Saturday, August 09, 2008

my service narrative

i've constructed my service narrative by discussing three kinds of service. first, service to the department, college, and university. second, service to the community. and third, service to the field.

what follows is a working version of my service narrative, a part of my USF tenure packet that is due september 15th. comments are very much encouraged.

(08-11-08 update: a) added two new transition sentences; b) changed the garden project paragraph to be less about higher education trends and more about my service to the project.)

(09-13-08 update: a) added my involvement with the USF-based journal peace review and the ralph lane peace and justice essay award competition to the service to the college section; b) added my involvement in this year's one book, one campus reading discussions.)

David Silver
Service Narrative
Working Draft: August 9 11, 2008

To better trace my service activities as an assistant professor, I have divided my service narrative into three sections: a) Service to the Campus; b) Service to the Community; and c) Service to the Field.

Service to the Campus

Since joining the Media Studies faculty in fall 2006, I have worked creatively and collaboratively to contribute to the intellectual community of my Department, College, and University. Together with John Kim, I helped organize our 2006-2007 departmental Colloquium Series, a series of research and teaching presentations by regular and visiting Media Studies faculty. I also attended and participated in a workshop called “Video/Audio Blogging, Social Networks and Labor” at LaborTech 2006: The Digital Revolution and a Labor Media Strategy organized by Professor Dorothy Kidd. Also during 2006-2007, in collaboration with Teresa Moore and with support from the College of Arts and Sciences, Environmental Studies, Gleeson Library, the Journalism Minor, Living-Learning Communities, Peace and Justice Studies, and the Departments of Media Studies, Politics, and Sociology, I brought Josh Wolf to campus for a talk on Journalism and the Justice System. (See Appendix: “Maria Dinzeo, “Incarcerated Blogger Shares Experience with USF,” San Francisco Foghorn, April 26, 2007.) In 2007-2008, I chaired the Media Studies Job Search, a robust (180+ applications) search process that brought about important discussions about our department’s present and future directions but that resulted in no hire. With help from Lydia Fedulow, the department's extraordinary program assistant, I feel productive and organized.

Since 2006, I have enjoyed many inspired collaborations with people and departments across the College of Arts and Sciences. With visiting Politics Professor Banafsheh Akhlaghi, San Francisco Fire Chief Heather Fong, and student members of USF Politics Society & Pi Sigma Alpha, I was part of a September Project that examined the legacy of September 11 in terms of decreasing human rights and civil liberties in the US. With Politics Professors Corey Cook and Stephen Zunes, the USF Politics Society, and the McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good, I was part of Election Watch 06, a night of students, staff, and faculty coming together over politics, pizza, and poll-watching on election night. Since 2007, I have served as an Associate Editor for the USF-based journal Peace Review and this year served as one of the judges for the Ralph Lane Peace & Justice Essay Award Competition.

Last year, I shared my research on using online tools to foster offline engagement as part of the Special Lecture Series in Computer Science (SLS/CS). I also worked with Computer Science Professor Benjamin Wells to bring Marc Smith to campus as part of SLS/CS. And for the last two years, I have helped (and been inspired by) Computer Science Professor Chris BrooksPeru Digital Divide Immersion Project by recommending two excellent Media Studies students (now graduates), Veanne Cao and Amber McChesney-Young, to help digitally document the collaboration.

My most fruitful College-wide service has been with USF’s Garden Project, led by Media Studies Professor Melinda Stone, Art + Architecture Professor Seth Wachtel, and eleven first-year living-learning student-farmers. Within two short years, USF’s garden provides a collaborative research, teaching, and community space that is not only green and beautiful but also practical and pedagogical. In fall, I gave a blogging workshop for the Garden Project students which resulted in a group blog. I’ve also consulted with Garden Project students about incorporating photography, tagging, and film - as well as topics like gardening skills, lessons about the land, and garden-to-table recipes - into future blogs. Last spring, my Digital Journalism students and I interviewed, documented, researched, photographed, blogged, and filmed the garden and its students and faculty (See Teaching Narrative). This summer, together with Christin Anderson and an email list, I helped coordinate a summer garden crew comprised of students, staff, librarians, and faculty.

