John Lovas Memorial Academic Weblog Award — Computers and Writing 2009

Today, at the Computers and Writing conference, the Kairos editors presented Jerz’s Literacy Weblog with the John Lovas Memorial Academic Weblog Award. (I knew about it in advance, and was able to get funding to attend thanks to the CIT department at Seton HIll.)  Lovas was a dedicated teacher, an accomplished administrator, and a patient mentor. I’m honored to be associated with his tremendous achievements.

From an announcement on the Kairos Facebook page:

Jerz’s Weblog by Dennis Jerz of Seton Hill University

The John Lovas Weblog recognized this year has been a resource for writing teachers for most of this decade.  This blog offers a glimpse into the formative history of blogging in writing.  It bridges new media journalism, rhetoric, and composition studies in productive and insightful ways.

It’s author was one of the first professors to use blogging in teaching, coining the term “forced blogging” and problematizing its practice.  The weblog reflects lively intertextual exchanges with other blogs about gaming, interactive fiction, and digital pedagogy that have large readerships and show how much his bibliographical work is respected.

The blog, Jerz’s Literacy Weblog, by Dennis Jerz of Seton Hill University, addresses a range of issues of relevance to our field from recounting panels at the recent 4C’s conference to discussions of video games in education and the decline of newspapers.

Jerz shows continuing leadership in addressing the potential role of emerging technologies and new media in th teaching of writing and this is regularly reflected in his blog, making his site an excellent resource for those who wish to engage in such challenges.


Here are the criteria for the Lovas award:

The award will be given to the weblog which best meets the following criteria. The weblog must:

  • Be at least six months old from the date of submission for consideration.
  • Be updated regularly (an average of at least once per week).
  • Actively engage with other academic weblogs; in other words, the blogger must be a public intellectual.
  • Deal with any of theoretical, practical, or praxis-based issues addressed in Kairos and other journals in computers and writing studies.

I started blogging in the spring of 1999. I didn’t actually start dating my entries until July 20 (when I posted an item about the moon landing and thought I should point out that I was posting the entry on the 30th anniversary), but at some point I posted an archive of how my blog looked in June 22, 1999.  So you could call this month the tenth anniversary of my blog.

I’ve really been enjoying my first visit to Computers and Writing, where you can’t shake a stick without hitting four Twitterers mid-tweet. Several people I’ve gotten to know through the 4Cs have invited me to C&W, but because it takes place in June, when the kids have usually ramped up their soccer camp and swimming and other activities, I didn’t get around to it.

The last two years, I grew frustrated with the lack of WiFi access during 4Cs sessions.   I feel most cut off from the outside world during the three four days I’m attending a 4Cs session. I’ve been able to liveblog CW09, which is really a time-saver. I’ve also enjoyed looking at the Twitter stream.

If you’re new to my blog, you might be interested in visiting blogs.setonhill.edu (the academic web community I’ve been hosting since 2003), browsing my writing handouts, parsing my interactive fiction resources, or critiquing my academic weblog portfolio rubric.

My blog is part Daddy Blog, so if you’re into that sort of thing, here is my son’s reaction to the meatball song when he was 5, my daughter’s tearful critique of The Ewok Adventures when she was six.

My blog is part tech blog. I’ve posted about my problems with missing PDA screws, my frustration with intrusive Adobe practices, and the uses of text-to-speech translation.

Other popular resources on my site include handouts on e-mail and short stories (both of which began as student technical writing projects), as well as my own handouts on MLA style, showing and telling, logic writing exercises, and active and passive verbs.