Digital Humanities at MLA 2014

September 19th, 2013 § 2 comments § permalink

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 less than 10% of the total 810 convention slots. Please leave a comment if this list is missing any relevant sessions.

The title of each panel links back to its official description in the convention program, which occasionally includes supplemental material uploaded by panel participants. Also running throughout the convention is the digitally-focused Pathfinders Exhibit: 25 years of Experimental Literary Art, in Sheraton II, Ballroom, Level 4.

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3. Get Started in the Digital Humanities with Help from DHCommons

Thursday, 9 January, 8:30–11:30 a.m., Chicago A–B, Chicago Marriott

Presiding: Ryan Cordell, Northeastern Univ.; Josh Honn, Northwestern Univ.; Katherine A. Rowe, Bryn Mawr Coll.

The workshop welcomes language and literature scholars who wish to learn about, pursue, or join digital humanities (DH) projects but do not have the institutional infrastructure to support them. Representatives of DH projects and initiatives will share their expertise on project design, outline available resources and opportunities, and lead small-group training sessions on DH technologies and skills. Preregistration required.

15. How to Do Things with New Media in Medieval Studies

Thursday, 9 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Huron, Chicago Marriott

Presiding: Mary Kate Hurley, Ohio Univ., Athens

Speakers: Angela Bennett Segler, New York Univ.; Maria Sachiko Cecire, Bard Coll.; Michael Sarabia, Univ. of Iowa

This hybrid roundtable on intersections of theory and praxis in our forays into the digital reconstruction of the premodern world will address questions such as: How can we connect the practical approach to digital resources with the theoretical materials that have been amassed in media studies? What does the praxis of digital humanities say about the theory of new media, and vice versa?

38. Digital Practice: Literary Remediations

Thursday, 9 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Arkansas, Sheraton Chicago

Presiding: Richard E. Langston, Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

  1. “The Fate of Literary Studies in the Age of Hyperculturality,” Rolf Johannes Goebel, Univ. of Alabama, Huntsville
  2. “Mimicking the Avant-Garde: Intellectual and Artistic Activism in the Digital Age,” Patrizia C. McBride, Cornell Univ.
  3. “Computer Poems and Critical Coding: Redefining Subjectivity for the Digital Age,” Kurt Beals, Washington Univ. in St. Louis

Responding: Leslie Morris, Univ. of Minnesota, Twin Cities

For abstracts, visit german.berkeley.edu/transit.

39. Haunting Narratives: Folklore’s Contribution to Narrative Studies

Thursday, 9 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Grace, Chicago Marriott

Presiding: Camilla Henriette Mortensen, Lane Community Coll., OR

  1. “‘We Have Always Slain Dragons’: Negotiating Empathy and Villainy through Narrative Study,” Shelley Ingram, Univ. of Louisiana, Lafayette
  2. “‘Then There’s a Pair of Us!’: Fetishism and the Construction of Ghostly Folk in and through Literature,” Todd Richardson, Univ. of Nebraska, Omaha
  3. “At the Intersection of Land and Water: Using Topic Models and Morphologies to Understand Folk Narrative,” John Laudun, Univ. of Louisiana, Lafayette

For abstracts, visit commons.mla.org/docs/haunted-narratives-the-contributions-of-folklore-studies-to-understandings-of-american-imaginations/.

66. The Semipublic Intellectual? Academia, Criticism, and the Internet Age

Thursday, 9 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., Chicago H, Chicago Marriott

Presiding: Liliana M. Loofbourow, Univ. of California, Berkeley; Phillip Maciak, Louisiana State Univ., Baton Rouge

Speakers: Natalia Cecire, Yale Univ.; Hua Hsu, Vassar Coll.; Evan Kindley, Claremont McKenna Coll.; Sharon Marcus, Columbia Univ.; Anne Helen Petersen, Whitman Coll.; Salamishah Tillet, Univ. of Pennsylvania

This roundtable seeks to address both the possibilities and the professional anxieties brought about by the new boom in online academic writing. Representing a diverse array of writing and editing experiences in and out of the profession, the panelists will be in a unique position to reflect on the goals and realities of taking scholarship to new publics.

80. Hard Mode: Games and Narratives of Marginalization

Thursday, 9 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., Huron, Chicago Marriott

Presiding: Anastasia Salter, Univ. of Baltimore

Speakers: Edmond Chang, Drew Univ.; Eileen Cheng-Yin Chow, Duke Univ.; Adeline Koh, Richard Stockton Coll. of New Jersey

For extended abstracts and links to works under discussion, visit hardmode.selfloud.net.

Mainstream video games often reflect culturally dominant discourse, with narratives that fail to include marginalized or “vulnerable” voices and groups. As video games are becoming an increasingly visible form of storytelling and entertainment, what role can games from outside these norms play in subverting such marginalizing representations?

91. Technologies of Translation

Thursday, 9 January, 3:30–4:45 p.m., Ontario, Sheraton Chicago

Presiding: Michael Emmerich, Univ. of California, Los Angeles

  1. “How Digital Archives Transform the Praxis of Literary Translation,” Jonathan Baillehache, Univ. of Georgia
  2. “Digital Palimpsests: Translation, Curatorial Practice, and the Interactive Text of Online Magazines,” Megan Berkobien, Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  3. “Computational Tracking of Cross-Cultural and Cross-Lingual Markers in Translation Corpora,” Eugenia Kelbert, Yale Univ.; Saša Mile Rudan, Oslo Univ.
  4. “Digital Pedagogy: The ‘Li Sao’ in Translation,” Monica Zikpi, Univ. of Oregon

98. Vulnerable Texts in Digital Literary Studies

Thursday, 9 January, 3:30–4:45 p.m., Indiana-Iowa, Chicago Marriott

Presiding: John David Zuern, Univ. of Hawai’i, Mānoa

  1. “Lossless Interactivity? Preservation and Adaptation across Meanwhile‘s Media Editions,” Jeremy Douglass, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara
  2. “The Liminal Textuality of Comments in Code,” Rachael Sullivan, Univ. of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
  3. “Close, Distant, and Curatorial: Responsible Reading in Digital Literary Studies,” John David Zuern

108. Power Searching the MLA International Bibliography

Thursday, 9 January, 3:30–4:45 p.m., Sheffield, Chicago Marriott

Presiding: Barbara Chen, MLA

“How to Maximize Your Research with the MLA International Bibliography,” Gregory Grazevich, MLA

121. Homo-reproductions

Thursday, 9 January, 5:15–6:30 p.m., Armitage, Chicago Marriott

Presiding: Valerie Rohy, Univ. of Vermont

  1. “The Future in Ruins,” Valerie Rohy
  2. “Homo-sustainability,” Abby Goode, Rice Univ.
  3. “Repro Redux: The Denials of Digital Generation,” Judith A. Roof, Rice Univ.

For abstracts, visit homoreproductions.commons.mla.org/.

128. Forgotten Sources, Alternative Archives

Thursday, 9 January, 5:15–6:30 p.m., Indiana-Iowa, Chicago Marriott

Presiding: Sean O’Toole, Baruch Coll., City Univ. of New York

  1. “Pickwick’s Other Papers,” Carrie Sickmann Han, Indiana Univ., Bloomington
  2. “Coded Critiques in Postwar Spain: Reading Gabriela Mistral in the Poetry of Jose Luis Hidalgo,” Elizabeth Hochberg, Princeton Univ.
  3. “The Residue of History in New Media Archives,” Augusta Rohrbach, Washington State Univ., Pullman

For abstracts, write to sean.otoole@baruch.cuny.edu.

130. Things My Computer Taught Me about Poems

Thursday, 9 January, 5:15–6:30 p.m., Sheffield, Chicago Marriott

Presiding: Meredith Martin, Princeton Univ.

  1. “Millay and Her Books,” Amanda L. French, George Mason Univ.
  2. “What Does Style Really Mean? A Comparative Analysis of the Poetry of Christina Rossetti and Elizabeth Barrett Browning,” Natalie M. Houston, Univ. of Houston, University Park
  3. “Turbulence and Temporality: (Re)Visualizing Poetic Time,” Katharine Coles, Univ. of Utah; Julie Lein, Univ. of Utah

For abstracts, visit amandafrench.net/2013/03/28/things-my-computer-poems.

149. Online Courses: Challenges and Opportunities

Thursday, 9 January, 5:15–6:30 p.m., Addison, Chicago Marriott

Presiding: Debra Ann Castillo, Cornell Univ.

Speakers: Al Filreis, Univ. of Pennsylvania; William Albert Pannapacker, Hope Coll.; Lois Parkinson Zamora, Univ. of Houston, University Park

155. Literary Criticism at the Macroscale: Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches to Textual Circulation

Thursday, 9 January, 5:15–6:30 p.m., Parlor C, Sheraton Chicago

Presiding: Hoyt Long, Univ. of Chicago

  1. “The Werther Effect: Topologies of Transnational Literary Circulation in the Eighteenth Century,” Andrew Piper, McGill Univ.
  2. “Trade Imbalance in the World Republic of Letters: Transnational Culture through the Lens of Big Data,” Hoyt Long
  3. “Quantitative Literary Studies in a Transnational Age,” Ted Underwood, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana
  4. “Transnational Literary Studies in a Quantitative Age,” C. P. Haun Saussy, Univ. of Chicago

168. Augmented Reality for Teaching and Learning in the Humanities

Thursday, 9 January, 7:00–8:15 p.m., Lincolnshire, Chicago Marriott

Presiding: Julie Sykes, Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque

Speakers: Jason B. Jones, Central Connecticut State Univ.; Julie Sykes

Participants will be introduced to various practical ways of utilizing mobile technology in the humanities classroom. Current projects addressing language learning and literary studies will be presented. Participants will engage in an augmented reality experience and begin to create relevant learning activities for their learning contexts. Participants are encouraged to bring their own iOS devices (iPhone, iTouch, iPad).

173. Beyond the Protomonograph: New Models for the Dissertation

Thursday, 9 January, 7:00–8:15 p.m., Northwestern–Ohio State, Chicago Marriott

Presiding: Daniel Powell, Univ. of Victoria

Speakers: Melissa A. Dalgleish, York Univ.; Shawn Moore, Texas A&M Univ., College Station; James O’Sullivan, University Coll. Cork; Nick Sousanis, Columbia Univ.; Danielle Spinosa, York Univ.; Nicholas van Orden, Univ. of Alberta

Although the need for graduate education reform in the humanities is widely discussed, the traditional role of the dissertation as a capstone protomonograph has only begun to be questioned. This panel features six Pecha Kucha presentations (20 slides x 20 seconds) from graduate students developing radically new models of the dissertation, followed by ample discussion.

187. Teaching outside the Classroom through Digital Humanities: Alt-Academic Feminism

Thursday, 9 January, 7:00–8:15 p.m., Indiana-Iowa, Chicago Marriott

Presiding: Teresa Mangum, Univ. of Iowa

Speakers: Anne Balsamo, New School; Natalie M. Houston, Univ. of Houston, University Park; Tara McPherson, Univ. of Southern California; Safiya Umoja Noble, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana; Roopika Risam, Salem State Univ.

For position statements and resources, write to teresa-mangum@uiowa.edu.

Can digital and public humanities reshape studies by and about women in language, art, and culture? Feminists, people of color, LGBT communities, and differently abled and aged women are creating collaborative spaces despite uneven developments and digital divides. How can digital tools and practices serve feminist pedagogy and critique, resituating feminism within and beyond the academy?

199. Digital Queers, Queering the Digital: Gaming, Programming, Performance

Friday, 10 January, 8:30–9:45 a.m., Northwestern–Ohio State, Chicago Marriott

Presiding: Martha Nell Smith, Univ. of Maryland, College Park

Speakers: Thom Bryce, York Univ.; Edward Chamberlain, Univ. of Washington, Tacoma; Edmond Chang, Drew Univ.; Kimberly Hall, Univ. of California, Riverside; Hannele Kivinen, York Univ.

Responding: Marilee Lindemann, Univ. of Maryland, College Park

This roundtable analyzes queer online performances that critique the exclusionary practices of dominant American culture, queering codes in game programming, and queer approaches to new media to make visible that opportunities afforded by queer bodies extend well beyond remembering Alan Turing, the gay iconic code breaker cited by some as historical proof of digital humanities diversity.

207. Diversifying the Victorian Verse Archives

Friday, 10 January, 8:30–9:45 a.m., Chicago A–B, Chicago Marriott

Presiding: Meredith Martin, Princeton Univ.

  1. “Recovering Tennyson’s ‘Melody in Poetry’: Salon Recitations and Musical Settings,” Phyllis Weliver, Saint Louis Univ.
  2. “Morris Metrics: The Work of Meter in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” Yopie Prins, Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  3. “Digital Archives and the Music of Victorian Poetry,” Joanna Swafford, Univ. of Virginia

For abstracts, visit https://sites.google.com/a/slu.edu/diversifying-the-victorian-verse-archives/.

213. Twenty-First-Century Pedagogies

Friday, 10 January, 8:30–9:45 a.m., Michigan–Michigan State, Chicago Marriott

Presiding: Stacey Lee Donohue, Central Oregon Community Coll.

  1. “Not on Wikipedia: Making the Local Visible,” Laurel Harris, Queensborough Community Coll., City Univ. of New York
  2. “Survival Spanish Online: Designing a Community College Course That Bridges Culture and Authentic Connections,” Cecilia McGinniss Kennedy, Clark State Community Coll., OH
  3. “Sound Essays: A Cure for the Common Core,” Kathryn O’Donoghue, Graduate Center, City Univ. of New York
  4. “Leveling Up! Gamifying the Literature Classroom,” Jessica Lewis-Turner, Temple Univ., Philadelphia

For abstracts, visit commons.mla.org/groups/the-two-year-college/announcements/ after 15 Dec.

233. Seeing with Numbers: Sociological and Macroanalytic Approaches to Literary Exclusion

Friday, 10 January, 10:15–11:30 a.m., Chicago F, Chicago Marriott

Presiding: Richard Jean So, Univ. of Chicago

  1. “Modernism’s Limits: Patterns of Exclusion in Scholarly Reading,” Andrew Goldstone, Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick
  2. “Finding Thomas Curtis Clark: Topic Modeling the Rules of Exclusion in American Modernist Poetry,” Richard Jean So

Responding: Amy Hungerford, Yale Univ.; Matthew Jockers, Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln

For abstracts, visit lucian.uchicago.edu/blogs/literarynetworks/.

239. Vulnerable Times in the Archive: Forgotten Modernist Literary Magazines

Friday, 10 January, 10:15–11:30 a.m., Kane, Chicago Marriott

Presiding: Belinda Wheeler, Paine Coll.

Speakers: Suzanne Wintsch Churchill, Davidson Coll.; Anne Donlon, Graduate Center, City Univ. of New York; Paul Hjartarson, Univ. of Alberta; Hannah McGregor, Univ. of Alberta; Elizabeth O’Connor, Washington Coll.

Following Marianne Hirsch’s presidential theme, this roundtable explores various modernist literary magazines that “have been marginalized, forgotten, or omitted from dominant histories.” Though these magazines’ overlooked status might be seen as a weakness, the participants illustrate how these documents and current periodical scholarship have created what Hirsch calls “a space for engagement and resistance.”

245. Beyond the MOOC: The Online Seminar

Friday, 10 January, 10:15–11:30 a.m., Grace, Chicago Marriott

Presiding: Margaret Lamont, Stanford Univ.

  1. “Re-placing Synchronous Classrooms at Stanford’s Online High School,” Adam Rzepka, Stanford Univ.
  2. “The United States and the Middle East at the Virtual Table,” Maggie N. Nassif, Brigham Young Univ., UT
  3. “Engaging Long-Distance Learners: Personalization, Communication, and Application Integration,” Erin Kingsley, Univ. of Colorado, Boulder

253. Gaming across the Curriculum: The Write Game

Friday, 10 January, 10:15–11:30 a.m., Michigan–Michigan State, Chicago Marriott

Presiding: Catherine Jean Prendergast, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana

  1. “Mystorical Play: On Ludic Invention of Knowledge,” Jan Holmevik, Clemson Univ.
  2. “Replayability and Revision: Writing Over and Over,” Cynthia Haynes, Clemson Univ.
  3. “Augmented Reality Games: Engines of Reflection,” Virginia Kuhn, Univ. of Southern California

259. The Twenty-First-Century Library: Discovery Services versus Subject Specialists

Friday, 10 January, 10:15–11:30 a.m., Huron, Chicago Marriott

Presiding: James Raymond Kelly, Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst

Speakers: Laura R. Braunstein, Dartmouth Coll.; Barbara Chen, MLA; Sarah G. Wenzel, Univ. of Chicago

Currently the style of providing research access to online catalogs and databases for undergraduate students is through the use of a discovery system. Some panelists will discuss how traditional methods are a more logical means to the desired end, while others will discuss how they have used discovery services successfully in research instruction in both writing and literature classrooms.

284. Digital Humanities and French Renaissance Culture

Friday, 10 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Columbus, Sheraton Chicago

Presiding: Jacqueline D. Wernimont, Scripps Coll.

  1. “Translations of Translations: From Latin to French to Digital,” Anneliese Pollock, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara
  2. “Digitizing the French Sixteenth Century: Unblocking the Literary Canon,” Hassan Melehy, Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  3. “The Montaigne Project,” Philippe Desan, Univ. of Chicago

Responding: Dorothea Heitsch, Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

291. Torture and Popular Culture

Friday, 10 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Indiana-Iowa, Chicago Marriott

Presiding: Hillary L. Chute, Univ. of Chicago

  1. “Shocking Media: The Abu Ghraib Photographs and Zero Dark Thirty,” Liz Maynes-Aminzade, Harvard Univ.
  2. “Animal Cruelty: The Cinema of Kathryn Bigelow,” Christopher Pizzino, Univ. of Georgia
  3. “Torture, Rebirth, and Revelation in V for Vendetta and Save the Green Planet,” Peter Yoonsuk Paik, Univ. of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
  4. “Sites of Pain: The Expressive Work of Spaces of Torture in Video Games,” Mark Sample, George Mason Univ.

299. What Is Data in Literary Studies?

Friday, 10 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Michigan–Michigan State, Chicago Marriott

Presiding: James F. English, Univ. of Pennsylvania

Speakers: David Alworth, Harvard Univ.; Eric Hayot, Penn State Univ., University Park; Heather Houser, Univ. of Texas, Austin; Lauren Klein, Georgia Inst. of Tech.; Peter M. Logan, Temple Univ., Philadelphia; Scott Selisker, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara

This roundtable will consider questions about data in literary studies beyond the usual debates over digital method and quantification. Does our discipline have a coherent concept of data? Are there kinds of data that are specific to literary studies or that only exist as products of literary research? What is the relation between literary data and literary theory? Is data political?

307. Getting Funded in the Humanities: An NEH Workshop

Friday, 10 January, 1:30–3:30 p.m., Chicago VIII, Sheraton Chicago

Presiding: Jason Rhody, National Endowment for the Humanities

This workshop will highlight recent awards and outline current funding opportunities. In addition to emphasizing grant programs that support individual and collaborative research and education, the workshop will include information on the NEH’s Office of Digital Humanities. A question-and-answer period will follow.

323. Trauma, Memory, Vulnerability

Friday, 10 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., Chicago IX, Sheraton Chicago

Presiding: Susan Rubin Suleiman, Harvard Univ.

  1. “Trauma Theory for Implicated Subjects,” Michael Rothberg, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana
  2. “Cyberpoetics and Cryptopolitics: Facebook Pages as Memory Portals,” Ananya Jahanara Kabir, King’s Coll. London
  3. “Embodying Postconflict Memories: Teatro Testimonial in Chile,” Maria José Contreras, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
  4. “Culture of Memory and Human Rights: New Constellations,” Andreas A. Huyssen, Columbia Univ.

Responding: Susan Rubin Suleiman

Bringing vulnerability to bear on the politics of trauma and memory studies, the session will illustrate new constellations in the field. Looking at memory’s multidirectional and global circulation—from Europe to East Asia and Latin America—papers will engage embodiment, performance, and digital media, as well as complicity and human rights.

337. New Digital Vanguards in Spanish Literature

Friday, 10 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., Parlor F, Sheraton Chicago

Presiding: Alexandra Saum-Pascual, Univ. of California, Berkeley

  1. “Print Alternatives: Hybrid Spanish Writing Today,” Alexandra Saum-Pascual
  2. “Digital Technology and New Forms of Literature from a Hispanic Perspective,” Sergi Rivero-Navarro, Harvard Univ.
  3. “Interstory: Three Narratives in Media Convergence,” Elika Ortega Guzman, Univ. of Western Ontario
  4. “Technological Expropriation in Latin American Poetry: A Historical Perspective,” Marcos Wasem, Bard Coll.

For abstracts, visit hybridspanish.commons.mla.org/ after 1 Dec.

339. New Ways of Reading: Surface Reading and Digital Methods

Friday, 10 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., Chicago D, Chicago Marriott

Presiding: Mara Mills, New York Univ.

Speakers: Stephen M. Best, Univ. of California, Berkeley; Alexander Gil, Columbia Univ.; Heather K. Love, Univ. of Pennsylvania; Sharon Marcus, Columbia Univ.; Ted Underwood, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana

For papers and digital examples, visit www.surfacereading.org after 1 Dec.

This session considers intersections between new work on reading and digital methods. It emerges from a collaboration that includes a book project (Surface Reading: History, Theory, Practice) and a digital project. Speakers will report on digital experiments in classes they taught in fall 2012.

350. Open Access: Editing Online Scholarly Journals

Friday, 10 January, 3:30–4:45 p.m., O’Hare, Chicago Marriott

Presiding: Helena Gurfinkel, Southern Illinois Univ., Edwardsville

Speakers: Nicole N. Aljoe, Northeastern Univ.; Alan Clinton, Santa Clara Univ.; David Gunkel, Northern Illinois Univ.; Helena Gurfinkel; Laura L. Runge, Univ. of South Florida

Responding: Henry S. Sussman, Yale Univ.

The roundtable will address the logistics of founding and maintaining a journal; potential nonspecialized readership; the evaluation of open-access publications, as well as of the work of editing, in the context of hiring, tenure, and promotion; and peer-review practices that follow the open-access principle, while responding to tenure and promotion requirements.

368. East Asian Traditional Poetry in the Digital Age

Friday, 10 January, 3:30–4:45 p.m., Huron, Sheraton Chicago

Presiding: Paul Rouzer, Univ. of Minnesota, Twin Cities

  1. “Rereading Chinese Poetry in a Digital Context,” Graham Sanders, Univ. of Toronto
  2. “‘Du Fu Is Busy!’: Classical Poetry on the Chinese Internet,” Xiaofei Tian, Harvard Univ.
  3. “Shiki’s Social Media: Print, Internet, and Haiku in Nineteenth- and Twenty-First-Century Japan,” Robert Tuck, Univ. of Montana
  4. “Traditional Poetry and Digital Pedagogy,” Monica Zikpi, Univ. of Oregon

369. The Twenty-First-Century University: Gender, Technology, and Learning

Friday, 10 January, 3:30–4:45 p.m., Michigan B, Sheraton Chicago

Presiding: Shaden M. Tageldin, Univ. of Minnesota, Twin Cities

  1. “Feminist Dialogues on Technology,” Elizabeth Mathews Losh, Univ. of California, San Diego
  2. “Hybridizing Foreign Languages: Gender and Professionalization,” Charlotte Ann Melin, Univ. of Minnesota, Twin Cities
  3. “The Gender Factor in Technology-Enhanced Language Courses,” Fernando Rubio, Univ. of Utah

For abstracts, visit commons.mla.org/ after 9 Dec.

377. Making Sense of Big Data

Friday, 10 January, 3:30–4:45 p.m., Erie, Sheraton Chicago

Presiding: Helen Thompson, Northwestern Univ.

  1. “Of Archives and Algorithms: EEBO (Early English Books Online) and the Challenges of Big Data,” Anupam Basu, Washington Univ. in St. Louis
  2. “Fragments of Fiction: Heterogeneity and the Early Novel in the Digital Archive,” Mark Algee-Hewitt, Stanford Univ.
  3. “Scale and Precision: Having It All,” Laura C. Mandell, Texas A&M Univ., College Station

For abstracts and links, visit idhmc.tamu.edu/MLA2014.

379. Culture and Activism in the 2011–13 Russian Protest Movements

Friday, 10 January, 3:30–4:45 p.m., Parlor C, Sheraton Chicago

Presiding: Katharine Holt, Columbia Univ.

  1. “Protest and Digital Aesthetics,” Marijeta Bozovic, Colgate Univ.
  2. “When the Digerati Take to the Street (and Airwaves): Alexei Navalny, Sergei Minaev, and the Offline Transposition of the New Media Intelligentsia,” Michael Gorham, Univ. of Florida
  3. “Pussy Riot Democracy: Notes on Ethnography and Russian Activism,” Frances Harrison, Binghamton Univ., State Univ. of New York
  4. “Postsocialist Political Depression and the Refiguring of Liberalism: Imagining Social Change in and around the Protests,” Adam Leeds, Univ. of Pennsylvania

For abstracts, visit mlaslavic.blogspot.com.

399. MOOCs, Boutique Subjects, and Marginal Approaches

Friday, 10 January, 5:15–6:30 p.m., Indiana-Iowa, Chicago Marriott

Presiding: Dorothy Kim, Vassar Coll.

Speakers: Rebecca Davis, Saint Edward’s Univ.; Wendy Marie Hoofnagle, Univ. of Northern Iowa; Helene Scheck, Univ. at Albany, State Univ. of New York; Sonam Singh, Barnard Coll.; Lisa M. C. Weston, California State Univ., Fresno

For abstracts, visit hosted.lib.uiowa.edu/smfs/mff/index.html.

This roundtable addresses what happens to marginal approaches (e.g., feminist, queer, disability, racial) and boutique subjects (e.g., medieval studies) in the MOOC paradigm.

402. Beyond the Digital: Pattern Recognition and Interpretation

Friday, 10 January, 5:15–6:30 p.m., Sheraton I, Sheraton Chicago

Presiding: Brian Croxall, Emory Univ.

Speakers: Jeffrey Binder, Graduate Center, City Univ. of New York; Ryan Cordell, Northeastern Univ.; Collin Jennings, New York Univ.; Cedrick May, Univ. of Texas, Arlington; James O’Sullivan, University Coll. Cork; Lisa Marie Rhody, George Mason Univ.; Shawna Ross, Arizona State Univ. Polytechnic

For abstracts and methods, visit ach.org/ach-sessions after 1 Dec.

In discussions of digital humanities we sometimes forget that the output of digital analysis is not the goal; rather, it is a means to an end: the interpretation of a text. This panel will feature brief presentations that offer interpretations of patterns found with a digital approach. Crucially, however, presenters will speak not about methods but instead about interpretations and conclusions.

403. Words, Works, and New Archives: Studying African American Literature in the Twenty-First Century

Friday, 10 January, 5:15–6:30 p.m., Michigan–Michigan State, Chicago Marriott

Presiding: Warren Carson, Univ. of South Carolina, Spartanburg

  1. “The Field and Function of African American Literary Scholarship: A Memorial and a Challenge,” Dana A. Williams, Howard Univ.
  2. “Chaos, Digital Humanities, and Change in Twenty-First-Century African American Literary Study,” Jerry W. Ward, Central China Normal Univ.
  3. “The Black Book: Creating an Interactive Research Environment,” Kenton Rambsy, Univ. of Kansas
  4. “Keepin’ It Interactive: Hip-Hop in the Age of Digital Reproduction,” Regina Bradley, Kennesaw State Univ.; Jeremy Dean, Rap Genius, Inc.

405. Meeting Where Students Are: Faculty-Library Collaborations and Undergraduate Research

Friday, 10 January, 5:15–6:30 p.m., Ohio, Sheraton Chicago

Presiding: Dawn Childress, Penn State Univ., University Park

Speakers: Susanna Boylston, Davidson Coll.; Anne Geller, Saint John’s Univ., NY; Laura E. McGrane, Haverford Coll.; Susette Newberry, Cornell Univ.; Jennifer Rajchel, Haverford Coll.; Blythe E. Roveland-Brenton, Saint John’s Univ., NY

For abstracts, visit wp.me/p29LID-1A after 1 Dec.

Panelists will discuss collaborations among librarians and faculty members that create curriculum-based research opportunities for students in the use, building, and interpretation of collections. Perspectives on introducing students to the protocols of research include the literary-critical, archival, programmatic, and compositional and cross the analog-digital divide in their methods and tools.

409. Innovative Interventions in Scholarly Editing

Friday, 10 January, 5:15–6:30 p.m., Colorado, Sheraton Chicago

Presiding: Stephen G. Nichols, Johns Hopkins Univ., MD; Raymond G. Siemens, Univ. of Victoria

Speakers: Kathleen Fitzpatrick, MLA; Julia H. Flanders, Northeastern Univ.; Steven E. Jones, Loyola Univ., Chicago; Peter Robinson, Univ. of Saskatchewan; Timothy L. Stinson, North Carolina State Univ.

Responding: Susan Schreibman, Trinity Coll. Dublin

Explores editorial innovation, considered in the context of the field’s principles and practices, including those associated with the CSE and the award of its seal for approved editions. Presenters will address, among other topics, the role of editing in new Commons-oriented publication platforms, the uses of new media in scholarly editing, and the relation of the scholarly edition to the data that underlies it.

416. Digital Practice: Moving Images

Friday, 10 January, 5:15–6:30 p.m., Arkansas, Sheraton Chicago

Presiding: Deniz Göktürk, Univ. of California, Berkeley

  1. “The Nature of Digital Images,” Carsten Strathausen, Univ. of Missouri, Columbia
  2. “Remixing Herzog: Auteurship and Participation in the Digital Age,” Tara Hottman, Univ. of California, Berkeley
  3. “The Documentary Tradition in the Digital Age,” Verena Kick, Univ. of Washington, Seattle

Responding: Eric C. Ames, Univ. of Washington, Seattle

For abstracts, visit german.berkeley.edu/transit.