Since 2006, I have collaborated with Gleeson Library and have worked closely and creatively with many Gleeson Librarians especially Joe Garity, our Media Studies Library Liaison. Together with Gleeson Librarians Debbie Benrubi and Kathy Woo, my spring 2007 “Digital Journalism” students and I interviewed, photographed, and blogged about the graphic novel exhibit in Gleeson Library. Together with Gleeson Librarian Vicki Rosen, my Davies Forum students and I took over a good chunk of the library as part of National Library Week. One of the most exciting projects to be a part of is Gleeson Gleanings, a group blog started by Gleeson Librarian Debbie Malone and contributed to by nearly a dozen Gleeson librarian-bloggers. As another example of the continuum of scholarship, I think of my relationship to a blog like Gleeson Gleanings as service, teaching, and research: I informally offered advice during the blog’s launch, my students and I routinely use (and comment to) the blog, and I regularly use Gleeson Gleanings as a topic of discussion for my research talks at library conferences.

Although I am still learning my way around campus, I have contributed service to the University. I co-staffed the Media Studies’ table at the Major/Minor Fair in both 2006 and 2007. I have worked with the Office of Undergraduate Admission to be a speaker for USF’s Admitted Student Visit Program, both in 2006 and in 2007, where I get to showcase USF student media and to field post-visit student comments on my blog. I also served as a faculty reading moderator for this year's one book, one campus reading of Three Cups of Tea. Also, in conjunction with the Center for Instruction and Teaching, I conducted a campus-wide blogging workshop for USF faculty and staff and co-presented (with Professors Andrew Goodwin and Michael Robertson) at a Faculty Development lunch panel organized by Sister Mary Theresa Moser called "Blogging Teaching, Collegiality and Self-Expression."

Without a doubt one of the most rewarding and refreshing experiences on campus has been blogging alongside Media Studies professors Andrew Goodwin (Professor of Pop) and Michael Robertson (Darwin's California Cat Presents the 15-Minute Man). Reading and commenting on the blogs of two colleagues who teach different classes to similar students at the same campus, and having them read and comment on silver in sf, is extremely exciting. Equally exciting is when USF students continue the classroom experience by commenting on their professor’s blog (or blogging a post of their own) and by so doing enter into a public conversation with peers and professors. In turn, my ideas and lectures get stronger and more interesting with student feedback. For blogging and for integrating blogs into teaching and service I received USF’s Faculty Innovation Award in spring 2008.

Service to the Community

Extending my service from campus to the community, I have enjoyed collaborating with San Francisco Public Library (SFPL) for the last two years. Last summer, I worked with SFPL Librarian Jerry Dear, the Herb Caen Magazines & Newspaper Center, and SFPL to present “The Power of Web 2.0” at the Main Library. (See Appendix: The Power of Web 2.0 talk flyer; and Jerry Dear’s email titled “A Superb Program” to David Silver, July 1, 2007.) Last spring, I continued my collaboration with Jerry Dear and SFPL to help bring Sarah Houghton-Jan (The Librarian in Black) to SFPL; my Davies Forum students and I field-tripped to the Main Library to see The Librarian in Black’s talk on Library 2.0.

I have also begun to collaborate with professors and librarians at neighboring Bay Area colleges and universities. With an invitation from California College of the Arts Professor Rachel Schreiber, I served as Moderator for CCA’s Visual and Critical Studies 2008 Graduate Symposium, where I had the pleasure to introduce and comment on Guinevere Harrison’s MA thesis “Neogeography: Mapping Our Place in the World” and Lee Pembleton’s “The Work of Art in the Age of Digital Reproduction.” With an invitation from long-time collaborator Shinjoung Yeo, I gave a talk for Stanford librarians, where I suggested that instead of professors and librarians building sites for college students to visit and obey, we should encourage our students to build their own sites - sites where they follow their curiosity, create content, converse, and collaborate (the five c's). (See Appendix: “a talk for librarians at stanford university,” silver in sf, March 19, 2008.) And this summer, I attended the Tools for Participation conference organized by Doug Schuler, sponsored by Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility, and hosted by the Information School at UC Berkeley.

