ALICE H. REICH
I want to begin with the briefest of deconstructions of myself, as Gayatri Spivak would say when you introduce yourself to an audience, you locate yourself. I am an anthropologist. I am much more a teacher than a researcher. I am much more a generalist than a specialist. When it comes to computers, I'm not cyberphobic, but I am skeptical. In fact, I can probably best locate myself with regard to a discussion about computers with the following epigram: "Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge, where is the knowledge we have lost in information?"
In order to address the role of computers in teaching, I had to ask myself once again those questions that we cannot ask ourselves too frequently. Who are our students? What is our discipline about, right now? What of that do we want to and can we convey in the classroom? What are our broader goals in teaching? Are they good goals? How can we best achieve them?
Thinking about all this in connection with computers adds an extra twist that makes it fun to think about all of this again. I'm going to try to say something first about teaching, then something about anthropology, next something about my students, and something about computers in relation to these things, and finally about the implications for pedagogy that I draw from these interconnections. No doubt it won't be quite that linear.
Reich is Professor of Sociology, Regis College, Denver, Colorado.