Original Pronunciation

by Dr Davis on September 17, 2014

britain_william_shakespeare martinShakespeare’s Globe did a Shakespearean play with original pronunciation. This is a 10-minute video about it–with examples: http://twentytwowords.com/performing-shakespeares-plays-with-their-original-english-accent/

“It’s an interesting accent to tune your ear into.”

Very useful for linguistics and British literature.

“three kind of evidence that you look for…
observations made by people who are writing on the language at the time… Ben Jonson the dramatist tells us, ‘We actually pronounce the r…’
spellings people used at the time … at one point in Romeo and Juliet the word film is spelt p-h-i-l-o-m-e…That’s a very important indication.
rhymes and puns which don’t work in Modern English that do work in OP… ”

2/3s of Shakespeare’s sonnets have rhymes that don’t work in Modern English but do in OP.

“Actors all said that the OP altered their performance…It changed the way they perceived their characters…”

“The OP Romeo and Juliet was 10 minutes faster.”

“It’s an earthier accent.”

“can make the original meaning clearer”

“sound shift… from pronunciation of whore to o’er/ore… perfect pun”

“working our way back to Shakespeare”


Design for Teachers

by Dr Davis on September 16, 2014

design thinking for educatorsDesignThinkingforEducators.com has a free Design Tool Kit for teachers. They also have videos about design from teachers and examples of design that teachers have done in their classrooms.


Haiku Society of America Submissions

by Dr Davis on September 15, 2014

Frogpond is a publication of the Haiku Society of America. Submissions for the Winter issue are accepted September 15 through November 15.


Eyewitness to History

by Dr Davis on September 14, 2014

A great site for eyewitness accounts of important (and less important) national and international events is Eyewitness to History.

I would use this for literature courses. I might even use it for rhetoric classes.


Connected Courses

by Dr Davis on September 10, 2014

An invitation to join an online learning course about connected learning:

I’m so thrilled to extend a heartfelt invitation to all my fellow learners and educators out there who are intrigued by the proposition of “open education”. “Connected Courses” is a new online learning experience being put together by a group of amazing educators from the Connected Learning community. We are a collaborative community of faculty in higher education developing networked, open courses that embody the principles of connected learning and the values of the open web. Starting September 15th we’re going to be talking about openness and blended learning in a 12 week course that aims to help people run their own connected courses. The course is free, open, and you can jump in at any time. Everyone is welcome and no experience is required.

From Hastac.org, the blog has more information.


CFP: Fan Studies in the Classroom

by Dr Davis on September 9, 2014

Fan Studies in the Classroom; Abstracts by December 18, 2014
full name / name of organization:
Katherine Anderson Howell
contact email:
[email protected]

Fan Studies in the Classroom strives to connect the popular with the scholarly, using popular and fan cultural artifacts to engage student interest, motivate student research, and cast a new light on learning objectives. Increasingly, teachers in all disciplines incorporate fan creations, remix concepts, and media studies approaches in the classroom. These exercises range from using fan materials as examples, to having students study remix works, to asking students to rewrite canon.

Instructors from all institutions and serving varieties of student populations are invited to submit abstracts for essays about using remix/fan studies approaches in the classroom, with a focus on practice and instruction. Fan Studies in the Classroom will be an interdisciplinary, edited collection. University of Iowa Press has expressed interest in publishing the volume. Authors of selected abstracts will be asked to write a 5,000 word essay and invite a student to submit a response to the assignment described.

Abstracts of 250-500 words
Short biographical statement
Current MLA guidelines, please no endnotes.
Submit to Katherine Howell [email protected] by December 18, 2014.

From UPenn


The Futures

by Dr Davis on September 8, 2014

CFP: Paradoxa, “The Futures Industry,” 10/01/2014
full name / name of organization:
contact email:
[email protected]
Paradoxa: Call for Papers: “The Futures Industry”

More than thirty years ago, Fredric Jameson suggested in “Progress versus Utopia” (1982) that, far from providing us with blueprints of the future, the function of science fiction was to dramatize our inability to imagine a future distinct from the capitalist present. Much of his work since, including his “genealogy of the future” in Valences of the Dialectic has focused on the importance of speculative fiction for working through the difficulties of utopian thinking in a context thoroughly saturated by capitalist thinking.

Capitalism has colonized our present and our ability to think about the future. But more importantly, it has also consumed this future in the form of futures markets that script certain trajectories as we deplete limited oil reserves and watch the extinction of hundreds of species due to pollution and climate change.

