Call for Blog Carnival Contributions: The “New Normal”

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Editors: Sarah Hughes and Nupoor Ranade

For our latest Blog Carnival, we are seeking submissions from the computers and writing community about their plans for adapting to the “new normal.” The term has taken on new significance in COVID-19 times, but we want to call attention to Hinssen’s (2010) decade-old conceptualization of the “New Normal” as a phase in the digitalisation of society, where technologies will not be framed as technology, but rather part of everyday life. While we are using this term for its current cultural pervasiveness, we also acknowledge the valid critiques of the ways it elides inequities. 

This Blog Carnival welcomes topics such as technology, digital pedagogy, online communities, care, empathy, equity, and so on that relate to what might appear to be post-pandemic teaching practices, and lessons learned from teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

With state and local restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 easing, everyone is talking about the new normal. Although excited, we are also all contemplating what this really means and how we can plan for the new normal in our classrooms when we return to campuses in the fall. The sudden transition to virtual classrooms and resulting lack of collaborative interactions prompted significant and messy changes to many of our teaching practices and routines. The transition had to be quick. Instructors experienced, learned, and practiced all at once. 

But this summer, we have all had a chance to think about what practices in our virtual environments worked, what did not work, and what we want to keep doing as we make another transition this year, this time to the new normal. This Blog Carnival seeks to listen to and promote instructors’ ideas about undergraduate and graduate teaching and their plans for the upcoming academic year. 

So, we’d like to capture the stories of instructors’ preparation, thinking through, and planning as we wait for this next stage to unfold, as we find ourselves in this interstitial space, this world between virtual and physical, between past and future. As we get ready to return to our classrooms and connect with our students and each other in person, so many of us are working to untangle our feelings of excitement, nervousness, relief, hesitancy, etc. We hope this Blog Carnival will open space to record and work through these feelings.

In the midst of all this anticipation, we invite you to meditate on how you’re preparing for the new normal: personally, pedagogically, technologically. 

  • How are we continuing to take care of ourselves and others? 
  • How are we attending to continued inequities in the impact of the pandemic? 
  • What experiences (some traumatic) are our students and our colleagues bringing into this new normal?
  • How is our in-person teaching changing as a result of living in and through the pandemic? 
  • What are we planning to change from what we did last year? 
  • What have we learned from the pandemic about making curricula more accessible? 
  • What lessons will we carry with us as we move forward into the new normal? 
  • What will we be returning to from pre-pandemic times and what will we be shedding? 

We invite submissions in multimodal formats including short pieces (about 500 words), audio recordings, videos, interviews, and so on. If you have a submission in mind but need more guidance or help for working on it, we’re happy to discuss it with you. The turn-around time for this blog carnival is super short. Following are the publication deadlines:

  • July 13: Submit blog post drafts
  • July 21: Receive feedback on the draft
  • August 5: Submit updated posts
  • August 9 – August 13: Blog post will be published on the DRC Blog

Please email your submissions to Sarah Hughes (sbhghs@umich.edu) and Nupoor Ranade (nupoor.ranade@ncsu.edu) by July 13.

Please be sure to include: 

  • Name
  • Institutional affiliation
  • Email for correspondence
  • Submission file (.PDF or .DOCX format)

We look forward to reading your submissions!

About Author

Sarah Hughes

Sarah Hughes is a PhD candidate in the Joint Program in English & Education at the University of Michigan, where she also teaches in the English Department Writing Program. Her research interests include digital rhetoric, gender and discourse, and gaming studies. Her dissertation project explores how women use multimodal discourse—grammatically, narratively, and visually—to navigate online gaming ecologies.

Nupoor Ranade

Nupoor is a PhD Candidate in the Communication, Rhetoric and Digital Media at the North Carolina State University. Her research focuses on audience analysis, digital rhetoric, user experience and information design primarily in the field of technical communication and artificial intelligence. Her research experience and partnerships with the industry help her bridge gaps of knowledge that she then brings to her pedagogical practices.

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