Recent Articles

MSA Debriefing

The annual convention of the Modernist Studies Assocation last week was, I think, the best I’ve ever attended. From the cabbies, the hotel, and the restaurants to the activities and events and the organization, it was fantastic to see a convention go off so swimmingly. (Must file away those tips and tricks for NAVSA 2016 here at ASU, including the axiom that conference hotel must be haunted.)

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Hi-Fi Lo-Fi Teaching

Today, on Twitter, Alan Liu initiated a discussion about hybrid pedagogy following Clay Shirky’s breakout essay, “Why I Just Asked My Students To Put Their Laptops Away”. (I call it “breakout” not because it is breakout for him but within my own socioacademic mediaverse, in which the post has been reposted by those far beyond my “usual suspects” DH pedagogists.) Shirky explains,

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How Much Text Can You Handle? Line Length, Gutenberg, and Henry James

Line length is a major reason why easily available online transcriptions of Henry James’s major texts tend to overwhelm me. Click for a free full text, and you face a forbidding wall of words, as if it’s a curtain covering up some magical text lurking beneath it. Words crowd upon one another, and the your eyes slip and slide as you train your eyes on the same line all the way across the screen. We know that, grammatically, Jamesian sentences build up tension and dependent clauses until they threaten to collapse in on the sentence, but that’s no reason why the glyphs themselves should do so. To avoid this feeling of chaos and doom, I want to explore the line length appropriate for James full texts.

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