2015 Undergraduate DePauw Honors Conference with Katie Canning

Currently, I am writing this blog  10 p.m. Indiana time, and I just finished my first session at the conference. As I mentioned in my previous blog, the keynote speaker that jump started the conference was led by Jill Dolan, feminist critic and professor at Princeton University. I was surprised that she was highly relatable. This shocked me, due to the overwhelming tag of “Princeton University professor” that looms over her. You would think that her address would be over the heads of undergraduates and hard to comprehend. Yet, I feel that everyone in attendance could take something from the talk, big or small.
Most of Dolan’s presentation centered on her blog, which she calls The Feminist Spectator. As one could guess, Dolan’s blog is written from a feminist frame of mind. She said that she only blogs or critiques media or theater that she enjoys, never ones that she outwardly detests. Her primary goal with this blog is to promote women and people of color in the media or theater industry, which I find to be unique. One can locate her blog at this address:
http://www.thefeministspectator.com/
Also, if anyone wishes to email Dolan with questions, she says she always tries to respond. [email protected]
I never would have guessed that a Princeton professor runs a blog. To me, blogs scream gossip and mostly contain a form of manipulated truth. Yet, after hearing her speak, I have decided to create an official blog of my own (besides this one), and I would advise other Augustana students to create their own, as well.
Dolan described her blogging as “taking responsibility for taste making seriously.” I had to process this comment before fully understanding its true meaning. I finally came to the conclusion that Dolan means that she puts serious thought and scholarship into her blogs. She feels a sense of pride for taking on a public role in an online base community.
Clearly, Augustana students are present on multiple media sites including but not limited to: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. These media sites obviously give students a public forum to write posts or essentially short blogs on whatever they please. After hearing Dolan’s talk, I am now deciding to take more responsibility with my posts. By this I mean that I will try to, like her, keep a positive, truthful presence when blogging or sharing thoughts online, in order to cut down on what she describes as hazardous hazing. I urge Augustana students to take this challenge with me.
I am not saying that Augustana students haze or purposefully write untruthful posts on media sites. I am merely hoping that students will take into consideration the quality of their content before posting.
This is a written account by Augustana junior multimedia journalism and communication studies major Katie Canning as she takes us on her journey of navigating an undergraduate honors conference at DePauw University.