418. Vulnerability and Survivalism of the Humanities in Corporatized Academia

Friday, 10 January, 5:15–6:30 p.m., Erie, Sheraton Chicago

Presiding: Steven Hymowech, Fulton-Montgomery Community Coll., NY

  1. “Right Leaders of Wrong: A Revolution in Higher Education,” Jesse Stommel, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison
  2. “Banding Together in the Face of the Coming ‘Apocalypse,’” Lee Skallerup Bessette, Morehead State Univ.
  3. “Who Owns the Humanities?” George Louis Scheper, Community Coll. of Baltimore County, MD
  4. “Vulnerability and Academia: A Critical Analysis,” Paul Lauter, Trinity Coll., CT

Responding: Stacey Lee Donohue, Central Oregon Community Coll.

For abstracts, visit www.ccha-assoc.org/index.html after 1 Dec.

420. Social Pedagogies and Second-Language Development

Friday, 10 January, 5:15–6:30 p.m., Huron, Sheraton Chicago

Presiding: Sébastien Dubreil, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville

  1. “The Emergent Multilingual Self during Study Abroad and What It Teaches Us about Language Instruction,” Glenn Levine, Univ. of California, Irvine
  2. “Curriculum Development in the Chinese-Heritage Language Classroom: Learners’ Defining Role,” Xuehua Xiang, Univ. of Illinois, Chicago
  3. “Bridging the Print-Digital Divide with Social Reading,” Carl S. Blyth, Univ. of Texas, Austin

For abstracts, visit profd.weebly.com/mla-2014.html.

451. Theory and Practice in International Online Classroom Collaboration: An Electronic Roundtable

Saturday, 11 January, 8:30–9:45 a.m., Chicago VIII, Sheraton Chicago

Presiding: Zsuzsanna Palmer, Old Dominion Univ.

Speakers: Sarah Guth, State Univ. of New York Global Center; Alexander Hartwiger, Framingham State Univ.; Zsuzsanna Palmer

For abstracts and resources, write to zpalm001@odu.edu after 7 Jan.

This electronic roundtable showcases international online collaboration projects while theoretically situating them in order to reimagine these digital contact zones as sites for critical thinking. The speakers’ projects come from a range of disciplines—writing, literature, and language teaching—and identify the challenges and rewards of cross-cultural interaction in global classrooms.

463. New Arabic Genres

Saturday, 11 January, 8:30–9:45 a.m., Colorado, Sheraton Chicago

Presiding: Ken Seigneurie, Simon Fraser Univ., Surrey

  1. “Revolutionary Memoirs: Women, Nation, and the Arab World,” Tahia Abdel Nasser, American Univ. in Cairo
  2. “Scheherazadean Cyborgs: Arab Women Diarists in the Digital Age,” Nadine Sinno, Georgia State Univ.
  3. “Desire and the Canonization of Arabic Literature,” Kifah Hanna, Trinity Coll., CT
  4. “Illustrated War: Lamia Ziadé’s Bye Bye Babylon, the Art of Remembering, and the Lebanese Civil War,” Salah D. Hassan, Michigan State Univ.

For abstracts, visit tinyurl.com/c65bllb.

471. Who Benefits? Competing Agendas and Ethics in Graduate Education

Saturday, 11 January, 8:30–9:45 a.m., Chicago X, Sheraton Chicago

Presiding: David B. Downing, Indiana Univ. of Pennsylvania

Speakers: David B. Downing; Shane Peterson, Washington Univ. in St. Louis; Daniel Purdy, Penn State Univ., University Park; Katina Rogers, MLA; Jentery Sayers, Univ. of Victoria

This roundtable explores the responsibility programs have to graduate students given the current job market, including whether programs should continue to admit the same number of students, how to reform graduate education for the job market that exists, how to advise graduate students, and how program directors can respond to institutional pressure to grow, create, and maintain programs.

481. African Literature and Performance and New Media

Saturday, 11 January, 10:15–11:30 a.m., Colorado, Sheraton Chicago

Presiding: Moradewun Adejunmobi, Univ. of California, Davis

  1. “Teju Cole’s Twitter Feed and the Politics of Digital Form,” Mark DiGiacomo, Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick
  2. “Critic, Creator, Curator: Three Francophone African Writers and Authorial Presence on the Web,” Kristen Stern, Boston Univ.
  3. “New Media, Shifting Margins: Digital Divide Reconsidered,” Akinwumi Adesokan, Indiana Univ., Bloomington
  4. “The Place of Fiction in Southern Africa: New Media, Print, and Local Literary Ecologies,” Stephanie Bosch Santana, Harvard Univ.

482. Making Digital Counterpublics

Saturday, 11 January, 10:15–11:30 a.m., Arkansas, Sheraton Chicago

Presiding: David Parry, Saint Joseph’s Univ.

  1. “Education Reform by Undergraduates: Giving Rural Students a Voice,” Lee Skallerup Bessette, Morehead State Univ.
  2. “From MOOC to POOC: Plurality, Participation, and JustPublics,” Matthew K. Gold, New York City Coll. of Tech., City Univ. of New York; Emily Sherwood, Graduate Center, City Univ. of New York
  3. “A Beautiful Social Collaborative,” Aimee Knight, Saint Joseph’s Univ.
  4. “Fashioning Alternative Publics,” Kim Knight, Univ. of Texas, Dallas

For papers, abstracts, and resources, visit www.outsidethetext.com/main/making-digital-counterpublics.

485. Digital Practice: Social Networks across Borders

Saturday, 11 January, 10:15–11:30 a.m., Missouri, Sheraton Chicago

Presiding: Stefanie Harris, Texas A&M Univ., College Station

  1. “Kafka and the Kafkaesques: Close Reading Online Fan Fiction,” Bonnie Ruberg, Univ. of California, Berkeley
  2. “Aesthetics and Politics in Representing the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict in Germany: Markus Flohr’s Wo samstags immer Sonntag ist,” Isabelle Hesse, Univ. of York
  3. “Intersections of Music, Politics, and Digital Media: Bandista,” Ela Gezen, Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst

Responding: Yasemin Yildiz, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana

For abstracts, visit german.berkeley.edu/transit.

526. Scholarly Journals: Academic and Commercial and Independent Perspectives

Saturday, 11 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Missouri, Sheraton Chicago

Presiding: Alan Rauch, Univ. of North Carolina, Charlotte

Speakers: William Breichner, Johns Hopkins University Press; Adam Burbage, Taylor and Francis; Alison Denby, Oxford University Press; Eileen Joy, BABEL Working Group; Dawne C. McCance, Mosaic; Margaret Zusky, John Wiley and Sons

This session brings together editors and journal publishers from university presses, commercial presses, and the independent sector. Our objective is to share multiple perspectives about the future of scholarly journals (digital and print). An open forum, we welcome comments from attendees.

528. Digital Humanities from the Ground Up

Saturday, 11 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Chicago VIII, Sheraton Chicago

Presiding: Amy E. Earhart, Texas A&M Univ., College Station

Speakers: Benjamin Doyle, Northeastern Univ.; Heather Froehlich, Univ. of Strathclyde; Kristi Girdharry, Northeastern Univ.; Kirstyn Leuner, Univ. of Colorado, Boulder; Amanda Licastro, Graduate Center, City Univ. of New York; Michael Lin, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara; Benjamin Miller, Graduate Center, City Univ. of New York; Paige Morgan, Univ. of Washington, Seattle; David Tagnani, Washington State Univ., Pullman; Amanda Visconti, Univ. of Maryland, College Park

For abstracts, visit commons.mla.org/groups/computer-studies-in-language-and-literature/.

A showcase session to highlight innovative work by undergraduate and graduate students in the digital humanities. This session aims to demonstrate how students, at different levels and from a range of institutions, are expanding their research horizons by engaging in digital projects.

535. Medieval Literature, Digital Humanities

Saturday, 11 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Chicago X, Sheraton Chicago

Presiding: Geraldine Heng, Univ. of Texas, Austin

  1. “How We Read Now (in the Digital Middle Ages),” Stephen G. Nichols, Johns Hopkins Univ., MD
  2. “Bibliopedia: Humanities Scholarship as Linked Data,” Michael Widner, Stanford Univ.
  3. “A New Digital Cartography of ‘Convivencia’: Sevilla 1492,” Thomas Patrick Kealy, Colby-Sawyer Coll.

543. Deletion, Erasure, Cancellation: Negative Textualities

Saturday, 11 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Purdue-Wisconsin, Chicago Marriott

Presiding: Marjorie Luesebrink, Irvine Valley Coll., CA

Speakers: Laura All, Univ. of Virginia; Paul Benzon, Temple Univ., Philadelphia; Andrew Ferguson, Univ. of Virginia; Marjorie Luesebrink; Chuk Moran, Univ. of California, San Diego

For abstracts, visit paulbenzon.com/mla14panel/.

This roundtable considers practices that might collectively be termed “negative” textual operations. Bringing together a range of methods and perspectives, we intend to foster discussion of a framework in which qualities such as absence, removal, residuality, blankness, and illegibility become essential criteria for understanding textual materiality.

565. Online Innovations: From Distance Learning to MOOC Madness

Saturday, 11 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., Michigan B, Sheraton Chicago

Presiding: Susan G. Polansky, Carnegie Mellon Univ.

Speakers: Thomas P. DiPiero, Univ. of Rochester; Chrissy Hosea, Yale Univ.; Christopher Jones, Carnegie Mellon Univ.; Fernando Rubio, Univ. of Utah; Lisa Vollendorf, San José State Univ.

Discussion of changing technologies and their impact on teaching and learning, including hybrid, blended, and flipped classes; online teaching; and MOOCs.

577. Evaluating Digital Scholarship: Candidate Success Stories

Saturday, 11 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., Chicago VIII, Sheraton Chicago

Presiding: Victoria E. Szabo, Duke Univ.

Speakers: Cheryl E. Ball, Illinois State Univ.; Alexander Gil, Columbia Univ.; Matthew K. Gold, New York City Coll. of Tech., City Univ. of New York; Adeline Koh, Richard Stockton Coll. of New Jersey; Kari M. Kraus, Univ. of Maryland, College Park

Responding: N. Katherine Hayles, Duke Univ.

For a detailed description and participants’ project links, visit people.duke.edu/~ves4/mla14 after 1 Dec.

In an electronic roundtable, candidates from various institutions and backgrounds share work and describe successful navigation of appointment, tenure, and promotion. MLA guidelines on evaluating digital scholarship serve as context. Discussion of how shifting definitions of academic success may include interdisciplinary collaboration, public engagement, hybrid teaching/research, alt-ac.

582. Literary Social Media, Past and Present

Saturday, 11 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., O’Hare, Chicago Marriott

Presiding: Jeremy Douglass, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara

  1. “Writing Imperial Networks in Maria Edgeworth’s Irish Fiction,” Dermot Ryan, Loyola Marymount Univ.
  2. “The Century Guild Hobby Horse and the Ambivalence of the Victorian Literary Networks,” Rebecca N. Mitchell, Univ. of Texas–Pan American
  3. “Digital Darcy: Hypermediation in the Lizzie Bennet Diaries,” Kristina Booker, Southern Methodist Univ.

For abstracts, visit media.commons.mla.org/.

583. Electronic Literature after Flash

Saturday, 11 January, 3:30–4:45 p.m., Purdue-Wisconsin, Chicago Marriott

Presiding: Mark Sample, George Mason Univ.

Speakers: Leonardo Flores, Univ. of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez; Christopher T. Funkhouser, New Jersey Inst. of Tech.; Dene M. Grigar, Washington State Univ., Vancouver; Mark C. Marino, Univ. of Southern California; Stuart Moulthrop, Univ. of Wisconsin, Milwaukee; Amanda Visconti, Univ. of Maryland, College Park; Zach Whalen, Univ. of Mary Washington

This roundtable considers the future of electronic literature, which for over a decade has been dominated by works designed on Adobe’s Flash platform. The accomplished scholars, artists, and curators on this panel focus on the death of Flash e-lit, the study and preservation of Flash works, and the rise in electronic literature of HTML5, JavaScript, and apps.

586. Early Modern Media Ecologies

Saturday, 11 January, 3:30–4:45 p.m., Great America, Chicago Marriott

Presiding: Jen Boyle, Coastal Carolina Univ.

  1. “Needlework Networks: Paper, Prints, and Female Authorship,” Whitney Trettien, Duke Univ.
  2. “Sidney Circularities: Music and Script in the Contrafactum Lyric,” Scott A. Trudell, Univ. of Maryland, College Park
  3. “Stage, Stall, Street, Sheet: Multimedia Shakespeare,” Adam G. Hooks, Univ. of Iowa

For abstracts, visit www.scotttrudell.com.

599. The Praxis Network: Rethinking Humanities Education, Together and in Public

Saturday, 11 January, 3:30–4:45 p.m., Arkansas, Sheraton Chicago

Presiding: Katina Rogers, MLA

Speakers: David F. Bell, Duke Univ.; Matthew K. Gold, New York City Coll. of Tech., City Univ. of New York; Kevin Kee, Brock Univ.; Cecilia Márquez, Univ. of Virginia; Kelli Massa, University Coll. London; William Albert Pannapacker, Hope Coll.; Donnie Sackey, Wayne State Univ.

For description of programs and overall project, visit praxis-network.org.

How can humanities programs better equip students for a wide range of careers, while also fostering methodological expertise and public engagement? This roundtable will discuss a few possible approaches as seen in the Praxis Network, a new international alliance of graduate and undergraduate programs that are making effective interventions in traditional models of humanities pedagogy and research.

618. FrostBytes: Archival Scholarship in the Digital Age

Saturday, 11 January, 3:30–4:45 p.m., Grace, Chicago Marriott

Presiding: Mark Steed Richardson, Doshisha Univ.; Donald Sheehy, Edinboro Univ. of Pennsylvania

The workshop will share information about Frost collections and about the status of digitization and electronic cataloging at major collections. Tools and procedures for locating and acquiring materials will be discussed. Our purpose is to plan the creation, development, and maintenance of a comprehensive digital resource—under the aegis of the Frost Society—for Frost scholarship.

651. Women in the Expanding University: Global and Local

Saturday, 11 January, 5:15–6:30 p.m., Northwestern–Ohio State, Chicago Marriott

Presiding: Rebecka Rutledge Fisher, Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Speakers: Diana Elizabeth Henderson, Massachusetts Inst. of Tech.; Teresa Mangum, Univ. of Iowa; Margaret Soltan, George Washington Univ.; Catharine Roslyn Stimpson, New York Univ.

Women are often at the center of debates about technological pedagogy. Taking women and the “expanding university” as our framework, we will address pedagogical strategies, forms of community engagement, and prospects for women’s activism offered by new technologies. This session promises to open a space for critique of emerging technologies even as it identifies new avenues of innovation.

658. New Directions in William Carlos Williams Studies

Saturday, 11 January, 5:15–6:30 p.m., Sheffield, Chicago Marriott

Presiding: Daniel Burke, Marquette Univ.

Speakers: Julia Bloch, Univ. of Pennsylvania; Samantha Carrick, Univ. of Southern California; Julia Daniel, West Virginia Univ., Morgantown; Margaret Konkol, Univ. at Buffalo, State Univ. of New York; Serena Le, Univ. of California, Berkeley; Lisa Siraganian, Southern Methodist Univ.; Erin Templeton, Converse Coll.

For abstracts, visit wcwsociety.wordpress.com/.

Speakers will present contemporary approaches to Williams studies in a “lightning talk” Pecha Kucha format. Topics will include Williams and aging, eco-Williams, Williams and contemporary pedagogy, Williams and food and drug studies, sonic Williams, and digital Williams.

659. Text-nology Idea Jam: Doing New and Old Things with Old and New Books

Saturday, 11 January, 5:15–6:30 p.m., Chicago H, Chicago Marriott

Presiding: Tamara O’Callaghan, Northern Kentucky Univ.

Speakers: Clarissa Ai Ling Lee, Duke Univ.; William Germano, Cooper Union; Andrea R. Harbin, State Univ. of New York, Cortland; Tamara O’Callaghan; Katherine Ruffin, Wellesley Coll.; Eleanor F. Shevlin, West Chester Univ.; Sarah Werner, Folger Shakespeare Library

For idea itinerary, explanation of format, and proposed questions, visit www.nku.edu/~ocallaghant/IdeaJamMLA2014.htm.

This workshop is an “idea jam”—an event run by participants rather than by facilitators—on the impact of technology on the text and reading practices. Each facilitator will propose an open-ended question related to the idea jam topic. Participants then work with the facilitator whose question most intrigues them to brainstorm ideas, concerns, etc.

679. Decolonizing DH: Theories and Practices of Postcolonial Digital Humanities

Sunday, 12 January, 8:30–9:45 a.m., Purdue-Wisconsin, Chicago Marriott

Presiding: Roopika Risam, Salem State Univ.

Speakers: Alexander Gil, Columbia Univ.; Adeline Koh, Richard Stockton Coll. of New Jersey; Porter Olsen, Univ. of Maryland, College Park; Amit Ray, Rochester Inst. of Tech.

Responding: Anna Everett, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara

For abstracts, visit dhpoco.org.

This roundtable outlines the shape of contemporary postcolonial digital humanities and interrogates how postcolonial studies have evolved through different phases of Internet culture. The roundtable begins a public conversation about the contours, stakes, and limits of postcolonial digital humanities by exploring the roles of colonialism, imperialism, and globalization in digital cultures.

692. Encoding and Decoding William Blake

Sunday, 12 January, 8:30–9:45 a.m., Michigan–Michigan State, Chicago Marriott

Presiding: Sheila A. Spector, Brooklyn, NY

  1. “Encoding and Decoding Blake’s Book Illustrations: The Night Thoughts Watercolors,” Sheila A. Spector
  2. “William Blake’s Manuscript Production Decoded: How Blake Encoded Manuscript Culture in His Illuminated Works,” James Rovira, Tiffin Univ.

For abstracts, visit www.jamesrovira.com.

708. Critical Making in Digital Humanities

Sunday, 12 January, 10:15–11:30 a.m., Addison, Chicago Marriott

Presiding: Roger Whitson, Washington State Univ., Pullman

  1. “Theorizing Collaborative Making: Between Writing, Programming, and Development,” Amaranth Borsuk, Univ. of Washington, Bothell; Dene M. Grigar, Washington State Univ., Vancouver
  2. “Toward a History of Critical Making in the Humanities,” Kari M. Kraus, Univ. of Maryland, College Park; Jentery Sayers, Univ. of Victoria

Responding: Garnet Hertz, Univ. of California, Irvine

For abstracts, visit www.rogerwhitson.net/criticalmaking2014 after 15 Dec.

717. Women, Collaboration, and New Media

Sunday, 12 January, 10:15–11:30 a.m., Great America, Chicago Marriott

Presiding: Kate Flint, Univ. of Southern California

  1. “When to (Dis)Engage: Collaboration without Sexism,” Laura C. Mandell, Texas A&M Univ., College Station
  2. “Women + Collaboration + New Media = E-literature Literary Criticism,” Jessica Pressman, Univ. of California, San Diego
  3. “Women Who Rock: Making Scenes, Building Communities,” Kathleen Woodward, Univ. of Washington, Seattle

724. The Data Is the Scholarship

Sunday, 12 January, 10:15–11:30 a.m., Parlor C, Sheraton Chicago

Presiding: Kenneth M. Price, Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln

  1. “The Data of Revision: TextLab and the Theory of Fluid-Text Editing,” John Bryant, Hofstra Univ.; Nicholas Laiacona, Performant Software Solutions
  2. “Prime Timelines: Visualizing Televisual Time and Narrative Temporality,” Joel Burges, Univ. of Rochester; Nora Dimmock, Univ. of Rochester
  3. “Editing, Encoding, and Ambiguity in Folger Digital Texts,” Rebecca Niles, Folger Shakespeare Library; Michael Poston, Folger Shakespeare Library

738. Book History and Digital Humanities

Sunday, 12 January, 10:15–11:30 a.m., Lincolnshire, Chicago Marriott

Presiding: Lise Jaillant, Newcastle Univ.

Speakers: Claire Battershill, Univ. of Reading; Michael Gavin, Univ. of South Carolina, Columbia; Matthew Lavin, Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln; Hannah McGregor, Univ. of Alberta; Greg Prickman, Univ. of Iowa; Andrew M. Stauffer, Univ. of Virginia; Elizabeth Willson Gordon, King’s Univ. Coll.

For abstracts, visit sharpweb.org.

Book history might evoke images of Luddite rare-books connoisseurs and bibliographers. Yet, book historians have long been interested in the impact of technological changes on the creation and diffusion of texts. This informal discussion will shed light on the digital future of book history and on the bibliographical roots of digital humanities.

748. Tumblr Vulnerabilities

Sunday, 12 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Indiana-Iowa, Chicago Marriott

Presiding: Aren Aizura, Arizona State Univ.

Speakers: Kara Jesella, New York Univ.; Nicholas Mitchell, Univ. of California, Berkeley; Roy Pérez, Willamette Univ.; Jeanne Vaccaro, Univ. of Pennsylvania

Responding: Alexis Lothian, Indiana Univ. of Pennsylvania

For abstracts, write to aren.aizura@gmail.com after 19 Nov.

How is the microblogging platform Tumblr an affective space for queer and dangerous critique in and outside the academy? What are the politics of blogging on Tumblr as scholars in a professional climate where “online presence” is the consummate CV attribute? How does Tumblr provoke or align itself with the specter of the digital humanities and its proprietary software platforms?

754. Lit Misbehaving: Responding to New and Changing Modes of Creative Production

Sunday, 12 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Northwestern–Ohio State, Chicago Marriott

Presiding: Rachael Sullivan, Univ. of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

  1. “Bonfires, Lesbians, Depression, and Rape: Twine, Feminist Voices, and Agency in Game Narratives,” Anastasia Salter, Univ. of Baltimore
  2. “Turn Up the Opacity: Discussing Discomfort with Digital Modes,” Daniel Anderson, Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  3. “E-books, Typography, and Twitter Art,” Zach Whalen, Univ. of Mary Washington

Responding: Stuart Moulthrop, Univ. of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

For abstracts, visit rachaelsullivan.com.

776. E-literature and Translations: Database, Platform, Language

Sunday, 12 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., Chicago A–B, Chicago Marriott

Presiding: Kathi Inman Berens, Univ. of Southern California

  1. “Remediating LidantJU fAram,” Jonathan Baillehache, Univ. of Georgia
  2. “Lost and Found in Translation: How the Electronic Literature Knowledge Base Translates a Field into Data,” Jill Walker Rettberg, Univ. of Bergen
  3. “Meditation Level Up: Sony Playstation 2 and The Night Journey,” Kathi Inman Berens

For abstracts, visit kathiiberens.com/2013/05/31/mla14-panel/.

782. Geospatial Literary Studies

Sunday, 12 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., Ontario, Sheraton Chicago

Presiding: David Joseph Wrisley, American Univ. of Beirut

  1. “The Meanings of the City: A Data-Mining Approach to Mapping Early Modern London,” Anupam Basu, Washington Univ. in St. Louis
  2. “Locating the Bookstore: Antebellum Literary Landscapes and Contemporary Interpretive Practice,” Kristen Doyle Highland, New York Univ.
  3. “Mapping (Dis)Ease: Narratives of Influenza and Migration during the 2009 H1N1 Pandemic,” Anne Stachura, Univ. of Texas–Pan American
  4. “Mapping Knowledge Networks in British Newspapers of the Long Eighteenth Century,” Rachael King, New York Univ.

792. Old Materials, New Materialisms

Sunday, 12 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., Missouri, Sheraton Chicago

Presiding: Robert Markley, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana

  1. “Objects, Authors, and Other Matter(s) in the Gloria Anzaldúa Archive,” Suzanne M. Bost, Loyola Univ., Chicago
  2. “Writing Histories of Listening: Acoustemology as Literary Practice,” Ely Rosenblum, Univ. of Cambridge
  3. “Even the Stones Cry Out: Archival Research and the Inhuman Turn,” Andrew Ferguson, Univ. of Virginia
  4. “A Life of Its Own: A Vital Materialist Look at the Medieval Manuscript as an Agentic Assemblage,” Angela Bennett Segler, New York Univ.

805. In the Meme Time

Sunday, 12 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., Northwestern–Ohio State, Chicago Marriott

Presiding: John W. Mowitt, Univ. of Leeds

  1. “C’est la même,” Sarah Juliet Lauro, Clemson Univ.
  2. “Vaccinating against the Virus of the Mind: Incorporating Agency into the Meme Equation,” Kate Miltner, Social Media Collective, Microsoft Research New England
  3. “All Together Now: Beyond the Totalizing Meme,” Peter Krapp, Univ. of California, Irvine

807. Traffic

Sunday, 12 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., Indiana-Iowa, Chicago Marriott

Presiding: Mark Goble, Univ. of California, Berkeley

  1. “Traffic in High-Frequency Stock Trading: Risk and Instability with the Nonhuman,” N. Katherine Hayles, Duke Univ.
  2. “The Project: Transmedia Games and Network Aesthetics,” Patrick Jagoda, Univ. of Chicago
  3. “The View from Above,” Kate Marshall, Univ. of Notre Dame

Electronic Literature after Flash (MLA14 Proposal)

April 10th, 2013 § 6 comments § permalink

gamegame6I recently proposed a sequence of lightning talks for the next Modern Language Association convention in Chicago (January 2014). The participants are tackling a literary issue that is not at all theoretical: the future of electronic literature. I’ve also built in a substantial amount of time for an open discussion between the audience and my participants—who are all key figures in the world of new media studies. And I’m thrilled that two of them—Dene Grigar and Stuart Moulthrop—just received an NEH grant dedicated to a similar question, which is documenting the experience of early electronic literature.

Electronic literature can be broadly conceived as literary works created for digital media that in some way take advantage of the unique affordances of those technological forms. Hallmarks of electronic literature (e-lit) include interactivity, immersiveness, fluidly kinetic text and images, and a reliance on the procedural and algorithmic capabilities of computers. Unlike the avant garde art and experimental poetry that is its direct forebear, e-lit has been dominated for much of its existence by a single, proprietary technology: Adobe’s Flash. For fifteen years, many e-lit authors have relied on Flash—and its earlier iteration, Macromedia Shockwave—to develop their multimedia works. And for fifteen years, readers of e-lit have relied on Flash running in their web browsers to engage with these works.

Flash is dying though. Apple does not allow Flash in its wildly popular iPhones and iPads. Android no longer supports Flash on its smartphones and tablets. Even Adobe itself has stopped throwing its weight behind Flash. Flash is dying. And with it, potentially an entire generation of e-lit work that cannot be accessed without Flash. The slow death of Flash also leaves a host of authors who can no longer create in their chosen medium. It’s as if a novelist were told that she could no longer use a word processor—indeed, no longer even use words.

Or is it?

This roundtable brings together a range of practicing e-lit authors and scholars to discuss what the end of Flash means for electronic literature, new media, and the broader field of digital humanities. Each participant will limit his or her remarks to a strictly-timed six minutes, with the bulk of the session devoted to an open discussion between the panel and the audience. We will open with Chris Funkhouser, who argues that the importance of Flash to digital poetry in the early years of the 21st century cannot be understated. An e-lit poet himself, Funkhouser suggests that it is not the end of the software itself that is his primary concern, but the question of what happens to the aesthetic principles that have emerged out of Flash.

Building on Funkhouser’s ideas, Dene Grigar will next highlight two critical characteristics of Flash poetry: kinopoeia (movement that imitates or suggests a word or idea) and musicopoeia (music that imitates or suggests a word or idea). Grigar highlights three works that show the need for such new terminology: Ana Maria Uribe’s Anipoemas, John Kusch’s Red Lily, and Thom Swiss’s Shy Boy.

After Funkhauser’s and Grigar’s introductions to Flash we move to questions about the preservation, emulation, and study of Flash-based electronic literature. Zach Whalen begins this discussion by recalling earlier concerns about the preservation of web-based e-lit. Whalen focuses on Talan Memmot’s groundbreaking Lexia to Perplexia, which cannot be viewed in modern web browsers. Whalen explores why Lexia to Perplexia “breaks” and what one must alter in order to “fix” it. Whalen then questions the tacit assumption of digital preservation projects, which is that digital works must always be preserved. Ultimately, Whalen concludes that ephemerality and obsolescence are significant aesthetic properties of electronic literary works.

Next, Leonardo Flores picks up on the ethical and artistic dimensions of preservation by exploring the strategies that e-lit authors have developed to extend the life of their works. Using Dreaming Methods and R3/\/\1X\/\/0RX (remixworx)—two British e-lit collectives—as his case studies, Flores finds one strategy is to make the source material of individual works public, while another strategy involves migrating works to alternative platforms, such as HTML5 or iOS, that offer similar—but not the same—functionality.

The importance of code arises in both Whalen’s and Flores’ lightning talks, and Mark Marino pursues this question full throttle in his talk about code studies and Flash e-lit. Marino grounds his insights in his collaborative study of William Poundstone’s canonical work, Project for Tachistoscope [Bottomless Pit]. Marino suggests that studying the underlying ActionScript code of Project for Tachistoscope can deepen our understanding of the work, revealing new layers to the work that more screen-focused analyses neglect.

The final two lightning talks imagine the future of electronic literature without Flash. Amanda Visconti surveys the way e-lit can appropriate digital platforms that were never designed for poetics or narrative. Visconti argues that such platform poaching combines the veneer of credibility associated with a digital archive or a wiki with a narrative license that is simultaneously ethically dangerous and rich with possibilities for counterfactual knowledge.

Finally, the formal part of the roundtable ends with Stuart Moulthrop, the author of some of the most widely read and taught electronic literature works. In an act of provocation Moulthrop argues that “there never was such a thing as Flash.” Moulthrop sees Flash as a blip in the idiosyncratic timeline of electronic literature. Flash was, Moulthrop points out, an always-limited convenience, merely a way of developing interesting interfaces for the Web. Moulthrop ultimately finds that the idea of an interface-based literary art is larger and more durable than Adobe’s powerful but deeply flawed product. 

