Queer(ing) New York–must instead be made common and therefore part of our public commons.

Courses like this are the ways we can reimagine education, and also reimagine and enact equality. Lgbtq people live through and walk through absences everyday, ranging from issues of recognition to acceptance, from using bathrooms to using the subway, from the bar that used to be there but closed to the home that used to be there but doesn’t count you as family anymore. As a group that lives the marginalization …

Welcome to the Gender, Sexuality, & Space Bibliography


bibilog-imageThe Gender, Sexuality, & Space Bibliography has a genesis through my own personal and work history. When I was an undergraduate at Mount Holyoke College in the late 1990s, I told a visiting professor that I had what was then a  ‘wild’ idea to do geographic research on–gasp!–gender, sexuality, and space. Without saying a word, she led me up to her office and produced the edited volume Mapping Desire: Geographies of Sexualities (Bell & Valentine, 1995) and slid it into my hands in absolute, reverent silence with an eye-to-eye piercing gaze. I did not understand that the magic of this book yet. I had no idea what it would have meant to not have this book exist when I posed this idea. I am still studying the generational shifts on lgbtq identities, culture, and spaces as the positive, affirming, and non-pathologizing work on gender, sexuality, and space continues to grow. …

Bringing Sandy into the Classroom, from Fish to Tech, Politics to Design


How can we bring the issues and aches of Sandy into the classroom to help work through what has taken place? Here’s my take for the Environmental Methods course in the masters program in Sustainable Interior Environments program at the Fashion Institute of Technology SUNY that I am teaching.

In order to grapple with Sandy and confront the effects of increasing natural disasters at home and abroad, my next class in will use our next class meeting to discuss the inequalities that Sandy re-revealed in the city, the politics of a “natural” disaster, and designing for what lies ahead. As I asked my students: These are all short pieces so please read them all. Think about how each piece–all from different interests, fields, and groups–fits into the next and how the design examples in the last NYT piece fall short or support these larger issues, from fish to tech, from