The Project


“ODU Writes a Book” will be a pop-up community of ODU students, faculty, and staff working as collaborative flash-mob authors of a multimodal, digital text that explores how virtual and physical places relate to the creation of knowledge. The working title of the book is “You are (w)here: How knowledge is related to virtual and physical place.” The method intentionally mirrors the topic: the text will be created collaboratively both in the physical space of the ODU Learning Commons and through online virtual spaces.

By holding this event in a communal University space and inviting participants from every part of the University community—not just students and instructors—we seek to break down the illusion that knowledge is created by isolated experts and simply transferred to students, and to showcase and explore how knowledge emerges from creative dialogue and networks of common interests. This will provide a unique opportunity to produce innovative work—a pastiche of research-based, creative, and speculative work—on the topic of the relation of physical and virtual places to knowledge creation and acquisition. To support these aims, process and content must remain underdetermined, but we will float some sample topics, will provide an online space for participants to propose additional topics and form groups of common interest during the lead-up to the event, and will have designated volunteer facilitators “on call” to help with conceptual, technical, and organizational issues.

The event will transform the communal University space of the Learning Commons into a fishbowl of collaborative, creative activity allowing librarians and other scholars to contribute to and investigate the conceptual and practical processes of horizontal collaboration across University community members in a digital humanities context. We hope that you see ways that this project could play a role in your teaching or research goals.


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