Moderated by Mark Sample, this diverse “Electronic Literature after Flash” roundtable capitalizes upon the growing interest in electronic literature—and the digital humanities more generally. Given its focus on the preservation and study of soon-to-be obsolescent forms of technology, this roundtable will also appeal to MLA members invested in the more conventional fields of textual studies, bibliographic preservation, media studies, and information sciences. And finally, the roundtable speaks to the enduring concerns of authors and artists who simply want their works to be available and accessible to future generations of readers.

Image: game, game, game, and again game by Jason Nelson

An Account of Randomness in Literary Computing

January 8th, 2013 § 18 comments § permalink

imageBelow is the text of my presentation at the 2013 MLA Convention in Boston. The panel was Reading the Invisible and Unwanted in Old and New Media, and it was assembled by Lori Emerson, Paul Benzon, Zach Whalen, and myself.

Seeking to have a rich discussion period—which we did indeed have—we limited our talks to about 12 minutes each. My presentation was therefore more evocative than comprehensive, more open-ended than conclusive. There are primary sources I’m still searching for and technical details I’m still sorting out. I welcome feedback, criticism, and leads.


An Account of Randomness in Literary Computing
Mark Sample
MLA 2013, Boston

There’s a very simple question I want to ask this evening:

Where does randomness come from?

Randomness has a rich history in arts and literature, which I don’t need to go into today. Suffice it to say that long before Tristan Tzara suggested writing a poem by pulling words out of a hat, artists, composers, and writers have used so-called “chance operations” to create unpredictable, provocative, and occasionally nonsensical work. John Cage famously used chance operations in his experimental compositions, relying on lists of random numbers from Bell Labs to determine elements like pitch, amplitude, and duration (Holmes 107–108). Jackson Mac Low similarly used random numbers to generate his poetry, in particular relying on a book called A Million Random Digits with 100,000 Normal Deviates to supply him with the random numbers (Zweig 85).

RAND-Million-Random-Digits-Open-Small

Million Random Digits with 100,000 Normal Deviates

 

Published by the RAND Corporation in 1955 to supply Cold War scientists with random numbers to use in statistical modeling (Bennett 135), the book is still in print—and you should check out the parody reviews on Amazon.com. “With so many terrific random digits,” one reviewer jokes, “it’s a shame they didn’t sort them, to make it easier to find the one you’re looking for.”

This joke actually speaks to a key aspect of randomness: the need to reuse random numbers, so that, say you’re running a simulation of nuclear fission, you can repeat the simulation with the same random numbers—that is, the same probability—while testing some other variable. In fact, most of the early work on random number generation in the United States was funded by either the U.S. Atomic Commission or the U.S. Military (Montfort et al. 128). The RAND Corporation itself began as a research and development arm of the U.S. Air Force.

Now the thing with going down a list of random numbers in a book, or pulling words out of hat—a composition method, by the way, Thom Yorke used for Kid A after a frustrating bout of writer’s block—is that the process is visible. Randomness in these cases produces surprises, but the source itself of randomness is not a surprise. You can see how it’s done.

What I want to ask here today is, where does randomness come from when it’s invisible? What’s the digital equivalent of pulling words out of a hat? And what are the implications of chance operations performed by a machine?

To begin to answer these questions I am going to look at two early works of electronic literature that rely on chance operations. And when I say early works of electronic literature, I mean early, from fifty and sixty years ago. One of these works has been well studied and the other has been all but forgotten.

fer

My first case study is the Strachey Love Letter Generator. Programmed by Christopher Strachey, a close friend of Alan Turing, the Love Letter Generator is likely—as Noah Wardrip-Fruin argues—the first work of electronic literature, which is to say a digital work that somehow makes us more aware of language and meaning-making. Strachey’s program “wrote” a series of purplish prose love letters on the Ferranti Mark I Computer—the first commercially available computer—at Manchester University in 1952 (Wardrip-Fruin “Digital Media” 302):

DARLING SWEETHEART
YOU ARE MY AVID FELLOW FEELING. MY AFFECTION CURIOUSLY CLINGS TO YOUR PASSIONATE WISH. MY LIKING YEARNS FOR YOUR HEART. YOU ARE MY WISTFUL SYMPATHY: MY TENDER LIKING.
YOURS BEAUTIFULLY
M. U. C.

Affectionately known as M.U.C., the Manchester University Computer could produce these love letters at a pace of one per minute, for hours on end, without producing a duplicate.

The “trick,” as Strachey put it in a 1954 essay about the program (29-30), is its two template sentences (My adjective noun adverb verb your adjective noun and You are my adjective noun) in which the nouns, adjectives, and adverbs are randomly selected from a list of words Strachey had culled from a Roget’s thesaurus. Adverbs and adjectives randomly drop out of the sentence as well, and the computer randomly alternates the two sentences.

image008The Love Letter Generator has attracted—for a work of electronic literature—a great deal of scholarly attention. Using Strachey’s original notes and source code (see figure to the left), which are archived at the Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford, David Link has built an emulator that runs Strachey’s program, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin has written a masterful study of both the generator and its historical context.

As Wardrip-Fruin calculates, given that there are 31 possible adjectives after the first sentence’s opening possessive pronoun “My” and then 20 possible nouns that could that could occupy the following slot, the first three words of this sentence alone have 899 possibilities. And the entire sentence has over 424 million combinations (424,305,525 to be precise) (“Digital Media” 311).

424millioncombos

A partial list of word combinations for a single sentence from the Strachey Love Letter Generator

On the whole, Strachey was publicly dismissive of his foray into the literary use of computers. In his 1954 essay, which appeared in the prestigious trans-Atlantic arts and culture journal Encounter (a journal, it would be revealed in the late 1960s, that was primarily funded by the CIA—see Berry, 1993), Strachey used the example of the love letters to illustrate his point that simple rules can generate diverse and unexpected results (Strachey 29-30). And indeed, the Love Letter Generator qualifies as an early example of what Wardrip-Fruin calls, referring to a different work entirely, the Tale-Spin effect: a surface illusion of simplicity which hides a much more complicated—and often more interesting—series of internal processes (Expressive Processing 122).

Wardrip-Fruin coined this term—the Tale-Spin effect—from Tale-Spin, an early story generation system designed by James Mehann at Yale University in 1976. Tale-Spin tended to produce flat, plodding narratives, though there was the occasional existential story:

[quote style="1"]Henry Ant was thirsty. He walked over to the river bank where his good friend Bill Bird was sitting. Henry slipped and fell in the river. He was unable to call for help. He drowned.[/quote]

But even in these suggestive cases, the narratives give no sense of the process-intensive—to borrow from Chris Crawford—calculations and assumptions occurring behind the interface of Tale-Spin.

In a similar fashion, no single love letter reveals the combinatory procedures at work by the Mark I computer.

JEWEL MOPPET
MY AFFECTION LUSTS FOR YOUR TENDERNESS. YOU ARE MY PASSIONATE DEVOTION: MY WISTFUL TENDERNESS. MY LIKING WOOS YOUR DEVOTION. MY APPETITE ARDENTLY TREASURES YOUR FERVENT HUNGER.
YOURS WINNINGLY
M. U. C.

This Tale-Spin effect—the underlying processes obscured by the seemingly simplistic, even comical surface text—are what draw Wardrip-Fruin to the work. But I want to go deeper than the algorithmic process that can produce hundreds of millions of possible love letters. I want to know, what is the source of randomness in the algorithm? We know Strachey’s program employs randomness, but where does that randomness come from? This is something the program—the source code itself—cannot tell us, because randomness operates at a different level, not at the level of code or software, but in the machine itself, at the level of hardware.

In the case of Strachey’s Love Letter Generator, we must consider the computer it was designed for, the Mark I. One of the remarkable features of this computer was that it had a hardware-based random number generator. The random number generator pulled a string of random numbers from what Turing called “resistance noise”—that is, electrical signals produced by the physical functioning of the machine itself—and put the twenty least significant digits of this number into the Mark I’s accumulator—its primary mathematical engine (Turing). Alan Turing himself specifically requested this feature, having theorized with his earlier Turing Machine that a purely logical machine could not produce randomness (Shiner). And Turing knew—like his Cold War counterparts in the United States—that random numbers were crucial for any kind of statistical modeling of nuclear fission.

I have more to say about randomness in the Strachey Love Letter Generator, but before I do, I want to move to my second case study. This is an early, largely unheralded work called SAGA. SAGA was a script-writing program on the TX-0 computer. The TX-0 was the first computer to replace vacuum tubes with transistors and also the first to use interactive graphics—it even had a light pen.

The TX-0 was built at Lincoln Laboratory in 1956—a classified MIT facility in Bedford, Massachusetts chartered with the mission of designing the nation’s first air defense detection system. After TX-0 proved that transistors could out-perform and outlast vacuum tubes, the computer was transferred to MIT’s Research Laboratory of Electronics in 1958 (McKenzie), where it became a kind of playground for the first generation of hackers (Levy 29-30).

vlcsnap-2013-01-02-21h53m01s188In 1960, CBS broadcast an hour-long special about computers called “The Thinking Machine.” For the show MIT engineers Douglas Ross and Harrison Morse wrote a 13,000 line program in six weeks that generated a climactic shoot-out scene from a Western.

Several computer-generated variations of the script were performed on the CBS program. As Ross told the story years later, “The CBS director said, ‘Gee, Westerns are so cut and dried couldn’t you write a program for one?’ And I was talked into it.”

image

The TX-0’s large—for the time period—magnetic core memory was used “to keep track of everything down to the actors’ hands.” As Ross explained it, “The logic choreographed the movement of each object, hands, guns, glasses, doors, etc.” (“Highlights from the Computer Museum Report”).

And here, is the actual output from the TX-0, printed on the lab’s Flexowriter printer, where you can get a sense of the way SAGA generated the play:

TX-0 SAGA Output

In the CBS broadcast, Ross explained the narrative sequence as a series of forking paths.

image

Each “run” of SAGA was defined by sixteen initial state variables, with each state having several weighted branches (Ross 2). For example, one of the initial settings is who sees whom first. Does the sheriff see the robber first or is it the other way around? This variable will influence who shoots first as well.

There’s also a variable the programmers called the “inebriation factor,” which increases a bit with every shot of whiskey, and doubles for every swig straight from the bottle. The more the robber drinks, the less logical he will be. In short, every possibility has its own likely consequence, measured in terms of probability.

The MIT engineers had a mathematical formula for this probability (Ross 2):

image

But more revealing to us is the procedure itself of writing one of these Western playlets.

First, a random number was set; this number determined the probability of the various weighted branches. The programmers did this simply by typing a number following the RUN command when they launched SAGA; you can see this in the second slide above, where the random number is 51455. Next a timing number established how long the robber is alone before the sheriff arrives (the longer the robber is alone, the more likely he’ll drink). Finally each state variable is read, and the outcome—or branch—of each step is determined.

What I want to call your attention to is how the random number is not generated by the machine. It is entered in “by hand” when one “runs” the program. In fact, launching SAGA with the same random number and the same switch settings will reproduce a play exactly (Ross 2).

In a foundational work in 1996 called The Virtual Muse Charles Hartman observed that randomness “has always been the main contribution that computers have made to the writing of poetry”—and one might be tempted to add, to electronic literature in general (Hartman 30). Yet the two case studies I have presented today complicate this notion. The Strachey Love Letter Generator would appear to exemplify the use of randomness in electronic literature. But—and I didn’t say this earlier—the random numbers generated by the Mark I’s method tended not to be reliably random enough; remember, random numbers often need to be reused, so that the programs that run them can be repeated. This is called pseudo-randomness. This is why books like the RAND Corporation’s A Million Random Digits is so valuable.

But the Mark I’s random numbers were so unreliable that they made debugging programs difficult, because errors never occurred the same way twice. The random number instruction eventually fell out of use on the machine (Campbell-Kelly 136). Skip ahead 8 years to the TX-0 and we find a computer that doesn’t even have a random number generator. The random numbers must be entered manually.

The examples of the Love Letters and SAGA suggest at least two things about the source of randomness in literary computing. One, there is a social-historical source; wherever you look at randomness in early computing, the Cold War is there. The impact of the Cold War upon computing and videogames has been well-documented (see, for example Edwards, 1996 and Crogan, 2011), but few have studied how deeply embedded the Cold War is in the software algorithms and hardware processes themselves of modern computing.

Second, randomness does not have a progressive timeline. The story of randomness in computing—and especially in literary computing—is neither straightforward nor self-evident. Its history is uneven, contested, and mostly invisible. So that even when we understand the concept of randomness in electronic literature—and new media in general—we often misapprehend its source.

WORKS CITED

Bennett, Deborah. Randomness. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998. Print.

Berry, Neil. “Encounter.” Antioch Review 51.2 (1993): 194. Print.

Crogan, Patrick. Gameplay Mode: War, Simulation, and Technoculture. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2011. Print.

Edwards, Paul N. The Closed World: Computers and the Politics of Discourse in Cold War America. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1996. Print.

Hartman, Charles O. Virtual Muse: Experiments in Computer Poetry. Hanover, NH: Wesleyan University Press, 1996. Print.

“Highlights from the Computer Museum Report.” Spring 1984. Web. 23 Dec. 2012.

Holmes, Thomas B. Electronic and Experimental Music: A History of a New Sound. Psychology Press, 2002. Print.

Levy, Steven. Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution. Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly Media, 2010. Print.

McKenzie, John A. “TX-0 Computer History.” 1 Oct. 1974. Web. 20 Dec. 2012.

Montfort, Nick et al. 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2013. Print.

Ross, D.T. “Memorandum 8436-M-29: Preliminary Operating Notes for SAGA II.” 19 Oct. 1960. 20 Dec. 2012. <http://bitsavers.trailing-edge.com/pdf/mit/tx-0/memos/Morse_SAGAII_Oct60.pdf>.

Shiner, Jeff. “Alan Turing’s Contribution Can’t Be Computed.” Agile Blog. 29 Dec. 2012. <http://blog.agilebits.com/2012/12/08/alan-turings-contribution-cant-be-computed/>.

Strachey, Christopher. “The ‘Thinking’ Machine.” Encounter III.4 (1954) : 25–31. Print.

Turing, A.M. “Programmers’ Handbook for the Manchester Electronic Computer Mark II.” Oct. 1952. Web. 23 Dec. 2012.

Wardrip-Fruin, Noah. “Digital Media Archaeology: Interpreting Computational Processes.” Media Archaeology: Approaches, Applications, and Implications. Ed by. Erkki Huhtamo & Jussi Parikka. Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 2011. Print.

—. Expressive Processing: Digital Fictions, Computer Games, and Software Sudies. MIT Press, 2009. Print.

Zweig, Ellen. “Jackson Mac Low: The Limits of Formalism.” Poetics Today 3.3 (1982): 79–86. Web. 1 Jan. 2013.

IMAGE CREDITS (in order of appearance)

Being, On. Alan Turing and the Mark 1. 2010. 24 Dec. 2012. <http://www.flickr.com/photos/speakingoffaith/4422523721/>.

A Million Random Digits with 100,000 Normal Deviates. Courtesy of Casey Reas and10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1));: GOTO 10. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2013. 129.

“Ferranti Mark 1 Sales Literature.” 24 Dec. 2012. <http://www.computer50.org/kgill/mark1/sale.html>.

Image of Love Letter Source code courtesy of Link, David. “There Must Be an Angel: On the Beginnings of the Arithmetics of Rays.” 2006. 23 Dec. 2012. <http://alpha60.de/research/muc/DavidLink_RadarAngels_EN.htm>.

Still Image from “The Thinking Machine.” CBS, October 26, 1960. <http://techtv.mit.edu/videos/10268-the-thinking-machine-1961—mit-centennial-film>.

Western Drama Written by TX-0. 1960. Computer History Museum. Web. 20 Dec. 2012. <http://www.computerhistory.org/collections/accession/102631242>.

SAGA Printout from Pfeiffer, John E. The Thinking Machine. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1962. 132. Print.

Doug Ross Explaining TX-0 Program in the Film “The Thinking Machine.” 1960. Computer History Museum. Web. 20 Dec. 2012. <http://www.computerhistory.org/collections/accession/102631241>.

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

November 3rd, 2012 § 14 comments § permalink

Photograph of a CrowdOn 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. The majority of the session was dedicated to Q&A moderated by Steve Pearlstein, but I did speak briefly about social pedagogy. Below are my remarks.


This morning I’d to share a few of my experiences with what you could call social pedagogy—a term I’ve borrowed from Randy Bass at the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship at Georgetown University. Think of social pedagogy as outward facing pedagogy, in which learners connect to each other and to the world, and not just the professor. Social Pedagogy is also a lean-forward pedagogy. At its best a lean-forward pedagogy generates engagement, attention, and anticipation. Students literally lean forward. The opposite of a lean-forward pedagogy is of course a lean-back pedagogy. Just picture a student leaning back in the chair, passive, slack, and even bored.

A lean-forward social pedagogy doesn’t have to involve technology at all, but this morning I want to describe two examples from my own teaching that use Twitter. Last fall I was teaching a science fiction class and we were preparing to watch Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner. Since I wasn’t screening the film in class, students would be watching it in all sorts of contexts: on Netflix in the residence hall, on a reserve DVD upstairs in the JC, rented from iTunes, a BluRay collector’s set at home, and so on. However, I still wanted to create a collective experience out of these disparate viewings. To this end, I asked students to “live tweet” their own viewing, posting to Twitter whatever came to mind as they watched the film.

In this way I turned movie watching—a lean-back activity—into a lean-forward practice. And because the students often directed their tweets as replies to each other, it was social, much more social than viewing the film in class together. Over a 5-day period I had hundreds of tweets coming in, and I used a tool called Storify to track rhetorical and interpretative moves students made during this assignment. In particular, I categorized the incoming tweets, bringing to the surface some underlying themes in my students’ tweets. And then we began the next class period by examining the tweets and the themes they pointed to.

My next example of a social pedagogy assignment comes from later in the semester in the same science fiction class. I had students write a “Twitter essay.” This is an idea I borrowed from Jesse Stommel at Georgia Tech. For this activity, students wrote an “essay” of exactly 140 characters defining the word “alien.” The 140-character constraint makes this essay into a kind of puzzle, one that requires lean-forward style of engagement. And of course, I posed the essay question in a 140-character tweet:

twitteressay

Again I used Storify to capture my students’ essays and cluster them around themes. I was also able to highlight a Twitter debate that broke out among my students about the differences between the words alien and foreign. This was a productive debate that I’m not sure would have occurred if I hadn’t forced the students into being so precise—because they were on Twitter—about their use of language.

And finally, I copied and pasted the text from all the Twitter essays into Wordle, which generated a word cloud—in which every word is sized according to its frequency.

alien_defn_word_cloud

The word cloud gave me an admittedly reductivist snapshot of all the definitions of alien my students came up with. But the image ended up driving our next class discussion, as we debated what made it onto the word cloud and why.

These are two fairly simple, low-stakes activities I did in class. But they highlight this blend of technology and a lean-forward social pedagogy that I have increasingly tried to integrate into my teaching—and to think critically about as a way of fostering inquiry and discovery with my students.

[Crowd photograph courtesy of Flickr user Michael Dornbierer / Creative Commons Licensed]

Digital Humanities at MLA 2013

October 17th, 2012 § 22 comments § permalink

Boys Picking Over Garbage, Boston 1909What follows is a comprehensive list of digital humanities sessions at the 2013 Modern Language Association Conference in Boston.

These are sessions that in some way address the influence and impact of digital materials and tools upon language, literary, textual, and media studies, as well as upon online pedagogy and scholarly communication. The 2013 list stands at 66 sessions, a slight increase from 58 sessions in 2012 (and 44 in 2011, and only 27 the year before). Perhaps the incremental increase this year means that the digital humanities presence at the convention is topping out, leveling out at 8% of the 795 total sessions. Or maybe it’s an indicator of growing resistance to what some see as the hegemony of digital humanities. Or it could be that I simply missed some sessions—if so, please correct me in the comments and I’ll add the session to the list.

In addition to events on the official program, there’s also a pre-convention workshop, Getting Started in the Digital Humanities with DHCommons (registration is now closed for this, alas) and a Technology and Humanities “unconference” (registration still open). And I’ll also highly recommend the Electronic Literature Exhibit, in the Exhibit Hall.

One final note: the title of each panel links back to its official description in the convention program, which occasionally includes supplemental material uploaded by panel participants.

[Photo credit: Lewis Hine, Boys picking over garbage on "the Dumps," Boston, 1909 / Courtesy of the Library of Congress]


2. Digital Pedagogy: An Unconference Workshop

Thursday, 3 January, 8:30–11:30 a.m., Republic B, Sheraton  

Presiding: Brian Croxall, Emory Univ.; Adeline Koh, Richard Stockton Coll. of New Jersey

This workshop is an "unconference" on digital pedagogy. Unconferences are participant-driven gatherings where attendees spontaneously generate the itinerary. Participants will propose discussion topics in advance on our Web site, voting on final sessions at the workshop’s start. Attendees will consider what they would like to learn and instruct others about teaching with technology. Preregistration required.

3. Evaluating Digital Work for Tenure and Promotion: A Workshop for Evaluators and Candidates

Thursday, 3 January, 8:30–11:30 a.m., Republic A, Sheraton

Presiding: Alison Byerly, Middlebury Coll.; Kathleen Fitzpatrick, MLA; Katherine A. Rowe, Bryn Mawr Coll.

Facilitated discussion about evaluating work in digital media (e.g., scholarly editions, databases, digital mapping projects, born-digital creative or scholarly work). Designed for both creators of digital materials and administrators or colleagues who evaluate those materials, the workshop will propose strategies for documenting, presenting, and evaluating such work. Preregistration required.

18. Old Wine in New Wineskins: The Collected Works Project in the Digital Age

Thursday, 3 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Jefferson, Sheraton

Presiding: Jude V. Nixon, Salem State Univ.

  1. "The Collected Works of Elizabeth Barrett Browning: Print Editions, Digital Surrounds, and Preservation," Sandra M. Donaldson, Univ. of North Dakota; Marjorie I. Stone, Dalhousie Univ.
  2. "A Virtual Edition of William Morris’s Collected Works," Florence S. Boos, Univ. of Iowa
  3. "The Novels of Sutton E. Griggs: A Critical Edition," Tess Chakkalakal, Bowdoin Coll.
  4. "Editing Henry James in the Digital Age," Pierre A. Walker, Salem State Univ.

22. Expanding Access: Building Bridges within Digital Humanities

Thursday, 3 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., 205, Hynes

Presiding: Trent M. Kays, Univ. of Minnesota, Twin Cities; Lee Skallerup Bessette, Morehead State Univ.

Speakers: Marc Fortin, Queen’s Univ.; Alexander Gil, Univ. of Virginia; Brian Larson, Univ. of Minnesota, Twin Cities; Sophie Marcotte, Concordia Univ.; Ernesto Priego, London, England

Digital humanities are often seen to be a monolith, as shown in recent publications that focus almost exclusively on the United States and English-language projects. This roundtable will bring together digital humanities scholars from seemingly disparate disciplines to show how bridges can be built among languages, cultures, and geographic regions in and through digital humanities.

39. Contemporary Novels and the Twenty-First-Century Media Ecology

Thursday, 3 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., The Fens, Sheraton

  1. "From Text to Work: Douglas Coupland’s Digital Interruptions and the Labor of Form," Paul Benzon, Temple Univ., Philadelphia
  2. "The Mediated Geographies of Miéville’s The City and the City," Richard Menke, Univ. of Georgia
  3. "Tom McCarthy’s Prehistory of Media," Aaron S. Worth, Boston Univ.

59. Francophonies numérisées / Digital Francophonies

Thursday, 3 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., 301, Hynes

Presiding: Eileen Lohka, Univ. of Calgary; Catherine Perry, Univ. of Notre Dame

  1. "The Internet Poetics of Patrick Chamoiseau and Édouard Glissant," Roxanna Curto, Univ. of Iowa
  2. "Toussaint en Amérique: Collaborations, dialogues et créations multi-disciplinaires," Alain-Philippe Durand, Univ. of Arizona
  3. "Bandes dessinées téléchargeables: Un nouveau moyen de mesurer la diffusion de la langue française au 21ème siècle," Henri-Simon Blanc-Hoang, Defense Lang. Inst.

60. Learning Outcomes in Online Second-Language Environments

Thursday, 3 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., 206, Hynes

Presiding: Sébastien Dubreil, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville

  1. "Teaching Language and Culture through Social Media and Networks," Edward M. Dixon, Univ. of Pennsylvania
  2. "Developing Pronunciation Skills at the Introductory Level: Motivating Students through Interpersonal Audio Discussions," Cindy Lepore, Univ. of Alabama, Tuscaloosa
  3. "Español Two Hundred: Bridging Medium, Collaboration, and Communities of Practice," Adolfo Carrillo Cabello, Iowa State Univ.; Cristina Pardo Ballester, Iowa State Univ.

71. A More Capacious Conception: Digital Scholarship and Tenure

Thursday, 3 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., Public Garden, Sheraton

Presiding: Nate Kreuter, Western Carolina Univ.

  1. "Metathesiophobia and the Impossible Math of the Scholarly Monograph," Patricia Roberts-Miller, Univ. of Texas, Austin
  2. "Hope and Habit(u)s?" Victor J. Vitanza, Clemson Univ.
  3. "Publishing Long-Form Multimedia Scholarship: Thinking about Bookness," Gail E. Hawisher, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana; Cynthia L. Selfe, Ohio State Univ., Columbus

88. Age, Obsolescence, and New Media

Thursday, 3 January, 3:30–4:45 p.m., Hampton, Sheraton

Presiding: Cynthia R. Port, Coastal Carolina Univ.

  1. "Aging as Obsolescence: Remediating Old Narratives in a New Age," Erin Lamb, Hiram Coll.
  2. "Typewriters to Tweeters: Women, Aging, and Technological Literacy," Lauren Marshall Bowen, Michigan Technological Univ.
  3. "The New Obsolescence of New Media: Political Affect and Retrotechnologies," Jen Boyle, Coastal Carolina Univ.

102. Digital Diasporas

Thursday, 3 January, 3:30–4:45 p.m., Public Garden, Sheraton

Presiding: Shelley Fisher Fishkin, Stanford Univ.

  1. "Living Word," Corrie Claiborne, Morehouse Coll.
  2. "Digital Griots," Adam Banks, Univ. of Kentucky
  3. "Hip-Hop Archives," Marcyliena Morgan, Harvard Univ.

129. Teaching in the Shallows: Reading, Writing, and Teaching in the Digital Age

Thursday, 3 January, 5:15–6:30 p.m., Berkeley, Sheraton

Presiding: Robert R. Bleil, Coll. of Coastal Georgia; Jennifer Gray, Coll. of Coastal Georgia

Speakers: Susan Cook, Southern New Hampshire Univ.; Christopher Dickman, Saint Louis Univ.; T. Geiger, Syracuse Univ.; Jennifer Gray; Matthew Parfitt, Boston Univ.; James Sanchez, Texas Christian Univ.

Responding: Robert R. Bleil

Nicholas Carr’s 2008 article "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" and his 2010 book The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains argue that the paradigms of our digital lives have shifted significantly in two decades of living life online. This roundtable unites teachers of composition and literature to explore cultural, psychological, and developmental changes for students and teachers.

130. Archive Fever: New Methodologies and New Questions for United States Literary and Cultural Studies

Thursday, 3 January, 5:15–6:30 p.m., Fairfax B, Sheraton

Presiding: Tim Cassedy, Southern Methodist Univ.

Speakers: Robin Bernstein, Harvard Univ.; Lindsay DiCuirci, Univ. of Maryland Baltimore County; Laura Fisher, New York Univ.; Laurie Lambert, New York Univ.; Janice A. Radway, Northwestern Univ.; Joseph Rezek, Boston Univ.

Archivally driven research is changing the methodologies with which we approach the past, the types of questions that we can ask and answer, and the historical voices that are heard and suppressed. The session will address the role of archives, both digital and material, in literary and cultural studies. What risks and rewards do we need to be aware of when we use them?

133. Reading the Invisible and Unwanted in Old and New Media

Thursday, 3 January, 5:15–6:30 p.m., The Fens, Sheraton

Presiding: Lori A. Emerson, Univ. of Colorado, Boulder

  1. "Apple Macintosh and the Ideology of the User-Friendly," Lori A. Emerson
  2. "OCR (Optical Character Recognition) and the Vestigial Aesthetics of Machine Vision," Zach Whalen, Univ. of Mary Washington
  3. "Lost in Plain Sight: Microdot Technology and the Compression of Reading," Paul Benzon, Temple Univ., Philadelphia
  4. "An Account of Randomness in Literary Computing," Mark Sample, George Mason Univ.

137. Printing Science

Thursday, 3 January, 5:15–6:30 p.m., Beacon F, Sheraton

Presiding: Greg Barnhisel, Duquesne Univ.

  1. "Printing the Third Dimension in the Renaissance," Travis D. Williams, Univ. of Rhode Island
  2. "Mediating Power in American Editions of Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea," Matthew Lavin, Univ. of Iowa
  3. "Printed Books, Digital Poetics, and the Aesthetic of Bookishness," Jessica Pressman, Yale Univ.

Responding: Stephanie Ann Smith, Univ. of Florida

147. Theories and Practices of the Literary Lab

Thursday, 3 January, 5:15–6:30 p.m., Liberty C, Sheraton

Presiding: Andrew Piper, McGill Univ.

Speakers: Mark Algee-Hewitt, Stanford Univ.; Lindsey Eckert, Univ. of Toronto; Neil Fraistat, Univ. of Maryland, College Park; Matthew Jockers, Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln; Laura C. Mandell, Texas A&M Univ., College Station; Jeffrey Thompson Schnapp, Harvard Univ.

