2011-2012 Provost Lecture Series

Michael Wesch

Successful Strategies for Improving Retention and Graduation

Friday, April 20, 2012
10:30 a.m. - noon
Hemisphere Room, Hale Library
 

Michael Wesch

Associate professor of cultural anthropology
2011-2012 Coffman Chair for Distinguished Teaching Scholars

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Biographical Sketch

Dubbed "the explainer" by Wired magazine, Michael Wesch is a cultural anthropologist exploring the effects of new media on society and culture. After two years studying the implications of writing on a remote indigenous culture in the rain forest of Papua New Guinea, he has turned his attention to the effects of social media and digital technology on global society. His videos on culture, technology, education, and information have been viewed by millions, translated in over 15 languages, and are frequently featured at international film festivals and major academic conferences worldwide. Wesch has won several major awards for his work, including a Wired Magazine Rave Award, the John Culkin Award for Outstanding Praxis in Media Ecology, and he was recently named an Emerging Explorer by National Geographic. He has also won several teaching awards, including the 2008 CASE/Carnegie U.S. Professor of the Year for Doctoral and Research Universities.

Abstract

Ed Parkour is not a person or a movement. It is people on the move. In parkour (the sport of free-running), we are encouraged to see the structures of the world not in the terms of how they were intended to be used, but for how they might be used. Walls, obstacles, and barriers become objects to be leveraged, harnessed, and sometimes altered. The practitioner of parkour sees the world as a playground of possibility. Likewise, the practitioner of Ed Parkour tries to leverage and harness the "walls" and "structures" that try to control learning. Ed Parkour is learning around, over, and outside the walls. This semester eight faculty and hundreds of students at K-State set out to explore the possibilities of Ed Parkour. The inspiring results will be revealed at this talk.