Hacking Facebook’s Ad Network for Justice
An Assignment for "Gender and Technology"

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"

Image Analysis
An Intro to Digital Studies Lab

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

Essential File Types for Understanding Digital Culture
A Roundup of Community Ideas

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

Studying Digital Culture through File Types

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

Password Protecting PDFs on Course Blogs

This is a quick note to myself, so I remember the best way to protect PDFs behind a password on a course blog. Joe Ugoretz highlights the problems with most methods, and then proposes the solution I'm using here: Ben Balter's WP Document Revisions plugin. There are a few tricks involved to get WP Document… Continue reading Password Protecting PDFs on Course Blogs

DIG 210: Data Culture

Data chart from We Feel Fine

A new course for the Digital Studies program at Davidson College. Influences for the syllabus abound: Lisa Gitelman, Lauren Klein, Ben Schmidt, Matt Wilkens, and many other folks in the digital humanities. Course Description “Data” is often considered to be the domain of scientists and statisticians. But with the proliferation of databases across nearly all… Continue reading DIG 210: Data Culture

History and Future of the Book (Fall 2014 Digital Studies Course)

A tentative syllabus for DIG 350: History & Future of the Book, a course just approved for the Digital Studies program at my new academic home, Davidson College. Many thanks to Ryan Cordell, Lisa Gitelman, Kari Kraus, Jessica Pressman, Peter Stallybrass, and many others, whose research and classes inspired this one. DIG 350: History &… Continue reading History and Future of the Book (Fall 2014 Digital Studies Course)

Intrusive Scaffolding, Obstructed Learning (and MOOCs)

Sacred Heart Mission

My five-year-old son recently learned how to ride a bike. He mastered the essential components of cycling—balance, peddling, and steering—in roughly ten minutes. Without using training wheels, ever. That idyllic scene of a bent-over parent pushing an unsteady child on a bike, working up enough speed to let go? It never happened. At least not… Continue reading Intrusive Scaffolding, Obstructed Learning (and MOOCs)

Remarks on Social Pedagogy at Mason’s Future of Higher Education Forum

On November 2 and 3, George Mason University convened a forum on the Future of Higher Education. Alternating between plenary panels and keynote presentations, the forum brought together observers of higher education as well as faculty and administrators from Mason and beyond. I was invited to appear on a panel about student learning and technology.… Continue reading Remarks on Social Pedagogy at Mason’s Future of Higher Education Forum

Reading List for 21st Century Literature (Fall 2012)

This fall at George Mason I’m teaching a special topics course called ENGLISH 442: 21st Century Literature. My department reserves the 442 course number for “American Literary Periods” and this usually means some recognizable—not to mention canonized—era of American literature, comprised of works that share certain stylistic and thematic characteristics. Nineteenth century naturalism. Twentieth century… Continue reading Reading List for 21st Century Literature (Fall 2012)

Be Weird and Other Game Design Tips

Instead of writing papers at the end of the semester in my videogame studies class, my students are building videogames. After all, what better way to understand games than to make one, a notion Ian Bogost calls carpentry. My students aren’t designing merely any kind of game. They are designing metagames, by which I mean… Continue reading Be Weird and Other Game Design Tips

Building and Sharing (When You’re Supposed to be Teaching)

These are my notes "Building and Sharing (When You're Supposed to be Teaching," a lightning talk I gave on Tuesday as part of CUNY's Digital Humanities Initiative. Shannon Mattern (The New School) and I were on a panel called "DH in the Classroom." Shannon's enormously inspirational lightning talk was titled Beyond the Seminar Paper, and… Continue reading Building and Sharing (When You’re Supposed to be Teaching)

On Reading Aloud in the Classroom

One of the greatest mistakes we make in literary studies---and as teachers of literature---is privileging one form of literacy above all others. Namely, literacy as silent reading. In our classrooms, we view reading aloud with disdain. Asking students to take turns reading a text aloud offends our sensibilities as literature professors. It's remedial. Childish. Appropriate… Continue reading On Reading Aloud in the Classroom

Hacking the Academy: The Ebook Volume

On September 8, the DigitalCultureBooks imprint of the University of Michigan Library and University Michigan Press released the online edition of Hacking the Academy. Conceived of by Dan Cohen and Tom Scheinfeldt at GMU's Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, Hacking the Academy is an experiment in publishing. It's a crowdsourced book, in… Continue reading Hacking the Academy: The Ebook Volume