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

“Warning: Infected inside, do not enter”
Zombies and the Liberal Arts

On Saturday, April 18, I gave the following talk at Bard College, as part of Bard's Experimental Humanities Mellon lecture series. Sorry if it doesn't read as an "academic" talk. It's written to be told. I’m going to tell you a story today about zombies and the liberal arts. There are a lot of places… Continue reading “Warning: Infected inside, do not enter”Zombies and the Liberal Arts

“Deep” Textual Hacks
A computational and pedagogical workshop

I put "deep" in scare quotes but really, all three words should have quotes around them—"deep" "textual" "hacks"—because all three are contested, unstable terms. The workshop is hands-on, but I imagine we'll have a chance to talk about the more theoretical concerns of hacking texts. The workshop is inspired by an assignment from my Hacking,… Continue reading “Deep” Textual HacksA computational and pedagogical workshop

Digital Humanities at MLA 2015
Vancouver, January 8-10

Here is a list of more or less digitally-oriented sessions at the upcoming Modern Language Association convention. These sessions address digital culture, digital tools, and digital methodology, played out across the domains of research, pedagogy, and scholarly communication. If I've overlooked a session, let me know in the comments. You might also be interested in my… Continue reading Digital Humanities at MLA 2015Vancouver, January 8-10

Digital Humanities and the MLA
On the state of the field at the MLA

Since 2009 I've been compiling an annual list of more or less digitally-oriented sessions at the Modern Language Association convention. This is the list for 2015. These sessions address digital culture, digital tools, and digital methodology, played out across the domains of research, teaching, and scholarly communication. For the purposes of my annual lists I… Continue reading Digital Humanities and the MLAOn the state of the field at the MLA

Closed Bots and Green Bots
Two Archetypes of Computational Media

The Electronic Literature Organization's annual conference was last week in Milwaukee. I hated to miss it, but I hated even more the idea of missing my kids' last days of school here in Madrid, where we've been since January. If I had been at the ELO conference, I'd have no doubt talked about bots. I… Continue reading Closed Bots and Green BotsTwo Archetypes of Computational Media

Difficult Thinking about the Digital Humanities

Five years ago in this space I attempted what I saw as a meaningful formulation of critical thinking—as opposed to the more vapid definitions you tend to come across in higher education. Critical thinking, I wrote, "stands in opposition to facile thinking. Critical thinking is difficult thinking. Critical thinking is being comfortable with difficulty." Two… Continue reading Difficult Thinking about the Digital Humanities

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

Sites of Pain and Telling

The Expressive Work of Spaces of Torture in Videogames At the 2014 MLA conference in Chicago I appeared on a panel called "Torture and Popular Culture." I used the occasion to revisit a topic I had written about several years earlier—representations of torture-interrogation in videogames. My comments are suggestive more than conclusive, and I am… Continue reading Sites of Pain and Telling

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)

What crisis in the humanities? Interactive Historical Data on College Majors

A History of College Degrees over time

If you're an academic, you've probably heard about the recent New York Times article covering the decline of humanity majors at places like Stanford and Harvard. As many people have already pointed out, the article is a brilliant example of cherry-picking anecdotal evidence to support an existing narrative (i.e. the crisis in the humanities)—instead of… Continue reading What crisis in the humanities? Interactive Historical Data on College Majors

Digital Humanities at MLA 2014

An old typewriter, surrounded by weeds

This is a list of digitally-inflected sessions at the 2014 Modern Language Association Convention (Chicago, January 9-12). These sessions in some way address digital tools, objects, and practices in language, literary, textual, cultural, and media studies. The list also includes sessions about digital pedagogy and scholarly communication. The list stands at 78 entries, making up… Continue reading Digital Humanities at MLA 2014

The Poetics of Non-Consumptive Reading

“Non-consumptive research” is the term digital humanities scholars use to describe the large-scale analysis of a texts—say topic modeling millions of books or data-mining tens of thousands of court cases. In non-consumptive research, a text is not read by a scholar so much as it is processed by a machine. The phrase frequently appears in… Continue reading The Poetics of Non-Consumptive Reading

no life no life no life no life: the 100,000,000,000,000 stanzas of House of Leaves of Grass

Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves is a massive novel about, among other things, a house that is bigger on the inside than the outside. Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass is a collection of poems about, among other things, the expansiveness of America itself. What happens when these two works are remixed with each other?… Continue reading no life no life no life no life: the 100,000,000,000,000 stanzas of House of Leaves of Grass

The Century of the Fugitive and the Secret of the Detainee

Cops used a forward-looking infrared device (FLIR) to find traces of Tsarnaev’s heat signature.

The 21st century will be the century of the fugitive. Not because fugitives are proliferating, but because they are disappearing. And not disappearing in the way that fugitives like to disappear, but disappearing because they simply won’t exist. Technology won’t allow it. A manhunt summons forth the great machinery of the state: scores of armed… Continue reading The Century of the Fugitive and the Secret of the Detainee