White Spaces has been pioneering forms of digital scholarship which challenge traditional models of lone scholarship via blended learning well before its widespread adopting across the higher education sector.
WhiteSpaces master classes are virtual learning events involving small group discussion across multiple sites in different countries. This might be in a University, but it can be in other institutional or public venues. They are organised around a core theme chosen by learners – one which enables those leading the discussion to consider significant debates and ideas in the fields of critical race and critical whiteness studies.
A strength of White Spaces master classes has been their ability to draw together a diversity of learners in ways that attempt to resist the hierarchical ordering of different knowledges, for example the privileging of theoretical knowledge over practical learning and the hierarchical positioning of different contributors (for example academic staff over learners). Participants often represent widely different relationships to the academy: undergraduate and postgraduate students; postgraduate, early career and established academics; and sometimes activists, practitioners and cultural workers. We would like to continue to encourage this range of participation.
Master classes are flexible in terms of the type of digital medium used: digitally supported real time face to face, or audio only conversations (seminars and larger group lectures); blog-based interactions supporting collective learning and conversation across time zones; digitally enabled reading groups; or recorded learning formats like podcasts which can be (re)used at a distance and in times and spaces convenient to the learner.
Most of the classes in the series that you can access below have been real time face to face across multiple sites. There is also an example of a blog based class “encountering racism down under” where participants were able to discuss across time zones.
Thus far, participating institutions in the Master class series have included the University of Sydney, Australia, The University of Cape Town and The University of Witswatersrand (both in South Africa), The University of Mannheim, Germany, and The University of Madison Wisconsin, USA.
The extensive archive of materials is being organised and linked to the current WhiteSpaces website. Information on the first series of classes can be found on previous links. The pages include audio/audiovisual recording of classes. If you click on the link you can listen to the class. There are also links to as many of the related materials as we can provide within copyright regulations.
A note on the quality of recordings
We are afraid that some of the audiovisual quality is not as good as we would like, we are working to find a way to improve this. There are some technical hitches in a couple of the recordings where the technology failed us, we apologise for this. But in the mean time we hope that the recordings are still helpful and interesting for those of you grappling with some of the issues we are considering in the classes.
The 2010-2013 series included the following classes:
Class #10 Critical race pedagogy