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This interactive website provides an online space where classes or groups can work collaboratively on projects that take their method, focus, or inspiration from the essays published in Keywords for American Cultural Studies. The new second edition of Keywords, which came out in late 2014, is a hybrid print-digital publication that includes over 90 essays, each on a complex and contested term such as "disability," "diversity," "finance," and "freedom." The print volume includes 64 essays, 30 of which are new for the second edition. Another 33 new and revised essays appear on the site.

The site also includes "Keywords: An Introduction," the list of works cited by all the essays, information about the contributors, and a note on classroom use that includes ideas for instructors on how to use this Collaboratory. Any page in the site can be printed or saved as a pdf, and a single click provides a citation to that page that can be pasted into a bibliography. Check it out now!!!

Collaboration is Our Keyword

In Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society (1976/1983), Raymond Williams described keywords as important elements in a living vocabulary. Both Keywords for American Cultural Studies and this website follow Williams's lead. Keywords invite research and reflection because debates about culture and society can be enhanced by an increased understanding of the multiple genealogies of their structuring terms and the diverse conflicts and disagreements embedded in differing uses of those terms.

To facilitate keyword projects among classes and working groups, the collaboratory uses MediaWiki, the same technology as Wikipedia. The technology seemed advantageous to us because, by its design, it enables us to host spaces for the sustained development of new keywords projects, while also inviting public commentary on those projects as they evolve.

How to Use the Keywords Collaboratory

New to the Keywords Collaboratory website?

  • Browse through courses currently using this site by clicking on the active collaboratories featured in the left navigation.
  • If you are an instructor of a class or an organizer of a working group: Look at the assignments and syllabi some instructors have developed to integrate Keywords for American Cultural Studies in the classroom. Or, consider what keyword or keywords you’d like to propose for your class or working group and contact us to set up a keyword collaboratory.

Returning to the website to participate in your class or working group’s collaboratory?

  • Select your collaboratory from the left navigation to enter your class or working group area. To contribute to your collaboratory, click on the "edit" tab in your collaboratory and then enter your user ID and password.
  • The best browsers to use for editing are the most recent versions of Firefox and Internet Explorer, because they support the MediaWiki editing toolbar. Other browsers, including Safari and Google Chrome, do not support the toolbar. However, it's very easy to add and edit text without the toolbar. For very simple coding instructions, check out the Cheat Sheet of Wiki Markup Language.
  • Another editing option is the Wiki Edit app for iPads.
  • For tutorials on how to edit, discuss, or register for the Keywords Collaboratories Wiki, see our Help:Contents page.