As part of the ongoing debate about the impact and efficacy of the digital humanities, this roundtable will explore the theoretical, practical, and political implications of the rise of the literary lab. How will changes in the materiality and spatiality of our research and writing change the nature of that research? How will the literary lab impact the way we work?

163. Tweeting the Revolution: Networked Media, the Rhetorics of Activism, and Practices of the Everyday

Thursday, 3 January, 7:00–8:15 p.m., Gardner, Sheraton

  1. "Occupy Theory: Tahrir and Global Occupy Two Years After," Nicholas Mirzoeff, New York Univ.
  2. "Tweeting the Revolution: Activism, Risk, and Mediated Copresence," Beth M. Coleman, Univ. of Waterloo

165. Beyond the PDF: Experiments in Open-Access Scholarly Publishing

Thursday, 3 January, 7:00–8:15 p.m., Hampton, Sheraton

Speakers: Douglas M. Armato, Univ. of Minnesota Press; Jamie Skye Bianco, Univ. of Pittsburgh; Matthew K. Gold, New York City Coll. of Tech., City Univ. of New York; Jennifer Laherty, Indiana Univ., Bloomington; Monica McCormick, New York Univ.; Katie Rawson, Emory Univ.

As open-access scholarly publishing matures and movements such as the Elsevier boycott continue to grow, open-access publications have begun to move beyond the simple (but crucial) principle of openness toward an ideal of interactivity. This session will explore innovative examples of open-access scholarly publishing that showcase new types of social, interactive, mixed-media texts.

167. Digital Humanities and Theory

Thursday, 3 January, 7:00–8:15 p.m., Riverway, Sheraton

Presiding: Stefano Franchi, Texas A&M Univ., College Station

  1. "Theoretical Things for the Humanities," Geoffrey Rockwell, Univ. of Alberta
  2. "From Artificial Intelligence to Artistic Practices: A New Theoretical Model for the Digital Humanities," Stefano Franchi
  3. "Object-Oriented Ontology: Escaping the Title of the Book," David Washington, Loyola Univ., New Orleans

198. Convergent Histories of the Book: From Manuscript to Digital

Friday, 4 January, 8:30–9:45 a.m., Hampton, Sheraton

Presiding: Alex Mueller, Univ. of Massachusetts, Boston

Speakers: Kathleen Fitzpatrick, MLA; Martin Foys, Drew Univ.; Matthew Kirschenbaum, Univ. of Maryland, College Park; Stephen G. Nichols, Johns Hopkins Univ., MD; Kathleen A. Tonry, Univ. of Connecticut, Storrs; Sarah Werner, Folger Shakespeare Library

In this roundtable, scholars of manuscripts, print, and digital media will discuss how contemporary forms of textuality intersect with, duplicate, extend, or draw on manuscript technologies. Panelists seek to push the discussion beyond traditional notions of supersession or remediation to consider the relevance of past textual practices in our analyses of emergent ones.

209. Humanities in the Twenty-First Century: Innovation in Research and Practice

Friday, 4 January, 8:30–9:45 a.m., Commonwealth, Sheraton

Presiding: Christine Henseler, Union Coll., NY

  1. "The Promise of Humanities Practice," Lynn Pasquerella, Mount Holyoke Coll.
  2. "Making the Humanities ‘Count,’" David Theo Goldberg, Univ. of California, Irvine
  3. "The National Endowment for the Humanities," Jane Aikin, National Endowment for the Humanities
  4. "The Humanities in the Digital Age," Christine Henseler

220. Image, Voice, Text: Canadian Literature

Friday, 4 January, 8:30–9:45 a.m., Beacon D, Sheraton

Presiding: Sophie McCall, Simon Fraser Univ., Burnaby

  1. "AvantGarde.ca: Toward a Canadian Alienethnic Poetics of the Internet," Sunny Chan, Univ. of British Columbia
  2. "Intermedial Witnessing in Karen Connelly’s Burmese Lessons," Hannah McGregor, Univ. of Guelph
  3. "Aboriginal New Media: Alternative Forms of Storytelling," Sarah Henzi, Univ. of Montreal

239. Representing Race: Silence in the Digital Humanities

Friday, 4 January, 10:15–11:30 a.m., Gardner, Sheraton

Presiding: Adeline Koh, Richard Stockton Coll. of New Jersey

Speakers: Moya Bailey, Emory Univ.; Anne Cong-Huyen, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara; Hussein Keshani, Univ. of British Columbia; Maria Velazquez, Univ. of Maryland, College Park

Responding: Alondra Nelson, Columbia Univ.

This panel examines the politics of race, ethnicity, and silence in the digital humanities. How has the digital humanities remained silent on issues of race and ethnicity? How does this silence reinforce unspoken assumptions and doxa? What is the function of racialized silences in digital archival projects?

260. Open Sesame: Interoperability in Digital Literary Studies

Friday, 4 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Berkeley, Sheraton

Presiding: Susan Brown, Univ. of Guelph

Speakers: Travis Brown, Univ. of Maryland, College Park; Johanna Drucker, Univ. of California, Los Angeles; Eric Rochester, Univ. of Virginia; Geoffrey Rockwell, Univ. of Alberta; Jentery Sayers, Univ. of Victoria; Susan Schreibman, Trinity Coll. Dublin

Working only with set texts limits the use of many digital tools. What most advances literary research: aiming applications at scholarly primitives or at more culturally embedded activities that may resist generalization? Panelists’ reflections on the challenges of interoperability in a methodologically diverse field will include project snapshots evaluating the potential or perils of such aims.

295. Getting Funded in the Humanities: An NEH Workshop

Friday, 4 January, 1:30–3:30 p.m., 210, Hynes

Presiding: Jason C. Rhody, National Endowment for the Humanities

 

This workshop will highlight recent awards and outline current funding opportunities. In addition to emphasizing grant programs that support individual and collaborative research and education, the workshop will include information on the NEH’s Office of Digital Humanities. A question-and-answer period will follow.

307. The Dark Side of Digital Humanities

Friday, 4 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., Back Bay D, Sheraton

Presiding: Richard A. Grusin, Univ. of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

Speakers: Wendy H. Chun, Brown Univ.; Richard A. Grusin; Patrick Jagoda, Univ. of Chicago; Tara McPherson, Univ. of Southern California; Rita Raley, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara

This roundtable explores the impact of digital humanities on research and teaching in higher education and the question of how digital humanities will affect the future of the humanities in general. Speakers will offer models of digital humanities that are not rooted in technocratic rationality or neoliberal economic calculus but that emerge from and inform traditional practices of humanist inquiry.

321. Digital and Analogue Critical Editions of Continental Literature? Pros, Cons, Discussion

Friday, 4 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., Fairfax A, Sheraton

Presiding: Stephen G. Nichols, Johns Hopkins Univ., MD

Speakers: Karen L. Fresco, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana; Albert Lloret, Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst; Jacques Neefs, Johns Hopkins Univ., MD

Responding: Timothy L. Stinson, North Carolina State Univ.

This panel explores the resistance of editors to explore digital editions. Questions posed: Do scholarly protocols deliberately resist computational methodologies? Or are we still in a liminal period where print predominates for lack of training in the new technology? Does the problem lie with a failure to encourage digital research by younger scholars?

326. Digital Approaches to Renaissance Texts

Friday, 4 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., Jefferson, Sheraton

Presiding: Michael Witmore, Folger Shakespeare Library

  1. "Touching Apocalypse: Influence and Influenza in the Digital Age," Daniel Allen Shore, Georgetown Univ.
  2. "The Social Network: Protestant Letter Networks in the Reign of Mary I," Ruth Ahnert, Queen Mary, Univ. of London
  3. "Credit and Temporal Consciousness in Early Modern English Drama," Mattie Burkert, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison

339. Sovereignty and the Archive

Friday, 4 January, 3:30–4:45 p.m., Berkeley, Sheraton

Presiding: James H. Cox, Univ. of Texas, Austin

  1. "Occom, Archives, and the Digital Humanities," Ivy Schweitzer, Dartmouth Coll.
  2. "To Look through Red-Colored Glasses: Native Studies and a Revisioning of the Early American Archive," Caroline Wigginton, Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick
  3. "The Early Native Archive and United States National Identity," Angela Calcaterra, Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

353. Avenues of Access: Digital Humanities and the Future of Scholarly Communication

Friday, 4 January, 3:30–4:45 p.m., Republic Ballroom, Sheraton

Presiding: Michael Bérubé, Penn State Univ., University Park

  1. "The Mirror and the LAMP," Matthew Kirschenbaum, Univ. of Maryland, College Park
  2. "Access Demands a Paradigm Shift," Cathy N. Davidson, Duke Univ.
  3. "Resistance in the Materials," Bethany Nowviskie, Univ. of Virginia

The news that digital humanities are the next big thing must come as a pleasant surprise to people who have been working in the field for decades. Yet only recently has the scholarly community at large realized that developments in new media have implications not only for the form but also for the content of scholarly communication. This session will explore some of those implications—for scholars, for libraries, for journals, and for the idea of intellectual property.

361. Video Games

Friday, 4 January, 3:30–4:45 p.m., Hampton, Sheraton

Presiding: Hillary L. Chute, Univ. of Chicago

  1. "Playful Aesthetics," Mary Flanagan, Dartmouth Coll.
  2. "Losing the Game: Gamification and the Procedural Aesthetics of Systemic Failure," Patrick Jagoda, Univ. of Chicago
  3. "Acoustemologies of the Closet: The Wizard, the Troll, and the Fortress," William Cheng, Harvard Univ.

391. Networked Chicanas/os

Friday, 4 January, 5:15–6:30 p.m., Fairfax A, Sheraton

Presiding: Domino Renee Perez, Univ. of Texas, Austin

  1. "’Machete Don’t Text’: Robert Rodriguez’s Media Ecologies," William Orchard, Colby Coll.
  2. "Convergence Cultura? Reevaluating New Media Scholarship through a Latina/o Literary Blog, La Bloga," Jennifer Lozano, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana
  3. "César Chávez’s Video Library; or, Farm Workers and the Secret History of New Media," Curtis Frank Márez, Univ. of California, San Diego

394. Reforming Doctoral Study

Friday, 4 January, 5:15–6:30 p.m., Back Bay D, Sheraton

Presiding: Russell A. Berman, Stanford Univ.

Speakers: Carlos J. Alonso, Columbia Univ.; Lanisa Kitchiner, Howard Univ.; David Laurence, MLA; Bethany Nowviskie, Univ. of Virginia; Elizabeth M. Schwartz, San Joaquin Delta Coll., CA; Sidonie Ann Smith, Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Kathleen Woodward, Univ. of Washington, Seattle

Doctoral study faces multiple pressures, including profound transformations in higher education and the academic job market, changing conditions for new faculty members, the new media of scholarly communication, and placements in nonfaculty positions. These and other factors question the viability of conventional assumptions regarding doctoral education.

401. Digital Archives and Their Margins

Friday, 4 January, 5:15–6:30 p.m., Berkeley, Sheraton

Presiding: Alan Galey, Univ. of Toronto; Katherine D. Harris, San José State Univ.

  1. "Echoes at Our Peril: Small Feminist Archives in Big Digital Humanities," Katherine D. Harris
  2. "The Archipelagic Archive: Caribbean Studies on a Diff Key," Alexander Gil, Univ. of Virginia
  3. "Universal Design and Disability in the Digital Archive," Karen Bourrier, Univ. of Western Ontario
  4. "Digital Humanities and the Separation of Access, Ownership, and Reading," Zachary Zimmer, Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State Univ.

419. Global Shakespeares Open House

Friday, 4 January, 7:00–8:15 p.m., Back Bay D, Sheraton

 

Presiding: Peter S. Donaldson, Massachusetts Inst. of Tech.

Global Shakespeares (globalshakespeares.org/) is a participatory multicentric project providing free online access to performances of Shakespeare from many parts of the world. The session features presentations and free lab tours of the MIT HyperStudio.

425. Numbers and Letters: Empirical Method in Literary Studies

Saturday, 5 January, 8:30–9:45 a.m., Jefferson, Sheraton

Presiding: James F. English, Univ. of Pennsylvania

  1. "Enumerating and Visualizing Early English Print," Robin Valenza, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison
  2. "The Imaginative Use of Numbers," Ted Underwood, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana
  3. "Being and Time Management," Mark McGurl, Stanford Univ.

432. Aural Literature and Close Listening

Saturday, 5 January, 8:30–9:45 a.m., Beacon H, Sheraton

Presiding: Michelle Nancy Levy, Simon Fraser Univ., Burnaby

  1. "The Case against Audiobooks," Matthew Rubery, Univ. of London, Queen Mary Coll.
  2. "Aural Literacy in a Visual Era: Is Anyone Listening?" Cornelius Collins, Fordham Univ., Bronx
  3. "Novel Sound Tracks and the Future of Hybridized Reading," Justin St. Clair, Univ. of South Alabama
  4. "Poetry as MP3: PennSound, Poetry Recording, and the New Digital Archive," Lisa A. Hollenbach, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison

440. How I Got Started in Digital Humanities: New Digital Projects from DHCommons

Saturday, 5 January, 8:30–9:45 a.m., Commonwealth, Sheraton

Presiding: Ryan Cordell, Northeastern Univ.; Katherine Singer, Mount Holyoke Coll.

Speakers: Gert Buelens, Ghent Univ.; Sheila T. Cavanagh, Emory Univ.; Malcolm Alan Compitello, Univ. of Arizona; Gabriel Hankins, Univ. of Virginia; Alexander C. Y. Huang, George Washington Univ.; Kevin Quarmby, Emory Univ.; Lynn Ramey, Vanderbilt Univ.; Matthew Schultz, Vassar Coll.

This digital roundtable aims to give insight into challenges and opportunities for new digital humanists. Instead of presenting polished projects, panelists will share their experiences as developing DH practitioners working through research and pedagogical obstacles. Each participant will present lightning talks and then discuss the projects in more detail at individual tables.

449. Curated and Curating Lives

Saturday, 5 January, 8:30–9:45 a.m., Berkeley, Sheraton

Presiding: Julie Rak, Univ. of Alberta

  1. "Curating Lives: Museums, Archives, Online Sites," Alison Booth, Univ. of Virginia
  2. "Curating Confession: The Intersection of Communicative Capitalism and Autobiography Online," Anna Poletti, Monash Univ.
  3. "Digital Dioramas: Curating Life Narratives on the World Wide Web," Laurie McNeill, Univ. of British Columbia
  4. "Archive of Addiction: Augusten Burroughs’s Dry: In Pictures," Nicole M. Stamant, Agnes Scott Coll.

450. Archaic Returns: Alchemies of Old and New Media

Saturday, 5 January, 8:30–9:45 a.m., Fairfax A, Sheraton

Presiding: Elissa Marder, Emory Univ.

  1. "A Sub-sublibrarian for the Digital Archive," Jamie Jones, Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  2. "Gangs of New York: Fetishizing the Archive, from Benjamin to Scorsese," Melissa Tuckman, Princeton Univ.
  3. "Pocket Wireless and the Shape of Media to Come, 1899–1920," Grant Wythoff, Princeton Univ.

451. Scholarly Journals: New Challenges and Opportunities

Saturday, 5 January, 8:30–9:45 a.m., Public Garden, Sheraton

Presiding: Ana-Maria Medina, Metropolitan State Coll. of Denver

Speakers: Lois Bacon, EBSCO; Marshall J. Brown, Univ. of Washington, Seattle; Stuart Alexander Day, Univ. of Kansas; Judy Luther, Informed Strategies; Dana D. Nelson, Vanderbilt Univ.; Joseph Paul Tabbi, Univ. of Illinois, Chicago; Bonnie Wheeler, Southern Methodist Univ.

Changes are happening to the scholarly journal, a fundamental institution of our professional life. New modes of communication open promising possibilities, even as financial challenges to print media and education make this time difficult. A panel of editors, publishers, and librarians will address these topics, carrying forward a discussion begun at the 2012 Delegate Assembly meeting.

486. Games for Teaching Language, Literature, and Writing

Saturday, 5 January, 10:15–11:30 a.m., Commonwealth, Sheraton

Presiding: Brian Croxall, Emory Univ.

Speakers: Evelyn Baldwin, Univ. of Arkansas, Fayetteville; Mikhail Gershovich, Baruch Coll., City Univ. of New York; Janice McCoy, Univ. of Virginia; Ilknur Oded, Defense Lang. Inst.; Amanda Phillips, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara; Anastasia Salter, Univ. of Baltimore; Elizabeth Swanstrom, Florida Atlantic Univ.

This electronic roundtable presents games not only as objects of study but also as methods for innovative pedagogy. Scholars will present on their use of board games, video games, authoring tools, and more for language acquisition, peer-to-peer relationship building, and exploring social justice. This hands-on, show-and-tell session highlights assignments attendees can implement.

488. Answering the Challenge: The New Variorum Shakespeare in the Digital Age

Saturday, 5 January, 10:15–11:30 a.m., Beacon F, Sheraton

Presiding: Paul Werstine, Univ. of Western Ontario

  1. "Having Your Semantics and Formatting It Too: XML and the NVS," Julia H. Flanders, Brown Univ.
  2. "Variant Stories: Digital Visualization and the Secret Lives of Shakespeare’s Texts," Alan Galey, Univ. of Toronto
  3. "Digital Alchemy: Transmuting the Electronic Comedy of Errors," Jon Bath, Univ. of Saskatchewan

507. New Archives, Renewed Access: Research Methodologies in Latin American Collections

Saturday, 5 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., 301, Hynes

Presiding: Claudia Cabello-Hutt, Univ. of North Carolina, Greensboro; Marcy Ellen Schwartz, Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick

Speakers: Daniel Balderston, Univ. of Pittsburgh; Maria Laura Bocaz, Univ. of Mary Washington; Claudia Cabello-Hutt; Alejandro Herrero-Olaizola, Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Veronica A. Salles-Reese, Georgetown Univ.; Marcy Ellen Schwartz; Vicky Unruh, Univ. of Kansas

 

This roundtable will explore renewed interest in Latin American archives—both traditional and digital—and the intellectual, political, and social implications for our research and teaching. Presenters will address how new technologies (digitalized collections, hypertext manuscripts, etc.) facilitate access to research and offer strategies for introducing students to a variety of materials.

522. Crossed Codes: Print’s Dream of the Digital Age, Digital’s Memory of the Age of Print

Saturday, 5 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Liberty C, Sheraton

Presiding: Marta L. Werner, D’Youville Coll.

  1. "’Every Man His Own Publisher’: Extraillustration and the Dream of the Universal Library," Gabrielle Dean, Johns Hopkins Univ., MD
  2. "Interactivity and Randomization Processes in Printed and Electronic Experimental Poetry," Jonathan Baillehache, Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick
  3. "Mirror World, Minus World: Glitching Nabokov’s Pale Fire," Andrew Ferguson, Univ. of Virginia
  4. "Designed Futures of the Book," Kari M. Kraus, Univ. of Maryland, College Park

527. MLArcade

Saturday, 5 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Commonwealth, Sheraton

Speakers: Sarah J. Arroyo, California State Univ., Long Beach; R. Scot Barnett, Clemson Univ.; Ron C. Brooks, Oklahoma State Univ., Stillwater; Geoffrey V. Carter, Saginaw Valley State Univ.; Anthony Collamati, Clemson Univ.; Jason Helms, Univ. of Kentucky; Alexandra Hidalgo, Purdue Univ., West Lafayette; Robert Leston, New York City Coll. of Tech., City Univ. of New York

 

This roundtable will present separate, yet unified, digital writings on laptops. Instead of making a diachronic set of presentations, we will make available a synchronic set, in an art e-gallery format, arranged separately on tables as conceptual art installations. The purpose is to demonstrate how digital technologies can reshape our views of presentations and of what is now called writings.

540. The Third Degree: Joint Programs in Languages, Literature, and Libraries

Saturday, 5 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., Back Bay D, Sheraton

Presiding: Paul Fyfe, Florida State Univ.; Robert H. Kieft, Occidental Coll.

Speakers: Tanya E. Clement, Univ. of Texas, Austin; Rachel Donahue, Univ. of Maryland, College Park; Kari M. Kraus, Univ. of Maryland, College Park; John Merritt Unsworth, Brandeis Univ.; John A. Walsh, Indiana Univ., Bloomington

 

This roundtable extends current conversations about reforming graduate training to a burgeoning field of disciplinary crossover and professionalization. Participants will introduce innovative training programs and collaborative projects at the intersections of modern language departments, digital humanities, and library schools or iSchools.

550. The Classroom as Interface

Saturday, 5 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., Hampton, Sheraton

Presiding: Kathi Inman Berens, Univ. of Southern California

  1. "The Campus as Interface: Screening the University," Elizabeth Mathews Losh, Univ. of California, San Diego
  2. "Being Distracted in the Digital Age," Jason Farman, Univ. of Maryland, College Park
  3. "Virtual Classroom Software: A Medium-Specific Analysis," Kathi Inman Berens
  4. "The Multisensory Classroom," Leeann Hunter, Georgia Inst. of Tech.

562. Digital Dictionaries

Saturday, 5 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., Public Garden, Sheraton

Presiding: Michael Hancher, Univ. of Minnesota, Twin Cities

  1. "Dictionaries in Electronic Form: The Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Experience," David Jost, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  2. "What We’ve Learned about Dictionary Use Online," Peter Sokolowski, Merriam-Webster
  3. "Lexicography 2.0: Reimagining Dictionaries and Thesauri for the Digital Age," Ben Zimmer, Visual Thesaurus

Responding: Lisa Berglund, State Univ. of New York, Buffalo State Coll.

565. What Is the Next Thing? Postmodern Pedagogies in the Composition Classroom

Saturday, 5 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., Liberty A, Sheraton

Presiding: Elizabeth M. Schwartz, San Joaquin Delta Coll., CA

  1. "Peer Review 2.0: Using Digital Technologies to Transform Student Critiques," Elizabeth Harris McCormick, LaGuardia Community Coll., City Univ. of New York; Lykourgos Vasileiou, LaGuardia Community Coll., City Univ. of New York
  2. "How I Met Your Argument: Teaching through Television," Lanta Davis, Baylor Univ.
  3. "Writing Wikipedia as Postmodern Research Assignment," Matthew Parfitt, Boston Univ.
  4. "Weaning Isn’t Everything: Beyond Postformalism in Composition," Miles McCrimmon, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community Coll., VA

584. Accessing Race in the Digital Humanities: An E-roundtable

Saturday, 5 January, 3:30–4:45 p.m., Commonwealth, Sheraton

Presiding: Roger Whitson, Emory Univ.

Speakers: David Kim, Univ. of California, Los Angeles; Jennifer Sano-Franchini, Michigan State Univ.; Lee Skallerup Bessette, Morehead State Univ.

Responding: Tara McPherson, Univ. of Southern California

This roundtable addresses how applications and interfaces encode specific cultural assumptions about race and preclude certain groups of people from participating in the digital humanities. Participants present specific digital humanities projects that illustrate the impact of race on access to the programming, cultural, and funding structures in the digital humanities.

586. Scaling and Sharing: Data Management in the Humanities

Saturday, 5 January, 3:30–4:45 p.m., The Fens, Sheraton

Presiding: Korey Jackson, Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Speakers: Matt Burton, Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Korey Jackson; Spencer Keralis, Univ. of North Texas; Jason C. Rhody, National Endowment for the Humanities; Lisa Marie Rhody, Univ. of Maryland, College Park; Michael Ullyot, Univ. of Calgary

This roundtable seeks to query precisely what data can be and do in a humanities context. Charting the migration from individual project to scalable data set, we explore “big data” not simply as a matter of size or number but as a process of granting researchers and educators access to shared information resources.

621. Reading, Reading Machines, and Machine Reading

Saturday, 5 January, 5:15–6:30 p.m., Gardner, Sheraton

Presiding: Jessica Pressman, American Council of Learned Socs.

  1. "Phonographic Reading Machines," Matthew Rubery, Univ. of London, Queen Mary Coll.
  2. "Mechanical Mediations of Miniature Text: Reading Microform," Katherine Wilson, Adelphi Univ.
  3. "Between Human and Machine, a Printed Sheet: The Early History of OCR (Optical Character Recognition)," Mara Mills, New York Univ.

637. Open Access? ECCO, EEBO, and Digital Resources

Saturday, 5 January, 5:15–6:30 p.m., Commonwealth, Sheraton

Presiding: Catherine Elizabeth Ingrassia, Virginia Commonwealth Univ.

Speakers: Joshua Eckhardt, Virginia Commonwealth Univ.; Molly Hardy, Saint Bonaventure Univ.; Laura C. Mandell, Texas A&M Univ., College Station; James Raven, Univ. of Essex

Consistent with the theme of open access, this roundtable explores limitations of proprietary digital archives and emergent alternatives. It will provide an interactive, engaged demonstration of 18thConnect; a historian’s perspective; discussion of British Virginia; and scholarly digital editions of seventeenth-century documents.

639. Two Tools for Student-Generated Digital Projects: WordPress and Omeka in the Classroom

Saturday, 5 January, 5:15–6:30 p.m., Back Bay B, Sheraton

Presiding: Gabrielle Dean, Johns Hopkins Univ., MD

Speakers: Amanda L. French, George Mason Univ.; George Williams, Univ. of South Carolina, Spartanburg

This "master class" will focus on integrating two digital tools into the classroom to facilitate student-generated projects: Omeka, for the creation of archives and exhibits, and WordPress, for the creation of blogs and Web sites. We will discuss what kinds of assignments work with each tool, how to get started, and how to evaluate assignments. Bring a laptop (not a tablet) for hands-on work.

669. Social Media and Scholarship: The State of Middle-State Publishing

Sunday, 6 January, 8:30–9:45 a.m., Beacon A, Sheraton

Presiding: Alexander Reid, Univ. at Buffalo, State Univ. of New York

Speakers: Heather Duncan, Univ. at Buffalo, State Univ. of New York; Matthew K. Gold, New York City Coll. of Tech., City Univ. of New York; Eileen Joy, Southern Illinois Univ., Edwardsville; Richard E. Miller, Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick; Daniel Schweitzer, Univ. at Buffalo, State Univ. of New York

Responding: Alexander Reid

As our profession seeks to understand electronic publishing, the emergence of middle-state publishing (e.g., blogs, Twitter) adds another layer of complexity to the issue. The roundtable participants will discuss their use of social media for scholarship and how middle-state publishing alters scholarly work and the ethical and professional concerns that arise.

670. Romantic Media Studies: Means of Reading and Reading for Means

Sunday, 6 January, 8:30–9:45 a.m., 203, Hynes

Presiding: Yohei Igarashi, Colgate Univ.; Lauren A. Neefe, Stony Brook Univ., State Univ. of New York

Speakers: Miranda Jane Burgess, Univ. of British Columbia; Mary Helen Dupree, Georgetown Univ.; Kevis Goodman, Univ. of California, Berkeley; Yohei Igarashi; Celeste G. Langan, Univ. of California, Berkeley; Maureen Noelle McLane, New York Univ.; Tom Mole, McGill Univ.

A roundtable of scholars discusses and defines “Romantic media studies,” one of the most vibrant approaches to Romantic literature today. Spanning British, German, and transatlantic Romanticisms, the exchange considers Romantic-era media while reflecting on methods of reading for media, mediations, and networks as well as on the relation between Romantic criticism and the digital humanities.

693. Theorizing Digital Practice, Practicing Digital Theory

Sunday, 6 January, 8:30–9:45 a.m., Liberty A, Sheraton

Presiding: Victoria E. Szabo, Duke Univ.

  1. "What Text Mining and Visualizations Have to Do with Feminist Scholarly Inquiries," Tanya E. Clement, Univ. of Texas, Austin
  2. "Building the Infrastructural Layer: Reading Data Visualization in the Digital Humanities," Dana Solomon, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara
  3. "What Should We Do with Our Games?" Stephanie Boluk, Vassar Coll.

Responding: Victoria E. Szabo

702. South Asian-izing the Digital Humanities

Sunday, 6 January, 10:15–11:30 a.m., 209, Hynes

Presiding: Rahul Gairola, Univ. of Washington, Seattle

  1. "Creating Alternate Voices: Exploring South Asian Cyberfeminism," Suchismita Banerjee, Univ. of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
  2. "Digitizing Pakistani Literary Forms; or, E/Merging the Transcultural," Waseem Anwar, Forman Christian Coll.
  3. "Reimagining Aesthetic Education: Digital Humanities in the Global South," Rashmi Bhatnagar, Univ. of Pittsburgh

Responding: Amritjit Singh, Ohio Univ., Athens

720. Henry James and New Media

Sunday, 6 January, 10:15–11:30 a.m., Jefferson, Sheraton

Presiding: John Carlos Rowe, Univ. of Southern California

  1. "Henry James, Propagandist," Harilaos Stecopoulos, Univ. of Iowa
  2. "The Art of Associating: Henry James, Network Theorist," Brad Evans, Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick
  3. "What Would Strether Tweet? James’s Late Style as a New Media Ecology in The Ambassadors," Shawna Ross, Penn State Univ., University Park
  4. "Henry James and New Media," Ashley Barnes, Univ. of California, Berkeley

749. Rebooting Graduate Training: Collaboration, Computing, and the New Thesis

Sunday, 6 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Hampton, Sheraton

Presiding: Paul Fyfe, Florida State Univ.

Speakers: Katherine E. Gossett, Iowa State Univ.; Erik Hanson, Loyola Univ., Chicago; Matthew Jockers, Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln; Steven E. Jones, Loyola Univ., Chicago; Bethany Nowviskie, Univ. of Virginia; Sarah Storti, Univ. of Virginia

 

This roundtable explores the urgent necessity of reforming graduate training in the humanities, particularly in the light of the opportunities afforded by digital platforms, collaborative work, and an expanded mission for graduates. Presenters include graduate students and faculty mentors who are creating the institutional and disciplinary conditions for renovated graduate curricula to succeed.

