(from 2 July 20 email)

Dear Everyone:

I’m piggybacking on Alycia’s message from yesterday (below), to keep the library information in this thread, the aim of which is to focus on specific items related to remote teaching/distance learning.  As I noted in my message yesterday, if that broad topic is not relevant, delete at sight of subject line, of course.  And, if you have items to suggest, please don’t hesitate to share!  (Please only share those things with which you have direct experience if they are platforms or apps or whatnot.)

I’ll also remind faculty members on this list about the site Luke Waltzer (of TLC) and Matt Gold (of us! And GCDI) have set up — https://commons.gc.cuny.edu/groups/gc-online/ — and encourage you to join that if you want more.  As more information is available about the workshops TLC and GCDI will run in August, of course I will share.

In the meantime, here’s the one thing for today:  collaborative annotation.

There are many different programs and platforms that enable collaborative annotation.  This one — https://web.hypothes.is/ — is the one I use/like. I’ve used it for organization and committee work and plan to use it in my fall seminar, to provide an opportunity for all of us to share our thoughts on one document.  Since so much of what we’re figuring out is how to create groupness while geographically distributed, at the same time that we’ll be working with the limitations to reading/screentime capacities (how much, in what forms, availability), the platforms that enable collaboration are particularly appealing to me.  I like also that it’s free and open source.

I’ve used a wordpress theme via Academic Commons toward similar ends in dissertation workshops and found it helpful toward the ends of promoting collaboration but not super easy to navigate.  Just to clarify: I’m sure there are other group annotation programs out there!  The “one thing” here is the collaborative annotation, not this site in particular.

That’s it for now!

All well wishes,



From: Sellie, Alycia <ASellie@gc.cuny.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, July 01, 2020 8:38 AM
To: Chuh, Kandice <kchuh@gc.cuny.edu>; ENGDEPT-L@GC.LISTSERV.CUNY.EDU
Subject: Re: what’s next?

Hi all,

Wanted to follow Kandice’s great message this morning with a bit of update on what is happening in the library:

So much uncertainty for us as well about the Fall semester, but this post by Interim Chief Librarian Emily Drabinski outlines a bit of what we do know: we’re trying to get electronic materials to support reserves/classes in the Fall, despite the obstacles that will present for us (in short, ebook versions do not exist for all books, and ebooks sold to libraries are generally much more expensive and not analogous to ebooks sold to individuals—they may come with digital restrictions, which we generally try to avoid in GC library purchases–more here from me on this topic if you want to dive in). Overall, we are balancing supporting classes and research online while keeping our staffs safe.

There is an open meeting on July 7 at 2pm for those who might be interested to hear fellow librarians talk about the current projects happening in the library, and I am happy as always to answer questions (especially if, like me, you are suffering from Zoom fatigue or have concerns about privacy issues with Zoom, or their indications that they will hand over information to law enforcement).

Additionally, if there are folks on this list who have positions in CUNY libraries and have been affected by COVID, the Library Association of CUNY has set up a Mutual Aid project which you can read more about here. Please feel free to share this information with library workers at CUNY and to get in touch.

Finally, reeling in response to the city council’s budget vote and all that circles #defundtheNYPD for those of us at CUNY. All my best to the folks on this list.


Alycia Sellie


Associate Librarian for Collections & Associate Professor

CUNY Graduate Center Library

365 Fifth Avenue | Room 2321

New York, New York 10016-4309


Reply-To: “Chuh, Kandice” <kchuh@gc.cuny.edu>
Date: Wednesday, July 1, 2020 at 7:50 AM
Subject: what’s next?

Dear Everyone:

Today, I officially start year two of my stint as EO.  In starting the first year, I thought the biggest external thing we’d be dealing with in the program was Middle States…!  I know some measure and mixture of anger, anxiety, and exhaustion are the defining affective orientations of the present, but I wonder, too, if humility isn’t stretching its arms wider as well these days. It’s always a condition necessary to (un)learning, I think, and so, something perhaps worth holding onto deliberately as/in practice.  (As some of you know, I’m writing on pedagogy just now and that work seeps into these messages to you all.)  Gratitude is of course the close companion to humility, so it seems exactly right to thank you all again for your engagements and efforts in this past year, and in advance for the work to come!

