Week 08: Alt-Identities

Instructor Notes

Instructor Notes

This week we will focus on a theme of Alternative Identities.  We are all ethnic.  We each belong to one or more ‘social groups that have common national or cultural traditions.’  We are each born into our tribe without choice.  Each tribe infuses stories into its collective, and each of us carries these narratives with us throughout life, whether we realize it or not.  Throughout life we also have some choice – selecting additional tribes, stories, and values as our own.   This is culture.  These narratives are among the deepest tensions, power struggles, and injustices that shape our society.

Sister_Act_Teen_0921This is quite a curiosity in the digital space, where individuals have choice and agency over their demographics –  allowing individuals to select skin color, gender, age, and presentation at-will.  Allowing individuals to find an authentic voice and/or any number of alt-voices. Here we may present multiple selves to the world and we may cultivate multiple identities to suit different needs and interests.  Here we may be whomever we want to be.    Here, ethnicity and identity are  flexible and agile – presenting a multitude of concerns, opportunities, and cultural shifts.  As we explore this week, try to consider both sides of this notion – the good and the bad.


Class Podcast


Class Soundtrack

This is a collaborative playlist in Spotify.  If you have a Spotify account (free), I will invite you to contribute, but it’s not required.  This is tied to a few class activities and will evolve based on your ideas and input.


Open in Spotify   



We’ve used Twitter extensively in past versions of this course, but it is no longer required.

We’ll keep using #inte5340 if you want to post and share things here – it’s useful for connecting with #inte5340 and #ds106 communities as well as the Social Fiction Challenge.

If you post to Twitter, be sure to use #inte5340 so we can find it.



Weekly Watch

(1) Virtual Identities (2) Undercover Alt-Right
(highlight video title above to discuss | click on playlist icon to pick videos )

Weekly Tasks

(1) Watch and annotate the videos in the Weekly Watchlist (above).

(2) Complete the Weekly-Thing.   Each week we will ask you to do a small thing related to this week’s topic.  The Weekly-Thing is posted to the #mixtape channel on Slack each Tuesday.  Find it.  Do it. Post it to the #mixtape channel.  

(3) Read & annotate at least one of the following article(s) within your assigned hypothes.is group:

Lewis Ellison, T. (2017). Digital Participation, Agency, and Choice: An African American Youth’s Digital Storytelling About Minecraft. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy61(1), 25-35.


Ellcessor, E. (2017). Cyborg hoaxes: Disability, deception, and critical studies of digital media. New Media & Society19(11), 1761-1777.

(4) Complete your second DIALOG…  with 2 to 3 different classmates about a different topic from the course homepage (far-right column).  Yes, you must dialog with someone new about something new.  No repeats.

  • Someone volunteers to host a dialog.
  • Identify a platform (audio, video) and how you will host/record the dialog. (People generally use Zoom).
  • Recruit classmates – use Slack to propose the dialog topic, time, platform, etc.
  • Send participants details on when/where/how to participate.
  • Record the dialog.
  • Guide participant introductions
  • Introduce the topic/story
    • Ask/Answer:  What did you like/dislike about the topic/story?
    • Ask/Answer:  How might this topic/story be used to shape your own teaching and learning?
    • Ask/Answer:  What was your biggest takeaway?
    • Ask/Answer:  your own questions to keep the conversation moving 
  • Watch the time
    • 2 participants (15 – 25 minutes)
    • 3 participants (20 – 30 minutes)
  • Post the dialog.  (People generally use YouTube or SoundCloud)
  • Post the dialog or a link to the dialog in the #module02 Slack channel.

If the host wants to take this a step further, they can do a bit more work to complete the Master of Ceremonies Challenge.


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