I’m not sure when I started using the phrase “down the rabbit hole” to describe the process of reading an article online, then clicking on link within that article, then reading that new article, then clicking on a link within that article, then….you get the point. I could look up this phrase and its origins online, but that would take me down another rabbit hole. And I can only handle one hole at a time.
Well shit. I couldn’t stop myself from looking it up. After scrolling through over a page of links to a playboy bunny’s memoir about living with Hugh Hefner, I found a New Yorker article by Kathryn Schulz, The Rabbit-Hole Rabbit Hole. I enjoy her writing. I will resist the urge to read it now because if I did, I’d never get to the actual point of this post.
Online rabbit holes are pretty easy to travel through. Easier, but maybe not quite as fun or physical as the library rabbit holes I used to fall into as an undergrad and grad student. I would pick up books off of my favorite shelves (BJs and HQs), skim them, read the footnotes, find a new source, pick that one up, read the footnotes, find a new source, pick that one up, etc. This method sometimes required traveling all around the library, searching the catalog for the book, then strolling through long rows of musty books to find it.
But, back to my current online rabbit hole. It all started when Cathy Davidson tweeted about her latest course:
— Cathy Davidson (@CathyNDavidson) March 2, 2016
Since my current writing project features syllabi (taught and imagined) and since I enjoy Davidson’s work in digital humanities and her experiments in pedagogy, I was eager to read her post. So I did. Here’s a link list of different directions that my path down that experimental pedagogy rabbit hole.
A Path in List Form
- Why My Students Design the Syllabus
- The 10 Syllabi that her students designed
- Towards a Pedagogy for Everyone (Not Just the “Oppressed”)
- Why Start with Pedagogy? 4 Good Reasons, 4 Good Solutions
- Kathleen Fitzpatrick: Generous Thinking: Why We Need the Humanities and How to Save Them”
- Field Notes for 21st Century Literacies
- 6 Principles of Critical Pedagogical Course Design
Okay, as I review this list, I’m realizing that my reading and clicking process here might not be the best representation of going down a rabbit hole because I returned to my original article and clicked on more links from it instead of just traveling from one article to the next. Oh well. I still like the idea of going down the rabbit hole and the time I’ve taken today thinking about it has inspired me to experiment with it as an exercise in practicing curiosity. More on this exercise later…
UPDATE: Cool! I just found this awesome site: Alice in Dataland 2.0
Alice in Dataland is an experiment in critical making created by Anastasia Salter. This is an exploration guided by the question: “Why does Alice in Wonderland endure as a metaphor for experiencing media?” The project leverages material from the University of Florida Afterlife of Alice & Her Adventures in Wonderland collection as well as a range of Alice adaptations and remediations.