Some update sorts of things:

  1. Budget (non)news.  Today marks the start of the new fiscal year, and typically, some sense of a budget for the GC would be in place relatively soon.  In this atypical year, CUNY Central will not allocate monies to the colleges for the coming academic year until at least early August.  In short, still nothing specific as to the financial condition we’ll be in for the coming year.
  1. Consortium classes.  From our registrar, Vin De Luca on 22 June:

“The member schools of the Inter-University Doctoral Consortium have agreed to delay any action on processing in-coming and out-going enrollments until August 1.   This delay will allow the campuses the time needed to develop and implement plans that are best for the health and safety of their students, faculty and staff as they await  further information from offices such as the governor, mayor and public health agencies that will determine class size, availability, and mode of instruction

The decision was based upon the concept that it is best for the students to know the mode of instruction (in-person, hybrid, distance learning, etc.) before selecting a class and seeking the approvals required for enrollment.”

So, if you’ve submitted paperwork to take a consortium class, a) hang in there!  And b) have a back-up/GC course selected!

  1. Search.  There is good news!  And we’ll be able to share it fairly soon, I believe – we’re in what I understand to be the final stages of realizing the appointment, and we’ve been asked to refrain from announcing details until the last pieces are in place, but things are indeed moving.
  1. Just One Thing: Apologies for getting this off the ground so slowly – “this” being distance learning strategies/insights/practices.  (Among other things, doing search related stuff had to take precedence for reasons of timing!)  I’ll send this out as a separate message, and always using the same subject line so you can choose to read or delete without opening – I realize for many of you, distance learning pedagogies aren’t immediately relevant.  I asked students for input on their experiences with distance learning and will make that available as well as part of this other thread.

Finally for now, I’m sharing the following, featuring Professors Ruth Wilson Gilmore (a Grad Center colleague) and Robin D.G. Kelley, respectively, who speak and write about the need for fundamental changes, sometimes under the sign of abolition, as I know there is both interest and uncertainty as to some of the terms and ideas presently and so pronouncedly circulating.  There are many people doing this kind of work, and I don’t know of any who explain with greater clarity or vision than these two. 



Part of what Gilmore and Kelley are asking us to do is conceive and realize the world we would wish to inhabit.  I love that as a way of thinking about what we do in our program, through the teaching and research and writing and talking we do.  I’ve asked us regularly to think in the future perfect tense: what will we have been and done? – and so, newly inspired by the demands for revolutionary change, by the practice of care that the simple gesture of wearing a mask with and for each other is, this first message of year two reiterates the frame.  When we look back some years hence, how will we have wanted to respond to the present? To have shifted in our learning and teaching and being to address the sharply illuminated state-enacted/state-sanctioned violence unfolding through anti-Black racism, settler colonialism, cis-heteronormativity and sexism, the ableism that pervades all of this, xenophic border regulations, and so much more…all of which undergirds “the present”?

Maybe those are too big questions with which to close an email!  And/but, why shouldn’t we take on the big things?  Maybe even, how could we not?

With abundant thanks again, coupled with overflowing well wishes, here’s to what comes next!


2 comments on “Just One Thing: collaborative annotation

  • from Filipa Calado:

    Bom Dia everyone — I wanted to respond to Kandice’s email about collaborative annotation with some resources for learning how to use Hypothes.is. I’ve run a few workshops (for the GC Digital Fellows) on this tool, and I’m working on one asynchronous workshop for the near future. You might be interested in checking out my current Workshop Slides [bit.ly], with instructions for how to use Hypothes.is on the Commons, as a plugin, and a couple of other ways. The idea behind this workshop is to give users (especially teachers!) the flexibility to use this tool so they can respond to different student needs and technological contexts. Here is the shortlink: http://www.bit.ly/gcdi_hypo [bit.ly]

    If anybody has any questions about using this tool, let me know! I would be happy to help.


  • from Kaitlin Mondello:

    Dear all,

    Just adding a bit more info. from the TLC here. We have many new asynchronous workshops that launched June 15 and will remain open (some have an optional synchronous component). These were designed for our summer institute, but they are fully open to everyone. We also created this guide back in March that may be useful still for fall planning.


    Kaitlin Mondello, Ph.D.
    Postdoctoral Fellow, The Teaching and Learning Center
    Editor, Visible Pedagogy
    The Graduate Center, CUNY
    “Art is thought from the future” (Timothy Morton, Dark Ecology).

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