Month: November 2014

750Words.com

I’m testing out 750Words.com as a platform for motivating student writing as well as maintaining my own writing schedule. The site allows visitors to set a goal for writing 750 words per day, through a system of self-determined rewards and penalties and challenges to write so many words per month.

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The site also features a helpful system that tracks the structure of writing, not only the emotional content of your typed words but also which types of words–auxiliary verbs, adjectives, conjunctions, negations–that your writing tends to use most frequently, all helpful towards becoming a more concise writer.

Would anyone else recommend the site?

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CFP: Developments in Comics Pedagogy (MLA 2016)

I am pleased to announce that a colleague and I are proposing a special session for the 2016 meeting of the Modern Language Association in Austin, Texas.

Keith McCleary at UC San Diego and I previously had organized, with K. Wayne Yang, at UC San Diego, a similar session at the Northeast Modern Language Association, which featured a productive discussion with comics creators and teachers on innovative pedagogical practices for comics, graphic novels, and other sequential art in the production and appreciation of comics. We look forward to bringing this discussion to the MLA.

Towards forming a roundtable featuring teachers passionate about their teaching of comics, we appreciate feedback. If you have suggestions for how to improve our CFP to best address the current debates in comics pedagogy, please email us at kmccleary@ucsd.edu and derek.s.mcgrath@gmail.com.

The brief CFP and the extended description are below.


MLA 2016 (Austin, Texas, January 7-10): “Developments in Comics Pedagogy”

This special session is a roundtable that focuses on innovative teaching practices of the production, research, and appreciation of comics. Submit a 200- to 350-word statement summarizing your approaches to teaching comics by March 1, 2015, to both Keith McCleary (kmccleary@ucsd.edu) and Derek McGrath (derek.s.mcgrath@gmail.com).

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Arthur Chu on the Masculinity in Nerd Culture, and the Violence of Gamergate against Felicia Day

Jeopardy whiz Arthur Chu had a lot to say a few weeks ago about Gamergate, as motivated by his own focus on himself as a man in nerd culture and his encounter with Felicia Day. This article is important reading for many of us to understand the hatred that the men in Gamergate have–and why they must stop this hate and violence immediately.

My Upcoming Presentation to MLA 2015: “Pursuing Two Passions: On Being a Graduate Student and Something Else”

I am excited to announce that I will be participating in a roundtable this January in Vancouver at the 130th meeting of the Modern Language Association.

“Pursuing Two Passions: On Being a Graduate Student and Something Else,” will be held on Thursday, January 8, at the Vancouver Convention Centre. The title refers to the twin goals that each roundtable participant will discuss, as each of us has pursued our graduate research while dedicating ourselves to activism, family, and hobbies.

This will be my fifth presentation to the MLA, and my focus will be on the intersection of academic and fan appreciation of the texts and cultural studies that we research. In my submission, “Can My Dissertation Just Be On Fandom? Pursuing a PhD in American Literature While Watching Too Much Anime,” I discussed my involvement in fan communities centered around popular and nerd culture—anime, comics, cosplay—while completing a PhD in English literature with specialization in nineteenth-century United States literature and gender studies.

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