I am delighted to announce that I have accepted the position of Assistant Professor of English at Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York, where I will be teaching creative writing, poetry, and twentieth- and twenty-first-century United States literature and culture. I will be joining Hartwick’s English Department this fall and will be teaching three classes: Introduction to Creative Writing (ENGL 213), Reading Modern Poetry (ENGL 250), and Creative Writing: Poetry (ENGL 312). I am really excited about this new chapter in my life and career. Thanks to all those–too numerous to name–who have supported me along the way; your indefatigable encouragement has meant so much.
I’m eager to begin a new semester at the University of Pittsburgh. This fall I am teaching a number of classes: Narrative and Technology (ENGLIT 0399), Introduction to Critical Reading (ENGLIT 0500), and Postmodern Literature (ENGLIT 1350). I have taught all three courses before and enjoy each one. The syllabus for Introduction to Critical Reading can be found on my Academia.edu page and I’d be happy to send along the others to interested parties, which tweak previous versions. I have decided not to do any blogs for any of my classes this semester, partially as an experiment, but also because I am trying to limit how much time I spend in front of a screen. For the blogs of previous classes, see the category “Teaching” to the right.
I am looking forward to a fun, productive, and challenging spring semester at the University of Pittsburgh. I’ll be teaching three classes: two sections of Narrative and Technology (ENGLIT 0399; class blog here) and a course that is being offered for the first time, Interactive Literature (ENGLIT 1001; class blog here). I owe Mark Best considerable credit for Interactive Literature as I drew many ideas about organizing the course from the design of his initial proposal.
I have had a great couple days listening to the boundary 2 conference. And after a productive and interesting week teaching Dear Esther (2012), Gone Home (2013), and Jennifer Egan‘s Look at Me (2001), I’m going to take the day to deeply immerse myself in football. So, I have a bit of time for some links.
Science and Environment
Geoff Brumfiel, “New Clock May End Time as We Know It.”
As part of the Digital Brown Bag Series, a series of talks on various ways one might incorporate digital tools into their teaching and scholarship, tomorrow, November 14, from 12:00 – 1:00, I am giving a presentation on “Immersive Pedagogy: Teaching Videogames In and Out of the Classroom” at the University of Pittsburgh in room 435 of the Cathedral of Learning. Here’s a brief description of what I will be addressing:
Teaching videogames present a number of pedagogical challenges and possibilities that are not involved with teaching more traditional media objects. Many things can go wrong when teaching videogames: they can (and do) frequently break down or are incompatible with certain machines; they are hardware dependent, thus limiting the games that can be included in a syllabus; they are actionable rather than passive—they need to be played—meaning that students with less familiarity or skill with videogames can struggle. But videogames also open up a number of pedagogical avenues that are unavailable to other media: they can be radically immersive, collective, and social, reconfiguring the classroom into a virtual space that can extend significantly beyond the physical boundaries of traditional instruction; they provide new ways of looking at and interacting with media objects in the classroom, promoting new pedagogical methods of critical engagement; and they are, inevitably, fun, inviting students to participate in what I call “critical play.” This presentation will discuss some of the logistical, critical, and theoretical challenges presented by teaching videogames, how these challenges might be addressed, and some exciting pedagogical possibilities that are opened up by bringing videogames into the classroom. The presentation will conclude with an interactive demonstration of how one particular videogame, The Stanley Parable (Galactic Café, 2013), might be taught. (This talk largely reflects my experiences teaching Narrative and Technology.)
Its been a couple weeks since I’ve posted any links, so there’s a bunch of stuff here.
Disaster, Nuclear, Environment, and Deep Futures
Willie Osterweil, “The End of the World as We Know It.” On the reactionary politics in ancient apocalypse films.
Josh Marshall, “Disaster Porn, For Once for Real.”
Radical eco-nihilism. Wen Stephenson, “‘I Withdraw’: A Talk with Climate Defeatist Paul Kingsnorth.”
Paul Kingsnorth, “Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist.”
Mark Strauss, “Space Junk Is Becoming a Serious Security Threat.”
Robert T. Gonzalez, “Bad News: Scientists Have Measured 16-Foot Waves in the Arctic Ocean.”