First-year Brittain Fellow Leah Haught’s co-authored article (with Thomas Hahn, University of Rochester) “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”(SGGK) is now available online from Oxford Bibliographies in “British and Irish Literature.” Designed as a research guide for students and scholars alike, the article combines features of an annotated bibliography with… Continue reading
An article showed up on my facebook feed recently: “College Tuition Should Vary By Degree, Florida State Task Force Says.” The gist of it is this: “Tuition would be lower for students pursuing degrees most needed for Florida’s job market, including ones in science, technology, engineering and math, collectively known… Continue reading
In the first weeks of my 1101 course, The Allure of the Unreliable Utterance, I introduced my students to Socratic irony and to Bakhtin’s theory of dialogism. We watched snippets of The Colbert Report and The Daily Show—programs which rely on irony for their satirical humor—and we read Plato’s Symposium—a… Continue reading
Look out for MONSTERS, a new composition textbook co-edited by third-year Brittain fellow Brandy Blake and former assistant director of the Writing & Communication Program Andrew Cooper. The textbook is part of the Fountainhead Press V Series, each of which focuses on a single, specific topic and its relevance to… Continue reading
An article by former Brittain Fellow Katy Crowther, now an Assistant Professor of English at Georgia Perimeter College, is featured in the current issue of the Journal of Victorian Culture Online: Punking the Victorians, Punking Pedagogy: Steampunk and Creative Assignments in the Composition Classroom | Journal of Victorian Culture Online. Continue reading
During this year’s Decatur Book Festival, second-year Brittain Fellow John Harkey read from a book he recently edited: “Homemade Poems,” Lorine Niedecker’s handmade book of poems from 1964. Lorine Niedecker was an American “objectivist” poet who explored conjunctions between plain, vernacular language and experimental techniques such as disjunction, wordplay, and… Continue reading
Former Brittain Postdoctoral Fellow, Robert Blaskiewicz, now in the Department of English at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire, is featured in an article in the most recent issue of Georgia Tech’s Alumni Magazine, “The Article They Don’t Want You to Read.” As a Brittain Fellow, Bob Blaskiewicz taught courses about… Continue reading
In addition to finalizing the schedule for the rest of the semester, this Wednesday’s D-Ped seminar will be the first of two seminars that focus on multimodal theory. See the lists below for required and supplementary readings. Begin the conversation before Wednesday by using the Comments feature below. The next two… Continue reading
Edward Burger teaches his students “how to fail effectively.” Interesting notes on incorporating failure into class discussion. And he goes into enough detail about assessing failure that you wish he’d provide more. Essay on the importance of teaching failure | Inside Higher Ed. Continue reading
About a thousand years after everyone else, I came across Feminist Ryan Gosling, and despite having seen only one Ryan Gosling movie—Drive, in which he “Hey’s” nary a girl, but does assault someone with a hammer—I enjoyed reading through the entries. But I knew I was late to the party when… Continue reading
I came across this piece while planning an 1101 assignment that will require students to analyze web texts through Voyant. “Could we imagine a world in which ‘Here is an ordered list of the books you should read,’ gives way to, ‘Here is what I found. What did you ﬁnd?’ via… Continue reading
In the last unit of my course on copia, we’ve been looking at early modern pamphlets alongside 20- and 21st-century political campaign commercials. Oddly enough, students seem to enjoy the pamphlets more than the videos. The latter they’ve been quick to dismiss as simple-minded, pathos-driven exaggerations. They’re less eager to judge the pamphlets that, in their own heyday, were dismissed as “small, insignificant, ephemeral, disposable, untrustworthy, unruly, noisy, deceitful, poorly printed, addictive, a waste of time” (from Joad Raymond’s Pamphlets and Pamphleteering in Early Modern Britain, 10). It’s been more difficult for students to see how materials so loaded with elaborate, expressive and dexterous prose could be considered as insignificant and disposable as, well, this. Continue reading
For my third soundbite-related post, I’d like to talk some pedagogy. This semester I’m teaching a course on copia, which in some ways would seem to be the opposite of sound-biting.
Copia is about abundance, variety, superfluity, excess, accumulation—words not normally associated with soundbite culture. The latter conjures very different terms: truncation, abbreviation, superficiality, redundancy, speed, spin. Continue reading
Welcome to Remix Culture Week! Readings/Videos Larry Lessig’s TED talk on Copyright Law Remix Theory’s definition of Remix An excerpt from David Shields’ Reality Hunger Questions to Consider How might remix challenge traditional the structure of rhetoric? Or is is not so much a challenge as another piece of the… Continue reading
For my second soundbite-focused post, I’m already deviating from the original plan by covering not so much a soundbite as the name of an entire movement. I’ve been wondering lately about the awkward resonance of “Occupy Wall Street,” the way that first word “Occupy” provokes so many distinctive interpretations: it can suggest invasion, colonization, aggressive seizure of territory; less aggressively, it can simply mean occupying a position, both in the sense of physical space and a mental perspective; and of course it echoes occupation as work, employment, along with the work we do at work (on our best days), when we are intensely engaged in (occupied with) a task.
So what does it really mean to “Occupy Wall Street?” For a variety of reasons (all of them lame), I have yet to attend an OWS event in Atlanta, and certainly not in New York. I have occupied neither park nor street nor quad nor sidewalk, which makes me wonder if I can really say that I’m part of the movement, and not just an observer of its viral video. Continue reading
I hope this will be the first of a series of posts on a running theme: the unintentional eloquence of soundbite culture. For several years now I’ve been interested in the communicative potential of inarticulate speech and writing. It’s part guilty pleasure (I look for Sarah Palin in the news for nearly the same reasons I watch America’s Next Top Model); but a hopefully bigger part of my interest derives from a genuine fascination with the ways in which gaffes can be translated into eloquence, gibberish into poetry, nonsense into social commentary.
Such translations are already easy to find in the form of parody: here are William Shatner reading a Palin speech as beat poetry, John Lithgow performing a Newt Gingrich press release, Obama supporters combining hyperbole and understatement via a Joe Biden gaffe, and my personal favorite Twitter meme, ShakesPalin. Continue reading
Ever since Baudrillard found his way into my dissertation (I have no memory of inviting him—suddenly he was there, like Jack Nicholson in that picture at the end of The Shining), I’ve been curious about how he’d fare in an undergraduate classroom. His postmodern and Nietzschean sympathies make him entertaining… Continue reading
You did as he who goes by night and carries the lamp behind him – he is of no help to his own self but teaches those who follow – “We need some positive, happy stuff.” … Continue reading
The first week of never-completely-successful classes always prompts some serious, not necessarily helpful reflection. No harm in reflecting electronically, I guess. I don’t know how many others of you do this, but when I’m introducing myself to new students as their teacher of writing and communication, I become increasingly aware… Continue reading