Holiday Playlist 2017

It’s been a bleak year and the holiday blues are in full effect. Here’s a playlist that captures some old, some new, some sorrow, some joy. Dreaming of a peaceful new year.



Disrupting Student Labor in the Digital Humanities Classroom

Text of my talk “Disrupting Student Labor in the Digital Humanities Classrom” on March 11, 2016 at Rice University.

Abstract: Crowdsourcing labor and crowdfunding capital are two pillars of the new innovation economy. While these models have worked well for projects ranging from citizen science to music production, bringing crowd-think into the academy, and particularly the classroom, can be ethically fraught. Digital humanities pedagogy involving students contributing to faculty projects or producing durable work products is particularly vulnerable to abuse and misuse. Based on my contribution to the forthcoming Disrupting the Digital Humanities collection, I will offer a critique of these practices and offer ideas on how to avoid ethical pitfalls. Continue reading “Disrupting Student Labor in the Digital Humanities Classroom”

Obama’s Children’s Book

obama, of thee I sing, children's book
Of Thee I Sing, President Obama's children's book

Children’s books have played an interesting role in the history of the American presidency since Mason Weem’s Life of Washington (1800), which introduced several apocryphal tales about the first president (the cherry tree: myth) and was abridged for the children’s book market soon after publication. Presidential pets and presidents themselves have been the subjects of kid’s books, and first ladies and presidential children have often dabbled in the genre. And who can forget the stunning role The Pet Goat played in 2001? Continue reading “Obama’s Children’s Book”

Clockwork Angel’s "readerly heroine"

Check out Cassandra Clare’s guest post on Novel Novice about some of the literary preoccupations of Tessa, the heroine of her forthcoming novel Clockwork Angel, book one of her new Infernal Devices series.

It’s exciting for an early Americanist like me to see works like Maria Cummins’ The Lamplighter (1854) and Susan Warner’s The Wide Wide World (1850) mentioned in a contemporary YA novel. Clare even mentions E.D.E.N. Southworth’s Hidden Hand (1859, 1888) as a personal favorite that didn’t make it into her novel. Continue reading “Clockwork Angel’s "readerly heroine"”