Course Materials

General Materials:

Access the Spring 2018 Syllabus here: BioSocial Studio II Spring 2018 Final

Access the Fall 2017 Syllabus here: bio-social-syllabus-2017

Studio 1 Workshop Descriptions:

  1. Workshop 1: This workshop consists of a sped-up kind of inquiry into “fuzzy problem areas” after students individually brainstorm 10 distinct topics that each would be interested in working on for the semester. The linked image below is a schematic for the inquiry. As an example, in the Fall 2016 semester we have a group of 9 graduate students. This group of 9 breaks up into 3 groups of 3, each of which will have 30 (10+10+10) topics to discuss speedily. All students write the title of their topic on the top of an index card. Each student discards the bottom 5 (those that they are least interested in), but reserves the cards. With the remaining 15 topics, they spend approximately 4 minutes each topic discussing: (1) what is the topic? (2) why is it exciting? (3) how could we (three) collectively look at it? The group anchor takes notes on the note cards. The groups rank their top 6-7. In the next phase, all but the group anchors switch groups. The group anchor introduces the top 6-7 topics (questions 1 and 2 above) and they all discuss how they (three) could collectively look at it (question 3 above). The groups rank their top 3. The final stage happens with the whole class as a large group, discussing openly the top-ranked 9, as well as others that anyone individually is ‘sad to see go.’ The session ends with the top 9 ranked or sorted. Access the schematic here: speed-inquiry
  2. Workshop 2: This workshop consists of a “mock-up” of each group’s top 2 or 3 “fuzzy problem areas.” The point of the workshop is to determine which of these topical areas are the most viable for cross-disciplinary bio-social engagement — in other words, which of these topics will make the most innovating, exciting and ultimately publishable work. The “mock-ups” are preliminary models (concept maps) that enable students to see how diverse ways of looking at this topic might intersect in a comprehensive framework. These “mock-ups” are precursors to the more detailed and comprehensive models students will produce for their one chosen topical area in workshop 3. The workshop is run as a critique session, where student groups present their models one at a time (drawn on white boards around the room, like an art studio) and receive feedback from other students and instructors. The entire class works together to interrogate these topical areas and determine the extent to which each is viable. The goal at the end of the workshop is to whittle the topical areas down to the final 3. This final whittling can happen at the end of the actual workshop day, or it can be left for the subsequent meeting to allow time for rumination.
  3. Workshop 3: This workshop is the first formal concept map critique session. By now, groups have decided on a topic. They have also completed some substantial background literature review on the topic. They use their collective methodological and theoretical expertise combined with these new insights gained about the topic to come up with a comprehensive BioSocial Model of the problem area (topic) that clearly demonstrates an innovative, transdisciplinary approach. The workshop is run as a critique session with equal time dedicated to each group. Groups concisely present their model and receive constructive feedback from students and faculty.
  4. Workshop 4: This workshop seeks to provide students with space, time and tools to be able to constructively contextualize their model within current literature (topical and disciplinary). Students come prepared to present one or more papers that most closely relate(s) to their conceptual model. As part of this presentation, the group should prepare at least 3 key “bridging points” (concisely argued sentences or bullet points) that link their work with existing published theoretical or empirical work. The preparatory work for this workshop may include an annotated bibliography or schematic of the background research accomplished to-date. Other studio students and faculty serve as critics to provide constructive feedback to revise or improve the contextualizations to make them both clear and compelling.
  5. Workshop 5: This workshop is the second formal concept map critique session. It should be run as was workshop 3, and groups should have implemented the feedback from the first critique session (3) as well as the contextualization session (4). Critics may include faculty outside the studio, as appropriate. Critique should focus on finalizing the model as a central component of the group manuscript.
  6. Workshop 6: This workshop enables students to practice and hone their presentations prior to final presentations with critics outside of the studio. This is a less-formal workshop with feedback centered on the structure, style and content of the presentations. At this stage, students should have a detailed outline of their manuscript that they circulate to studio members during the workshop.
  7. Workshop 7: This final workshop runs as a formal critique session with external critics providing essential feedback on the content of the presentations, including the models, with the intent of using the feedback to finalize the studio manuscripts.