POLS2020: Politics of Zoom Classes

24 November 2020


Politics of Zoom Classes

Subject Guide

Teaching Staff

Subject Coordinator:    Dr Boryn N. Schléeze

Dr Boryn N. Schléeze is a Senior Lecturer in Politics in the School of Social, Political, Metaphorical and Bureaucratic Sciences. Dr Schléeze is a political scientist whose recent publications are on the relationship between digital technologies and student learning. He was recently promoted for his work affirming that online and in-person study provides an identical experience for students. A passionate advocate for gender equality, Dr Schléeze is also vocal about his denouncement of sexual predators on Twitter and in university emails.

Email: bs.chancellory@unimelb.edu.au

Tutor: Guy White

Guy White has recently completed a BA (Hons) in Philosophy and Anthropology. He describes his research as intersectional, drawing most of his inspiration from the works of Kant, Aristotle and Plato.

Featured as a case study in leading sociologist Karen Memesworthy’s 2021 book Why Men Have Unflattering Social Media Photos: Hot Guys Are Hotter IRL, White is excited to teach this course and share on weekly discussion boards his favourite songs, like ‘Woke Blokes’ by Thelma Plum. He wrote several think pieces for Farrago during his undergraduate years, notably his opinion article “Historical fiction saved my life: I feel seen, heard, and celebrated for who I am”.

Email: white.guy@unimelb.edu.au

Teaching Staff Availability

Teaching staff are available during consultation hours only if requested and only if email is insufficient. Student emails will be responded to in a timely manner (within 48 hours), but please be aware that in some cases teaching staff may not reply to emails at all.

Subject Overview

Politics of Zoom Classes invites students to examine the virtual sphere in which we now live, especially the e-classroom of the University of Melbourne, now commonly known as the Victorian Chapter of Zoom University. This subject is designed to equip students to adapt to an online university model, the future of higher education. The university believes that the Zoom model is not only cost-effective but also provides a higher quality of education than in-person classes.

Student evaluation of this subject

In semester 1, the university elected to disregard the Subject Experience Survey (SES) results. The university believed the semester would be an “unprecedented”, one-off occurrence of online learning and extends this view to semester 2. The university firmly maintains that singular experiences cannot be adequately evaluated and student feedback is redundant in most cases.

The following are predicted to be raised as the best features of the subject:

  • ‘The wokest lectures I’ve ever had.’
  • ‘My tutor actually attended the lectures.’
  • ‘High quality, page-long feedback on my assessments.’
  • ‘Subject coordinator requested feedback about the course every week.’


Week Topic Readings
1 Introduction and Zoom Classroom Etiquette Heytch Wan 2020, Annoying But Helpful Teachers Pet Traits: Nodding Furiously.

Arrë U. Allwright 2020, ‘RBF Version 2: Patriarchal Tips for Resting Bored Face’.

2 Can I Eat in Zoom Classes? And Other Questions People Do Not Ask Before Doing Them David Foster Wallace 2005, Consider the Lobster.

Boryn N. Schléeze 2020, Common Sense Manners: Why Lying Down Under Your Covers Is Not Appropriate During Zoom Classes.

3, 4, 5, 6 Awkward Silences and Conversations that Go On For Too Long Céline Dion, ‘All By Myself’.

Michel Foucault 1977, Discipline and Punish 2: The Silence is Deafening.

Hannah Gadsby 2020, No Punchline, Just Tension.

7 Diversity in Online Spheres: Who gets heard? Rebecca Solnit 2014, Men Explain Things to Me.

Emma Watson 2020, ‘Harry Potter and the Transphobic Tweets That Ruined My Childhood’.

P. Ocee, ‘Making Space for the ‘Other’: Reflections from that One Week on Race’.

8 Feminist Theory, Gender and Sexuality bell hooks 1981, Ain’t I a Woman?

Aileen Moreton-Robinson 2000, Talkin’ Up to the White Woman.

BuzzFeed 2020, ‘How To Flirt With Queer Girls On Zoom Without Wearing Plaid Every Week’.

9, 10 Zoom Fatigue and How to Get Over It Boryn N. Schléeze 2020, Emailing Us Your Problems Won’t Fix Them: Apply for Special Consideration Instead.

Brené Brown 2020, The Solution to Zoom Fatigue? Zoom Therapy.

11 The Politics of Eye Contact Buzzfeed 2020, ‘The sexual tension between me and my webcam is palpable’.

Michelle Lee 2020, I Think My Tutor Is Only Looking at the White Kids.

JK Rowling 2019, Differentiating Cho Changs Online.

12 Finding Connection in the Digital Age Aimee N. Payne 2020, ‘Managing Inner Conflict Between Staying Back in Tutorials for Building Rapport with Tutors and Learning that Tutors are Exploited by the University of Melbourne’.

Boryn N. Schléeze 2020, Me: My Internet Sucks, Help Me Please :( University: Contact Stop 1.

Ol Al Own 2020, ‘In 2020, Booty Calls Can Kill You: Will You Ever Find Love Online? Will You Ever Find Love At All?’



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