Cathy N. Davidson, “The Invention of Failure” Tuesday, January 20 at Duke

Cathy Davidson Invention of Failure flier2[3]


The Invention of Failure
Tuesday, January 20, 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm  
Open to the public. Light dinner provided.
PhD Lab in Digital Knowledge
John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute, Duke University
Smith Warehouse, Bay 4, 1st Floor, C106, 114 S. Buchanan Boulevard, Durham
Professor Cathy N. Davidson
Visiting Distinguished Professor, Duke University
Distinguished Professor and Director of the Futures Initiative, The Graduate Center, CUNY
In this workshop presented by the PhD Lab in Digital Knowledge, Professor Cathy N. Davidson will focus on “The Invention of Failure.” She will be addressing a number of issues: what is the relationship between the  assembly line mechanics of “making the grade” and “grading” as a summative practice of assessment in higher education? What is the role of “failure” as a concept in formal education in general and in informal learning practices? How is failure racialized by standardized testing and both mirrored and masked in the language of meritocracy in higher education? What is the difference between “experimentation” as a learning model and “failure” as a model?  What is the relationship between “professionalization” and “risk”? And how does “playing it safe” in one’s research influence the shape and success of one’s future?
Cathy N. Davidson is Distinguished Visiting Professor at Duke University, and Distinguished Professor and Director of the Futures Initiative at the Graduate Center, The City University of New York. She is the cofounder of both the PhD Lab in Digital Knowledge and the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke.  She has published over twenty books, including, most recently, Now You See It:  How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn.  She is the first educator on the Board of Directors of Mozilla and a President Obama appointee to the National Humanities Council.  This talk is based on work from a new book on the future of higher education to be published in 2015 by Basic Books.
See Me in Office Hours
Wednesday, January 21
10:00 am – 12:00 pm and 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm 
On Wednesday, Professor Davidson will be conducting open office hours in the PhD Lab from 10 am – 12 pm and 4-6 pm. Individuals can schedule appointments by contacting or drop in. The open office hours are for individuals and small groups to advise on ways to incorporate peer learning, contract grading, other forms of assessment, digital literacies and other pedagogical ideas into one’s classes and onto one’s syllabi. She is also happy to advise on issues relevant to professional development.
This is the fourth of six workshops Professor Cathy Davidson will host in collaboration with the PhD Lab in Digital Knowledge at Duke University and the Futures Initiative at the Graduate Center, CUNY. See for more information on future events.


The Futures Initiative
The Graduate Center, CUNY
365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10016-4309