We started our Spring semester a week ago, officially.
I’m TEACHING Introduction to Literary Criticism again and have promised these English majors that we will not engage in too much screwing around because — well — the material is just too much to throw some technology in there. Also, this is a staple course for me, and the only one that I repeat every semester. Since I’m teaching a 4-course, 3-prep load, it’s better that I don’t revise every course. This year, though, I moved that course from HTML pages on the SJSU server to a WordPress blog. Since I’ll use this course information over and over, it pays to have it in a format that can be re-purposed next semester.
Food & You (#foodyou on Twitter) frosh comp part 2 makes another appearance this semester. I’ve learned from the last two semesters of teaching this course what to do — less is more! We’re keeping things like interviewing someone at a farmer’s market and adding in a daily scribe, someone to take notes and post the whiteboard markings to a daily class notes page on our wiki. Northern California is an incredible place for fresh and varied foods, so I always look forward to teaching this class. This time around, we’ll focus more on writing and less on eating. (The tastings are gone for the sake of the schedule!)
The first section, meeting at 10:30am, is gleeful and exploratory. They requested that Instagram be one of our digital tools, in addition to Yelp, Twitter, WordPress blog, PBWorks wiki. I’ve even crafted a Wikipedia project — they were all flabber-ghasted about that. The second section, meeting at 3pm, is cynical and a bit skeptical about the world of food and this digital revolution (and more than a few sleep in class — which will end). It should be interesting to run two sections and have these students comment on each others’ blog posts and recipes. Some of them already know each other across sections, too. Let’s see what unfolds for the semester!
And, I’m most excited about the BeardStair Introduction to Digital Humanities and Scholarly Digital Editions (#beardstair on Twitter)! We have a great group of 10 students with varying degrees of technical expertise. They’ve just posted their first blog posts about defining digital humanities. And, Matt Kirschenbaum and I are working on ways to get our two sets of students communicating — perhaps through blog comments? Matt is teaching an Introduction to DH over at MITH, University of Maryland.
I’ll be blogging each week along with the BeardStair group. Check out my pedagogical leanings over there this semester.
Oh, and I have a few WRITING PROJECTS to finish up. Why do we do this to ourselves?
- an article on digital pedagogy at a non-R1 university for Polymath;
- a special cluster of articles on feminism and Digital Humanities co-edited with Jacque Wernimont;
- my long-suffering MS on the literary history of literary annuals due with revisions in June to a UP;
- a revised version of an article for Textual Cultures on editorial taste in literary annuals;
- a severely revised contribution to Debates in the Digital Humanities online version, at some point, about digital pedagogy, I think. (This one is a mess!); and
- continued blogging with FairMatter, a Norton Publishers blog; and finally,
- the work on a big digital pedagogy project co-edited with Jentery Sayers, Matt Gold, and Rebecca Frost Davis — but this is a super-secret project, kind of. Well, not really. But details will be released soon!
I’ve carved out Monday and Wednesday mornings to work on some of these writings. The afternoons will be given over to meetings and commenting on student blog posts and grading and extra student meetings. Tuesdays and Thursdays, all day, are teaching days. Fridays, well, I’m so fried by then that I can do nothing but grocery shop and administrative teaching stuff (such as re-formatting wayward HTML).
In between, I’m headed to Austin College to be part of a week-long workshop on Digital Pedagogy, THATCamp Feminism West (if I can scrape up funding) and then to the Digital Humanities Conference in July (at University of Nebraska-Lincoln) to participate in a roundtable on Feminism & DH with Dene Grigar, Jacque Wernimont, & Kathi Inman Berens. This is our annual HUGE DH conference, and it’s very difficult to get into these days. So, I’m happy to be among the crowd, but also to have a chance to sit down with some of my favorite people, possibly get some cooking in there with Steve Ramsay and others.
[CAVEAT: I’ve been thinking long and hard about the fact that I’ve financed my own travel for most conferences over the last 7-8 years, and I just can’t do it any longer. sigh]
On the personal side, lest you think I’m all work and no play, I’m gearing up for another season of racing half ironman triathlons (or 70.3 — as in the number of miles). This is all working towards racing a full ironman triathlon in 2014. Yes, yes, this is what I do for fun. It means running, biking, and swimming at least twice each week. It’s what keeps me sane. And, not to rub it in East Coasters, but we have the weather to do it! :-p::::