Service to the Field

For over a decade, I have worked actively, creatively, and collaboratively towards fostering research and teaching around an academic field called new media studies, digital media studies, Internet studies, or cyberculture studies. Whatever the name, there is growing and sustained academic interest (especially but not limited to our students) in the Internet, digital media and culture, and convergent mobile media. In 1996, I began using the term cyberculture studies because I was convinced that the media revolution we were beginning to experience was both technological and cultural and because the term cyberculture studies was ambiguous enough to include just about anything and everything relating to contemporary or not-so-contemporary media and culture.

In 2002, I was invited to be on the Academic Advisory Board of the Pew Internet & American Life Project (PIP) and in 2006 I joined PIP as a member of their Advisory Board. Working with the Pew Internet & American Life Project staff has been a highlight of my career and it is a privilege to be a part of a project that continues to publish – publicly and for free – rich and rigorous data and stories about US-based digital media practices, behaviors, and possibilities. In another example of the continuum of scholarship, the reports the Pew Internet & American Life Project publish make their way into my research and into my syllabi. Continuing the continuum, PIP Senior Research Specialist Mary Madden was guest lecturer in my Davies Forum course on Digital Literacy in spring 2008. In addition to working with Pew, I have worked and learned from the Ford Foundation, especially Becky Lentz and the Media, Arts and Culture (MAC) unit. In 2002, I attended and presented my work at the October staff meeting of MAC in Berkeley, California and in 2006, I attended a mini-symposium titled “Media and Communications at a Crossroads: The Role of Scholarship for Media Reform and Justice” in New York City. (See Appendix: Letter from Ford Foundation, November 12, 2002; and Media and Communications at a Crossroads: The Role of Scholarship for Media Reform and Justice, Participant Bios, January 20, 2006.) For the last two years, I have served as grant reviewer for the small and large grant cycles of the Necessary Knowledge for a Democratic Sphere, a collaboration among the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), the Center for International Media Action (CIMA), and the Donald McGannon Communication Research Center at Fordham University.

On a more academic level, I work with a number of journals, especially New Media & Society, where I have served as a Contributing Editor since 2001. Under the expert editorial direction of Nick Jankowski and Steve Jones, New Media & Society has become, I believe, the leading journal in new media studies and one that has had success in bridging social science- and humanities-based academic communities. I am also a member of the Editorial Board of Games & Culture: A Journal of Interactive Media and a member of the Advisory Board of the Iowa Review Web. Since 2000, I have reviewed articles for: American Studies; first monday; Games & Culture; Information, Communication & Society; The Information Society; Journal of American Culture; New Media & Society; and Social Movement Studies. Also since 2000, I have regularly reviewed manuscripts for Arnold Publishers, Greenwood Publishing Group, Prentice Hall, Routledge, Sage, SUNY Press, and Wadsworth Publishing.

In a field that is always changing, some of the most dynamic research is found not in journals nor in books but rather at conferences. Although the majority of work comes from the conference organizers, I have contributed by serving as a reviewer on many conference committees. In the last decade, I have served on the Program Committee of Constructing Cyberculture(s): Performance, Pedagogy, and Politics in Online Spaces Conference (College Park, Maryland, 2001); on the Program Committee for the Fourth International Digital Arts & Culture Conference (Brown University, Rhode Island, 2001); on the Program Committee for the Second Annual Conference of the Association of Internet Researchers (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 2001); on the Program Committee for the Shaping the Network Society: Patterns for Participation, Action and Change Conference (Seattle, Washington, 2002); on the International Program Committee for CATaC: Conference on Cultural Attitudes towards Technology and Communication (Montreal, Canada, 2002; and Karlstad, Sweden, 2004); as a Reviewer for the Communication and Technology Division of the 53rd Annual Conference of the International Communication Association (San Diego, California, 2003); on the Program Committee for Social Intelligence Design 2006 (Osaka, Japan, 2006); as a Reviewer for the Showing, Demonstrating Colloquium (Université de Marne-laVallée, France, 2007); and on the Program Committee for DIAC-2008: Directions and Implications of Advanced Computing (University of California, Berkeley, 2008).

