Program Related Reflection

Semesters: WS 18/19, SS 19, WS 19/20, SS 20
Lecturer: Christine Böhler Sen.Sc. Mag. phil.

This class offers a space in which the study program and personal development of the students is continuously reflected, both at the individual level and in the group, as well as the teaching and formats of teaching. During this course, students must prepare and present portfolios documenting experiences and competencies gained during the course of studies. This course is represented in all semesters and mandatory. 

In the first semester (WS 18/19) we discussed the personal experiences/ characteristics which made us choose the CDS program, we talked about the term reflection and what the focus of PRR could be. The following is a list of the literature we went through:

Literature

At the end of the first semester, on January 31st, we organized a Semester Edit where we had to show and explain our university colleagues what we decided to focus on in a semester and why. Further we had to reflect about every topic discussed in class and trying to draw lines/connections.

Individual Project
My project and reflection for the Semester Edit was the thought on connection and deconstruction. My thoughts were in written form (max. 2 pages text) and printed out with a self-designed cover on top matching the content. The text on connection is about our damaged planet – human relation to non-human species and in addition the meaning of the body in this context. The text on deconstruction is about frames/ construct of thoughts – in particular the forms and definitions as well as the rigorous impact of frames we create to provide e.g.  structure but at the same time making bodies visible or invisible.

  • de Spinoza, Benedict. Ethic: Demonstrated in Geometrical Order and Divided Into Five Parts. Montana: Kessinger Publishing, 2010.
  • Deleuze, Gilles. Spinoza: Practical Philosophy. San Francisco: City Lights Book, 1988.
  • Harari, Yuval Noah. Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow. London: Harvill Secker,
  • Harari, Yuval Noah. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. London: Harvill Secker, 2014.
  • Ponger, Lisl. “The Master Narrative.” Exhibition at Weltmuseum, Vienna. https://www.weltmuseumwien.at/en/exhibitions/themasternarrative/.
  • Tsing, Anna, Heather Swanson, Elain Gan, and Nils Bubandt. Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2017.

In the second semester (SS 19) we discussed the process of reflecting – collecting – selecting for our portfolio. Among others we reflected on our interests (projects, goals, cooperation), collected items which show our interests, selected documents/ information and group them, planned how to support our development and presented our portfolio ideas. Further we had to read, reflect and write on disciplinarity, knowledge production and scientific surroundings (e.g. laboratory).

Literature

  • Latour, Bruno; Woolgar, Steve. Laboratory Life: The Construction of Scientific Facts. Princeton/New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1986.
  • Feyerabend, P. “Against method: Outline of an anarchistic theory of knowledge.” In Analysis of theories and methods of physics and psychology. Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science IV., ed. Radner, M; Winokur, S. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1970: 17–130.
  • Huutoniemi, K. “Introduction: Sustainability, transdisciplinarity and the complexity of knowing.” In Heuristics for transdisciplinary sustainability studies: Solution-oriented approaches to complex problems, ed. Huutoniemi, K; Tapio, P. Oxford: Routledge, 2014: 1–20.
  • O’Rourke, M. “Comparing Methods for Cross-Disciplinary Research.” In The Oxford handbook of interdisciplinarity. Second Edition., ed. Frodeman, R; Klein, J.T.; Pacheco, R.C.D.S. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017: 276-290.

During the third semester (WS 19/20) we had to prepare and present our documented portfolio experiences and competencies gained during the course of studies as well as practice our writing skills, and discuss types of writing. As this was the focus of the third semester, it was encouraged with a one on one meeting for portfolio discussion, additional idea collection and peer feedback. However, we also did read about Transdisciplinarity, uncertainty and the linkages between art and science. 

Literature

  • Elkins, James. “Aesthetics and the Two Cultures: Why Art and Science Should Be Allowed to Go Their Separate Ways.” In Rediscovering Aesthetics: Transdisciplinary Voices From Art History, Philosophy, and Art Practice, ed. Francis Halsall, Julia Jansen, Tony O’Connor. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2009.
  • Latour, Bruno. “What is the style of matters of concern? Two lectures in empirical philosophy.” Lecture, University of Amsterdam, April and May 2005.
  • Nowlin, Stephen. “LASER‐ UCLA‐ 2013‐ 04‐ 18‐ 02‐ Stephen Nowlin.” Filmed in 2013. Vimeo. Video, 5:24. https://vimeo.com/65581994.
  • Yang, Andrew S. “That Drunken Conversation Between Two Cultures: Art, Science, and the Possibility of Meaningful Uncertainty.” Leonardo 48, no. 3 (2015): 318-321.

In the fourth semester (SS 20) we had to present our preliminary portfolio with evidence of recent work: creative, personal, academic, or professional. It was possible to organize it thematically, e.g. according to the subject groups (Science and Technology, Economics and Politics, Artistic Strategies, Philosophy and Epistemology, Methods, Overview, Cross-Disciplinary Capabilities and Global Challenges), and further include non-university work. Since my portfolio is this blog I tried to concentrate on its purpose and content. Further, I was able to develop a timeline with a preliminary date for the blog going online.