Colson Whitehead at Davidson College
Or, Who Will Survive in America?

Colson Whitehead at Davidson College

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?

A Parallax Reading of Roethke’s “My Papa’s Waltz”
On Abuse and Close and Distant Readings

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

Digital Humanities at MLA 2013

What follows is a comprehensive list of digital humanities sessions at the 2013 Modern Language Association Conference in Boston. These are sessions that in some way address the influence and impact of digital materials and tools upon language, literary, textual, and media studies, as well as upon online pedagogy and scholarly communication. The 2013 list… Continue reading Digital Humanities at MLA 2013

Digital Humanities Sessions at the 2012 MLA Conference in Seattle

This is a comprehensive list of digital humanities sessions scheduled for the 2012 Modern Language Association Conference in Seattle, Washington. The 2012 list stands at 58 sessions, up from 44 last year (and 27 the year before). If the trend continues, within the decade it will no longer make sense to compile this list; it'll… Continue reading Digital Humanities Sessions at the 2012 MLA Conference in Seattle

Renetworking House of Leaves in the Digital Humanities

Mark Z. Danielewski’s debut novel House of Leaves (2000) presents a paradox to the literary scholar working within the digital humanities. On one hand the massive, labyrinthine novel offers so many ambiguities and playful metaleptic moments that it would seem to be a literary critic’s dream text, endlessly interpretable, boundlessly intertextual. On the other hand,… Continue reading Renetworking House of Leaves in the Digital Humanities

Reading List for Science Fiction Course (ENGL 451)

After much deliberation---and with your feedback, both here and twice on Twitter---I have finalized the reading list for my upcoming Science Fiction class. Actually, I finalized it months ago, but I haven't had a chance to post it here until now. This list isn't everything we're reading; there'll be short stories, critical essays, other nonfiction… Continue reading Reading List for Science Fiction Course (ENGL 451)

Post-Print Fiction Reading List (the print stuff, at least)

I'm excited to announce the print side of my post-print fiction reading list: Italo Calvino, If on a Winter's Night a Traveler Don DeLillo, Mao II Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves Salvador Plascencia, The People of Paper Anne Carson, Nox Each of these works offers a meditation upon the act of reading or writing,… Continue reading Post-Print Fiction Reading List (the print stuff, at least)

Close Playing: Literary Methods and Videogame Studies (MLA 2012 Roundtable)

I recently received word that my proposal for a roundtable on videogame studies was accepted for the annual Modern Language Association Convention, to be held next January in Seattle, Washington. I'm very excited for myself and my fellow participants: Ed Chang, Steve Jones, Jason Rhody, Anastasia Salter, Tim Welsh, and Zach Whalen. (Updated with links… Continue reading Close Playing: Literary Methods and Videogame Studies (MLA 2012 Roundtable)

“A Very Kind and Peaceful People”: Geronimo and the World’s Fair

(Exactly ten years ago this week I turned in my last graduate seminar paper, for a class on late 19th and early 20th century American literature taught by the magnificent Nancy Bentley. The paper was about the 1904 World's Fair and Geronimo, a figure I've been thinking about deeply since Sunday night. Because of the… Continue reading “A Very Kind and Peaceful People”: Geronimo and the World’s Fair

Fall 2011 Course Description for ENGL 451: Science Fiction

Often dismissed by its critics as low-brow pulp, science fiction is nonetheless a rich, dynamic literary genre which deserves our attention. In this class we will move beyond the stereotypes of science fiction in order to examine novels, stories, comics, films, and videogames that question the global commodification of culture, the fetishization of technology, and… Continue reading Fall 2011 Course Description for ENGL 451: Science Fiction

CFP: Close Playing: Literary Methods and Videogame Studies (MLA 2012, Seattle)

A roundtable discussion of specific approaches and close playings that explore the methodological contribution of literary studies toward videogame studies. 300-word abstract and 1-page bio to Mark Sample (samplereality@gmail.com) by March 15. All participants must be MLA members by April 7. Also note that this is a proposed special session; the MLA Program Committee will… Continue reading CFP: Close Playing: Literary Methods and Videogame Studies (MLA 2012, Seattle)

CFP: Digital Humanities Quarterly Special Issue: The Literary

This special issue of DHQ invites essays that consider the study of literature and the category of the literary to be an essential part of the digital humanities. We welcome essays that consider how digital technologies affect our understanding of the literary— its aesthetics, its history, its production and dissemination processes, and also the traditional… Continue reading CFP: Digital Humanities Quarterly Special Issue: The Literary

Post-Print Fiction Course Description (for Fall 2011)

Here is an early, tentative course description for my Fall 2011 senior seminar for the English Honors students. I welcome comments or reading recommendations! Post-Print Fiction (ENGL 400 Honors Seminar) For several centuries the novel has been associated with a single material form: the bound book, made of paper and printed with ink. But what… Continue reading Post-Print Fiction Course Description (for Fall 2011)

Graphic Novels and Narratives for Spring 2011

I always find it difficult to select the texts for my graphic novel courses. Narrowing the choices for my Spring 2011 undergrad class bordered upon an existential crisis. Perhaps it's because so much seems to be at stake when you're likely introducing students for the first time in their lives to the critical study of… Continue reading Graphic Novels and Narratives for Spring 2011