In the twenty-first century, the future has never seemed so polarized, and we oscillate between dystopian visions of scarcity and collapse (what Chris Harmon calls Zombie Capitalism, 2010) and visions of corporate advertising for products such as cellular phones and luxury cars. These “essential” items suggest that their consumers can live in the future now through these technological marvels. Everyone from Monsanto (Monsanto.com/newsviews/pages/feed-the-future-initiative.aspx) to Verizon (verizon.com/powerfulanswers/) to biotech entrepreneur Craig Venter—in his book Life at the Speed of Light (2013)—claims to be building a better world. Such discourse appropriates and erodes the language of those who seek to articulate alternative futures.

This issue of Paradoxa invites papers that address the struggle to imagine—and shape—the future in interdisciplinary frameworks. Mark Fisher argues in Capitalist Realism (2012) that the language of advertising is a key mechanism by which we are encouraged to invest in the future as the future of capitalism. It is imperative that we interrogate these limiting visions of the future and reinvigorate the utopian project of imagining and nurturing alternative visions of the social.

As examples of this reimagining, authors are referred to Arjun Appardurai’s call for “an anthropology of the future” in The Future as Cultural Fact; Elizabeth Povinelli’s analysis of the frozen space-time of neoliberalism and her observation that it destroys alternative futures by “denying them social substance” (Economics of Abandonment 134); Kaushik Sunder Rajan’s work on the economies of biocapital and its Derridean rhetoric of “truth”; Melinda Cooper’s work in Life as Surplus on what she calls “capitalism delirium [which] seeks to refashion the world rather than interpret it” (20).

How might we reclaim the future, not only the material future as a space of greater equity and social justice, but also the future as our imaginative ability to think about estranged and new worlds rather than to capitulate to a future as envisioned by global capital? Can science fiction foster a critical understanding of the intersections of political economy and contemporary technoscience, or does its own status as an entertainment commodity inevitably compromise its capacity as a tool for social critique? What is the role of speculative thinking in political struggle and social justice today?

We invite proposals of 500 words for papers of 5000-9000 words. Proposals are due October 1, 2014. Authors will be notified within 3 weeks if their abstract has been accepted. Full papers will be due July 1, 2015. Each paper will be subject to external peer review before acceptance is final. For additional information about past Paradoxa projects, see www.paradoxa.com. Please send proposals to Sherryl Vint at [email protected]

From UPenn


Teaching, Learning, and Cost: Universities Today

by Dr Davis on September 8, 2014

Kevin Carey writes in his last Think Tank column for The Chronicle of Higher Ed:

The standard research-university model—autonomous professors rewarded for scholarship, untrained in teaching, and unaccountable for student learning—dominates every aspect of modern higher education, including the vast majority of colleges, which have no mandate for research.

professors waiting in line eutress public domain WCIt may dominate, but it is not the only model. While my university requires scholarship (research), teaching is of primary importance.

Measuring teaching ability is a problem when you are trying to support teaching, however. Student evaluations may not be the most efficacious way of determining teaching ability, but it is a common one. What else could we use or how else might we determine whether someone is or is not an effective teacher?

Colleges can’t forever continue raising prices, shortchanging their teaching responsibilities, and clinging to pre-technological models of organization.

iStock professor lecture small group white boardWhile I am unsure what pre-tech models he means (perhaps face-to-face classrooms?), I think that the rising prices and the teaching responsibilities are two different factors that will have distinct and separate impacts. The average consumer of higher education is aware of cost, but unaware of the differences that good teachers can make. Therefore the cost will hit the higher education model first and hardest, with the strong teaching universities perhaps being able to recover faster.


Tenure and Promotion Portfolio

by Dr Davis on September 7, 2014

wordpress-iconThis week my pre-tenure review of my tenure and promotion portfolio is due. This is the second year the university has required them as WordPress blogs.

I am grateful that I have used WordPress blogs for a while. Despite that, I still learned things working on the t&p portfolio. Some of those things I learned made a big difference in the presentation aspect of the portfolio.

While I was working on it, I decided to incorporate lots of images. After the reading in the research of new media, including quite a lot on visual rhetoric, that seemed to be a good idea.

There is never a perfect t&p portfolio, but you do the best you can and hope that the comments help you improve the work sufficiently to achieve your goal. I think it looks good.

