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NML Profile – Nga Than

Name: Nga Than

GC Program/Level: Sociology Program/ Level III

Title of NML project: PODCAST & PUBLIC PEDAGOGY

My NML project is a website to showcase students’ public sociology projects. It hosts students’ projects from the course Sociology of the Gig Economy at Hunter College, a graduate level course that examines different aspects of the gig economy. Over the semester, students will investigate issues associated with gig work, and how technological changes have given the rise to the gig economy. During the semester, we will publish two public pedagogy projects. The first project is a series of research summaries, where students will use jargon free, approachable language to distill sociology scholarship to the wider public. The second project that we will co-produce as a class is a one-season podcast series, titled Voices of the Gig Economy, that examines the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on gig workers, organization of gig work.

How has the NML helped you with your project?

The NML community has inspired me in becoming a public pedagogue. For example, Anna Zeemont’s Digital Writing/Digital Worlds shows that students can create public scholarship at any stage of their academic career. Christina Katopodis’s The Waden Soundscape introduces the idea that podcasts can be a great educational medium. Building on their public humanities projects, I incorporate an podcast assignment in my sociology class to ask students to engage with important debates around the Gig Economy. So far, NML has provided me with ideas, and inspirations.

How has coronavirus impacted the work on your project? 

The idea of creating a public pedagogy project came out of the constraints of teaching during the COVID-19 Pandemic. These conditions has forced me to come up with assignments that allow for critical examination of sociological texts, while engaging with contemporary debates. The most challenging issue for me is to not be able to go to the Lab and exchange ideas with other lab members about how I can improve my project, and trouble shoot problems along the way. If we could arrange a one-on-one randomized meeting for members of the lab to know each other more, it would be great.

Learn more here:  http://ngathan.com/SOC_Gig/