Professor Sharrona Pearl was a speaker at two events at Carleton University last week. On January 16 she was the speaker at the Max and Tessie Zelikovitz Centre for Jewish Studies where she presented the talk “The Digital Divide: Inside and Outside Chabad’s Use of Media.”
How do we reconcile Chabad’s sophisticated use of the digital sphere for recruitment purposes with their seeming resistance to its application in their daily lives? How is this simple dichotomy complicated by the importance of the virtual Rebbe as a way of uniting the community across ever-larger geographic distances?
On January 17 she was the speaker at Carleton University’s Communication Graduate Caucus, where spe presented the talk “Images are Disappointingly Concrete.”
In recent years, there have been a number of high profile cases of professors using controversial images and displays in their classrooms, cases which have caused such a stir for their supposed salaciousness that Times magazine was prompted to ask “with classwork like this, who needs to play?” (Cullen 2006). In this talk, I ask not why but how professors go about presenting potentially controversial images in the context of their course. To what extent do they frame these images to their students? What are their selection criteria? Are students required to view the images, and are they even presented with a choice? Through these larger framing questions, I then analyze the why outside the constraints of debates around free choice and gratuitousness, seeking to understand the stakes for the use of these images as essential components of learning, debate, provocation, and knowledge acquisition in the university context.