Soliciting feedback is a little tricky, as it is behind a firewall. However, I managed to show it to a couple of people and got some useful and relevant feedback. I’ve made the changes suggested and feel that it is about as done as it will get.

ACU Hunter Welcome Center down the columnsI’m grateful that my university has pre-tenure review in order to give feedback, because I am quite aware that not all schools do. My SIL’s university doesn’t. She was just told, “As soon as you get those two articles published, submit your t&p.” Yikes!


Plant Horror; Monstrous Vegetal

by Dr Davis on September 7, 2014

Plant Horror / The Monstrous Vegetal, Edited Collection, due 1/2/2015
full name / name of organization:
Dawn Keetley and Rita Kurtz
contact email:
[email protected] and [email protected]

The recent critical “nonhuman” turn asks, as Elizabeth Grosz has eloquently put it, about all those “animal, plant, and material forces that surround and overtake the human.” Of all those “forces,” it is perhaps the plant that has been most neglected, although that neglect is being redressed in such recent publications as Matthew Hall’s Plants as Persons: A Philosophical Botany (2011), Michael Marder’s Plant-Thinking: A Philosophy of Vegetal Life (2013), and Randy Laist’s Plants and Literature: Essays in Critical Plant Studies (2013). Theorists are recognizing the inherent importance of grappling with the ontological strangeness of plants, which have long inhabited what Michael Marder calls the “zone of absolute obscurity.” And vegetal life also plays a vital role in the project of re-thinking the past, present, and future of both human subjectivity and human survival.

Perhaps because of their irreducible difference from us, their intractable unfamiliarity, plants have often entered popular narratives as terrifying and terrorizing forces. They seem monstrous in their implacability and impersonality, their rooted unfreedom, their unintentionality, and their prolific and non-teleological “wild” growth. They also, as Marder has pointed out, take aim at our metaphysics, deconstructing structuring binaries such as body-soul, self-other, depth-surface, life-death, and the one and the many.

With the goal of exploring how and why plants have figured as terrifying in so many of our cultural narratives, we invite proposals for the first collection of essays on “plant horror”—that is, on how plants and all forms of vegetal life have figured as the monstrous in literature, film, television, and other media (video games, comics).

Three broad questions will guide the collection:

–What are the properties of plants that make them “monstrous”? How and why have they been represented as threatening to both human populations and the boundaries of the “human”?

–How has the plant been conceived in relation to the human? Is vegetal life utterly “other”? Or does vegetal life become monstrous because we have disavowed its connection to us? Are there other ways (than irreducible difference) to think about the plant in relation to the human? Are the “monstrous” ways of plants able to be re-thought as possible futures for the human?

–How has “plant horror” served to critique human environmental abuses? What “real life” horror stories are there surrounding such recent human endeavors as the patenting of plants and genetically modified crops?

We are interested in essays that address what might be called the “canon” of plant horror: John Wyndham’s groundbreaking The Day of the Triffids (1951), as well as its numerous film and TV incarnations, The Thing from Another World (1951), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), The Little Shop of Horrors (1960), Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (1978), Swamp Thing (1982), “The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill,” in Creepshow (1982), The Ruins (2008), and The Happening (2008). Almost all of these texts have appeared in more than one medium and have generated sometimes multiple re-makes, suggesting that they exert a persistent fascination. Essays that serve to expand this “canon” are very welcome.

We are also eager to receive abstracts that address how vegetal life features in unexpected ways and on the margins of narratives not explicitly about the depredations of plants—e.g., Doctor Who: The Seeds of Doom (1976), Batman and Robin (1997), Minority Report (2002), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), and AMC’s The Walking Dead (2010-present). We also welcome essays that discuss how plants feature in narratives produced outside the US and UK.

The editors of the collection are Dawn Keetley and Rita Kurtz. Dawn Keetley is an Associate Professor of English at Lehigh University and has recently published on horror TV and film in Gothic Studies and Americana, as well as editing “We’re All Infected”: Essays on AMC’s The Walking Dead and The Fate of the Human (McFarland, 2014). Rita Kurtz has a PhD in English from Lehigh University and teaches writing, popular culture, and American literature.

Please send abstracts of between 500 – 1,000 words to Dawn Keetley ([email protected]) and Rita Kurtz ([email protected] ) by January 2, 2015. Questions before the deadline are very welcome.

We have several publishers in mind for this collection and will be sending inquiries shortly, preparing to send off a complete proposal soon after the January 2 deadline. We anticipate that full essays will need to be completed by the summer of 2015.