We like to say at universities that research and teaching are equal. But the truth is that they're more like the animals in George Orwell's Animal Farm: some animals are more equal than others.
Many of the projects I've been involved with during my university career have attempted to address this division between teaching and research. In the humanities, they really should be fully intertwined and interconnected. Our goal shouldn't be to do research, or even to teach: it should be to educate our society, especially its younger generations, and that is only possible when research and teaching are considered joined in a higher purpose, namely to forge and communicate knowledge about the world and the place of humans it.
www.kultur360.com is a website created by Christina Kraenzle (York University) and me. Edited and written by university professors and independent scholars, kultur360 produces original essays, reviews, and interviews analyzing contemporary German-speaking society and culture. This is a site public scholarship, a platform for scholars who wish to communicate with the general public about the diverse and dynamic culture that is the contemporary German-speaking world. All articles and media appear in English, and the site is governed by a Creative Commons copyright license that allows for the free distribution of all original materials for non-commercial purposes.
With my online teaching I'm trying to find ways of providing a learning environment that provides students with multiple opportunities to engage with ideas that they might not be familiar with, to engage with their peers to discuss and explore these ideas, and to engage with themselves and their ability to communicate their own ideas. The three courses I teach are GER 271: German Thought and Culture - Objects, GER 272: German Thought and Culture - People, and GER 383: Third Reich Culture - Racism, Resistance, Remembering.
CI 250: Truth - Reconciliation - Story is a new course that I’m organizing at the University of Waterloo. It puts the truth and reconciliation processes of Canada, South Africa, and other countries into an international and comparative perspective. This is part of our our new Cultural Identities program at the University.