Café y Barismo: Open Educational Resource in Anthropology
Joseph A. Torres-González, Anthropology
Café y Barismo (Coffee and Barismo in Spanish) is a proposal to fulfill the Independent Study requirement for the Interactive Technology & Pedagogy (ITP) Certificate Program. Café y Barismo is a public-facing scholarship website and pedagogical teaching tool that can be used to teach Political Economy, Food, and Culture by using coffee production in Latin America and the Caribbean as a case study. The website includes a module on Political Economy, a section on suggested readings for the lesson, a multimedia (documentary) trailer section, classroom activities (both virtual and in-person exercises), and an additional resources page of books, articles, and open-access materials in the field. One of the key elements of this teaching tool is the opportunity to highlight the relationship between this commodity (coffee) and the broader economic dynamics that impact producers, consumers, and commodity chains alike. In addition to explaining and teaching political economy using technology, interactive activities, and modules, the goal is to use this as a vehicle to raise interest among students towards the discipline of anthropology, both as a field and as a practice that provides us an array of theories that assist us in understanding culture. This tool provides the virtual space for students to learn about the different stages of economic processes that shape their lives, using coffee as a case study. The project also provides teachers/instructors with a variety of resources that can be used and referenced when teaching about the subject of Political Economy, Economic Anthropology, and Food Studies The website is in English and Spanish (using a translation plugin), thus expanding the audience that can benefit from it, both inside and outside traditional academic spaces. Finally, the website is built using the CUNY Academic Commons, which makes it customizable, adaptable, and freely available for users inside and outside our institution. At the New Media Lab, I plan on working on the write-up report/paper for the ITP Independent Study, and also moving towards Phase II of the Project: expanding the academic resources sections of the website to include scholarly resources in Spanish, translating and creating the assignments and prompts, and finally, using the New Media Lab to expand my skills in WordPress (by practicing and using new plugins) to continue developing other teaching sites/tools. Finally, the New Media Lab community will also be a space in which I can create my digital and pedagogical identity by continuing to create Open Pedagogy/Open Educational Resources that will continue to be part of my pedagogical practice during my tenure as a doctoral student. This Digital Project also overlaps with my broader PhD field research on coffee consumption and coffee culture among the Spanish-speaking diaspora (Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, and Colombians) in New York City.