760. Bibliography in the Digital Age

Sunday, 6 January, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Public Garden, Sheraton

Presiding: Maura Carey Ives, Texas A&M Univ., College Station

  1. "Analyzing Large Bibliographical Data Sets: A Case Study," David Lee Gants, Florida State Univ.
  2. "Descriptive Bibliography’s ‘Ideal Copy’ and the Encoding of a Born-Digital Scholarly Edition," Wesley Raabe, Kent State Univ., Kent
  3. "From the Archive to the Browser: Best Practices and Google Books," Sydney Bufkin, Univ. of Texas, Austin

763. Digital Technology, Environmental Aesthetics, Ecocritical Discourse

Sunday, 6 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., Public Garden, Sheraton

Presiding: Elizabeth Swanstrom, Florida Atlantic Univ.

  1. "Decoding the Desert: Reading the Landscape through the Transborder Immigrant Tool," Mark C. Marino, Univ. of Southern California
  2. "Thoreau in Process: Reanimating Thoreau’s Environmental Practice in Digital Space," Kristen Case, Univ. of Maine, Farmington
  3. "Networks, Narratives, and Nature: Teaching Globally, Thinking Nodally," Melanie J. Doherty, Wesleyan Coll.

767. Rewards and Challenges of Serial Scholarship

Sunday, 6 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., Liberty A, Sheraton

Presiding: Mark Sample, George Mason Univ.

Speakers: Douglas M. Armato, Univ. of Minnesota Press; Kathleen Fitzpatrick, MLA; Frank Kelleter, Univ. of Göttingen; Kirstyn Leuner, Univ. of Colorado, Boulder; Jason Mittell, Middlebury Coll.; Ted Underwood, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana

This roundtable considers the value and challenges of serial scholarship, that is, research published in serialized form online through a blog, forum, or other public venue. Each of the participants will give a lightning talk about his or her stance toward serial scholarship, while the bulk of the session time will be reserved for open discussion.

794. Professional Practices in Online Education

Sunday, 6 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., Back Bay B, Sheraton

Presiding: Sandra K. Baringer, Univ. of California, Riverside

  1. "A Description of a Situation on the Nontenure Track: Teaching from the Insecure Trenches of a Contingent Online Instructor," Batya Susan Weinbaum, Empire State Coll., State Univ. of New York
  2. "Hybrid Composition Instruction," Joshua P. Fenton, Univ. of California, Riverside
  3. "Contract and Policy Language for Adjuncts Teaching Online in the SUNY Community Colleges: A State of the State Report," Cynthia Eaton, Suffolk Community Coll., State Univ. of New York
  4. "A Strategem for Using Online Courses to Deny Contingent Faculty Members Academic Freedom," Aaron Plasek, Colorado State Univ.

Responding: Maria Shine Stewart, John Carroll Univ.

795. Literature and Digital Pedagogies

Sunday, 6 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., Fairfax A, Sheraton

Presiding: Anaïs Saint-Jude, Stanford Univ.

  1. "Teaching Modernism Traditionally and Digitally: What We May Learn from New Digital Tutoring Models by Khan Academy and Udacity," Petra Dierkes-Thrun, Stanford Univ.
  2. "Digital Resources and the Medieval-Literature Classroom," Robin Wharton, Georgia Inst. of Tech.
  3. "Toward a New Hybrid Pedagogy: Embodiment and Learning in the Classroom 2.0," Pete Rorabaugh, Georgia State Univ.; Jesse Stommel, Marylhurst Univ.

5 BASIC Statements on Computational Literacy

May 19th, 2012 § 16 comments § permalink

(This is the text of my five minute position statement on the role of computational literacy in computers and writing. I delivered this statement during a “town hall” meeting at the annual Computers and Writing Conference, hosted at North Carolina State University on May 19, 2012.)

I want to briefly run through five basic statements about computational literacy. These are literally 5 statements in BASIC, a programming language developed at Dartmouth in the 1960s. As some of you might know, BASIC is an acronym for Beginner’s All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code, and the language was designed in order to help all undergraduate students at Dartmouth—not just science and engineering students—use the college’s time-sharing computer system.

Each BASIC statement I present here is a fully functioning 1-line program. I want to use each as a kind of thesis—or a provocation of a thesis—about the role of computational literacy in computers and writing, and in the humanities more generally.

10 PRINT 2+3

I’m beginning with this statement because it’s a highly legible program that nonetheless highlights the mathematical, procedural nature of code. But this program is also a piece of history: it’s the first line of code in the user manual of the first commercially available version of BASIC, developed for the first commercially available home computer, the Altair 8800. The year was 1975 and this BASIC was developed by a young Bill Gates and Paul Allen. And of course, their BASIC would go on to be the foundation of Microsoft. It’s worth noting that although Microsoft BASIC was the official BASIC of the Altair 8800 (and many home computers to follow), an alternative version, called Tiny BASIC, was developed by a group of programmers in San Francisco. The 1976 release of Tiny BASIC included a “copyleft” software license, a kind of predecessor to contemporary open source software licenses. Copyleft emphasized sharing, an idea at the heart of the original Dartmouth BASIC.

10 PRINT “HELLO WORLD”

If BASIC itself was a program that invited collaboration, then this—customarily one of the first programs a beginner learns to write—highlights the way software looks outward. Hello, world. Computer code is writing in public, a social text. Or, what Jerry McGann calls a “social private text.” As McGann explains, “Texts are produced and reproduced under specific social and institutional conditions, and hence…every text, including those that may appear to be purely private, is a social text.”1

10 PRINT “GO TO STATEMENT CONSIDERED HARMFUL”: GOTO 10

My next program is a bit of an insider’s joke. It’s a reference to a famous 1968 diatribe by Edsger Dijkstra called “Go To Statement Considered Harmful.” Dijkstra argues against using the goto command, which leads to what critics call spaghetti code. I’m not interested in that specific debate, so much as I like how this famous injunction implies an evaluative audience, a set of norms, and even an aesthetic priority. Programming is a set of practices, with its own history and tensions. Any serious consideration of code—any serious consideration of computers—in the humanities must reckon with these social elements of code.

10 REM PRINT “GOODBYE CRUEL WORLD”

The late German media theorist Frederich Kittler has argued that, as Alexander Galloway put it, “code is the only language that does what it says.”2 Yes, code does what it says. But it also says things it does not do. Like this one-line program which begins with REM, short for remark, meaning this is a comment left by a programmer, which the computer will not execute. Comments in code exemplify what Mark Marino has called the “extra-functional significance” of code, meaning-making that goes beyond the purely utilitarian commands in the code.3

Without a doubt, there is much even non-programmers can learn not by studying what code does, but by studying what it says, and what it evokes.

10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1));:GOTO 10

Finally, here’s a program that highlights exactly how illegible code can be. Very few people could look at this program for the Commodore 64 and figure out what it does. This example suggests there’s a limit to the usefulness of the concept of literacy when talking about code. And yet, when we run the program, it’s revealed to be quite simple, though endlessly changing, as it creates a random maze across the screen.

So I’ll end with a caution about relying on the word literacy. It’s a word I’m deeply troubled by, loaded with historical and social baggage and it’s often misused as a gatekeeping concept, an either/or state; one is either literate or illiterate.

In my own teaching and research I’ve replaced my use of literacy with the idea of competency. I’m influenced here by the way teachers of a foreign language want their students to use language when they study abroad. They don’t use terms like literacy or fluency, they talk about competency. Because the thing with competency is, it’s highly contextualized, situated, and fluid. Competency means knowing the things that are required in order to do the other things you need to do. It’s not the same for everyone, and it varies by place, time, and circumstance.

Translating this experience to computers and writing, competency means reckoning with computation at the level appropriate for what you want to get out of it—or put into it.

  1. McGann, Jerome. The Textual Condition. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1991, p. 21.
  2. Galloway, Alexander R. Gaming: Essays on Algorithmic Culture. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006, p. 6
  3. Marino, Mark C. “Critical Code Studies.” Electronic Book Review (2006). <http://www.electronicbookreview.com/thread/electropoetics/codology>.

Videogame Studies Panels at SCMS 2012

March 18th, 2012 § 5 comments § permalink

Later this week I’ll be heading to Boston for the annual conference of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies. I’m delighted to be presenting on a panel organized by my frequent conspirator Zach Whalen on code studies and videogames. I’m also delighted that there will be an abundance of other panels devoted to videogames.

For my ease—and hopefully others’—I’ve compiled a list of all of these panels. If I’m missing a videogame-oriented panel, let me know in the comments, and I’ll add it right away.

[heading style="1"]Videogame Studies Panels at SCMS 2012[/heading]

Wednesday, March 21, 2012 10:00AM-11:45PM (Session A)

A7: Harder Than You Think: The Difficulty and Digital Games Panel

Room: Cambridge
Chair: Felan Parker (York University)

  • Felan Parker (York University), “No One Shall Live: The Idea of Difficulty in Digital Games”
  • Bobby Schweizer (Georgia Institute of Technology), “Easy, Normal, Hard: Superficial Difficulty Settings in Videogames”
  • Nicholas Taylor (York University), “‘Technical Difficulties’: Expert MMOG Play as Assemblage”
  • Mariam Asad (Georgia Institute of Technology), “Proceduralizing Difficulty: Reflexive Play Practices in Masocore Games”

Wednesday, March 21, 2012 12:ooPM-1:45PM (Session B)

B5: “Reality,” Simulacras, and New Media
Chair: Courtney Baker (Connecticut College)

  • Jacob Hustedt (University of Texas, Austin), “‘A Dance of Signs’: Reflections on Public Executions, New Media, and the Death of Osama bin Laden”
  • Colleen Montgomery (University of Texas, Austin), “Cartoon Wasteland: The Aesthetics and Economics of Digitextuality in Disney’s Epic Mickey
  • Brent Fujioka (Brown University), “Snake Is Hiding: Cultural Hybridity, Pacifism, and Subversion In Hideo Kojima’s Metal Gear Solid Series”
  • Courtney Baker (Connecticut College), “Imprisoned Viewers: Prison Valley and the Simulacrum of Interaction”

Wednesday, March 21, 2012 2:00PM-3:45PM (Session C)

C8: A Million Screens a Medium Make? Thinking through Machinima and Filmmaking in Virtual Worlds

Chair: Jenna Ng (University of Cambridge)

  • Henry Lowood (Stanford University), “Machinima: A Documentary Medium?”
  • Sarah Higley (University of Rochester), “Inside and Outside: Machinima, Looking, and the Non-Diegetic Camera”
  • Peter Krapp (University of California, Irvine), “Economedia: Machinima and the Claims of Convergence”
  • Jenna Ng (University of Cambridge), “Three Spars of the Virtual Camera Trestle: Image, Mobility, Avatar”

Wednesday, March 21, 2012 04:00PM-05:45PM (Session D)

D16: Save to Continue: The State of Video Game Archiving and Preservation
Room: St. James
Chair: Matthew Payne (University of Alabama)
Workshop Participants:

  • Henry Lowood (Stanford University)
  • Ken McAllister (University of Arizona)
  • David O’Grady (University of California, Los Angeles)
  • Judd Ruggill (Arizona State University)
  • Megan Winget (University of Texas, Austin)

Thursday, March 22, 2012 11:00AM-12:45PM (Session F)

F16: Workshop on Cooperative Play, Multiplayer R&D: Encouraging Effective Collaboration in Games Research and Development

Chair: Nina Huntemann (Suffolk University)
Workshop Participants:

  • Mia Consalvo (Concordia University)
  • Darius Kazemi (bocoup)
  • Eric Gordon (Emerson College)
  • Bill Shribman (WGBH)
  • Sara Verrilli (MIT GAMBIT Game Lab)

Sponsor: Video Game Studies Scholarly Interest Group

Thursday, March 22, 2012 01:00PM-02:45PM (Session G)

G6: Gendering Fandoms: Exploring the Centrality of Gender and Sexuality to Fannish Practice
Room: Cabot
Chair: Darlene Hampton (University of Oregon)

  • Jing Zhao (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee), “Popular Cultural Capital Matters: A Comparative Study of ‘Queered’
  • Chinese Online Fandom”
  • Anne Gilbert (Rutgers University), “When Twilight Comes to Comic-Con: Gender Divisions in Popular Fandom”
  • John Vanderhoef (University of California, Santa Barbara), “Canon Fodder: Taste, Gender, and Video Game Culture”
  • Darlene Hampton (University of Oregon), “Pure Communities: The Radicalizing Potential of Intimacy in Fan Communities”

Thursday, March 22, 2012 03:00PM-04:45PM (Session H)

H7: Playing With Feelings 1: Video Games and Affect
Room: Cambridge
Chair: Aubrey Anable (University of Toronto)

  • Seth Mulliken (North Carolina State University, Raleigh), “The Order of Hardness: Rhythm-Based Games and Sonic Affect”
  • Laura Cook Kenna (George Washington University), “Feeling Empathetic? . . . Ironic? . . . Postracial?: Grand Theft Auto’s Offers of Affective Engagement with Ethnic and Racial Difference”
  • Allyson Shaffer (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities), “Playing Life, Managing Play”
  • Aubrey Anable (University of Toronto), “Casual Games, Serious Play, and the Affective Economy”

Thursday, March 22, 2012 05:00PM-06:45PM (Session I)

I11: Playing With Feelings 2: Medium, Immersion, and Affect
Room: Franklin
Chair: Daniel Reynolds (University of California, Santa Barbara)
Respondent: Mark J. P. Wolf (Concordia University, Wisconsin)

  • Daniel Reynolds (University of California, Santa Barbara), “Radical Embodiment and Affective Interactivity”
  • Virginia Kuhn (University of Southern California), “One More Time with Feeling: Can Agency and Immersion Co-exist?”
  • Chaz Evans (University of Illinois, Chicago), “The Brechtian Video Game (and Other Theatrical Conceptions of Software-based Experience)”

Friday, March 23, 2012 12:15PM-2:00PM (Session K)

Video Game Studies Special Interest Group

Friday, March 23, 2012 02:15PM-04:00PM (Session L)

L11: Code Studies and Videogames
Room: Franklin
Chair: Zach Whalen (University of Mary Washington)

  • Sheila Murphy (University of Michigan), “Parsing Code, Playing Games: A Mediation on Reading Video Games”
  • Mark Sample (George Mason University), “A Revisionist History of JFK Reloaded (Decoded)”
  • Zach Whalen (University of Mary Washington), “’//create magnetic children’: Game Code as Critical Paratext”
  • Christopher Hanson (Syracuse University), “Mapping Levels of Abstraction and Materiality: Structuralist Games?”

Saturday, March 24, 2012 9:00AM (Session M)

M11: Computer Games and Virtual Forms
Room: Franklin
Chair: Lori Landay, Berklee College of Music

  • Brent Strang (Stony Brook University), “Red Dead Remediation: Sandbox Games, Anti-environments and Digital Adolescence”
  • Juan F. Belmonte Avila (University of Murcia), “Tactility in Computer Games: Non-Visual Mediations in Digital Discourses”
  • Mark J. P. Wolf (Concordia University, Wisconsin), “BattleZone and the Origins of First-Person Shooting Games”
  • Lori Landay (Berklee College of Music), “Virtually There: Presence, Agency, Spectatorship, and Performance in Interactive Media”

Sponsor: Video Game Studies Scholarly Interest Group

Saturday, March 24, 2012 05:00PM-06:45PM (Session Q)

Q11: Video Game Industry Studies
Room: Franklin
Chair: Sheila Murphy (University of Michigan)
Co-Chair: Julia Lange (University of Michigan)
Respondent: Nina Huntemann (Suffolk University)

  • Benjamin Aslinger (Bentley University), “Redefining the Console for the Digital, Global, and Networked Era”
  • Kathryn Frank (University of Michigan), “Imagining the Cult Media Audience: Comics and Video Game Industrial ‘Synergy’”
  • Julia Lange (University of Michigan), “E3 or Not E3?: The Video Game Industry Online and In-person”

Q21: Beyond Strawmen, Misrepresentations, and Caricatures: Elucidating a Critical Political Economy of Media
Room: Whittier
Chair: Philip Drake (University of Stirling)
Respondent: Philippe Meers (University of Antwerp)

  • Eileen Meehan (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale), “The Misrepresentation of Critical Political Economy of Media”
  • Randall Nichols (Bentley University), “Manufacturing the Xbox: The Other Video Game Labor Problem”
  • Andre Sirois (University of Oregon), “Advertising and Avatars: Investing in Subcultural Capital and Selling Authenticity in the Case of DJ Hero”

Sunday, March 25, 2012 11:00AM-12:45PM (Session S)

S7: Video Games
Room: Cambridge
Chair: Robert Buerkle (University of Pittsburgh)

  • Reem Hilu (Northwestern University), “A Pioneering Game: “The Oregon Trail” and History Simulation”
  • Frank Episale (City University of New York), “Roger Ebert vs. Jacques Rancière: Video Games, Art, and the Emancipated Spectator”
  • Robert Buerkle (University of Pittsburgh), “At a Loss for Words: Portal 2 and the Silent Avatar”

[Downhill photograph courtesy of Flickr user krelle / Creative Commons Licensed]

Digital Humanities Sessions at the 2012 MLA Conference in Seattle

October 4th, 2011 § 11 comments § permalink

Second and Columbia in Seattle, c. July 1914

Second and Columbia in Seattle, c. July 1914

This is a comprehensive list of digital humanities sessions scheduled for the 2012 Modern Language Association Conference in Seattle, Washington. The 2012 list stands at 58 sessions, up from 44 last year (and 27 the year before). If the trend continues, within the decade it will no longer make sense to compile this list; it’ll be easier to list the sessions that don’t in some way relate in to the influence and impact of digital materials and tools upon language, literary, textual, and media studies.

It’s possible I may have missed a session or two; if so, let me know in the comments and I’ll add the panel to the list. Note that there’s also a pre-convention Getting Started in the Digital Humanities with DHCommons workshop; but because this workshop is application-only, it does not appear in the official MLA program.

You may also want to follow the MLA Tweetup Twitter account for updates on various spontaneous and planned meet-ups in Seattle.

[UPDATE 13 January 2012: I've begun adding links to presentations and papers if they've been posted online.]

Thursday, January 5

Pre-Convention Digital Humanities Project Mixer

1-4 pm in Convention Center, rooms 3A & 3B

Projects looking for collaborators and collaborators looking for projects, come mix and mingle in this informal project poster session that offers a face-to-face DHCommons experience. Representatives from projects looking for collaborators or just wanting to get the word out will share information and materials about their projects. This forum will also offer great opportunities for one-on-one conversations about pursuing projects in the digital humanities. If you would like to share your project, please sign up here, but otherwise there is no need to register.

This event is open to all MLA participants.

1. Evaluating Digital Work for Tenure and Promotion: A Workshop for Evaluators and Candidates

8:30–11:30 a.m., Willow A, Sheraton

Presiding: Alison Byerly, Middlebury Coll.; Katherine A. Rowe, Bryn Mawr Coll.; Susan Schreibman, Trinity Coll. Dublin

The workshop will provide materials and facilitated discussion about evaluating work in digital media (e.g., scholarly editions, databases, digital mapping projects, born-digital creative or scholarly work). Designed for both creators of digital materials (candidates for tenure and promotion) and administrators or colleagues who evaluate those materials, the workshop will propose strategies for documenting, presenting, and evaluating such work. Preregistration required.

9. Large Digital Libraries: Beyond Google Books

12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., 611, WSCC

Presiding: Michael Hancher Univ. of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Speakers: Tanya E. Clement, Univ. of Maryland, College Park; Amanda L. French, George Mason Univ.; George Oates, Open Library; Glenn Roe, Univ. of Chicago; Andrew M. Stauffer, Univ. of Virginia; Jeremy York, HathiTrust Digital Library

For a prospectus, visit mh.cla.umn.edu/MLA2012.pdf.

Aside from Google Books, the two principal repositories for digitized books are Open Library and HathiTrust Digital Library; Digital Public Library of America is now in its planning stage. What are the merits and prospects of these three projects? How can they be improved? What role should scholars play in their improvement? These questions will be addressed by participants in each project and by others experienced in the digital humanities.

12. Transmedia Stories and Literary Games

12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., 615, WSCC

  1. “Hundred Thousand Billion Fingers: Oulipian Games and Serial Players,” Patrick LeMieux Duke Univ.
  2. “Make Love, Not Warcraft: Virtual Worlds and Utopia,” Stephanie Boluk Vassar Coll.
  3. “Oscillation: Transmedia Storytelling and Narrative Theory by Design,” Patrick Jagoda Univ. of Chicago

Responding: Victoria E. Szabo Duke Univ.

For abstracts, visit www.stephanieboluk.com/docs/MLA_2012_abstracts.pdf.

34. The Future of Peer Review

12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Issaquah, Sheraton

Presiding: Sean Scanlan, New York City Coll. of Tech., City Univ. of New York

  1. “Making Online Peer Review Interactive: Sticky Notes and Highlighters,” Cheryl E. Ball, Illinois State Univ.
  2. “The Bearable Light of Openness: Renovating Obsolete Peer-Review Bottlenecks,” Aaron J. Barlow, New York City Coll. of Tech., City Univ. of New York
  3. “The Law Review Approach: What the Humanities Can Learn,” Allen Mendenhall, Auburn Univ., Auburn

41. Social Networks, Jewish Identity, and New Media

1:45–3:00 p.m. University, Sheraton

Presiding: Jonathan S. Skolnik Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst

  1. “Social Networking, Jewish Identity, and New Jewish Ritual: Tattooed Jews on Facebook,” Erika Meitner Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State Univ.
  2. “Electronic Apikoros: Searching for the Nineteenth-Century Origins of Contemporary Satire in the Jewish Blogosphere,” Ashley Aronsen Passmore Texas A&M Univ., College Station
  3. “From MySpace to MyJewishSpace: The Role of the Internet in the Self-Definition of New Jews in Austria and Germany,” Andrea Reiter Univ. of Southampton

47. Old Books and New Tools

1:45–3:00 p.m. 606, WSCC

Presiding: Sarah Werner Folger Shakespeare Library

Speakers: Katherine D. Harris, San José State Univ.; Jeffrey Knight, Univ. of Washington, Seattle; Matt Thomas, Univ. of Iowa; Whitney Trettien, Duke Univ.; Meg Worley, Palo Alto, CA

This roundtable will consider how the categories of old books and new tools might illuminate each other. Speakers will provide individual reflections on their experiences with old books and new tools before opening up the conversation to the theoretical and practical concerns driving the use and interactions of the two.

For abstracts, see http://sarahwerner.net/blog/index.php/old-books-and-new-tools/.

52. Post-Operaismo, Techne, and the Common

1:45–3:00 p.m., 304, WSCC

Presiding: Robert A. Wilkie Univ. of Wisconsin, La Crosse

  1. “Biotechnical Ecologies: Common Life in Los Angeles,” Allison Schifani Univ. of California, Santa Barbara
  2. “Cyber Communism: Left Ethics and Right Theory,” Stephen C. Tumino Kingsborough Community Coll., City Univ. of New York
  3. “Copyleft as Training Ground: The Digital Horizons of Intellectual Property,” Zachary Zimmer Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State Univ.
  4. “The Romance of Techne,” Kimberly DeFazio Univ. of Wisconsin, La Crosse

67. Race and Digital Humanities

1:45–3:00 p.m., 611, WSCC

Presiding: Howard Rambsy Southern Illinois Univ.

  1. “Digitizing the Past: The Technologies of Recovering Black Lives,” Kimberly D. Blockett Penn State Univ., Brandywine
  2. “Digital Africana Studies 3.0: Singularity, Performativity, and Technologizing the Field,” Bryan Carter Univ. of Central Missouri
  3. “The Project on the History of Black Writing and Digital Possibilities,” Maryemma Graham Univ. of Kansas

For abstracts, write to hrambsy@siue.edu.

69. The Future of Higher Education

3:30–5:15 p.m. Grand C, Sheraton

Presiding: Kathleen Woodward Univ. of Washington, Seattle

  1. “Emergent Projects, Processes, and Stories,” Sidonie Ann Smith Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  2. “Learning Collaboratories, Now and in the Future,” Curtis Wong Microsoft Research
  3. “It’s the Data, Stupid!,” Ed Lazowska Univ. of Washington, Seattle
  4. “How to Crowdsource Thinking,” Cathy N. Davidson Duke Univ.

Scholars from the human, natural, and computational sciences will address the future of higher education in a digital age. They will identify problems in higher education today and provide recommendations for what is needed as we go forward. What pressure does this information age exert on the current ways we think about higher education? How does a conversation across the computational sciences and the humanities address, ease, or exacerbate that pressure?

87. Digital Literary Studies: When Will It End?

3:30–4:45 p.m. 304, WSCC

Presiding: David A. Golumbia Virginia Commonwealth Univ.

  1. “Digital Birth, Digital Adoption, Digital Disownment: Reconceiving Computational Textuality,” John David Zuern Univ. of Hawai’i, Manoa
  2. “Digital Literary Studies circa 1954: Lacan’s Machines and Shannon’s Minds,” Bernard Dionysius Geoghegan Northwestern Univ.
  3. “Digital Anamnesis,” Benjamin J. Robertson Univ. of Colorado, Boulder

121. Writing the Jasmine Revolution and Tahrir Square: Graffiti, Film, Collage, Poetry

5:15–6:30 p.m., Cedar, Sheraton

Presiding: Kathryn Lachman Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst

  1. “Tagging the Jasmine Revolution: Social Media and Graffiti in the Tunisian Uprising,” David Fieni Cornell Univ.
  2. “Quand la révolution filmique anticipe la révolution populaire,” Mirvet Médini Kammoun Institut Supérieur des Beaux-Arts de Tunis
  3. “The Women’s Manifesto: Thinking Egypt 2011 Transnationally,” Basuli Deb Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln
  4. “Poetic Responses to the North African Revolutions,” Mahdia Benguesmia Univ. of Batna

For abstracts, write to klachman@llc.umass.edu.

125. What’s Still Missing? What Now? What Next? Digital Archives in American Literature

5:15–6:30 p.m., 608, WSCC

Presiding: Brad Evans, Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick

Speakers: Donna M. Campbell, Washington State Univ., Pullman; Julia H. Flanders, Brown Univ.; Kenneth M. Price, Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln; Oya Rieger, Cornell Univ.; Robert Scholes, Brown Univ.; Jeremy York, HathiTrust Digital Library

This roundtable has two goals: (1) to provide a forum for reflection on the first twenty years of the digital archive, especially as it relates to American materials, which might include consideration of what is still missing and of methodologies for making use of what is there now, and (2) to offer an opportunity for researchers who have become dependent on the archive to talk with major players in its production, in the hope of fostering new avenues for cooperation.

150. Digital Humanities and Internet Research

7:00–8:15 p.m., 613, WSCC

Presiding: John Jones Univ. of Texas, Dallas

  1. “Creating a Conceptual Search Engine and Multimodal Corpus for Humanities Research,” Robin A. Reid Texas A&M Univ., Commerce
  2. “What the Digital Can’t Remember,” John Jones
  3. “Toward a Rhetoric of Collaboration: An Online Resource for Teaching and Learning Research,” Jennifer Sano-Franchini Michigan State Univ.

For abstracts, visit robin_anne_reid.dreamwidth.org.

161. The Webs We Weave: Online Pedagogy in Community Colleges

7:00–8:15 p.m., 615, WSCC

Presiding: Linda Weinhouse, Community Coll. of Baltimore County, MD

  1. “Blended Learning: The Best of Both Worlds?,” Pamela Sue Hardman, Cuyahoga Community Coll., Western Campus, OH
  2. “Magic in the Web,” Michael R. Best, Univ. of Victoria; Jeremy Ehrlich, Univ. of Victoria
  3. “The Digital-Dialogue Journal: Tool for Enhanced Classic Communication,” Bette G. Hirsch, Cabrillo Coll., CA
  4. “Delivering Literary Studies in the Twenty-First Century: The Relevance of Online Pedagogies,” Kristine Blair, Bowling Green State Univ.

Friday, January 6

187. Digital Humanities and Hispanism

8:30–9:45 a.m. Grand A, Sheraton

Presiding: Kyra A. Kietrys Davidson Coll.

Speakers: Mike Blum, Coll. of William and Mary; Francie Cate-Arries, Coll. of William and Mary; Kyra A. Kietrys; Kathy Korcheck, Central Coll.; William Anthony Nericcio, San Diego State Univ.; Rocío Quispe-Agnoli, Michigan State Univ.; Amaranta Saguar García, Univ. of Oxford, Lady Margaret Hall; David A. Wacks, Univ. of Oregon

For abstracts and Web links, write to kykietrys@davidson.edu.

Demonstrations by Hispanists who use technology in their scholarship and teaching. The presenters include a graduate student; junior and senior Latin American, Peninsular, and comparativist colleagues whose work spans medieval to contemporary times; and an academic technologist. After brief presentations of the different digital tools, the audience will circulate among the stations to participate in interactive demonstrations.

202. The Presidential Forum: Language, Literature, Learning

10:15 a.m.–12:00 noon, Metropolitan A, Sheraton

Presiding: Russell A. Berman, Stanford Univ.

  1. Networking the Field,” Kathleen Fitzpatrick, MLA
  2. “Of Degraded Tongues and Digital Talk: Race and the Politics of Language,” Imani Perry, Princeton Univ.
  3. “Learning to Unlearn,” Judith Halberstam, Univ. of Southern California
  4. “Borrowing Privileges: Dreaming in Foreign Tongues,” Bala Venkat Mani, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison
  5. “Teaching Literature and the Bitter Truth about Starbucks,” Christopher Freeburg, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana

The forum addresses three fundamental points of orientation for our profession: language, in its various materialities; literature, broadly understood; and learning, especially student learning and our educational missions. The language and literature classroom has to serve the needs of today’s students. How do changing understandings of identity, performance, and media translate into transformations in teaching and learning?

