Struggling with New Research Project: India & Literary Annuals

I’ve been working through this research leave since Spring 2018 now. My Master’s granting public/state university began a new program whereby anyone who wants to pursue more research can apply for a 5-year series of course releases, 1 per semester, to bring teaching load down to 3-2. As with many of my research projects, I started this one through a course I was teaching in Spring 2019, Bigger 6: British Romanticism, that culminated in the start of a digital project (via Scalar) and some terrific conversations with 5 graduate students who were open to experimentation and exploration. We explored The Bengal Annual for 1830 (published in autumn 1829, Calcutta, India) and examined the representation not of canonical authors in this colonial publication, but instead the core British Romantics concepts: sublime, nature, picturesque, beauty. We didn’t spend a lot of time situating this serial publication within London-published literary annuals or literary culture or print culture. That’s where I want to begin. But there’s a problem: my white settler point of view, even as a print culture, book historian.

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Still get excited over the smell of old books…

At this point in my career, it seems much more impactful to work on systemic changes (#bigger6, #altac, #DH, #digped, #curateteaching) than to toil away at my own research — you know, that research that kept my rapt attention through grad school, that had me in awe to smell foxing on duodecimo pages, that had me giddy at a rare find at the Pforzheimer Collection, New York Public Library.sasb

For, you see, I had a front row to some of the best rare book collections in the world: as a Graduate Center, City University of New York student — caddy corner to the Empire State Building on 5th Avenue — the Morgan Library was behind us and the main research branch of the New York Public Library with its gorgeous Rose Main Reading Room Sherman-NYPL_img was our playground. And, we got special dispensation to


All of the 19th-century periodicals that were in the research stacks, not even in the Rare Book Room or any of the various Special Collections throughout the 5th Avenue building.

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We’re still working on low-cost OER – A Talk for St. Edward’s University

Today, at the invitation of Rebecca Frost Davis, I’m speaking at St. Edward‘s in Austin, Texas, about the work 9 faculty did for the California Open Educational Resources Council 2014-2016. I haven’t looked at these OER materials, focus groups, studies, survey instruments, or White Paper for quite some time, but it’s all tangentially related to my work in Digital Pedagogy, Digital Humanities, and Digital Humanities Pedagogy. As St. Edward’s considers more integration of OER textbooks, I was happy to share all of the infrastructure materials we created for our work on the Council.

Below are the slides for both interested faculty and IT/administrators/librarians who would support creating that infrastructure for faculty adoption of OER materials.


#Bigger6 for Systemic Change

SJSU recently began a program whereby full time faculty could apply for release time to work on research projects — this would equate to a single course release for each semester over 5 years. That means my current 3/4 teaching load would be reduced to 2/3. This is unheard of in the CSU system, but it was a timely recognition that SJSU and the CSU is going to require faculty to produce scholarship, the administration needs to support that requirement with actual funding — though, let’s be honest, one course release per semester while still teaching multiple preps and working on a variety of administrative and curricular project still doesn’t afford enough time to write a book without using up all of the unpaid summer months to get a bulk of the work done.

But, it’s progress.

While on sabbatical, I got word of this first round of applications and sent off a massive dream projects that would be accomplished in stages. After having written a monograph, edited a critical edition, and tackled a behemoth collaborative project, I knew exactly how I wanted to perform this type of scholarly communication with the most impact – publishing open access, online journals instead of spending all of my time drafting a monograph for print distribution. With all of the issues surrounding our library funding, I don’t want to publish in journals that our library can’t even afford to subscribe to; nor do I want to publish in print journals that aren’t part of the ProQuest index of articles. All of this is about access and dissemination of scholarship. I’m simultaneously working internally to promote these open access journals as equivalent to print journals (it’s been a very long road event still).

My project has been profoundly influenced by my interactions with scholars and students at a conference in Australia and another meeting in South Africa during Summer/Fall 2019. This RSCA 5-Year project is a result of that privilege of sabbatical and the multitude of conversations that I had with those working in British Romanticism and 19th-century print culture that outside the white, male dominated canon — the meetings were eye-opening, to say the least.

One of the first steps in the project was to bring this revised set of scholarly ideas to the MA English graduate students in a course entitled, #Bigger 6: Decolonizing British Romantic Literature (1775-1835) through Print Culture (Engl. 232). Read more…

So close to publication! Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities

Screen Shot 2019-04-16 at 8.46.20 AMWe are so close to completing our project, Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities! So close! We are in the throes of final copyediting, permissions, digital platform building, creating links to curator profiles, last minute artifact checking, ensuring that all artifacts are included in the Works Cited as a statement that pedagogical materials are research and scholarship. The last one is really important because it’s one of the primary reasons we began this project. (See “Acknowledgements on Syllabi”)

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We Rise Up – Redux

I’ve been blogging over at my university’s ECampus site this semester almost exclusively about how to get into, do, embrace (or not) Digital Pedagogy in light of the final steps before “publishing” Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities,. Though I often blog in other places, like FairMatter, I don’t normally re-post to this blog other than a link on my digital CV. But with this one, with the recent admissions scandal, I think the topic needs a wider conversation than San Jose State University:

I’ve been slightly distracted by all of the news over the last few weeks — New Zealand’s tragedy, the replication of elitism in higher ed — as well as getting my graduate students in British Romanticism to think beyond the traditional literary canon for this period (1775-1835) of 6 white, male authors. All of this historical literary work on busting open an accepted canon seems imperative in a world that’s teeming with constant ruptures, revolutions, disturbances, dis-organization, re-organization, tragedy, wanderings, wonderings. The debate about ethics, artificial intelligence (or machine learning), Facebook seems to have gone by the wayside as we all deal with crisis after crisis that inundates us.

In the end, there’s some good news. Today, we’re going to take a circuitous route to end up back at Digital Pedagogy by the conclusion of this post. Just hang on for a moment. Read more…

What is your time worth?

Over the last 7 years, I’ve blogged about the financial and professional constraints of being a faculty member at a master’s-granting, public institution, one of 23 California State University campuses, that’s tied to the fluctuations of a state budget and serves first-generation college students and a diverse student body.

…what that means for me personally.

…how that has influenced my professional scholarly output.

…why that has an impact on my professional advancement.

Last May, I was promoted to Full Professor and continue to hold a deep and abiding respect for my students and the CSU system. I also believe that my position now requires me to speak up about certain issues that impact our profession.

As we get deeper into the profession, our commitment to fostering the profession becomes incredibly important, that includes actively participating in shared governance committees on campus, valuing other forms of scholarly communication by actively participating on professional organizations’ committees, fostering communication with tenure-line faculty to help trouble-shoot career advancement, honoring and articulating the value of our contingent (but not-so-temporary) faculty, mentoring graduate students even if it’s only to lend an ear about their research goals, integrating and valuing innovative pedagogical strategies, recognizing different forms of student learning and honoring those outputs, making overtures across disciplines to collaborate effectively on campus – and so much more. Read more…

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