156. Breaking out of silos: creating space for action and learning in the process of disaster recovery
Anna Geltzer, University of Notre Dame; Jessica McManus Warnell, University of Notre Dame;
We live in an age of envirotechnical disasters. Whether their proximate causes are natural (as the earthquake and tsunami that led to the explosion at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant), sociopolitical (as the war in Ukraine, which is wreaking havoc on the people and their land), or a combination of both (as in the aftermath of the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria), they necessitate a response that reconceptualizes our definition of terms like 'recovery' and 'resilience,' and consequently our relationship to technology. More importantly, they necessitate that we prepare our students to navigate this complexity.
We work, however, in an increasingly neoliberal academe which prioritizes productivity rather than product. The metrics are different for faculty (publications, grants, course enrollments and student evaluations) than for students (grades, credentials, test scores), but the result is increasing specialization and ever narrower siloes across which communication becomes difficult and fraught, and the time to attempt it increasingly scarce.
These circumstances put us at cross purposes with ourselves, but the goal of the panel is to go beyond exposing the contradiction. Rather we are interested in discussing solutions-engaged research projects, pedagogical experiments, new forms of organization and collaboration within and beyond the university--and what's needed to foster them.