Monthly Archives: May 2015

Augmented Criticism and Rhetorical Figures

 

This paper is the latest in a series about the Rhetorical Schematics Project, housed in the Augmented Criticism Lab: a digital collaboration between the Universities of Waterloo and Calgary, where Adam James Bradley and I are based.

I presented it first at the Canadian Society for Renaissance Studies (CSRS) conference at Congress 2015, and a revised version a few weeks later at the 2015 Shakespearean Theatre Conference in Stratford, Ontario. 

 

2015-05-30 CSRS slideshow.002

My subject is “Augmented Criticism and Rhetorical Figures.” If that sounds highly technical, let me assure you that Adam and I are literary critics first and digital humanists second. That is, we use computers only to augment traditional research inquities, that are rooted in philology.

Here, for instance, our inquiry is into rhetorical figures, or the patterns of repetition and variation that make poetic language memorable, compelling, and beautiful.

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‘Earn your Shakespeare badge’ video

The Design for Learning 2015 conference has posted the video of our workshop, along with others.

Here’s the complete series of posts on this project.

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Reading Poetry Aloud

“The experience of reading poetry aloud when you don’t fully understand it is a curious and complicated one. It’s like suddenly discovering that you can play the organ. Rolling swells and peals of sound, powerful rhythms and rich harmonies are at your command; and as you utter them you begin to realize that the sound you’re releasing from the words as you speak is part of the reason they’re there. The sound is part of the meaning, and that part only comes alive when you speak it.”

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Novels for Algorithms

I’m designing the graduate seminar I’ll teach in the Department of English this fall (2015) on the subject of ‘Algorithmic Criticism,’ a title I took from the subtitle of Stephen Ramsay’s 2011 book, Reading Machines. It’s an introduction to computational text-analysis for students of literature, from word frequency to topic modelling.

By the end of the course, students will be comfortable moving between close reading and distant reading, or what Matthew Jockers calls micro-, meso-, and macro-analysis. (Along with Ramsay’s book, Jockers’ 2013 study Macroanalysis and his 2014 guide to Text Analysis with R for Students of Literature will be required readings.)

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Digital Badges for Professional Development

A continuing series from the University of Calgary’s “Design for Learning” conference on university learning and teaching this week (#ticonf2015 on Twitter). I’m live-blogging my notes, so forgive my typos and omissions.

This morning I’m in a session on Micro-Credentialing and Badges, offered by the Educational Development Unit team: Lin Yu, Patti Dyjur, Kevin Saito (who designed the amazing conference app), and Joni Miltenburg. It has clear links to the project my team and I presented yesterday, on our digital badge system in English 205 (Foundations: Shakespeare).

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Teaching for Learning

I’m at the University of Calgary’s “Design for Learning” conference on university learning and teaching this week (#ticonf2015 on Twitter). Later this morning, my RAs and I will deliver a workshop on digital badges in an introductory Shakespeare class.

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Netting Participation (Part II)

A guest post by Theresa Kenney on gamification in #engl205. This post is one of three from Theresa’s mini-series about designing and delivering badges

 

As previously posted, our award-system of #engl205 had four main gears that allowed for our award-system to work:

  1. The Course Outline and its Learning Outcomes
  2. The creation of the Badges and recommended activities
  3. Creating and maintaining nets for capturing activity
  4. Record keeping

This post will cover the latter gears to describe the nitty-gritty of fishing for student participation, checking what was in the netting, and awarding students.


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Gearing Gamificiation (Part I)

A guest post by Theresa Kenney on gamification in #engl205. This post is one of three from Theresa’s mini-series about designing and delivering badges

 

To award 88 students approximately 5 Badges each takes a functioning system – with easily accessible online platforms to award and display participation and awards. In practice, there were four main gears that allowed for our award-system to work:

  1. The Course Outline and its Learning Outcomes
  2. The creation of the Badges
  3. Creating and maintaining nets for capturing activity
  4. Record keeping

These four gears (which had a few stalling moments) worked together to offer a system to gamify #engl205, while creating a community of scholars that produced lively criticism. This post will cover the first two gears and its follow up of the latter gears in Part II can be found here.

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Content Providers and Consumers

“Oh Lord!” laments a party host amid her bored guests, in a 1995 New Yorker cartoon, “We forgot to invite any content providers.”

The punchline is dated, twenty years later, if only by her choice of words. In those early days of the internet, ‘content providers’ referred to those who wrote the texts that others read online, which was then still a novel way to distribute texts.

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