One of the best things about November, besides that it marks the end of Fall Term and the start of six weeks of faculty unfettered self-absorption time, is the annual return of the Chicago Humanities Fall Festival. This year is particularly appealing in that the theme is Tech Knowledge. Between now and mid-November, some of the best known minds in the humanities and sciences will make their way to Chicago to talk about technology and its impact on humanity. You should check it out.
A full schedule can be found at on the link at the festival’s homepage. Here, I want to tell you about 4 presentations that should hit home for all us interested in issues around technology, education, and social justice.
On November 5, James Paul Gee presents The Next Level—Gaming, Testing, and Education’s Future. Anyone familiar with sociolinguistic and New Literacy Studies will recognize Gee’s name and know his work. Enough said.
On November 6, Virginia Eubanks presents A Jane Addams for the Digital Age. Eubanks is the author of Digital Dead End: Fighting for Social Justice in the Information Age. Check out her blog to see what she is all about.
On November 11, Sherry Turkle presents Alone Together. She is the author of Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other. I never heard of her before now, but I am intrigued.
And on November 12, Ethan Zuckerman presents Geeks and Tweets: Technology and Media in the Developing World. Like with Turkle, Zuckerman is new to me, but, hey, that is what is great about the Chicago Humanities Festival.
These are four presentations I hope to attend, but there are many more, some with big name people like Laurie Anderson and Jared Diamond. It’s free for students and teachers. Nail down your itinerary now because sessions fill up fast.
 Just joking.