When Does Service Become Scholarship?

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

From Fish to Print: My 2012 in Review

Like the pair of mice in Leo Lionni’s classic children’s book, I had a busy year in 2012. It was a great year, but an exhausting one. The year began last January with a surprise: I was mentioned by Stanley Fish in an anti-digital humanities screed in the New York Times. That’s something I can… Continue reading From Fish to Print: My 2012 in Review

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

On 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.… Continue reading Remarks on Social Pedagogy at Mason’s Future of Higher Education Forum

Reading List for 21st Century Literature (Fall 2012)

This fall at George Mason I’m teaching a special topics course called ENGLISH 442: 21st Century Literature. My department reserves the 442 course number for “American Literary Periods” and this usually means some recognizable—not to mention canonized—era of American literature, comprised of works that share certain stylistic and thematic characteristics. Nineteenth century naturalism. Twentieth century… Continue reading Reading List for 21st Century Literature (Fall 2012)

Scholarly Lies and the Deformative Humanities

I recently described a new mode of scholarship that I called the deformed humanities. The idea is simple: take apart the world, deform it, and make something new. Or, as Donna Lanclos summarized the deformed humanities in a tweet: “Break things, leave them broken, learn stuff.” As an example of the deformed humanities I offered… Continue reading Scholarly Lies and the Deformative Humanities

Hacking the Academy: The Ebook Volume

On September 8, the DigitalCultureBooks imprint of the University of Michigan Library and University Michigan Press released the online edition of Hacking the Academy. Conceived of by Dan Cohen and Tom Scheinfeldt at GMU's Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, Hacking the Academy is an experiment in publishing. It's a crowdsourced book, in… Continue reading Hacking the Academy: The Ebook Volume

Time: The High Cost of Commuting

Classes are over, final projects are coming in, and I've just wrapped up another year of my high-flying, jet-setting lifestyle. Which is just a sexier way of saying I commute. Which is just shorthand for: every Tuesday I wake up at 5am, drive 30 miles to Charlotte Douglas International Airport, fly at dawn to Washington… Continue reading Time: The High Cost of Commuting

Fall 2011 Course Description for ENGL 451: Science Fiction

Often dismissed by its critics as low-brow pulp, science fiction is nonetheless a rich, dynamic literary genre which deserves our attention. In this class we will move beyond the stereotypes of science fiction in order to examine novels, stories, comics, films, and videogames that question the global commodification of culture, the fetishization of technology, and… Continue reading Fall 2011 Course Description for ENGL 451: Science Fiction

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

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

Fall 2010 Grad Class on Graphic Novels

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

Loud, Crowded, and Out of Control: A New Model for Scholarly Publishing

Yesterday Dan Cohen, the director of the Center for History and New Media and my colleague at George Mason University, posted a thoughtful piece describing a major problem of scholarly publishing (and of book publishing more generally). Dan suggests that while the "supply" of written work has changed with the advent of digital collaborations, academic… Continue reading Loud, Crowded, and Out of Control: A New Model for Scholarly Publishing

The Open Source Professor (Screencast)

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

Followup on Public Teaching Evaluations

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

Transparency, Teaching, and Taking My Evaluations Public

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

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

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