I have welcomed opportunities to share academic ideas with larger, more general, and diverse audiences through print media, especially newspapers and magazines. In October 1997, Wired magazine used the Resource Center for Cyberculture Studies (RCCS) to talk about college classes in cyberculture and in 2001 the Chronicle of Higher Education featured RCCS in “Internet Studies 1.0: a Discipline Is Born,” which discussed the formation of a new academic field of study. (See Appendix: “Culture Crash Course,” Wired, October 1997; and Scott McLemee, "Internet Studies 1.0: a Discipline Is Born," Chronicle of Higher Education, March 30, 2001.) I have tried my best to inject sensible discourse about the internet and contemporary culture through interviews for outlets like the Associated Press, the Christian Science Monitor, the New York Times, The Observer, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Seattle Times. (See Appendix: Media Appearances; and Joyce Cohen, “He-Mails, She-Mails: Where Sender Meets Gender Men,” New York Times, May 17, 2001).

My favorite and most long-standing service to the field is the Resource Center for Cyberculture Studies, or RCCS, which I designed and launched in 1996 as a free, public, and user-submitted archive of relevant college-level syllabi and calls for conferences. In 1997, I began publishing monthly full-length book reviews of books about contemporary media and culture. From the start, I decided RCCS would review books for two reasons: 1) books often contain interesting, well-developed ideas and arguments, something a new field of study needs and thrives on; and 2) books, unlike Web sites which began to multiple and remix at an alarming rate by 1997, are finite in number. Soon after, I began publishing author responses alongside the book reviews. Soon after that, I began publishing multiple book reviews of a single book. These days, it is common for RCCS to feature three, four, or even five reviews of a single book, which, combined with an author response, offers a rich and engaging conversation between reviewers and authors. To date, RCCS has published over 550 book reviews of over 400 books with over 150 author responses. (See Appendix: Books Reviewed by RCCS.) My favorite part of RCCS is that it is written and read by all kinds of scholars – professors, graduate students, librarians, and independent artists and scholars representing all kinds of fields and disciplines within the arts, humanities, technologies, and sciences.


Ivan Chew said...

Hi David, I feel your work on The September Project should also be mentioned on "Service to the Community". At least that's how I see it. You and Sarah were instrumental in helping two Singapore libraries connect to Sugargrove PL for the online chat discussion.

guinevere harrison said...

What an impressive roster of achievements! Best of luck with your tenure!

david silver said...

ivan - excellent suggestion, thank you. currently, the september project resides in my research narrative and connected to public scholarship. but i will consider putting it also in my service narrative. thanks for the suggestion. (and for folks interested in connecting different libraries from different countries using online chat, click the link on ivan's comment.)

guinevere - thanks for the comment! i really enjoyed learning about the work going on at CCA.

Anonymous said...

Straight to Full.

Amber said...

I'd give you tenure!

