Monthly Archives: April 2016

20 Minutes Smarter: Using Stations for Critical Thinking

Like others, I use a template to put together my course outline. It saves time, and it has a nice design (or so I think). It also has standard language about submission policies and academic integrity and laptops and mobile phones in the classroom.

The technology policy usually says something stern about how you don’t need an internet-connected computer for any purpose, and shouldn’t use one for anything in class beyond note-taking. Stay focused, be mindful, eat your proverbial vegetables.

But this time it’s different:

You will make frequent and extensive use of your laptop computer and mobile phone in this class, to annotate texts and pose questions and make preliminary research inquiries — particularly when we are watching films and clips together. But you must at all times be willing to share your screen with others in your groups, and often with the whole class. Please keep your Facebook trolling and Buzzfeed fixes to designated stations and/or break times. You owe it to yourself, and your colleagues, to stay focused on the material at hand.

(I had to add the last part, which says, “Look, I know there are a thousand temptations out there – but let’s agree to concentrate on the task at hand.”)

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Empathy and the Novel

[This is my provisional course description for English 201 L13 in Fall 2016.]

What are novels good for? Conventional wisdom says that when we read novels, we allocate scarce resources of time to a leisure activity. But economic calculations of productivity or escapism are too reductive. Novels expand our narrow views of the world by making us empathize with characters who are overtly unlike us. The novels we read in this course will unsettle our conventional thinking. Negotiating between human desires and social mores, their characters transport us from our circumstances into rapturous loves, geopolitical crises, sun-dappled landscapes, and sterile sanitoriums.

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Digital Humanities at Congress 2016

A list of events for digital humanists at Congress 2016 (May 28-June 3, 2016), compiled by Michael Ullyot. To add an event, send details to ullyot{at}

Events are listed in the order they were received (i.e. not in chronological order).  

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Digital Humanities Summer Institute @ Congress 2016

Do you get the feeling that your computer could be doing more work for you, instead of making you do more work? Are you curious about how the Digital Humanities can support your research, teaching, and dissemination?

The Digital Humanities (DH) Summer Insitute @ Congress 2016 is a series of 2.5-hour workshops for scholars, staff, and students interested in a hands-on introduction to DH tools, techniques and methods:

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