Assistant Professor of Art and Digital Studies
Davidson College Tenure Track

The Digital Studies program at Davidson College is growing! We now offer an interdisciplinary minor and, through our Center for Interdisciplinary Studies (CIS), an interdisciplinary major. Last year Digital Studies and the History Department partnered on a tenure-track search—leading to Dr. Jakub Kabala joining Davidson as a digital medievalist with a background in computational philology… Continue reading Assistant Professor of Art and Digital StudiesDavidson College Tenure Track

“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

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

Building Digital Studies at Davidson

I am thrilled to share the news that in August I will join the faculty of Davidson College, where I will be building a new interdisciplinary program in Digital Studies. This is a tremendous opportunity for me, and my immodest goal is to make Davidson College a model for other liberal arts colleges—and even research… Continue reading Building Digital Studies at Davidson

When Does Service Become Scholarship?

When does service become scholarship? When does anything—service, teaching, editing, mentoring, coding—become scholarship? My answer is simply this: a creative or intellectual act becomes scholarship when it is public and circulates in a community of peers that evaluates and builds upon it. Now for some background behind the question and the rationale for my answer.… Continue reading When Does Service Become Scholarship?

Tactical Collaborations (2011 MLA Version)

[I was on a panel called "The Open Professoriat(e)" at the 2011 MLA Convention in Los Angeles, in which we focused on the dynamic between academia, social media, and the public. My talk was an abbreviated version of a post that appeared on samplereality in July. Here is the text of the talk as I… Continue reading Tactical Collaborations (2011 MLA Version)

Tactical Collaboration: or, Skilfull in both parts of War, Tactick and Stratagematick

[Note: See also the MLA 2011 version of this post, which I gave at panel discussion on "The Open Professoriat(e)"] "Skilfull in both parts of War, Tactick and Stratagematick." From Herodians of Alexandria: his imperiall history of twenty Roman cæsars & emperours of his time. First writ in Greek, and now converted into an heroick… Continue reading Tactical Collaboration: or, Skilfull in both parts of War, Tactick and Stratagematick

Fight Club Soap, Sold by SD-6

Bethany Nowviskie has aptly summed up the current standoff between the University of California system and the Nature Publishing Group as a case of fight club soap. Bethany explains the metaphor much better than I can (I urge you to read her post), and she boils it down with even more economy on Twitter: "Fight… Continue reading Fight Club Soap, Sold by SD-6

On the Death of the Digital Humanities Center

Two or three years ago it'd be difficult to imagine a university shuttering an internationally recognized program, one of the leading such programs in the country. Oh, wait. Never mind. That happens all the time. My own experience tells me that it's usually a marginalized field, using new methodologies, producing hard-to-classify work, heavily interdisciplinary, challenging… Continue reading On the Death of the Digital Humanities Center

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

Reading Lists for Fall 2008

My course descriptions for Fall 2008 have been up for a while, but here are the specific reading lists for both classes (cross-posted from my official university site): Reading List for ENGL 343 - Textual Media Electronic Literature: New Horizons for the Literary by N. Katherine Hayles Afternoon: A Story by Michael Joyce Understanding Comics:… Continue reading Reading Lists for Fall 2008

Let Us Now Praise the Tater Tot

photo credit: JaseMan I've always suspected that Tater Tots were the ultimate comfort food. Something about them calls us back to childhood, back to the deep fried goodness of elementary school cafeterias. Even full grown adults are susceptible, drawn to the warm potatoesque mush inside and the crunchy, flaky shell outside. Some salt and some… Continue reading Let Us Now Praise the Tater Tot

What I hate about books about videogames

There's been a burst of scholarly books about videogames in the past two years, and I've been going through as many as I can get my hands on. While there are astonishingly bright spots in individual books, the books overall have repeatedly been disappointing. I've begun noticing trends of things I hate about academic books… Continue reading What I hate about books about videogames

Fall 2006 Courses

For a lack of anything else intelligent to say at this hour, I'm posting descriptions for two of the undergrad courses that I'm teaching next fall: 21st Century American Fiction (ENGL 429:001) What innovative directions is American fiction taking in the new millennium? How have novelists and other writers reacted to the dominant events of… Continue reading Fall 2006 Courses