215. Digital South, Digital Futures

10:15–11:30 a.m. 606, WSCC

Presiding: Vincent J. Brewton Univ. of North Alabama

  1. “Documenting the American South,” Natalia Smith Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  2. “Space, Place, and Image: Mapping Farm Securities Administration (FSA) Photographs and the Photogrammar Project,” Lauren Tilton Yale Univ.
  3. “Southern Spaces: The Development of a Digital Southern Studies Journal,” Frances Abbott Emory Univ.
  4. “Mapping a New Deal for New Orleans Artists,” Michael Mizell-Nelson Univ. of New Orleans

For abstracts, visit http://ach.org/ach-sessions-2012-mla-convention after 20 Dec.

217. Reconfiguring the Scholarly Editor: Textual Studies at the University of Washington, Seattle

10:15–11:30 a.m., 613, WSCC

Presiding: Míceál Vaughan, Univ. of Washington, Seattle

  1. “Neither Editor nor Librarian: The Interventions Required in the New Context of Texts in the Digital World,” Joseph Tennis, Univ. of Washington, Seattle
  2. “Revealing a Coronation Tribute: Decoding the Hidden Aural and Visual Symbols,” JoAnn Taricani, Univ. of Washington, Seattle
  3. “Mapping Editors,” Meg Roland, Marylhurst Univ.
  4. “The Editor as Curator: Early Histories of Collected Works Editions in English,” Jeffrey Knight, Univ. of Washington, Seattle

249. Building Digital Humanities in the Undergraduate Classroom

12:00 noon–1:15 p.m. Grand A, Sheraton

Presiding: Kathi Inman Berens Univ. of Southern California

Speakers: Kathryn E. Crowther, Georgia Inst. of Tech.; Brian Croxall, Emory Univ.; Maureen Engel, Univ. of Alberta; Paul Fyfe, Florida State Univ.; Kathi Inman Berens; Janelle A. Jenstad, Univ. of Victoria; Charlotte Nunes, Univ. of Texas, Austin; Heather Zwicker, Univ. of Alberta

For abstracts, visit briancroxall.net/buildingDH after 1 Dec.

This electronic roundtable assumes that “building stuff” is foundational to the digital humanities and that the technical barriers to participation can be low. When teaching undergraduates digital humanities, simple tools allow students to focus on the simultaneous practices of building and interpreting. This show-and-tell presents projects of variable technical complexity that foster robust interpretation.

259. Representation in the Shadow of New Media Technologies

12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., 304, WSCC

Presiding: Lan Dong Univ. of Illinois, Springfield

  1. “Web Video and Ethnic Media: Linking Representation and Distribution,” Aymar Jean Christian Univ. of Pennsylvania
  2. “Among Friends: Comparing Social Networking Functions in the Baltimore Sun and Baltimore Afro-American in 1904 and 1933,” Daniel Greene Univ. of Maryland, College Park
  3. “Digital Trash Talk: The Rhetoric of Instrumental Racism as Procedural Strategy,” Lisa Nakamura Univ. of Illinois, Urbana

276. Getting Funded in the Humanities: An NEH Workshop

1:30–3:30 p.m. 3B, WSCC

Presiding: Jason C. Rhody National Endowment for the Humanities

This workshop will highlight recent awards and outline current funding opportunites. In addition to emphasizing grant programs that support individual and collaborative research and education, the workshop will include information on the NEH’s Office of Digital Humanities. A question-and-answer period will follow.

301. Reconfiguring Publishing

1:45–3:00 p.m., Grand A, Sheraton

Presiding: Carolyn Guertin Univ. of Texas, Arlington; William Thompson Western Illinois Univ.

Speakers: James Copeland, Ugly Duckling Presse; Gail E. Hawisher, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana; James MacGregor, Public Knowledge Project; Rita Raley, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara; Avi Santo, Old Dominion Univ.; Cynthia L. Selfe, Ohio State Univ., Columbus; Raymond G. Siemens, Univ. of Victoria

For abstracts, visit www.wiu.edu/users/wat100/2012_reconfigure/.

This session intends not to bury publishing but to raise awareness of its transformations and continuities as it reconfigures itself. New platforms are causing publishers to return to their roots as booksellers while booksellers are once again becoming publishers. Open-access models of publishing are creating new models for content creation and distribution as small print-focused presses are experiencing a renaissance. Come see!

315. The New Dissertation: Thinking outside the (Proto-)Book

3:30–4:45 p.m., 606, WSCC

Presiding: Kathleen Woodward, Univ. of Washington, Seattle

Speakers: David Damrosch, Harvard Univ.; Kathleen Fitzpatrick, MLA; Richard E. Miller, Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick; Sidonie Ann Smith, Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Kathleen Woodward

In 2010 the Executive Council appointed a working group to explore the state of the doctoral dissertation: How can it adapt to digital innovation, open access, new concepts of “authorship”? What counts as scholarship in the world today? How do we address the national problems of cost and time to degree? This roundtable will offer members of the working group an opportunity to make the case that as we shift the terminology from scholarly publication to scholarly communication we need to expand the forms of the dissertation and to reconceptualize what the dissertation is and how it can prepare graduates for academic careers in the coming decades.

332. Digital Narratives and Gaming for Teaching Language and Literature

3:30–4:45 p.m. Aspen, Sheraton

Presiding: Barbara Lafford Arizona State Univ.

  1. “Narrative Expression and Scientific Method in Online Gaming Worlds,” Steven Thorne Portland State Univ.
  2. “Designing Narratives: A Framework for Digital Game-Mediated L2 Literacies Development,” Jonathon Reinhardt Univ. of Arizona; Julie Sykes Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque
  3. “Close Playing, Paired Playing: A Practicum,” Edmond Chang Univ. of Washington, Seattle; Timothy Welsh Loyola Univ., New Orleans

Responding: Dave McAlpine Univ. of Arkansas, Little Rock

343. The Cultural Place of Nineteenth-Century Poetry

3:30–4:45 p.m., 611, WSCC

Presiding: Charles P. LaPorte, Univ. of Washington, Seattle

  1. “Lyric and Music at the Fin de Siècle: The Cultural Place of Song,” Emily M. Harrington, Penn State Univ., University Park
  2. What Can ‘Digital Reading’ Tell Us about the Material Places of Victorian Poetry?,” Natalie M. Houston, Univ. of Houston, University Park
  3. “Olympics 2012 and Victorian Poetry for All Time,” Margaret Linley, Simon Fraser Univ.

349. Digital Pedagogy

5:15–6:30 p.m., Grand A, Sheraton

Presiding: Katherine D. Harris San José State Univ.

Speakers: Sheila T. Cavanagh, Emory Univ.; Elizabeth Chang, Univ. of Missouri, Columbia; Lori A. Emerson, Univ. of Colorado, Boulder; Adeline Koh, Richard Stockton Coll. of New Jersey; John Lennon, Univ. of South Florida Polytechnic; Kevin Quarmby, Shakespeare’s Globe Trust; Katherine Singer, Mount Holyoke Coll.; Roger Whitson, Georgia Inst. of Tech.

Discussions about digital projects and digital tools often focus on research goals. For this electronic roundtable, we will instead demonstrate how these digital resources, tools, and projects have been integrated into undergraduate and graduate curricula.

378. Old Labor and New Media

5:15–6:30 p.m., 608, WSCC

Presiding: Alison Shonkwiler Rhode Island Coll.

  1. “America Needs Indians: Representations of Native Americans in Counterculture Narrative and the Roots of Digital Utopianism,” Lisa Nakamura Univ of Illinois, Urbana
  2. “The Eyes of Real Labor and the Illusions of Virtual Reality,” Matt Goodwin Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst
  3. “Digital Voices: Representations of Migrant Workers in Dubai and Los Angeles,” Anne Cong-Huyen Univ. of California, Santa Barbara

Responding: Seth Perlow Cornell Univ.

Saturday, January 7

410. Reconfiguring the Literary: Narratives, Methods, Theories

8:30–9:45 a.m. 608, WSCC

Presiding: Susan Schreibman Trinity Coll., Dublin

Speakers: Alison Booth, Univ. of Virginia; Mark Stephen, Byron Univ. of Sydney; Øyvind Eide, Univ. of Oslo; Alexander Gil, Univ. of Virginia; Rita Raley, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara

For abstracts, visit http://ach.org/ach-sessions-2012-mla-convention after 1 Dec.

This roundtable will include projects that show how notions of the literary (narrative, method, and theory) can be fundamentally reconfigured by digital (con)texts.

421. Rhetorical Historiography and the Digital Humanities

8:30–9:45 a.m., 611, WSCC

Presiding: Janice Fernheimer Univ. of Kentucky

  1. “Touch Memory Death Technology Argument: Reading Onscreen,” Anne Frances Wysocki Univ. of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
  2. “Digital Archives as Rhetoric: Emerging Opportunities for Research and Design,” William Hart-Davidson Michigan State Univ.; Jim Ridolfo Univ. of Cincinnati
  3. “Feminist Historiography and the Digital Humanities,” Jessica Enoch Univ. of Pittsburgh

422. Public Intellectuals and the Question of Media

8:30–9:45 a.m. 310, WSCC

Presiding: Brian J. Norman Loyola Univ., Baltimore

  1. “Debating Form: Enlightenment Serial Publishing as Prehistory?,” Richard Squibbs DePaul Univ.
  2. “Truth and Conviction: Going Public with the Archive of Mary Suratt,” Augusta Rohrbach Washington State Univ., Pullman
  3. “New Left versus New Media? Latin American Encounters with Social(ist) Media,” Russell St Clair Cobb Univ. of Alberta
  4. “Professors in Public,” Susan H. Lurie Rice Univ.

Responding: Hortense Jeanette Spillers Vanderbilt Univ.

425. Composing New Partnerships in the Digital Humanities

8:30–9:45 a.m., 606, WSCC

Presiding: Catherine Jean Prendergast Univ. of Illinois, Urbana

Speakers: Matthew K. Gold, New York City Coll. of Tech., City Univ. of New York; Catherine Jean Prendergast; Alexander Reid, Univ. at Buffalo, State Univ. of New York; Spencer Schaffner, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana; Annette Vee, Univ. of Pittsburgh

The objective of this roundtable is to facilitate interactions between digital humanists and writing studies scholars who, despite shared interests in digital authorship, intellectual property, peer review, classroom communication, and textual revision, have often failed to collaborate. An extended period for audience involvement has been designed to seed partnerships beyond the conference.

428. Technology and Chinese Literature and Language

10:15–11:30 a.m., Boren, Sheraton

Presiding: Xiaoping Song Norwich Univ.

  1. “Adaptation: Rewriting Modern Chinese Literary Masterpieces,” Paul Manfredi Pacific Lutheran Univ.
  2. “Technology in Chinese Instruction: A Web-Based Extensive Reading Program,” Helen Heling Shen Univ. of Iowa
  3. “Technology and Teaching Chinese Literature in Translation,” Keith Dede Lewis and Clark Coll.
  4. “Text-Image-Imagined Words: An Approach to Teaching Chinese Literature,” Xiaoping Song

For abstracts, write to xsong@norwich.edu.

429. New Directions in Earlier Tudor Drama

10:15–11:30 a.m., 306, WSCC

Presiding: Maura Giles Watson Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln; Erin E. Kelly Univ. of Victoria

  1. “‘They Make the Chronicles Themselves’: Paranoid History in John Bale’s King Johan,” Philip Schwyzer Univ. of Exeter
  2. “Theater as Politics, Theater as Art: William Briton, an Early Reader of Gorboduc,” Laura Estill Univ. of Victoria
  3. “Ecocritical Heywood and The Play of the Wether,” Jennifer L. Ailles Chicago, IL
  4. “‘To See the Playes of Theatre Newe Wrought’: Electronic Editions of Early Tudor Drama,” Brett Hirsch Univ. of Western Australia

442. New Media, New Pedagogies

10:15–11:30 a.m., 613, WSCC

Presiding: Rebecca L. Walkowitz Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick

  1. “Steampunk Wells: Game Design as Narrative Pedagogy,” Jay Clayton Vanderbilt Univ.
  2. “Technologies That Describe: Data Visualization and Contemporary Fiction,” Heather Houser Univ. of Texas, Austin
  3. “Better Looking, Close Reading: How Online Fiction Builds Literary-Critical Skills,” John David Zuern Univ. of Hawai’i, Manoa

444. Preservation Is (Not) Just Another Word for Nothing Left to Lose

10:15–11:30 a.m., 307, WSCC

Presiding: Robert H. Kieft, Occidental Coll.

Speakers: Rod Gauvin, ProQuest; John Kiplinger, JSTOR; Laura C. Mandell, Texas A&M Univ., College Station; John Wilkin, HathiTrust Digital Library

Responding: Joan Lippincott, Coalition for Networked Information

For abstracts, visit www.wiu.edu/users/wat100/2012/ after 1 Dec.

The speakers will discuss the preservation of texts as a core purpose of libraries, engaging questions regarding the tasks of deciding what materials to preserve and when and which to let go: best practices; institutional and collective roles for the preservation of materials in various formats; economics and governance structures of preserving materials; issues of tools, standards, and platforms for digital materials.

450. Digital Faulkner: William Faulkner and Digital Humanities

10:15–11:30 a.m. 615, WSCC

Presiding: Steven Knepper Univ. of Virginia

Speakers: Keith Goldsmith, Vintage Books; John B. Padgett Brevard, Coll.; Noel Earl Polk, Mississippi State Univ.; Stephen Railton, Univ. of Virginia; Peter Stoicheff, Univ. of Saskatchewan

For abstracts, visit faulknersociety.com/panels.htm after 15 Dec.

A roundtable on digital humanities and its implications for teaching and scholarship on the work of William Faulkner.

467. The Future of Teaching

12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Grand C, Sheraton

Presiding: Priscilla B. Wald, Duke Univ.

  1. “Gaming the Humanities Classroom,” Patrick Jagoda, Univ. of Chicago
  2. “Intimacy in Three Acts,” Margaret Rhee, Univ. of California, Berkeley
  3. “One Course, One Project,” Jentery Sayers, Univ. of Victoria
  4. “The Meta Teacher,” Bulbul Tiwari, Stanford Univ.

This session features innovative advanced doctoral students and junior scholars who are making their mark as scholars and as teachers using new interactive, multimedia technologies of writing and publishing in their research and classrooms. The panelists cross the boundaries of the humanities, arts, sciences, and technology and are committed to new forms of scholarship and pedogogy. They practice the virtues of open, public, digitally accessible thinking and represent the vibrancy of our profession. Fiona Barnett, Duke Univ., will coordinate live Twitter feeds and other input during the session.

468. Networks, Maps, and Words: Digital-Humanities Approaches to the Archive of American Slavery

12:00 noon–1:15 p.m. 615, WSCC

Presiding: Lauren Klein Georgia Inst. of Tech.

  1. “‘A Report Has Come Here’: Social-Network Analysis in the Papers of Thomas Jefferson,” Lauren Klein
  2. “Slave Narratives in Space: Mapping the World of Venture Smith,” Cameron Blevins Stanford Univ.
  3. “Using Digital Tools to Explore Narrative Conventions in the North American Antebellum Slave Narratives,” Aditi Muralidharan Univ. of California, Berkeley

Responding: Amy Earhart Texas A&M Univ., College Station

479. Digital Humanities in the Italian Context

12:00 noon–1:15 p.m. Cedar, Sheraton

Presiding: Manuela Marchesini Texas A&M Univ., College Station

  1. “Digital Humanities in the Italian Culture Landscape,” Stefano Franchi Texas A&M Univ., College Station
  2. “Life and the Digital: On Esposito and Tarizzo’s Inventions of Life,” Alberto Moreiras Texas A&M Univ., College Station
  3. “Humanist Studies and the Digital Age,” Massimo Lollini Univ. of Oregon
  4. “Giacomo Leopardi’s Zibaldone: From Card Index to Hypertext,” Silvia Stoyanova Princeton Univ.

For abstracts, write to mmarchesini@tamu.edu after 19 Dec.

482. Of Kings’ Treasuries and the E-Protean Invasion: The Evolving Nature of Scholarly Research

12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., 613, WSCC

Presiding: Jude V. Nixon, Salem State Univ.

Speakers: Douglas M. Armato, Univ. of Minnesota Press; Harriett Green, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana; Dean J. Smith, Project MUSE; Pierre A. Walker, Salem State Univ.

This roundtable addresses the veritable explosion of emerging technologies (Google Books, Wikipedia, and e-readers) currently available to faculty members to enhance their scholarly research and how these resources are altering fundamentally the method of scholarly research. The session also wishes to examine access to these technologies and how they interact with the traditional research library and the still meaningful role, if any, it plays in scholarly research.

487. Context versus Convenience: Teaching Contemporary Business Communication through Digital Media

12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., 306, WSCC

Presiding: Mahli Xuan Mechenbier, Kent State Univ.

  1. “Reenvisioning and Renovating the Twenty-First-Century Business Communication Classroom,” Lara Smith-Sitton, Georgia State Univ.
  2. “Contextualizing Conventions: Technology in Business Writing Classrooms,” Suanna H. Davis, Houston Community Coll., Central Coll., TX
  3. “Teaching Business Communication through Simulation Games,” Katherine V. Wills, Indiana Univ.–Purdue Univ., Columbus

490. Reconfiguring the Scholarly Edition

12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., 611, WSCC

Presiding: Susan Schreibman, Trinity Coll. Dublin

Speakers: Michael R. Best, Univ. of Victoria; John Bryant, Hofstra Univ.; Alexander Gil, Univ. of Virginia; Elizabeth Grove-White, Univ. of Victoria; Grant Simpson, Indiana Univ., Bloomington; John A. Walsh, Indiana Univ., Bloomington

New theories of editing have broadened the approaches available to editors of scholarly editions. Noteworthy amongst these are the changes brought about by editing for digital publication. New methods for digital scholarship, forms of editions, theories informing digital publication, and tools offer exciting alternatives to traditional notions of the scholarly edition.

513. Principles of Exclusion: The Future of the Nineteenth-Century Archive

1:45–3:00 p.m., 611, WSCC

Presiding: Lloyd P. Pratt, Univ. of Oxford, Linacre Coll.

  1. “Missing Links; or, Girls of Today, Archives of Tomorrow,” William A. Gleason, Princeton Univ.
  2. “Anonymity, Authorship, and Digital Archives in American Literature,” Elizabeth Lorang, Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln
  3. “Dashed Hopes: Small-Scale Digital Archives of the 1990s,” Amy Earhart, Texas A&M Univ., College Station

532. Reading Writing Interfaces: Electronic Literature’s Past and Present

1:45–3:00 p.m. 613, WSCC

Presiding: Marjorie Luesebrink Irvine Valley Coll., CA

  1. “Early Authors of E-Literature, Platforms of the Past,” Dene M. Grigar Washington State Univ., Vancouver
  2. “Seven Types of Interface in the Electronic Literature Collection Volume Two,” Marjorie Luesebrink ; Stephanie Strickland New York, NY
  3. The Digital Poem against the Interface Free,” Lori A. Emerson Univ. of Colorado, Boulder
  4. “Strange Rain and the Poetics of Motion and Touch,” Mark L. Sample George Mason Univ.

For abstracts, visit http://loriemerson.net/2011/10/04/mla-2012-special-session/.

539. #alt-ac: Alternative Paths, Pitfalls, and Jobs in the Digital Humanities

3:30–4:45 p.m. 3B, WSCC

Presiding: Sara Steger Univ. of Georgia

Speakers: Brian Croxall, Emory Univ.; Julia H. Flanders, Brown Univ.; Jennifer Howard, Chronicle of Higher Education; Matthew Jockers, Stanford Univ.; Shana Kimball, Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Bethany Nowviskie, Univ. of Virginia; Lisa Spiro, National Inst. for Tech. in Liberal Education

This roundtable brings together various perspectives on alternative academic careers from professionals in digital humanities centers, libraries, publishing, and humanities labs. Speakers will discuss how and whether digital humanities is especially suited to fostering non-tenure-track positions and how that translates to the role of alt-ac in digital humanities and the academy. Related session: “#alt-ac: The Future of ‘Alternative Academic’ Careers” (595).

566. Ending the Edition

3:30–4:45 p.m., 303, WSCC

Presiding: Carol DeBoer-Langworthy, Brown Univ.

  1. “Mary Moody Emerson’s Almanacks: Digital Editions and Imagined Endings,” Noelle A. Baker, Neenah, WI
  2. “Closing the Book on a Multigenerational Edition: Harvard’s The Collected Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson,” Ronald A. Bosco, Univ. at Albany, State Univ. of New York; Joel Myerson, Univ. of South Carolina, Columbia
  3. “‘Letting Go’: The Final Volumes of the Cambridge Fitzgerald Edition,” James L. W. West, Penn State Univ., University Park

581. Digital Humanities versus New Media

5:15–6:30 p.m., 611, WSCC

  1. ” Everything Old Is New Again: The Digital Past and the Humanistic Future,” Alison Byerly Middlebury Coll.
  2. “As Study or as Paradigm? Humanities and the Uptake of Emerging Technologies,” Andrew Pilsch Penn State Univ., University Park
  3. “Digital Tunnel Vision: Defining a Rhetorical Situation,” David Robert Gruber North Carolina State Univ.
  4. “Digital Humanities Authorship as the Object of New Media Studies,” Victoria E. Szabo Duke Univ.

For abstracts, visit www.duke.edu/~ves4/mla2012.

595. #alt-ac: The Future of “Alternative Academic” Careers

5:15–6:30 p.m., 3B, WSCC

Presiding: Bethany Nowviskie, Univ. of Virginia

Speakers: Donald Brinkman, Microsoft Research; Neil Fraistat, Univ. of Maryland, College Park; Robert Gibbs, Univ. of Toronto; Charles Henry, Council on Library and Information Resources; Bethany Nowviskie; Jason C. Rhody, National Endowment for the Humanities; Elliott Shore, Bryn Mawr Coll.

In increasing numbers, scholars are pursuing careers as “alternative academics”—embracing hybrid and non-tenure-track positions in libraries, presses, humanities and cultural heritage organizations, and digital labs and centers. Speakers represent organizations helping to craft alternatives to the traditional academic career. Related session: “#alt-ac: Alternative Paths, Pitfalls, and Jobs in the Digital Humanities” (539).

603. Innovative Pedagogy and Research in Technical Communication

5:15–6:30 p.m., 615, WSCC

Presiding: William Klein Univ. of Missouri, St. Louis

1. “The New Normal of Public Health Research by Technical Communication Professionals,” Thomas Barker Texas Tech Univ.

2. “Teaching the New Paradigm: Social Media inside and outside the Classroom,” William Magrino Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick; Peter B. Sorrell Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick

3. “Technical and Rhetorical Communication through DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Digital Video,” Crystal VanKooten Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor

For abstracts, write to bill_klein@umsl.edu.

606. Text:Image Visual Studies in the English Major

5:15–6:30 p.m., 304, WSCC

Presiding: Meg Roland, Marylhurst Univ.

  1. “Aesthetic Literacy and Interdisciplinary Vocabularies,” M. Stephanie Murray, Carnegie Mellon Univ.
  2. “Curricular Challenges, Pedagogical Opportunities: Charting Modernism across Departmental Boundaries,” David M. Ball, Dickinson Coll.; Elizabeth Lee, Dickinson Coll.
  3. “Text:Image Visual Studies in the English Department,” Perrin Maurine Kerns, Marylhurst Univ.
  4. Mapping the Antebellum Culture of Reprinting,” Ryan Cordell, Saint Norbert Coll.

For abstracts, write to mroland@marylhurst.edu.

Sunday, January 8

636. Not What We Thought: Representations of the Digital Everyday

8:30–9:45 a.m., 307, WSCC

Presiding: Mark Bresnan New York Univ.

  1. “Enter eBay: Representations of the Digital Everyday in Jonathan Lethem’s Chronic City,” Zara Dinnen Univ. of London, Birkbeck Coll.
  2. “The Work of Viral Video in the Age of Networked Transmission,” Kimberly Knight Univ. of Texas, Dallas
  3. “@Margaret Atwood: Interactive Media and the Management of Literary Celebrity,” Lorraine M. York McMaster Univ.

658. The Literary Archive in an Age of Quantification: Evidence, Method, Imagination

10:15–11:30 a.m., 307, WSCC

Presiding: Justine S. Murison Univ. of Illinois, Urbana

  1. “Cause for Idealism? The Scientization of Literary Studies,” Jared Hickman Johns Hopkins Univ., MD
  2. “Can We Have Sex in the Archives?,” Jordan Alexander Stein Univ. of Colorado, Boulder
  3. “How to Build Tools That Foster the Kind of Brainstorming You Want,” Ted Underwood Univ. of Illinois, Urbana

Responding: Justine S. Murison

665. Debates in the Digital Humanities

10:15–11:30 a.m. 615, WSCC

Presiding: Alexander Reid Univ. at Buffalo, State Univ. of New York

  1. Whose Revolution? Toward a More Equitable Digital Humanities,” Matthew K. Gold New York City Coll. of Tech., City Univ. of New York
  2. Hacktivism and the Humanities: Programming Protest in the Era of the Digital University,” Elizabeth Mathews Losh Univ. of California, San Diego
  3. “Twenty-First-Century Literacy: Searching the Story of Billy the Kid,” Jeff Rice Univ. of Missouri, Columbia
  4. “Why the Digital Humanities Needs Theory,” Jentery Sayers Univ. of Victoria

For abstracts and discussion, visit dhdebatesmla12.wordpress.com/.

674. Giving It Away: Sharing and the Future of Scholarly Communication

10:15–11:30 a.m., Willow A, Sheraton

Presiding: Nicholas Birns, New School

Giving It Away: Sharing and the Future of Scholarly Communication,” Kathleen Fitzpatrick, MLA

691. Gertrude Stein and Music

12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Cedar, Sheraton

Presiding: Jeff Dailey, Five Towns Coll.

  1. Sounding Stein’s Texts by Using Digital Tools for Distant Listening,” Tanya E. Clement, Univ. of Maryland, College Park
  2. “Gertrude’s Glee and Jazz Mislaid Jazz,” Judith A. Roof, Rice Univ.
  3. “‘This Is How They Do Not Like It’: Queer Abjection in Gertrude Stein and Virgil Thomson’s Four Saints in Three Acts,” Brandon Masterman, Univ. of Pittsburgh
  4. “‘Come to Paris Where You Can Be Looked After’: Paul Bowles Remediates Gertrude Stein,” Christopher Leslie, Polytechnic Inst. of New York Univ.

For abstracts, visit www.lyricasociety.org.

716. Digital Material

12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., 613, WSCC

Presiding: Charles M. Tung Seattle Univ.; Benjamin Widiss Princeton Univ.

Speakers: Paul Benzon, Temple Univ., Philadelphia; Cara Elisabeth, Ogburn Univ. of Wisconsin, Milwaukee; Charles M. Tung; Benjamin Widiss; Zachary Zimmer, Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State Univ.

For abstracts, write to bwidiss@princeton.edu.

Is there gravity in digital worlds? Moving beyond both lamentations and celebrations of the putatively free-floating informatic empyrean, this roundtable will explore the ways in which representations in myriad digital platforms—verbal, visual, musical, cinematic—might bear the weight of materiality, presence, and history and the ways in which bodies—both human and hardware—might be recruited for or implicated in the effort.

730. New Media Narratives and Old Prose Fiction

1:45–3:00 p.m., 310, WSCC

Presiding: Amy J. Elias Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville

  1. “New Media: Its Use and Abuse for Literature and for Life,” Joseph Paul Tabbi Univ. of Illinois, Chicago
  2. “Contrasts and Convergences of Electronic Literature,” Dene M. Grigar Washington State Univ., Vancouver
  3. “Computing Language and Poetry,” Nick Montfort Massachusetts Inst. of Tech.

736. Close Playing: Literary Methods and Video Game Studies

1:45–3:00 p.m., University, Sheraton

Presiding: Mark L. Sample George Mason Univ.

Speakers: Edmond Chang, Univ. of Washington, Seattle; Steven E. Jones, Loyola Univ., Chicago; Jason C. Rhody, National Eudowment for the Humanities; Anastasia Salter, Univ. of Baltimore; Timothy Welsh, Loyola Univ., New Orleans; Zach Whalen, Univ. of Mary Washington

For abstracts, visit www.samplereality.com/mla12 after December 1.

This roundtable moves beyond the games-versus-stories dichotomy to explore the full range of possible literary approaches to video games. These approaches include the theoretical and methodological contributions of reception studies, reader-response theory, narrative theory, critical race and gender theory, disability studies, and textual scholarship.

738. Textual Remediation in the Digital Age

1:45–3:00 p.m., 307, WSCC

Presiding: Andrew M. Stauffer, Univ. of Virginia

Speakers: Mark Algee-Hewitt, McGill Univ.; Alison Booth, Univ. of Virginia; Amanda Gailey, Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln; Laura C. Mandell, Texas A&M Univ., College Station

Roundtable on the theoretical, practical, and institutional issues surrounding the transformation of print-era texts into digital forms for scholarly use. What forms of editing need to be done, and by whom? What new research questions are becoming possible? How will the global digital library change professional communication? What is the future of the academic research library? How can we make sustainable digital textual resources for literary studies?

Second and Columbia, c. July 1914 photograph courtesy of Rob Ketcherside, Creative Commons Licensed

Close Playing: Literary Methods and Videogame Studies (MLA 2012 Roundtable)

May 16th, 2011 § 8 comments § permalink

Pac ManI recently received word that my proposal for a roundtable on videogame studies was accepted for the annual Modern Language Association Convention, to be held next January in Seattle, Washington. I’m very excited for myself and my fellow participants: Ed Chang, Steve Jones, Jason Rhody, Anastasia Salter, Tim Welsh, and Zach Whalen. (Updated with links to talks below)

This roundtable is particularly noteworthy in two ways. First, it’s a departure from the typical conference model in the humanities, namely three speakers each reading twenty-minute essays at an audience, followed by ten minutes of posturing and self-aggrandizement thinly disguised as Q&A. Instead, each speaker on the “Close Playing” roundtable will briefly (no more than six minutes each) lay out opening remarks or provocations, and then we’ll invite the audience to a long open discussion. Last year’s Open Professoriate roundtable followed a similar model, and the level of collegial dialogue between the panelists and the audience was inspiring (and even newsworthy)—and I hope the “Close Playing” roundtable can emulate that success.

