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

Digital Humanities Sessions at the 2011 MLA

Revised: This is a comprehensive list of digital humanities sessions at the 2011 MLA in Los Angeles. Many of the speakers posted the text of their talks online, and you'll find links here to those online versions. If yours isn't linked yet, please reply in the comments with the URL of your presentation, and I'll… Continue reading Digital Humanities Sessions at the 2011 MLA

ENGL 685 (Graphic Novels) Reading List

I always agonize over which books to teach during any given semester. It's not for a lack of possibilities. Indeed, there are always too many choices, too many great books to teach in the fields of postmodern literature and experimental literature. And I always want to get the syllabus just right for my students, balancing… Continue reading ENGL 685 (Graphic Novels) Reading List

A Tale of Two MLA Bibliographies

Last month I questioned the Modern Language Association's decision, handed down in the 7th edition of the MLA Handbook, to exclude URLs (i.e. web addresses) from bibliographies and Works Cited lists. My readers seemed to be divided, and Rosemary Feal, the Executive Director of the MLA, joined the conversation by outlining some of the reasons… Continue reading A Tale of Two MLA Bibliographies

The MLA in Tweets

I've learned from following several digital humanities conferences from afar the past year (including Digital Humanties 2009 and THATcamp 2009) that the Twitter archive of a conference back-channel can be unreliable. Twitter's default search stream for any hashtag is extremely ephemeral, and that impermanence poses a problem for conference participants and observers, as well as… Continue reading The MLA in Tweets

Tips for the Modern Language Association

In the spirit of my fake advice for National Novel Writing Month, last month I began posting "tips" on Twitter for the upcoming Modern Language Association conference, an annual exercise in masochism for literature professors and graduate students the world over. This year's conference was held in Philadelphia, from December 27 to December 30, and… Continue reading Tips for the Modern Language Association

The Modern Language Association Wishes Away Digital Différance

This is the first academic semester in which students have been using the revised 7th edition of the MLA Handbook (you know, that painfully organized book that prescribes the proper citation method for material like "an article in a microform collection of articles"). From the moment I got my copy of the handbook in May… Continue reading The Modern Language Association Wishes Away Digital DiffĂ©rance

National Novel Writing Month Tips

November has been decreed National Novel Writing Month by some wise guy in California. The idea is that you have 30 days to write a 50,000 word novel. A noble endeavor to be sure, but one that seems doomed to not succeed on any satisfying level. I imagine it's like running a marathon, but without… Continue reading National Novel Writing Month Tips

A History of Choose Your Own Adventure Visualizations

Every six months or so it seems as if the entire Internet discovers for the first time that people are making data visualizations of the Choose Your Own Adventure books that were popular in the early eighties. Computer scientist Christian Swinehart's stunning visualizations are only the most recent to capture the imagination of scores of… Continue reading A History of Choose Your Own Adventure Visualizations

Updates on David Foster Wallace review by Jay Murray Siskind

A few weeks ago I was interviewed by the Chronicle of Higher Education for a story about the fake David Foster Wallace review in Modernism/Modernity. The Chronicle story is online and at least for the first week, not behind a paywall. I was in Spain at the time, so for the interview I had to… Continue reading Updates on David Foster Wallace review by Jay Murray Siskind

Electronic Literature is a Foreign Land

One of the more brilliant works of electronic literature I savor teaching is Brian Kim Stefan's Star Wars, One Letter at a Time, which is exactly what it sounds like. Aside what's going on in the piece itself (which deserves its own separate blog post), what I enjoy is the almost violent reaction it provokes… Continue reading Electronic Literature is a Foreign Land

The truth behind Jay Murray Siskind’s review of David Foster Wallace

And finally, the wink and nod I've been looking for. Laurence Rainey, the editor of Modernism/Modernity, and Nicole Devarenne, the former managing editor of Modernism/Modernity, sent me this open letter today: An Open Letter to Mark Sample, We appreciate your recent remarks concerning a review essay about David Foster Wallace, one that appeared in late… Continue reading The truth behind Jay Murray Siskind’s review of David Foster Wallace

David Foster Wallace, Don DeLillo, and the Littlest Literary Hoax

Jay Murray Siskind is Don DeLillo's only recurring character, having first appeared in DeLillo's pseudonymous Amazons and later as a kind of Mephistopheles character in White Noise. Now, Siskind has broken out of the realm of fiction and entered the real world. I am referring to "An Undeniably Controversial and Perhaps Even Repulsive Talent," a… Continue reading David Foster Wallace, Don DeLillo, and the Littlest Literary Hoax

Amazon.com ending Amazon Associates Program for North Carolina

Amazon.com sent me a message this morning, announcing that the company is has "little choice but to end its relationships with North Carolina-based Associates" because of an "unconstitutional tax collection scheme" due to be passed by the North Carolina General Assembly. Not that I make any significant amount of money from my referrals to Amazon,… Continue reading Amazon.com ending Amazon Associates Program for North Carolina