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

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)

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

Followup to the Ever-Expanding Classroom Discussion

Last week I was a guest of the Davidson College Teaching Discussion Group, where I was invited to talk about my pedagogical strategies for teaching large classes. I mostly focused on how I use technology to preserve what I value most about teaching smaller classes. But many of the technique I discussed are equally applicable… Continue reading Followup to the Ever-Expanding Classroom Discussion

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

Fall 2010 Grad Class on Graphic Novels

Here's the course description for my Fall 2010 graduate class on graphic novels (ENGL 685:003): This course considers the storytelling potential of graphic novels, an often neglected form of artistic and narrative expression with a long and rich history. Boldly combining images and text, graphic novels of recent years have explored divisive issues often considered… Continue reading Fall 2010 Grad Class on Graphic Novels

The Open Source Professor (Screencast)

The folks at the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) have posted an audio podcast of my recent Digital Dialogue presentation, "The Open Source Professor: Teaching, Research, and Transparency." As entertaining as it might be to hear me talk for thirty minutes, I thought it would be better to see the visuals that… Continue reading The Open Source Professor (Screencast)

Spring 2010 Course Descriptions

HNRS 353: Videogames in Critical Contexts T/R 1:30-2:45pm In this Honors Seminar we will study the history and cultural impact of videogames from a number of critical perspectives. As products of a complicated network of social, economic, and technological forces, videogames are dense cultural texts, deeply layered with multiple meanings. Whether we consider early arcade… Continue reading Spring 2010 Course Descriptions

Twitter is a Snark Valve

Last week I described the intensive role of social networking in my teaching. Although I explained how I track and archive my students' Twitter activity, I didn't describe what they actually do on Twitter. That's because I wasn't sure myself what they do. I mean, of course I've reading their tweets and sending my own,… Continue reading Twitter is a Snark Valve

Reflections on a Technology-Driven Syllabus

I'm five weeks into the new semester, and it's time to consider how my ambitious technology-heavy Graphic Novel course is going. And I'm serious when I say it's technology-heavy: we're doing a blog, a wiki, Twitter, and rigorous Pecha Kucha presentations. About the only thing we're missing is a MMORPG. I plotted out the major… Continue reading Reflections on a Technology-Driven Syllabus

Followup on Public Teaching Evaluations

My previous post about making my teaching evaluations public generated some thoughtful commentary, both here and elsewhere. Brian Coxall's post on Prof. Hacker and the ensuing comments raised some key questions, and I've briefly responded there, saying: [Regarding who owns the rights to the evaluations] ...in my case I think that answer is easy: it’s… Continue reading Followup on Public Teaching Evaluations

Transparency, Teaching, and Taking My Evaluations Public

I recently wrote about why I'm making even the earliest scraps of my research public. It's a move, in theory, that most academics would not object to. Nobody is going to give me funny looks for suggesting we share our research problems. After all, scholarly collaboration is something we're almost all willing to profess a… Continue reading Transparency, Teaching, and Taking My Evaluations Public

Reading List for ENGL 459: Disaster Fiction (Fall 2009)

Here's the official reading list for ENGL 459 on Disaster Fiction, along with a quick breakdown of the class's organization: Part I: The Disaster Novel Lucifer's Hammer by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle Part II: The Postmodern Disaster Novel White Noise by Don DeLillo Part III: Apocalyptic Journeys Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler… Continue reading Reading List for ENGL 459: Disaster Fiction (Fall 2009)

Reading List for ENGL 493: Graphic Novels (Fall 2009)

I've finalized the reading list for my Fall 2009 course on graphic novels. This is the same super-sized class that I'll be teaching with technologies that may help me preserve my student-centered pedagogy. The syllabus was especially hard to settle on, as there are so many compelling graphic novels worthy of inclusion. I had to… Continue reading Reading List for ENGL 493: Graphic Novels (Fall 2009)