The second noteworthy feature of the roundtable is the topic itself. Videogames—an incredibly rich form of cultural expression—have been historically unrepresented, if not entirely absent from the MLA. I noted this silence in the midst of the 2011 convention in Los Angeles:

How is it possible that I am the only person talking about videogames at #MLA11?
@samplereality
Mark Sample

This is not to say there isn’t an interest in videogames at the MLA; indeed, I am convinced from the conversations I’ve had at the conference that there’s a real hunger to discuss games and other media forms that draw from the same cultural well as storytelling. Partly in the interest of promoting the critical study of videogames, and partly to serve as a successful model for future roundtable proposals (which I can assure you, the MLA Program Committee wants to see more of), I’m posting the “Close Playing” session proposal here (see also the original CFP).

We hope to see you in Seattle in January!

[divider]

CLOSE PLAYING: LITERARY METHODS AND VIDEOGAME STUDIES

(As submitted to the MLA Program Committee
for the 2012 conference in Seattle, Washington)

Nearly fifteen years ago a contentious debate erupted in the emerging field of videogame studies between self-proclaimed ludologists and the more loosely-defined narratologists. At stake—or so it seemed at the time—was the very soul of videogame studies. Would the field treat games as a distinct cultural form, which demanded its own theory and methodology? Or were videogames to be considered “texts,” which could be analyzed using the same approaches literary scholars took to poetry, drama, and fiction? Were games mainly about rules, structure, and play? Or did games tell stories and channel allegories? Ludologists argued for the former, while many others defended the latter. The debate played out in conferences, blogs, and the early issues of scholarly e-journals such as Game Studies and Electronic Book Review.

In the ensuing years the debate has dissipated, as both sides have come to recognize that no single approach can adequately explore the rich and diverse world of videogames. The best scholarship in the field is equally attune to both the formal and thematic elements of games, as well as to the complex interplay between them. Furthermore, it’s become clear that ludologists mischaracterized literary studies as a strictly New Critical endeavor, a view that woefully overlooks the many insights contemporary literary scholarship can offer to this interdisciplinary field.

In the past few years scholars have begun exploring the whole range of possible literary approaches to games. Methodologies adopted from reception studies, reader-response theory, narrative theory, critical race and gender theory, queer studies, disability studies, rhetoric and composition, and textual studies have all contributed in substantive ways to videogames studies. This roundtable will focus on these contributions, demonstrating how various methods of literary studies can help us understand narrative-based games as well as abstract, non-narrative games (for example, Tetris). And as Jameson’s famous mantra “always historicize” reminds us, the roundtable will also address the wider social and historical context that surrounds games.

This topic is ideally suited for a roundtable format (rather than a panel of three papers) precisely because of the diversity of approaches, which are well-represented by the roundtable participants. Moreover, each presenter will limit his or her opening remarks to a nonnegotiable six minutes, focusing on the possibilities of one or two specific methodologies for close-reading videogames, rather than a comprehensive close reading of a single game. With six presenters, this means the bulk of the session time (roughly thirty-five minutes) will be devoted to an open discussion, involving both the panel and the audience.

“Close Playing: Literary Methods and Videogame Studies” will appeal to a broad swath of the MLA community. While many will find subject of videogames studies compelling enough by itself, the discussion will be relevant to those working in textual studies, media studies, and more broadly, the digital humanities. The need for this roundtable is clear: as we move toward the second decade of videogames studies, the field can no longer claim to be an emerging discipline; the distinguished participants on this panel—with the help of the audience—will survey the current lay of the land in videogame studies, but more importantly, point the way forward.

Moderator
Mark Sample, George Mason University

Participants (updated with links to talks)

 

[Pac Man photo courtesy of Flick user joyrex / Creative Commons Licensed]

The Poetics of Metadata and the Potential of Paradata (Revised)

March 22nd, 2011 § 5 comments § permalink

I Have Learned So Much[This is the text, more or less, of the talk I delivered at the 2011 biennial meeting of the Society for Textual Scholarship, which took place March 16-18 at Penn State University. I originally planned on talking about the role of metadata in two digital media projects—a topic that would have fit nicely with STS's official mandate of investigating print and digital textual culture. But at the last minute (i.e. the night before), I changed the focus of my talk, turning it into a thinly-veiled call for digital textual scholarship (primarily the creation of digital editions of print works) to rethink everything it does. (Okay, that's an exaggeration. But I do argue that there's a lot the creators of digital editions of texts should learn from born-digital creative projects.)

Also, it was the day after St. Patrick's Day. And the fire alarm went off several times during my talk.

None of these events are related.]

The Poetics of Metadata and the Potential of Paradata
in We Feel Fine and The Whale Hunt

I once made fun of the tendency of academics to begin their papers by apologizing in advance for the very same papers they were about to begin. I’m not exactly going to apologize for this paper. But I do want to begin by saying that this is not the paper I came to give. I had that paper, it was written, and it was a good paper. It was the kind of paper I wouldn’t have to apologize for.

But, last night, I trashed it.

I trashed that paper. Call it the Danny Boy effect, I don’t know. But it wasn’t the paper I felt I needed to deliver, here, today.

Throughout the past two days I’ve detected a low level background hum in the conference rooms, a kind of anxiety about digital texts and how we interact with them. And I wanted to acknowledge that anxiety, and perhaps even gesture toward a way forward in my paper. So, I rewrote it. Last night, in my hotel room. And, well, it’s not exactly finished. So I want to apologize in advance, not for what I say in the paper, but for all the things I don’t say.

My original talk had positioned two online works by the new media artist Jonathan Harris as two complementary expressions of metadata. I had a nice title for that paper. I even coined a new word in my title.

Flashing Talk TitleBut this title doesn’t work anymore.

I have a new title. It’s a bit more ambitious.

New Title for the Poetics of Metadata

But at least I’ve still got that word I coined.

Paradata.

It’s a lovely word. And truth be told, just between you and me, I didn’t coin it. In the social sciences, paradata refers to data about the data collection process itself—say the date or time of a survey, or other information about how a survey was conducted. But there are other senses of the prefix “para” I’m trying to evoke. In textual studies, of course, para-, as in paratext, is what Genette calls the threshold of the text. I’m guessing I don’t have to say anything more about paratext to this audience.

But there’s a third notion of “para” that I want to play with. It comes from the idea of paracinema, which Jeffrey Sconce first described in 1996. Paracinema is a kind of “reading protocol” that valorizes what most audiences would otherwise consider to be cinematic trash. The paracinematic aesthetic redeems films that are so bad that they actually become worth watching—worth enjoying—and it does so in a confrontational way that seeks to establish a counter-cinema.

Following Sconce’s work, the videogame theorist Jesper Juul has wondered if there can be such a thing as paragames—illogical, improbable, and unreasonably bad games. Such games, Juul suggests, might teach us about our tastes and playing habits, and what the limits of those tastes are. And even more, such paragames might actually revel in their badness, becoming fun to play in the process.

Trying to tap into these three different senses of “para,” I’ve been thinking about paradata. And I’ve got to tell you, so far, it’s a mess. (And this part of my paper was actually a mess in the original version of my paper as well). My concept of paradata is a big mess and it may not mean anything at all.

This is what I have so far: paradata is metadata at a threshold, or paraphrasing Genette, data that exists in a zone between metadata and not metadata. At the same time, in many cases it’s data that’s so flawed, so imperfect that it actually tells us more than compliant, well-structured metadata does.

So let me turn now to We Feel Fine, a massive, ongoing digital databased storytelling project rich with metadata—and possibly, paradata.

We Feel Fine Logo

We Feel Fine is an astonishing collection of tens of thousands of sentences extracted from tens of thousands of blog posts, all containing the phrase “I feel” or “I am feeling.” It was designed by new media artist Jonathan Harris and the computer scientist Sep Kamvar and launched in May 2006.

The project is essentially an automated script that visits thousands of blogs every minute, and whenever the script detects the words “I feel” or “I am feeling,” it captures that sentence and sends it to a database. As of early this year, the project has harvested 14 million expressions of emotions from 2.5 million people. And the site has done this at a rate of 10,000 to 15,000 “feelings” a day.

Let me repeat that: every day approximately 10,000 new entries are added to We Feel Fine.

The heart of the project appears to be the multifaceted interface that has six so-called “movements”—six ways of visualizing the data collected by We Feel Fine’s crawler.

The default movement is Madness, a swarm of fifteen-hundred colored circles and squares, each one representing a single sentence from a blog post, a single “feeling.” The circles contain text only, while the squares include images associated with the respective blog post.

Madness Movement of We Feel Fine

The colors of the particles signify emotional valence, with shades of yellow representing more positive emotions, red signaling anger. Blue is associated with sad feelings, and so on. This graphic, by the way, comes from the book version of We Feel Fine.

Pie Chart from the We Feel Fine Book

The book came out in 2009. In it, Harris and Kamvar curate hundreds of the most compelling additions to We Feel Fine, as well as analyze the millions of blog posts they’ve collected with with extensive data visualizations—graphs, and charts, and diagrams.

Opening Montage to the We Feel Fine book

Data Visualizations from the We Feel Fine book

The book is an amazing project in and of itself and deserves its own separate talk. It raises important questions about archives, authorship, editorial practices, the material differences between a dynamic online project and a static printed work, and so on. I’ll leaves aside these questions right now; instead, I want to turn to the site itself. Let’s look at the Madness movement in action.

(And here I went online and interacted with the site. Why don’t you do that too, and come back later?)

(Also, right about here a fire alarm went off. Which, semantically, makes no sense. The alarm turned on, but I said it went off.)

(I can’t reproduce the sound of that particular fire alarm going off. I bet you have some sort of alarm on your phone or something you could make go off, right?)

(No? You don’t? Or you’re just as confused about on and off as I am? Then enjoy this short video intermission, which interrupts my talk, which I’m writing and which you’re reading, about as intrusively as the alarms interrupted my panel.)

(Okay. Back to my talk, which I’m writing, and which you’re reading.)

In the Madness movement you can click on any single circle, and the “feeling” will appear at the top of the screen. Another click on that feeling will drill down to the original blog post in its original context. So what’s important here is that a single click transitions from the general to the particular, from the crowd to the individual. You can also click on the squares to show “feelings” that have an image associated with them. And you have the option to “save” these images, which sends them to a gallery, just about the only way you can be sure to ever find any given image in We Feel Fine again.

Slide10 - The Madness Movement in We Feel Fine

At the top of the screen are are six filters you can use to narrow down what appears in the Madness movement. Working right to left, you can search by date, by location, the weather at that location at the time of the original blog post, the age of the blogger, the gender of the blogger, and finally, the feeling itself that is named in the blog post. While every item in the We Feel Fine database will have the feeling and date information attached to it, the age, gender, location, and weather fields are populated only for those items in which that information is publicly available—say a LiveJournal or Blogger profile that lists that information, or a Flickr photo that’s been geotagged.

What I want to call your attention to before I run through the other five movements of We Feel Fine is that these filters depend upon metadata. By metadata, I mean the descriptive information the database associates with the original blog post. This metadata not only makes We Feel Fine browsable, it makes it possible. The metadata is the data. The story—if there is one to be found in We Feel Fine—emerges only through the metadata.

You can manipulate the other five movements using these filters. At first, for example, the Murmurs movement displays a reverse chronological streaming, like movie credits, of the most recent emotions. The text appears letter-by-letter, as if it were being typed. This visual trick heightens the voyeuristic sensibility of We Feel Fine and makes it seem less like a database and more like a narrative, or even more to the point, like a confessional.

Murmurs Mode of We Feel Fine

The Montage movement, meanwhile, organizes the emotions into browsable photo galleries:

Montage Movement of We Feel Fine

By clicking on a photo and selecting save, you can add photos to a permanent “gallery.” Because the database grows so incredibly fast, this is the only way to ensure that you’ll be able to find any given photograph again in the future. There’s a strong ethos of ephemerality in We Feel Fine. To use one of Marie-Laure Ryan’s metaphors for a certain kind of new media, We Feel Fine is a kaleidoscope, an assemblage of fragments always in motion, never the same reading or viewing experience twice. We have little control over the experience. It’s only through manipulating the filters that we can hope to bring even a little coherency to what we read.

The next of the five movements is the Mobs movement. Mobs provides five separate data visualization of the most recent fifteen-hundred feelings. One of the most interesting aspects of the Mobs movement is that it highlights those moments when the filters don’t work, or at least not very well, because of missing metadata.

The Mobs Movement of We Feel Fine

For instance, clicking the Age visualizations tells us that 1,223 (of the most recent 1,500) feelings have no age information attached to them. Similarly, the Location visualization draws attention to the large number of blog posts that lack any metadata regarding their location.

Unlike many other massive datamining projects, say, Google’s Ngram Viewer, We Feel Fine turns its missing metadata into a new source of information. In a kind of playful return of the repressed, the missing metadata is colorfully highlighted—it becomes paradata. The null set finds representation in We Feel Fine.

The Metrics movement is the fourth movement. And it shows what Kamvar and Harris call the “most salient” feelings, by which they mean “the ways in which a given population differs from the global average.”

The Metrics Movement of We Feel Fine

Right now, for example, we see that “Crazy” is trending 3.8 times more than normal, while people are feeling “alive” 3.1 times more than usual. (Good for them!). Here again we see an ability to map the local against the global. It addresses what I see as one of the problems of large-scale data visualization projects, like the ones that Lev Manovich calls “cultural analytics.”

Ngram and the like are not forms of distant reading. There’s distant reading, and then there’s simply distance, which is all they offer. We Feel Fine mediates that distance, both visually, and practically.

(And here I was going to also say the following, but I was already in hot water at the conference for my provocations, so I didn’t say it, but I’ll write it here: Cultural analytics echo a totalitarian impulse for precise vision and control over broad swaths of populations.)

And finally, the Mounds movement, which simply shows big piles of emotion, beginning with whatever feeling is the most common at the moment, and moving on down the line towards less common emotions. The Mounds movement is at once the least useful visualization but also the most playful, with its globs that jiggle as you move your cursor over them.

The Mounds Movement in We Feel Fine

(Obviously you can’t see it above, in the static image but…) The mounds convey what game designers call “juiciness.” As Jesper Juul characterizes juiciness, it’s “excessive positive feedback in response to the player’s actions.” Or, as one game designer puts it, a juicy game “will bounce and wiggle and squirt…it feels alive and responds to everything that you do.”

Harris’s work abounds with juicy, playful elements, and they’re not just eye candy. They are part of the interface, part of the design, and they make We Feel Fine welcoming, inviting. You want to spend time with it. Those aren’t characteristics you’d normally associate with a database. And make no mistake about it. We Feel Fine is a database. All of these movements are simply its frontend—a GUI Java applet written in Processing that obscures a very deliberate and structured data flow.

The true heart of We Feel Fine is not the responsive interface, but the 26,000 lines of code running on 5 different servers, and the MySQL database that stores the 10,000 new feelings collected each and every day. In their book, Kamvar and Harris provide an overview of the dozen or so main components that make up We Feel Fine’s backend.

It begins with a URL server that maintains the list of URLs to be crawled and the crawler itself, which runs on a single dedicated server.

Pages retrieved by the crawler are sent to the “Feeling Indexer,” which locates the words “feel” or “feeling” in the blog post. The adjective following “feel” or “feeling” is matched against the “emotional lexicon”—a list of 2,178 feelings that are indexed by We Feel Fine. If the emotion is not in the lexicon, it won’t be saved. That emotion is dead to We Feel Fine. But if the emotion does match the index, the script extracts the sentence with that feeling and any other information available (this is where the gender, location, and date data are parsed).

Next there’s the actual MySQL database, which stores the following fields for each data item: the extracted sentence, the feeling, the date, time, post URL, weather, and gender, age, and location information.

Then there’s an open API server and several other client applications. And finally, we reach the front end.

Now, why have I just taken this detour into the backend of We Feel Fine?

Because, if we pay attention to the hardware and software of We Feel Fine, we’ll notice important details that might otherwise escape us. For example, I don’t know if you noticed from the examples I showed earlier, but all of the sentences in We Feel Fine are stripped of their formatting. This is because the Perl code in the backend converts all of the text to lowercase, removes any HTML tags, and eliminates any non-alphanumeric characters:

The algorithm tampers with the data. The code mediates the raw information. In doing so, We Feel Fine makes both an editorial and aesthetic statement.

In fact, once we understand some of the procedural logic of We Feel Fine, we can discover all sorts of ways that the database proves itself to be unreliable.

I’ve already mentioned that if you express a feeling that is not among the 2,178 emotions tabulated, then your feeling doesn’t count. But there’s also the tricky language misdirection the algorithm pulls off, in which the same “feeling” is interpreted by the machine to be the same, no matter how it is used in the sentence. In this way, the machine exhibits the same kind of “naïve empiricism” (using Johanna Drucker’s dismissive phrase) that some humanists do interpreting quantitative data.

And finally, consider many of the images in the Montage movement. When there are multiple images on a blog page, the crawler only grabs the biggest one—and not biggest in dimensions, but biggest in file size, because that’s easier for the algorithm to detect—and this image often ends up being the header image for the blog, rather than connected to the actual feeling itself, as in this example.

Montage Image from We Feel Fine

The star pattern happens to be a sidebar image, rather than anything associated with the actual blog post that states the feeling:

The Stars in Context

So We Feel Fine forces associations. In experimental poetry or electronic literature communities, these kinds of random associations are celebrated. The procedural creation of art, literature, or music has a long tradition.

But in a database that seeks to be a representative “almanac of human emotions”? We’re in new territory there.

But in fact, it is representative, in the sense that human emotions are fungible, ephemeral, disjunctive, and, let’s face, sometimes random.

Let me bring this full circle, by returning to the revised title of my talk. I mentioned at the beginning that I felt this low-grade but pervasive concern about digital work these past few days at STS. I’ve heard questions like Are we doing everything we can to make digital editions accessible, legible, readable, and teachable? Where are we failing, some people have wondered. Why are we failing? Or at least, Why have we not yet reached the level of success that many of the very same people at this conference were predicting ten or fifteen or, dare I say it, twenty years ago?

Maybe because we’re doing it wrong.

I want to propose that we can learn a lot from We Feel Fine as we exit out the far end of what some media scholars have called the Gutenberg Parenthesis.

What can we learn from We Feel Fine?

Four things:

  1. It’s inviting
  2. It’s paradata
  3. It’s open
  4. It’s juicy

Imagine if textual scholars built their digital editions and archives using these four principles.

Think about We Feel Fine and what makes work. Most importantly, We Feel Fine is a compelling reading experience. It’s not daunting. There’s a playful balance between interactivity and narrative coherence.

Secondly, and this goes back to my idea of paradata. Harris and Kamvar are not afraid to corrupt the source data, or to create metadata that blurs the line between metadata and not-metadata. They are not afraid to play with their sources, and for the most part, they are up front about how they’re playing with them.

This relates to the third feature of We Feel Fine that we should learn from. It’s open. Some of the source code is available. The list of emotions is available. There’s an open API, which anyone can use to build their own application on top of We Feel Fine, or more generally extract data from.

And finally, it’s juicy. I admit, this is probably not a term many textual scholars use in their research, but it’s essential for the success of We Feel Fine. The text responds to you. It’s alive in your hands, and I don’t think there’s much more we could ever ask from a text.

Bibliography

  • Drucker, Johanna. 2010. “Humanistic Approaches to the Graphical Expression of Interpretation” presented at the Hyperstudio: Digital Humanities at MIT, May 20, Cambridge, MA. http://mitworld.mit.edu/video/796.
  • Genette, Gerard. 1997. Paratexts: Thresholds of Interpretation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Harris, Jonathan and Sep Kamvar. 2006. Methodology. We Feel Fine. http://wefeelfine.org/methodology.html.
  • Juul, Jesper. 2009. Paragaming: Good Fun with Bad Games. The Ludologist. September 24. http://www.jesperjuul.net/ludologist/?p=732.
  • Juul, Jesper. 2010. A Casual Revolution: Reinventing Video Games and Their Players. Cambridge,  MA: MIT Press.
  • Ryan, Marie-Laure. 2001. Narrative as Virtual Reality: Immersion and Interactivity in Literature and Electronic Media. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
  • Sconce, Jeffrey. 1995. “‘Trashing’ the academy: taste, excess, and an emerging politics of cinematic style.” Screen 36 (4) (December 1): 371-393.
  • Shodhan, Shalin, Matt Kucic, Kyle Gray, and Kyle Gabler. 2005. How to Prototype a Game in Under 7 Days. Gamasutra. October 26. http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/2438/how_to_prototype_a_game_in_under_7_.php.

CFP: Close Playing: Literary Methods and Videogame Studies (MLA 2012, Seattle)

February 28th, 2011 § Comments Off § permalink

ArcadeA roundtable discussion of specific approaches and close playings that explore the methodological contribution of literary studies toward videogame studies. 300-word abstract and 1-page bio to Mark Sample (samplereality@gmail.com) by March 15.

All participants must be MLA members by April 7. Also note that this is a proposed special session; the MLA Program Committee will have the final say on the roundtable’s acceptance.

[Controllers photo courtesy of Flickr user Kimli / Creative Commons License]

Digital Humanities Sessions at the 2011 MLA

November 9th, 2010 § 10 comments § permalink

Harbor FreewayRevised: This is a comprehensive list of digital humanities sessions at the 2011 MLA in Los Angeles. Many of the speakers posted the text of their talks online, and you’ll find links here to those online versions. If yours isn’t linked yet, please reply in the comments with the URL of your presentation, and I’ll add it here for archival purposes.

Thursday, 06 January

12. Labor in the Digital Humanities

12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., 407, LA Convention Center

Presiding: William Thompson, Western Illinois Univ.

Speakers: Mark Childs, Coventry Univ.; Tanya E. Clement, Univ. of Maryland, College Park; Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Pomona Coll.; Amanda L. French, George Mason Univ.; Carl Stahmer, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara

Members of this roundtable will address the professional and ethical issues raised by labor in and of the digital humanities. Questions open for discussion: the problem of authorship; the levels and kinds of recognition for contributions made to a project; issues regarding rights holding; problems raised by the differing institutional status of persons working on the same project; potential problems raised around distance education; and the complex questions raised by compensation, in the form of pay and in the form of accumulated symbolic capital.

For abstracts, visit http://fabtimes.net/citcafprrlabor/.

19. Digging into Data: Computational Methods of Literary Research

12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Platinum Salon F, J. W. Marriott

Presiding: Maura Carey Ives, Texas A&M Univ., College Station

1. “The Dangers and Delights of Data Mining,” Glenn H. Roe, Univ. of Chicago

2. “The Meandering through Textuality Challenge: Perspectives on the Humane Archive,” Stephen J. Ramsay, Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln

3. “Exploring the Underpinnings of the Social Edition,” Raymond G. Siemens, Univ. of Victoria

29. The Brave New World of Scholarly Books: Publishing in Tempestuous Times

12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., 410, LA Convention Center

Presiding: Alan Rauch, Univ. of North Carolina, Charlotte

Speakers: James J. Bono, Univ. at Buffalo, State Univ. of New York; Gregory M. Britton, Getty Publications; Jennifer Crewe, Columbia Univ. Press; Leslie Mitchner, Rutgers Univ. Press; Eric Zinner, New York Univ. Press

The current status of scholarly book publishing is confusing, troubling, and yet, from some perspectives, about to embrace a new and potentially exciting digital future.  How can scholars who don’t have regular access to editors and publishers begin to sort this out? This roundtable opens up some of the questions inherent in the “crisis” in scholarly publishing and explores the very real changes, digital and fiscal, that are altering the world of scholarly books.

For online information and handouts, write to arauch@uncc.edu.

45. Getting Funded in the Humanities: A National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Workshop

1:30–3:30 p.m., 403B, LA Convention Center

Presiding: Brett Bobley, NEH; Rebecca Boggs, NEH; Sonia Feigenbaum, NEH

This workshop will highlight recent awards and outline current funding opportunities. In addition to emphasizing grant programs that support teaching, research, and public programs in the humanities, the workshop will include information on new developments, such as digital initiatives and Bridging Cultures. A question-and-answer period will follow.

48. Hacking the Profession: Academic Self-Help in an Age of Crisis

1:45–3:00 p.m., 407, LA Convention Center

Presiding: Jason B. Jones, Central Connecticut State Univ.

Speakers: Brian Croxall, Emory Univ.; Natalie M. Houston, Univ. of Houston; George H. Williams, Univ. of South Carolina, Spartanburg

This roundtable discusses how we narrate our academic lives online, whether in blogs or on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or in any other format. In particular, we are interested in how we talk about failure or, more gently, about the common problems that plague any academic life: the class that doesn’t quite work, the committee that’s driving us crazy, or the article that can’t quite find a home.

For background reading and preliminary discussion, visit www.profhacker.com after 1 Dec.

52. E-Books as Bibliographical Objects

1:45–3:00 p.m., Platinum Salon C, J. W. Marriott

Presiding: Matthew Gary Kirschenbaum, Univ. of Maryland, College Park

1. “The Enkindling Reciter: Performing Reading and Concealing Texts in the E-Book Demo,” Alan Galey, Univ. of Toronto

2. “Open Objects: From Book to Nook,” Andrew Piper, McGill Univ.

3. “The Kindle Advertiser: E-Books, Advertising, and the Evanescent Edition,” Zahr Said Stauffer, Univ. of Virginia

4. “Virtual Reading on Amazon.com,” Yung-Hsing Wu, Univ. of Louisiana, Lafayette

91. Meeting in the Library: Academic Labor at the Interface

3:30–4:45 p.m., 410, LA Convention Center

Presiding: Lauren Coats, Louisiana State Univ., Baton Rouge; Gabrielle Dean, Johns Hopkins Univ., MD

Speakers: Anne Bruder, Bryn Mawr Coll.; Lauren Coats; Gabrielle Dean; Patricia M. Hswe, Penn State Univ., University Park; Kevin Mulroy, Univ. of California, Los Angeles; Timothy L. Stinson, North Carolina State Univ.

This roundtable will show how practices of communication, cooperation, and exchange between the traditionally segregated roles of librarian and scholar can strengthen jobs, institutions, and knowledge production. Faculty members and librarians share at least two arenas of labor, both central to academia. First, scholars and librarians need to work together to shape the methods and forms of humanities research. Second, librarians and instructors must collaborate on curricula that help students navigate, analyze, and build pathways of knowledge. Focusing on these two issues, the roundtable will consider how the library can serve as the interface where collaboration occurs and where academic labor can be productively transformed.

125. Literary Research in/and Digital Humanities

3:30–4:45 p.m., Diamond Salon 1, J. W. Marriott

Program arranged by the Discussion Group on Libraries and Research in Languages and Literatures

Speakers: Heather Bowlby, Univ. of Virginia; Marija Dalbello, Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick; Amy Earhart, Texas A&M Univ., College Station; Manuel M. Martin-Rodriguez, Univ. of California, Merced; Susanne Woods, Wheaton Coll., MA; Abby Yochelson, Library of Congress

Respondent: Robert H. Kieft, Occidental Coll.

This session is the inaugural meeting of a new interdisciplinary MLA discussion group formed by librarians in the association for the discussion of matters of mutual interest with scholars. Panelists will present current work, and the group will discuss its future and how it can promote the creation and curation of scholarly collections and archives, publications, research data, and teaching and study tools through professional associations and on their own campuses.

For abstracts, visit http://guides.library.umass.edu/MLA2011.

140. What Is “College Level Writing” in the Twenty-First Century?

5:15–6:30 p.m., 410, LA Convention Center

Presiding: Les Perelman, Massachusetts Inst. of Tech.

1. “Local Values, Global Perspectives: College Writing at Hispanic-Serving Institutions,” Jolivette Mecenas, Univ. of La Verne

2. “Writing in the Era of the Shadow Elite: The Twilight of the Professions and the Rebirth of the Public Sphere,” Kurt Spellmeyer, Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick

3. “Negotiating College-Level Writing in New Media in the Writing Center,” Kate Pantelides, Univ. of South Florida

141. New Thresholds of Interpretation? Paratexts in the Digital Age

5:15–6:30 p.m., Platinum Salon F, J. W. Marriott

Presiding: Dorothee Birke, Freiburg Inst. for Advanced Studies

1. “Bootleg Paratextuality and Media Aesthetics: Decay and Distortion in the Borat DVD,” Paul Benzon, Temple Univ., Philadelphia

2. “The Amazon Phenomenon: New Contextual Paratexts of Historiographic Narratives,” Julia Lippert, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

3. “Peritexts and Epitexts in Transitional Electronic Literature: Readers and Paratextual Engagement on Kindles, iPods, and Netbooks,” Ellen M. McCracken, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara

150. New Tools, Hard Times: Social Networking and the Academic Crisis

5:15–6:30 p.m., 406A, LA Convention Center

Presiding: Meredith L. McGill, Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick

Speakers: Rosemary G. Feal, MLA

Marc Bousquet, Santa Clara Univ.

Brian Croxall, Emory Univ.

Christopher John Newfield, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara

Marilee Lindemann, Univ. of Maryland, College Park

This roundtable will examine what role the tools of social networking (e.g., blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube) have played in organizing and communicating about the economic crisis in higher education. One of the goals of the panel will be practical: to share tips and strategies about what works and what doesn’t (and to think critically about how we judge the effectiveness of any particular tool or strategy). Another will be reflective: to provide an opportunity for weighing the benefits and the risks of scholars using these tools to perform work that is often more in the mode of public or professional advocacy than scholarship in the traditional sense.

Friday, 07 January

185. Planet Wiki? Postcolonial Theory, Social Media, and Web 2.0

8:30–9:45 a.m., 406A, LA Convention Center

Presiding: Amit Ray, Rochester Inst. of Tech.