I love how you incorporate active links. That's pretty standard for a blog post, but will you be able to include them in the actual narrative that you submit? If you can, I think it would add a great dimension.

david silver said...

professor of pop - i like your thinking.

david silver said...

hey amber!

thanks for the comment and the feedback on my use of links.

while at stonelake farm, i had a number of conversations with sarah and melinda about the exact question you ask: will you be able to include links in the actual narrative that you submit?

at this point, there's a few options. one would be to attach a clear paragraph to the beginning of my tenure narratives, something like:

Dear reader: I encourage you to read this Service Narrative as a blog post rather than the copy you have now in your hands. The blog post, located at, includes links to many of the people, projects, and programs I mention within this narrative.

you know? just bold that and attach it to page 1. would that encourage my evaluators to let go of the paper version, fire up their browsers, and read the narrative as a blog post?

or, i thought instead of printing out a microsoft word version of my narratives, i could print out the blog versions using a color printer and therefore highlight the links. maybe, i thought, the readers would see the photographs and the hyperlinks and say to themselves, "hey, this narrative looks like it should be read as a blog post!"

what i *am* able to use, though, is more traditional hyperlinking: footnotes and appendices.

i've got some time to decide what to do with respect to this question of links and welcome suggestions.

cbrooks said...

Hi David!
It looks like you have a much nicer tenure-packet-preparing environment than I had (my stuffy office) - I'm jealous!

A few pieces of wisdom/advice:
- Don't be afraid to toot your own horn here - this is no place for modesty! Make sure to play up your accomplishments.

- Unfortunately, I don't think that the committees will be too likely to read your work online. I'd definitely include your bolded statement for those folks forward-thinking enough to give it a whirl, but think about how to make it accessible as a traditional paper document as well. (footnotes are probably a good choice, as are parenthetical remarks)

- On a related note, skimmability is a good thing. It really pissed me off when I realized that my carefully-crafted sentences would not be chewed over, but would instead be hurriedly flipped past, but such is the process. Headings and lists are nice - make it easy for readers to see all your accomplishments.

Good luck with all of this! If you want copies of any of my material, just drop me an email.

Patrik said...

Hi David. Your service narrative reads well I think, and it is clear that you have a strong committment to 'service' in a broad sense.

One note: You put some emphasis on RCSS, but I think you would strengthen your narrative through also mentioning what RCSS (and other work of yours) has led to in the sense of national/international collaboration. I think RCSS (together with your other work) helps place USF in a privileged role as a hosting/supporting organization in a field that is increasingly getting more attention and funding in the US and elsewhere. Also your investment here (and otherwise) leads to broad national and international collaboration outside conferences etc. For instance with centers such as HUMlab in Sweden :).


david silver said...

Collin - THANK YOU. i'm currently writing my teaching narrative so your pointers, especially your notes about skimmability and headers, are especially helpful. thanks.

i appreciate your comment about tooting my own horn. for the record, that is something that has come up often as i blog my tenure narratives. it's one thing to toot toot toot my own horn on a largely private document to be read by my evaluators and quite another thing to toot toot toot on a public document like this here blog post. but i hear your point, understand that now's the time to toot, and will make sure more tootin' happens in the future.

thanks again for the very useful feedback.

JP Allen said...

Dude, you're a lock.

But I would support the comment about headings and lists...think about having a short, bullet point summary that gives factual points directly mirroring the language of our beloved contract, and that nails the case in just a few lines. Don't make the reviewers think (sorry to be so b-school like). Have them check the superior service box, skim the rest of your beautiful essay, and move on gratefully to their next giant file.

....J.Michael Robertson said...

Tenure for doing it. I'd tenure you for remembering it all. Here's a little Basho to be consumed post-tenure.

Clouds appear
and bring to men a chance to rest
from looking at the moon.

TSeeley said...

quick note about double counting things as both research, for example, and service. word from the committee is, don't do it. Choose one category (research, say), make a brief mention of it in the other section (with a parenthetical: see section xyz). Once these narratives are done, it's really the arts and crafts project from hell....

david silver said...

Patrik - excellent point, thank you. i briefly mention RCCS in this service narrative because i will address it in greater depth in my research narrative (coming soon!). thanks for the comment.

JP: cool. good suggestions that i'll work into this narrative and the others.

TSeeley - got it. thanks for this tip plus the many, many more you've given. also, ever since i've approached the tenure packet as, in your words, an arts and crafts project from hell, i've been able to better organize, swap, cut-and-paste, etc. thanks.

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