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