1. “Border Politics on YouTube: Heriberto Yépez’s ‘Voice Exchange Rates’ (or the Bodies That Antimatter),” Tomás Urayoán Noel, Univ. at Albany, State Univ. of New York

2. “Truths of Times to Come: Deleuze, Media, India,” Amitabh Rai, Florida State Univ.

3. “Remapping the Space In-Between: Social Networks of Race, Class, and Digital Media in the Brazilian City,” Justin Andrew Read, Univ. at Buffalo, State Univ. of New York

193. New (and Renewed) Work in Digital Literary Studies: An Electronic Roundtable

8:30–9:45 a.m., Plaza I, J. W. Marriott

Presiding: Bethany Nowviskie, Univ. of Virginia

Speakers: Ernest Cole, Hope Coll.; Randall Cream, Univ. of South Carolina, Columbia; Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Pomona Coll.; Joseph Gilbert, Univ. of Virginia; Laura C. Mandell, Miami Univ., Oxford; William Albert Pannapacker, Hope Coll.; Douglas Reside, Univ. of Maryland, College Park; Andrew M. Stauffer, Univ. of Virginia; John A. Walsh, Indiana Univ., Bloomington; Matthew Wilkens, Rice Univ.

Projects, groups, and initiatives highlighted in this session build on the editorial and archival roots of humanities scholarship to offer new, explicitly methodological and interpretive contributions to the digital literary scene or to intervene in established patterns of scholarly communication and pedagogical practice. Brief introductions will be followed by simultaneous demonstrations of the presenters’ work at eight computer stations.

For project links and abstracts, visit http://ach.org/mla/mla11/.

218. Analog and Digital: Texts, Contexts, and Networks

10:15–11:30 a.m., Atrium I, J. W. Marriott

Presiding: Victoria E. Szabo, Duke Univ.

1. “Digital Networks and Horizontal Textuality,” David S. Roh, Old Dominion Univ.

2. “The Work of the Text in Haggard’s She: Full-Text Searching and Networks of Association,” Robert Steele, George Washington Univ.

3. “Taken Possession Of: What Digital Archives Can Teach Us about Nathaniel Hawthorne, Religious Readers, and Antebellum Reprinting Culture,” Ryan C. Cordell, Univ. of Virginia

For abstracts, visit www.duke.edu/~ves4/mla2011.

233. Transmedia Activism

10:15–11:30 a.m., Diamond Salon 6, J. W. Marriott

Presiding: Anna Everett, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara

Speakers: Anne Balsamo, Univ. of Southern California; Ben Caldwell, Los Angeles, CA; Radhika Gajjala, Bowling Green State Univ.; Henry Jenkins, Univ. of Southern California; Toby Miller, Univ. of California, Riverside

This roundtable considers how transmedia practices advance activism around matters of social justice, critical literacy, and responsible artistic expressions. All the panelists are involved in current media activism and pedagogy projects.

235. Old Media

10:15–11:30 a.m., Olympic III, J. W. Marriott

Presiding: Kate Flint, Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick

1. “(Post)Imperial Media,” Aaron S. Worth, Boston Univ.

2. “Hieroglyphics and the Writing/Media Divide,” Jesse Schotter, Yale Univ.

3. “Aldous Huxley and the Hazards of Writing Technologies,” Emily James, Univ. of Washington, Seattle

4. “The Tachistoscope and Digital Literature,” Jessica Pressman, Yale Univ.

248. The Dictionary in Print and in the Cloud

12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Olympic I, J. W. Marriott

Presiding: Michael Hancher, Univ. of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Speakers: Tim Cassedy, New York Univ.; David L. Porter, Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Glenn H. Roe, Univ. of Chicago; Robert Steele, George Washington Univ. For abstracts, visit http://mh.cla.umn.edu/MLA.pdf.

282. Paper as Platform or Interface

12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Olympic III, J. W. Marriott

Presiding: Lisa Gitelman, New York Univ.

1. “The Word Made Flax: Cheap Bibles, Textual Corruption, and the Poetics of Paper,” Joshua Calhoun, Univ. of Delaware, Newark

2. “The Theory of Paper: Hume, Beattie, Derrida,” Christina Lupton, Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor

3. “The Wordsworths’ Daffodils: On the Page, upon the Inward Eye,” Richard Menke, Univ. of Georgia

296. Technology-Enhanced Delivery Models in Foreign Language Learning and Teaching

1:45–3:00 p.m., Platinum Salon A, J. W. Marriott

Presiding: Fernando Rubio, Univ. of Utah; Joshua Thoms, Louisiana State Univ., Baton Rouge

1. “Options in Instructional Modeling: Meeting the Demand for Spanish in Demanding Times,” Diane Musumeci, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana

2. “What CALL (Computer-Assisted Language Learning) Offers for the L2 Curriculum,” Robert James Blake, Univ. of California, Davis

For abstracts, visit www.aausc.org/Default.aspx?pageId=236781.

305. Silent Night: The Archives of the Deaf and Blind

1:45–3:00 p.m., Atrium I, J. W. Marriott

Presiding: Marta L. Werner, D’Youville Coll.

1. “Entering the Light: Deaf Studies Digital Journal and the Archives of Sign Language Poetics,” H-Dirksen Bauman, Gallaudet Univ.

2. “Blindness and Exile in the ‘Dark Blue World’ of Jaroslav Jezek,” Michael Beckerman, New York Univ.

3. “Accessioning Helen Keller: Disability, History, and the Politics of the Archive,” David Serlin, Univ. of California, San Diego

309. The History and Future of the Digital Humanities

1:45–3:00 p.m., Plaza I, J. W. Marriott

Presiding: Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Pomona Coll.

Speakers: Brett Bobley, NEH; Katherine D. Harris, San José State Univ.; Alan Liu, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara; Tara McPherson, Univ. of Southern California; Bethany Nowviskie, Univ. of Virginia; Stephen J. Ramsay, Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln; Susana Ruiz, Univ. of Southern California

This roundtable will bring together many different perspectives, from humanities computing to digital media studies, including senior and junior scholars, research and teaching institutions, and faculty and staff members, so that we might explore the overlap, diffusion, and multiplicity of views of the digital humanities that result.

331. The Open Professoriat: Public Intellectuals on the Social Web

3:30–4:45 p.m., Plaza I, J. W. Marriott

Presiding: Matthew K. Gold, New York City Coll. of Tech., City Univ. of New York

Speakers: Samuel Cohen, Univ. of Missouri, Columbia; Amanda L. French, George Mason Univ. on Open Source and Readership; David Parry, Univ. of Texas, Dallas; Mark L. Sample, George Mason Univ. on Tactical Collaboration; Erin Templeton, Converse Coll. on Public Intellectuals and the Social Web; Elizabeth Vincelette, Old Dominion Univ.

This panel will explore the range of possibilities surrounding the use of social media in many aspects of academic life, with particular attention to the ways in which they can help broaden the audience for academic work at a time of economic and institutional crisis in the academy.

349. From N-Town to YouTube: Medieval Drama on Film, Video, and the Web

3:30–4:45 p.m., 306A, LA Convention Center

Presiding: Victor Ivan Scherb, Univ. of Texas, Tyler

1. “Queer Desire in the York Cycle and the York Festival Trust Plays,” Mary Hayes, Univ. of Mississippi

2. “Page to Stage: Film Footage and the Teaching of Medieval Drama,” Maren Clegg Hyer, Valdosta State Univ.

3. “Making a Magnyfycent Film: Representing Medieval Drama in a Digital Age,” Maria Sachiko Cecire, Bard Coll.

For abstracts, visit http://mrds.eserver.org/.

385. Endangered Languages, Language Documentation, and Digital Humanities

5:15–6:30 p.m., 404A, LA Convention Center

Presiding: Marnie Jo Petray, California Polytechnic State Univ., San Luis Obispo

1. “Predicting the Syntactic Complexity of Newly Recognized Yipho-Ngwi Languages,” Eric Drewry, Azusa Pacific Univ.

2. “Eliciting Phonetic Data in the Field for Language Documentation,” Seunghun J. Lee, Central Connecticut State Univ.

3. “From Data Collection to Data Organization: A Brief Overview of the Challenges of Doing Fieldwork in Linguistics,” Jose Alberto Elias-Ulloa, Stony Brook Univ., State Univ. of New York

For abstracts, write to leeseu@ccsu.edu.

397. The Lives That Digital Archives Write

5:15–6:30 p.m., Plaza I, J. W. Marriott

Presiding: Ruth E. Mack, Univ. at Buffalo, State Univ. of New York

1. “Social Networking in the Enlightenment,” Dan M. Edelstein, Stanford Univ.

2. “Working Lives from Digital Sources: London 1690–1800,” Tim Hitchcock, Univ. of Hertfordshire; Robert Shoemaker, Univ. of Sheffield

3. “Mapping the Social Text: Topography, Letters, and Alexander Pope,” Allison Muri, Univ. of Saskatchewan

Saturday, 08 January

431. Textual Scholarship and New Media

8:30–9:45 a.m., Diamond Salon 8, J. W. Marriott

Presiding: Michael Eberle-Sinatra, Université de Montréal

1. “Comic Book Markup Language: An Introduction and Rationale,” John A. Walsh, Indiana Univ., Bloomington

2. “Crowdspeak: Mobile Telephony and TXTual Practice,” Rita Raley, Univ. of California, Santa Barbara

3. “Alternate Reality Games and Transmedia Textuality: Interpretive Play and the Immaterial Archive,” Zach Whalen, Univ. of Mary Washington

436. The Institution(alization) of Digital Humanities

8:30–9:45 a.m., Atrium III, J. W. Marriott

Presiding: David Lee Gants, Florida State Univ.

1. “A Media Ecological Approach to Digital Humanities; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love This Dynamic Field,” Kimberly Knight, Univ. of Texas, Dallas

2. “Power, Prestige, and Profession: Digital Humanities in the Age of Academic Anxiety,” Amy Earhart, Texas A&M Univ., College Station

3. “Emerging Dialogue: Librarians and Digital Humanists,” Johanna Drucker, Univ. of California, Los Angeles

462. Foreign Language Cultural Literacy and Web 2.0

10:15–11:30 a.m., 304C, LA Convention Center

Presiding: Charlotte Ann Melin, Univ. of Minnesota, Twin Cities

1. “Translingual and Transcultural Hospitality: On Derridean Dilemmas of Pedagogy and Digital Practices, and Some Solutions,” Glenn S. Levine, Univ. of California, Irvine

2. “The Stanford Nonnative Rapper Contest: Showcasing Transcultural Competences Using Collaborative Social Media Frameworks,” Joseph Kautz, Stanford Univ.; Per Urlaub, Univ. of Texas, Austin

3. “In the Favela with Web 2.0: A Collaborative Web-Based Language and Culture Exchange Project,” Evan Rubin, San Diego State Univ.

474. Social Networking: Web 2.0 Applications for the Teaching of Languages and Literatures

10:15–11:30 a.m., Diamond Salon 2, J. W. Marriott

Presiding: Barbara Lafford, Arizona State Univ. West

1. “Writing for Nonprofits in Social-Media Environments,” Sean McCarthy, Univ. of Texas, Austin

2. “The Macaulay Eportfolio Collection: A Case Study in the Uses of Social Networking for Learning,” Lauren Klein, Graduate Center, City Univ. of New York

3. “Social Media, Digital Vernaculars, and Language Education,” Steven Thorne, Portland State Univ.

For abstracts, write to blafford@asu.edu.

493. The Archive and the Aesthetic: Methodologies of American Literary Studies

10:15–11:30 a.m., Diamond Salon 8, J. W. Marriott

Presiding: Elizabeth Maddock Dillon, Northeastern Univ.

1. “Archive Anxieties and Print Culture,” Nancy Glazener, Univ. of Pittsburgh

2. “The New New Historicism: Electronic Archives and Aesthetic Judgment,” Maurice Sherwood Lee, Boston Univ.

3. “Historical Oversights: Ambivalence and Judgment in the Age of Archival Reproducibility,” John Funchion, Univ. of Miami

505. Lives and Archives in Graphic and Digital Modes

12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Platinum Salon C, J. W. Marriott

Presiding: Julia Watson, Ohio State Univ., Columbus

1. “Comics Form and Narrating Lives,” Hillary L. Chute, Harvard Univ.

2. “Automedial Ghosts,” Brian Rotman, Ohio State Univ., Columbus

3. “What Is Worth Saving? The Salvage Work of Comics,” Theresa Tensuan, Haverford Coll.

521. Close Reading the Digital

12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Atrium I, J. W. Marriott

Presiding: Jeremy Douglass, Univ. of California, San Diego

1. “The Code of Hacktavism: A Critical Code Study Case Study,” Mark Marino, Univ. of Southern California

2. “Close Reading Campaign Rhetorics: Procedurality and MyBarackObama.com,” James J. Brown, Wayne State Univ.

3. “Criminal Code: The Procedural Logic of Crime in Video Games,” Mark L. Sample, George Mason Univ.

Respondent: Matthew Gary Kirschenbaum, Univ. of Maryland, College Park

For abstracts, visit http://criticalcodestudies.com/mla2011 after 1 Dec.

532. Electronic Lives

12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Plaza III, J. W. Marriott

Presiding: Alison Booth, Univ. of Virginia

1. “Autotweetography: Producing and Consuming Identity on Social-Network Sites,” Laurie McNeill, Univ. of British Columbia

2. “Invisible Syndromes: Virtual Biomedical Communities, Self-Monitoring, and Narratives of the Self,” Olivia Banner, Rice Univ.

3. “The Child as Pornographer,” Ellis Hanson, Cornell Univ.

541. Electronic Literature: Off the Screen

1:45–3:00 p.m., Plaza II, J. W. Marriott

Presiding: Jessica Pressman, Yale Univ.

1. “A Pixel or a Grain of Sand: Jenny Holzer’s Projections,” Leisha J. Jones, Penn State Univ., University Park

2. “Locative Narrative: Reorganizing Space in Mobile E-Literature,” Mark Marino, Univ. of Southern California

3. “E-Literature as Event: Seeing Space and Time in Kinetic Typography,” Jeremy Douglass, Univ. of California, San Diego

For abstracts, write to jessica.pressman@yale.edu.

577. Print Culture and Undergraduate Literary Study

1:45–3:00 p.m., Platinum Salon A, J. W. Marriott

Presiding: Lisa Gitelman, New York Univ.

1. “Using Early English Books Online in the Undergraduate Classroom,” Joanne Diaz, Illinois Wesleyan Univ.

2. “Benjamin Franklin’s Compositions,” Jonathan Senchyne, Cornell Univ.

3. “Not Necessarily Natives: Teaching Digital Media with Book Technology (and Vice Versa),” Lisa Marie Maruca, Wayne State Univ.

Respondent: David Lee Gants, Florida State Univ.

For abstracts, visit www.sharpweb.org/ after 15 Dec.

596. Will Publications Perish? The Paradigm Shift in Scholarly Communication

3:30–4:45 p.m., Plaza I, J. W. Marriott

Presiding: Alan Rauch, Univ. of North Carolina, Charlotte

Speakers: Cheryl E. Ball, Illinois State Univ.; Leslie Kreiner Wilson, Pepperdine Univ.; Laurence D. Roth, Susquehanna Univ.; Andrew M. Stauffer, Univ. of Virginia

The scholarly essay, once the coin of the realm in academia, is being transformed by digital technologies. Questions about the future viability of learned journals, to say nothing of practices such as peer review, confront us all. This session is an effort to deal with those questions directly and initiate a dialogue about how various branches of the scholarly community can respond to ongoing and inevitable challenges.

For talking points, visit www.alanrauch.com/perish.html.

606. Methods of Research in New Media

3:30–4:45 p.m., Platinum Salon J, J. W. Marriott

Presiding: Maura Carey Ives, Texas A&M Univ., College Station

1. “Be Online or Be Irrelevant,” David Parry, Univ. of Texas, Dallas

2. “Applied Media Theory: Where Digital Art Meets Humanities Research,” Marcel O’Gorman, Univ. of Waterloo

3. “Augmenting Fiction: Storytelling, Locative Media, and the New Media Lab,” Carolyn Guertin, Univ. of Texas, Arlington

617. Implementing New Knowledge Environments (INKE) and the Scholarly Edition

5:15–6:30 p.m., Diamond Salon 8, J. W. Marriott

Presiding: Paul Werstine, Univ. of Western Ontario

Speakers: Michael Choi, Univ. of Western Ontario; Stan Ruecker, Univ. of Alberta; Raymond G. Siemens, Univ. of Victoria

Topics for discussion will include bringing architectures of the book into the digital age, introducing the dynamic table of contexts for the online scholarly edition, and supporting the scholarly edition in electronic form.

619. Ecocriticism beyond Literature

5:15–6:30 p.m., 410, LA Convention Center

Presiding: Allison Carruth, Univ. of Oregon

1. “Postcolonial Ecologies: Alterity and the Genealogies of Ecocriticism,” Elizabeth M. DeLoughrey, Univ. of California, Los Angeles

2. “Ecocriticism and the Database Aesthetic,” Ursula K. Heise, Stanford Univ.

3. “Out of Our Depths: Oceanic Challenges to Environmental Theory and Animal Studies,” Stacy Alaimo, Univ. of Texas, Arlington

4. “Computer-Aided Design and the Future Green City,” Allison Carruth

For abstracts, visit www.uoregon.edu/~acarruth/ after 2 Jan.

639. Where’s the Pedagogy in Digital Pedagogy?

5:15–6:30 p.m., Platinum Salon F, J. W. Marriott

Presiding: Nirmal H. Trivedi, Georgia Inst. of Tech.

Speakers: Danielle Barrios, Univ. of Ulster; Kristine Blair, Bowling Green State Univ.; Joy Bracewell, Univ. of Georgia; Andrew Famiglietti, Georgia Inst. of Tech.; Antero Garcia, Univ. of California, Los Angeles; Jill Marie Parrott, Univ. of Georgia; Christine Tulley, Univ. of Findlay

This session will share the great number of practical and philosophical questions surrounding what it means to “teach digitally” today. We want to focus attention away from “toolism”—a preoccupation with new technologies for the sake of newness and technical power—and direct attention toward the pedagogy that technology and collaboration can unveil.

For abstracts, write to nirmal.trivedi@lcc.gatech.edu.

THATCamp LA Gathering

8:00-10 p.m., Olympic 1, J.W. Marriott

Sunday, 09 January

743. What the Digital Does to Reading

10:15–11:30 a.m., Diamond Salon 8, J. W. Marriott

Presiding: Laura C. Mandell, Miami Univ., Oxford

1. “What Would Jesus Google? Plural Reading in the Digital Archive,” Daniel Allen Shore, Grinnell Coll.

2. “Social Book Catalogs and Reading: Shifting Paradigms, Humanizing Databases,” Renee Hudson, Univ. of California, Los Angeles; Kimberly Knight, Univ. of Texas, Dallas

3. “Illuminating Hidden Paths: Reading and Annotating Texts in Many Dimensions,” Julie Meloni, Washington State Univ., Pullman

For abstracts, visit www.users.muohio.edu/mandellc/digRdg.html after 15 Nov.

752. Literature and/as New Media

12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., 309, LA Convention Center

Presiding: Jon McKenzie, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison

Speakers: Sarah Allison, Stanford Univ.; N. Katherine Hayles, Duke Univ.; Richard E. Miller, Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick; Todd Samuel Presner, Univ. of California, Los Angeles; Craig J. Saper, Univ. of Central Florida; Holly Willis, Univ. of Southern California; Michael L. Witmore, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison

This session engages the nexus of literature and new media from several perspectives, ranging from emerging forms of electronic literature to computer-enabled modes of literary analysis to the broader implications of IT and new media for literary and cultural study. In an age of digital poetry, graphic novels, and iPhone “appisodes,” how useful is the notion of distinct media? In what ways do quantitative methods of “distant reading” and “counting literature” extend traditional forms of analysis, and in what ways do they threaten or simply sidestep them? And what’s at stake in recent calls to critically mash up new media forms and processes in order to reboot the humanities as “new humanities,” “Big Humanities,” and “Humanities 2.0”?

753. Sustainable Publishing

12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Plaza III, J. W. Marriott

Presiding: Uppinder Mehan, Univ. of Houston, Victoria

1. “New Stationary States,” Brian Lennon, Penn State Univ., University Park

2. “Sustainable Publishing: The Dead-End of the Print/Digital Binary,” Robert Philip Marzec, Purdue Univ., West Lafayette

3. “The Publishing Junkyard,” Jeffrey R. Di Leo, Univ. of Houston, Victoria

For papers, visit http://societyforcriticalexchange.org.

792. Sound Reproduction and the Literary

1:45–3:00 p.m., Diamond Salon 6, J. W. Marriott

Presiding: Jentery Sayers, Univ. of Washington, Seattle

1. “Sound as Sensory Modality in Electronic Literature,” Dene M. Grigar, Washington State Univ., Vancouver

2. “‘Cause That’s the Way the World Turns’: John Edgar Wideman’s Sent for You Yesterday and the Mnemonic Jukebox,” Jürgen E. Grandt, Gainesville State Coll., GA

3. “Analog History: Kevin Young’s To Repel Ghosts and the Textuality of the Turntable,” Paul Benzon, Temple Univ., Philadelphia

For abstracts, examples, and biographies, visit www.hastac.org/ after 1 Dec.

Following the MLA Conference

THATCamp SoCal

January 11-12 at Chapman University in Orange, California

Forget Unconferences, Let’s Think about Underconferences

May 19th, 2010 § 9 comments § permalink

In a few days the latest iteration of THATCamp will convene on the campus of George Mason University, hosted by the Center for History and New Media. Except “convene” really isn’t the right word. Most of my readers will already know that The Technology and Humanities Camp is an “unconference,” which as Ethan Watrall explains on ProfHacker, is “a lightly organized conference in which the attendees themselves determine the schedule.” You can’t really convene such a self-emergent event. But 75 or so participants will nonetheless be there on Saturday morning, and we will indeed get started, figuring out the sessions democratically and then sharing ideas and conversation. This format takes the place of “sharing” (by which I mean dully reading) 20-minute papers that through a bizarre rift in the space-time continuum take 30 minutes to read, leaving little time for discussion.

[pullquote align="left"]If you go into a panel knowing exactly what you’re going to say or what you’ve already said, there’s little room for exploration or discovery.[/pullquote]

The unconference obviously stands in contrast to the top-down, largely monologic model of the traditional conference. Most THATCamp attendees rave about the experience, and they find themselves craving similar open-ended panels at the more staid academic conferences in their respective fields. Change is slow to come, of course. What happens for the most part are slight tweaks to the existing model. Instead of four people reading 20-minute papers during a session, four people might share 20-minute papers beforehand, with the session time dedicated to talking about those 20-minute papers. Yet this model still relies on the sharing of prepared material. If you go into a panel knowing exactly what you’re going to say or what you’ve already said, there’s very little room for actual exploration or discovery. It reminds me of Nietzsche’s line that finding “truth” is like someone hiding an object in a bush and later being astonished to find it there. That’s the shape of disingenuous discovery at academic conferences.

So what’s a poor idealistic professor to do?

Let’s forget about unconferences, even as they gain momentum, and start thinking about underconferences.

What’s an underconference?

Before I answer that, let’s run through some other promising alternative conference models:

The Virtual Conference: This is the conference held entirely online, in which the time and space limitations of the real world can be broken at will. The recent Critical Code Studies Working Group, held over six weeks this spring, was a good example, though the conference was, unfortunately, only open to actual participants. The proceedings will be published on Electronic Book Review, however, and at least one research idea seeded at the virtual conference may see the light of the day in a more traditional publishing venue. HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory) has had success with its virtual conference as well.

The Simulated Conference: Like Baudrillard’s simulacrum, this is the simulation of a conference for which there is no original, the conference for which there is no conference. This sounds impossible, but in fact I hosted an entirely simulated conference one weekend in February 2010. It was a particularly conference-heavy weekend for the digital humanities, and since I couldn’t attend any of them, I created one of my own: MarksDH2010. Spurred on at first by Ian Bogost and Matt Gold, the simulated conference turned into a weekend affair, hosted entirely on Twitter, and catered by Halliburton. Dozens of participants spontaneously joined in the fun, and in the very act of lampooning traditional conferences (e.g. see my notes on the fictional Henri Jenquin’s keynote), I humbly suggest we advanced forward the humanities by at least a few virtual inches. As I later explained, MarksDH2010 “was a folie à deux and then some.” You can read the complete archives, in chronological order, and decide for yourself about that characterization.

The Unconference: Do I need to say more about the unconference? Read about the idea in theory, or see it in practice by following the upcoming THATCamp Prime on Twitter.

The Underconference: The virtual conference and the simulated conference are both made possible by technology. They take place at a distance, mediated by screens. The final model I wish to consider is the opposite, rooted in physical space, requiring actual—not virtual—bodies. This is not the unconference, but the underconference. The prerequisite of the underconference is the conference. There is the official conference—say, the MLA—and at the very same time there is an entirely parallel conference, running alongside—no, under—the official conference. Think of it as the Trystero of academia. Inspired by the Situationists, Happenings, flash mobs, Bakhtin, ARGs, and the absurdist political theater of the Yippies, the underconference is the carnival in the churchyard. Transgressive play at the very doorstep of institutional order. And like most manifestations of the carnivalesque, the underconference is at its heart very serious business.

[pullquote align="right"]The participants of the underconference are also participants in the conference. They are not enemies, they are co-conspirators.[/pullquote]

Let me be clear, though. The underconference is not a chaotic free-for-all. Just as carnival reinforces many of the ideas it seems to make fun of, the underconference ultimately supports the goals of the conference itself: sharing ideas, discovering new texts and new approaches, contributing to the production of knowledge, and even that tawdry business of networking. The participants of the underconference are also participants in the conference. They are not enemies, they are co-conspirators. The underconference is not mean-spirited; in fact, it seeks to overcome the petty nitpicking that counts as conversation in the conference rooms.

The Underconference is:

  1. Playful, exploring the boundaries of an existing structure;
  2. Collaborative, rather than antagonistic; and
  3. Eruptive, not disruptive.

What might an underconference actually look like?

  • Whereas the work of the conference takes place in meeting rooms and exhibit halls, the underconference takes place in “the streets” of the conference: the hallways and stairwells, the lobbies and bars.
  • The underconference begins with a few “seed” shadow sessions, planned and coordinated events that occur in the public spaces of the conference venue: an unannounced poetry reading in a lobby, an impromptu Pecha Kucha projected inside an elevator, a panel discussion in the fitness room.
  • As the underconference builds momentum, bystanders who find themselves in the midst of an unevent are encouraged to recruit others and to hold their own improvised sessions.
  • The underconference has much to learn from alternate reality games (ARGs), and should incorporate scavenger hunts, geolocation, environmental puzzles, and even a reward or badge system that parodies the official system of awards and prizes.
  • I have reason to believe that at least a few of the major academic conferences would look the other way if they were to find themselves paired with an underconference, if not openly sanction a parallel conference. Support might eventually take the form of dedicated space, perhaps the academic equivalent of Harry Potter’s Room of Requirement.

Do you get the idea? It’s a bold and ambitious plan, and I don’t expect many to think it’s doable, let alone worthwhile. Which is exactly why I want to do it. My experiences with virtual conferences, simulated conferences, and unconferences have convinced me that good things come from challenging the conventions of academic discourse. For every institutionalized practice we must develop a counter-practice. For every preordained discussion there should be an infusion of unpredictability and surprise. For every conference there should be an underconference.

The MLA in Tweets

January 2nd, 2010 § 6 comments § permalink

I’ve learned from following several digital humanities conferences from afar the past year (including Digital Humanties 2009 and THATcamp 2009) that the Twitter archive of a conference back-channel can be unreliable. Twitter’s default search stream for any hashtag is extremely ephemeral, and that impermanence poses a problem for conference participants and observers, as well as future scholars, students, and journalists who might want to browse, search, extract, and data-mine what can be a rich, though niche, historical record.

So in anticipation of the Modern Language Association’s 2009 conference in Philadelphia, I set up a TwapperKeeper archive of all posts on Twitter marked with the hashtag #MLA09. I also began archiving the material on my own computer, using a program called The Archivist. (I’m into redundancy, especially when it comes to backing up data.) Anybody can export the collected tweets from Twapperkeeper as a compressed file, but I’m also posting here my own archives.

The first is an XML file of the over 1,600 tweets marked with the #MLA09 hashtag, dating from November 28, 2009 all the way to just about midnight on December 31, 2009: #MLA09 (I’ve zipped the xml file for easier downloading).

Second is an Excel version of the file, which has stripped away some of the XML tags, but is a more reader-friendly document: MLA09.xls

There is also a Google Docs version of the file:

I hope people find these archives useful. You can easily create some superficial data visualizations, such as the word cloud pictured above [larger version], but I imagine some more sophisticated analysis can be done as well. Even a simple pie chart [larger version] can reveal user activity at a glance:

My own high visibility is mostly due to the satirical “tips” about the MLA I posted in the days running up to the conference. And notice that two of the most active Twitterers were only virtually present at the conference: Brian Croxall and Amanda French, who both made substantial contributions to the intellectual discourse of the conference even with — or, more accurately, because — of their absences.

Pairing Brian’s bleak analysis of what the profession is now euphemistically calling “contingent” faculty with Amanda’s vision of a grassroots movement to amplify scholarly communication through social networking suggests that the MLA conference has the potential to be more diffuse, more rhizomatic, more meaning making in the future, something I’ll be proposing a few ideas about soon.

MLA Word Cloud for 28 December 2009

December 29th, 2009 § 2 comments § permalink

Today the Modern Language Association Conference goes into its second full day of meetings in Philadelphia. What’s the conference been like so far? You can be the judge of whether the conference backchannel on Twitter captures the conference or not. Here’s a word cloud of all #MLA09 tweets from Monday, December (minus the hashtag itself) [LARGER IMAGE]: