Queering Computing & STEM

Dylan Paré, 3rd year PhD student in the Learning Sciences is leading this project. The overarching goal is to develop new models of code and coding with queer and trans experiences at the forefront. This project involves developing new software platforms and immersive and interactive computer simulations that integrate narratives and storytelling with coding, computing and digital art. While the technologies are under development, an important part of the development and research process is ongoing engagements with the public in the form of invited public computing installations at TEDx Calgary 2018, Beakerhead 2018, the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Telus SPARK Science Center, etc.

Queer and Trans VR Narratives

Queer and Trans VR Narratives is an immersive storytelling and art project that uses multiplayer, virtual reality to explore relationships between gender, sexuality, and technology. In the VR prototype, you’re invited to explore a multiplayer VR world with a friend. Together, you’ll interact with narratives of queer and trans experiences in STEM. By transporting people to virtual environments that encourage reflection and play through embodied experiences, we open up new possibilities for imagining and experiencing the social relations of gender and sexuality in new ways that are inclusive and supportive.

Flocking QT Stories

How can we tell and listen to stories in ways that help us understand the emergence, convergence, and divergence of gender and sexual experiences? Flocking QT Stories is an interactive digital art installation that explores how computational simulations of emergent complex behaviours, combined with individual storytelling, might provide us with new ways to deepen our understanding of gender and sexuality-based marginalization and resilience through computer modeling, public coding and art.

Publications

Paré, D. & Sengupta, P. (In Progress). Queering computing and STEM education: A critical review and new directions. In: Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Education.

Paré, D., Sengupta, P., Windsor, S., Craig, J., & Thompson, M. (Under Review). Queering virtual reality. In Sengupta, P., Kim, B., & Shanahan, M-C. (Eds.), Critical and Critical Theoretical Perspectives in STEM Education. New York: Springer.

Paré, D., & Sengupta, P. (2019, April). Queering Virtual Reality: Playful Exploration of Gender and Sexual Binaries. Paper presented at the 2019 American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, Toronto, ON.

Paré, D., Sengupta, P., Windsor, S., Craig, J., & Thompson, M. (2018, November). Queering virtual reality: A preliminary design study. In Proceedings of the 5th International STEM in Education Conference. Paper presented at the 5th International STEM in Education Conference, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, 21-23 November (pp. 306-314).

Funding and Acknowledgements

Funding from US National Science Foundation, the University of Calgary, the University of Maryland at College Park, the Imperial Oil Foundation, and the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity are gratefully acknowledged. The findings and products of our research are not endorsed by any of the funding agencies. John Craig and Scout Windsor are major contributors to VR and software development. This work was partly funded by a Paul D. Fleck fellowship, an artist residency awarded to Dr. Pratim Sengupta, Dr. Marie-Claire Shanahan and Dylan Paré at the Leighton Studios at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. More specific acknowledgements and contributions can be found under each project page.