Hacking Facebook’s Ad Network for Justice
An Assignment for "Gender and Technology"

In September 2017, a Davidson College alumna alerted the college via a tweet that the Davidson College Alumni Association was advertising on the alt-right website Breitbart. The display of promotional material for Davidson College next to the ultra conservative and nativist rhetoric of Breitbart was not only a jarring juxtaposition, it was also completely inadvertent,… Continue reading Hacking Facebook’s Ad Network for JusticeAn Assignment for "Gender and Technology"

Essential File Types for Understanding Digital Culture
A Roundup of Community Ideas

A few weeks ago I wrote about studying digital culture through the lens of specific file types. In the fall I'm teaching DIG 101 (Introduction to Digital Studies)—an amorphous course that is part new media studies, part digital humanities, part science and technology studies. I was imagining spending a week on, say, something like GIFs… Continue reading Essential File Types for Understanding Digital CultureA Roundup of Community Ideas

Studying Digital Culture through File Types

I am revamping "Introduction to Digital Studies," my program's overview of digital culture, creativity, and methodology. One approach is to partially organize the class around file types, the idea being that a close reading of certain file types can help us better understand contemporary culture, both online and off. It's a bit like Raymond William's… Continue reading Studying Digital Culture through File Types

A Parallax Reading of Roethke’s “My Papa’s Waltz”
On Abuse and Close and Distant Readings

Are you sick of parallax scrolling yet? You know, the way the foreground and background on a web page, iPhone screen, or Super Mario Brothers move at different speeds, giving the illusion of depth? Parallax scrolling is a gimmick. Take it away and not much changes. Your videogame might be a tad less immersive, but… Continue reading A Parallax Reading of Roethke’s “My Papa’s Waltz”On Abuse and Close and Distant Readings

Digital Humanities at MLA 2016
January 7-10, Austin

In  anticipation of the upcoming Modern Language Association annual convention, here's a crowdsourced list of digital humanities sessions at the conference: MLA 2016 Digital Humanities Sessions. Jump to specific days: Thursday, January 7 Friday, January 8 Saturday, January 9 Sunday, January 10 This community-authored work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Use, add,… Continue reading Digital Humanities at MLA 2016January 7-10, Austin

Your Mistake was a Vital Connection
Oblique Strategies for the Digital Humanities

This summer I attended the first annual Institute for Liberal Arts Digital Scholarship (ILiADS) at Hamilton College. It was an inspiring conference, highlighting the importance of collaborative faculty/student digital work at small liberal arts colleges. My own school, Davidson College, had a team at ILiADS (Professor Suzanne Churchill, Instructional Technologist Kristen Eshleman, and undergraduate Andrew… Continue reading Your Mistake was a Vital ConnectionOblique Strategies for the Digital Humanities

Digital Humanities at MLA 2015
Vancouver, January 8-10

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

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

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

Difficult Thinking about the Digital Humanities

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

History and Future of the Book (Fall 2014 Digital Studies Course)

A tentative syllabus for DIG 350: History & Future of the Book, a course just approved for the Digital Studies program at my new academic home, Davidson College. Many thanks to Ryan Cordell, Lisa Gitelman, Kari Kraus, Jessica Pressman, Peter Stallybrass, and many others, whose research and classes inspired this one. DIG 350: History &… Continue reading History and Future of the Book (Fall 2014 Digital Studies Course)

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

A History of College Degrees over time

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

Digital Humanities at MLA 2014

An old typewriter, surrounded by weeds

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

The Poetics of Non-Consumptive Reading

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

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

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

Building Digital Studies at Davidson

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