Friday, March 23, 2007

Recording lectures

So with the Linda Bree lecture, I've been thinking what a shame it is that we have so many notable speakers coming to campus and that I am not able to make it to all the events. I wonder if we could start an audio archive of talks given at least within the English Department? What do you think of this?

The first problem is copyright. We would have to get permission from the persons speaking to record them and then to allow others to hear the recording. Personally, I don't think I would mind very much if someone recorded me, but I can very much see that someone who is presenting new/tentative scholarship would want to not allow others to have access.

This brings me to the second problem: where do we keep these files? Obviously, we would want to keep them private and not accessible to the outside world (thus, helping us avoid even more copyright issues). So we need them somewhere within the Emory infrastructure. I can host talks on my website, which is linked to Webdrive. But the problem with this is that it is public and that it has a limited space such that I could only host one talk at a time. We don't want to spread our archives of talks throughout different people's websites either.

Another possibility would be to host things within Blackboard, using the faculties Wayne and Shannon taught us during TLC. This would give the site a bit of cachet that could convince people to visit it and then lead to their using the space for the other uses a group of us have envisioned. This is a private place where we can absolutely control access, thus reducing liability qua copyright.

A third place would be to create a course within Reserves Direct in which we place all the recordings. This initially seems to me to be the best idea, as an RD course is (or was, when I last fiddled with them) something that anyone on campus can enroll in, regardless of actual class status. This would mean that those outside the English Department could have access to the talks. Although the pool of access would be larger, it would still be restricted to the Emory community and those who have a network ID.

In any case, I'm interested in this project, and I think it would be a worthwhile addition to Emory's expanding digital "collections." But what do you think?

Finally, in my opinion, the copyright issues are primary and I doubt that we could overcome them without the full support of the faculty/department. Is this something we should pursue?

Linda Bree Talk

You can know access the lecture Linda Bree of Cambridge UP on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 on the state of publishing. You can get it from my high powered and well-designed website (thanks TLC!).

I found the talk to cover a lot of things that I already knew. I felt the most valubale part came after she finished, when we got to do Q&A. This is around the 40-minute mark.


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Monday, March 19, 2007

Close Reading

I think this post by Dr. Crazy on close reading is worth looking at. I also think her strategies for teaching close reading sound promising. And perhaps other people have thoughts on the matter or effective strategies of their own to share.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Free Times Select

The NYTimes is giving free Times Select subscriptions to anyone with a university email address.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

To market, to market...

For some reason, it occurred to me today that about 3/4 (maybe more) of this blog's devoted readers will be going on the market this fall. So, here are three things you can do in the coming weeks.

1) Send off that article before April 15. (Anything later than that risks not getting reviewed until after the fall.)

2) Sometime before the end of the semester, talk to the members of your committee. Discuss a timeline for completion and the fact that you are going to be going on the market in the fall. (You want your letter writers to be warming up over the summer.)

3) Write, write, write. (The best thing you can do for yourself is to have a brilliant dissertation. And most dissertations become more brilliant the more you work on them.)

If you don't have a copy of the unofficial job market guide, you can download one, for the time being, here.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Lit. Crit. and Journalism

This Scott McLemee article at InsideHigherEd reminds me that I have been thinking about whether to try to organize something on writing for a non-academic audience next year. I wonder how many people would be interested. I also wonder whether anyone would be willing to attend a writing workshop over a day or two if there weren't the usual Emory shining carrot attached. My idea would be to invite someone with a Ph.D. who has experience placing book reviews and articles in a variety of publications.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Laughing on the Outside, Crying on the Inside

A friend just sent me a link to The University of Chicago Writing Program website. It has a very interesting grammar page, but the toys section is my favorite. The Sentence of the Week offers real-world examples of awful writing and then explains what's wrong with them. The Virtual Academic (who is joined on Fridays by the Virtual Critic) produces random academic sentences that had me shaking my head and laughing out loud. If you're really bored (or just stuck in the middle of your seminar paper, conference talk, dissertation, etc.), try the Make Your Own Academic Sentence page. I suspect that this last little toy may be responsible for producing half of the academic articles that I have recently read.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

New media egg on old media face

I don't know why I was so tickled by the editor's note in the New Yorker that just arrived in my mailbox, but I was. You can read about it here.