I’ve broken up the crazy end-of-the-semester season by sneaking in episodes of The Magicians, the SyFy series based on Lev Grossman’s novels. The premise of the novels and TV adaptation blends Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Paper Chase, and a host of generic 90s shows about good-looking 20-somethings to imagine a grad school… Continue reading Throwing Shade: The Metaphysics behind Objectification in The Magicians
The novelist Colson Whitehead just wrapped up a visit to Davidson College as our 2019 Reynolds speaker. The annual Reynolds Lecture was established in 1959 through a gift from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation. Every year this endowed lecture brings a distinguished guest from the humanities, arts, or sciences to campus. Former Reynolds speakers have… Continue reading Colson Whitehead at Davidson CollegeOr, Who Will Survive in America?
Explore the dark web Mod a videogame Witness the Network Effect Make counter-animated GIFs Research alternative timelines of gamergate Decide whom to kill with self-driving cars Write one billion poems Read videogame code Build speculative designs with Arduinos Visualize something that will outlast the heat death of the sun
In September 2017, a Davidson College alumna alerted the college via a tweet that the Davidson College Alumni Association was advertising on the alt-right website Breitbart. The display of promotional material for Davidson College next to the ultra conservative and nativist rhetoric of Breitbart was not only a jarring juxtaposition, it was also completely inadvertent,… Continue reading Hacking Facebook’s Ad Network for JusticeAn Assignment for "Gender and Technology"
Overview [This is a duplicate post of an assignment for my Introduction to Digital Studies class at Davidson. My course site was temporarily down, so I made a back-up copy of the assignment here!] The phrase cultural analytics generally refers to analyzing vast amounts of image, text, or other media through computational methods. Think of… Continue reading Image AnalysisAn Intro to Digital Studies Lab
A few weeks ago I wrote about studying digital culture through the lens of specific file types. In the fall I'm teaching DIG 101 (Introduction to Digital Studies)—an amorphous course that is part new media studies, part digital humanities, part science and technology studies. I was imagining spending a week on, say, something like GIFs… Continue reading Essential File Types for Understanding Digital CultureA Roundup of Community Ideas
I am revamping "Introduction to Digital Studies," my program's overview of digital culture, creativity, and methodology. One approach is to partially organize the class around file types, the idea being that a close reading of certain file types can help us better understand contemporary culture, both online and off. It's a bit like Raymond William's… Continue reading Studying Digital Culture through File Types
Are you sick of parallax scrolling yet? You know, the way the foreground and background on a web page, iPhone screen, or Super Mario Brothers move at different speeds, giving the illusion of depth? Parallax scrolling is a gimmick. Take it away and not much changes. Your videogame might be a tad less immersive, but… Continue reading A Parallax Reading of Roethke’s “My Papa’s Waltz”On Abuse and Close and Distant Readings
Digging through some old files I came across notes from a roundtable discussion I contributed to in 2009. The occasion was an "Unthinking Television" symposium held at my then-institution, George Mason University. If I remember correctly, the symposium was organized by Mason's Cultural Studies and Art and Visual Technology programs. Amazingly, the site for the… Continue reading Unthinking TelevisionFour Trends with our Screens
In anticipation of the upcoming Modern Language Association annual convention, here's a crowdsourced list of digital humanities sessions at the conference: MLA 2016 Digital Humanities Sessions. Jump to specific days: Thursday, January 7 Friday, January 8 Saturday, January 9 Sunday, January 10 This community-authored work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Use, add,… Continue reading Digital Humanities at MLA 2016January 7-10, Austin
A Call for Bots of Conviction In 1965 the singer-songwriter Phil Ochs told an audience that “a protest song is a song that’s so specific you can’t mistake it for bullshit.” Ochs was introducing his anti-war anthem “I Ain’t Marching Anymore”—but also taking a jab at his occasional rival Bob Dylan, whose expressionistic lyrics by… Continue reading A protest bot is a bot so specific you can’t mistake it for bullshit
A bottleneck is a great conceptual metaphor to describe those pedagogical moments where a significant number of learners get stuck. Identifying bottlenecks is the first step toward designing learning pathways through those bottlenecks. I’m borrowing the idea from the Decoding the Disciplines project at Indiana University. As Joan Middendorf, one of the project leaders, puts… Continue reading What are the bottlenecks of Davidson Domains?
The Digital Studies program at Davidson College is growing! We now offer an interdisciplinary minor and, through our Center for Interdisciplinary Studies (CIS), an interdisciplinary major. Last year Digital Studies and the History Department partnered on a tenure-track search—leading to Dr. Jakub Kabala joining Davidson as a digital medievalist with a background in computational philology… Continue reading Assistant Professor of Art and Digital StudiesDavidson College Tenure Track
This summer I attended the first annual Institute for Liberal Arts Digital Scholarship (ILiADS) at Hamilton College. It was an inspiring conference, highlighting the importance of collaborative faculty/student digital work at small liberal arts colleges. My own school, Davidson College, had a team at ILiADS (Professor Suzanne Churchill, Instructional Technologist Kristen Eshleman, and undergraduate Andrew… Continue reading Your Mistake was a Vital ConnectionOblique Strategies for the Digital Humanities
I'm at the Electronic Literature Organization's annual conference in Bergen, Norway, where I hope to capture some "think aloud" readings of electronic literature (e-lit) by artists, writers, and scholars. I've mentioned this little project elsewhere, but it bears more explanation. The think aloud protocol is an important pedagogical tool, famously used by Sam Wineburg to… Continue reading Electronic Literature Think Alouds2015 ELO Conference, Bergen