Dennis G. Jerz's Curriculum Vitae

Current Position

Associate Professor of English: New Media Journalism
Seton Hill University (2003-present)

Contact Info

Previous Positions




  • Technology in American Drama, 1920-1950: Soul and Society in the Age of the Machine
    Technology shapes and defines the values interior to the human soul, individually and collectively (the civitas) in addition to producing the external, physical environment in which people live (the urbs). Drawing on the experiments of European Expressionism, especially under-acknowledged German models in drama and film, American dramatists found new techniques for developing character and theme, as well as innovative staging techniques. Most important, however, the three decades of drama examined in this study illustrate three progressive stages in the human response to the machine. (Greenwood Press, March 2003)



Conference Presentations

  • Jerome McDonough, Matthew Kirschenbaum, Doug Reside, Neil Fraistat, Kari Kraus, Rachel Donahue, Dennis Jerz, Henry Lowood, Megan Winget. "Preserving Virtual Worlds: Models & Community." Digital Humanities, University of Maryland, 2009.
  • "Teacher Tapestries: Reflections on Teaching Blogging Over a Decade" College English Association, Pittsburgh, 2009.
  • "Thinking Inside the Box: Free and Open Source Alternatives to CMS" Presentation for the workshop "Course Management Systems: A Viable Reality in the Composition Classroom" Conference on College Composition and Communication, New Orleans, 2008.
  • "Negotiating Standards: Traditional Instructional Goals and Student Expertise in New Media." Part of panel, "When Student Experts Remix the Discipline: New Media in the Composition Classroom." Conference on College Composition and Communication, Computer Connection, New York, 2007. (Panel also included papers by undergraduate student bloggers Mike Rubino and Karissa Kilgore, and recent graduate Amanda Cochran.)
  • "Illuminating Will Crowther's 'Adventure': A Games Studies Rinky-Dink." Cave Research Foundation, Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky, 2005.
  • "Forced Blogging: Students' Emotional Investment in their Academic Weblogs." Conference on College Composition and Communication, San Antonio, 2004. [Abstract; Handout]
  • "You are Standing at the Beginning of a Road: Examining Will Crowther's Computer Game 'Advent' (c. 1975-6)." Form, Culture and Video Game Criticism; Princeton, 2004.
  • "Storytelling in Computer Games: Past, Present and Future," organizer and panelist, UWEC English Festival. 2001.
  • "Catching Students in the 'Net," conference paper for panel "Intervening at the Point of Need," CCCC, Atlanta, 1999.
  • "The Role of Technical Writing in a Liberal Arts University," invited presentation, University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, 1998.
  • "Peer Writing Tutors and the Mythology of the Red Pen," invited lecture-workshop, Elon College, N.C., 1998.
  • "A Young Technical Writing Centre Cuts Its Teeth in CyberSpace," conference paper for "The Dynamics of Change: Competing Voices of the World Wide Web," CCCC, Chicago, 1998.
  • "White Man's Jesus, Black Man's Cross: The 'Natural Man' and Black Male Consciousness in Early American Modern Drama," paper for panel, "Masculinity and Christianity," MLA, Toronto, 1997.
  • Christopher Douglas, Dennis G. Jerz, and Ian Lancashire. "Adapting Web Electronic Libraries to English Studies," paper, Association for Computers and the Humanities / Association for Literary and Linguistic Computing Joint International Conference 1997, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario. 1997.
  • Robert K. Irish and Dennis G. Jerz. "Untext Me Here: Instilling Technical Literacy without Demanding Literary Technique," paper and web presentation, Inkshed 14 Working Conference, Canadian Association for the Study of Language and Learning, Orillia, Ontario. May 1997.
  • "War and Its Technological Legacy: Rebuilding the Homefront in Thornton Wilder's The Skin of Our Teeth and Arthur Miller's All My Sons," conference paper, "World War II Conference," Siena College, New York, 1996.
  • "Patronizing and Protesting: The John Henry Legend in Two Little-known Federal Theatre Project Plays," conference paper, "Twice-Told Tales: Recycling Narratives in America," Toronto, 1996.
  • "PSim: A Computer Study of Pageant Wagon Motion in the York Cycle," poster-paper, Société International pour l'Étude du Théâtre Médiéval (SITM), Toronto (August 1995).

Workshops and Seminars

  • "Teaching with Blogs and Games."  Edcuation Division Faculty Development, Seton Hill University, 2009.
  • Co-Facilitator. "Emerging Social Software Special Interest Group."  Conference on College Composition and Communication; San Francisco, 2009.
  • Panelist. "ADVENTURE Table-Read." Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities. University of Maryland, 2008.
  • "Games in the Classroom" with John Spurlock; Teaching and Learning Seminar, Seton Hill University, 2008.
  • Chair. "Emerging Social Software Special Interest Group." Conference on College Composition and Communication; New York, 2007. <>
  • "Integrating Catholic Social Teaching in a Drama as Lit Course." Teaching & Learning Seminar, Seton Hill University. December 2005.
  • Assessing Google as Teaching & Research Tool." Teaching & Learning Seminar, Seton Hill University, 2005.
  • <>
  • "The Blogosphere: What's in It for Me? (An Introduction)" with Mike Arnzen; Teaching and Learning Seminar, Seton Hill University, 2004.
  • "I Found it on the Internet: Teaching Students to Locate, Evaluate, and Cite Online Sources." Network for Excellence in Teaching presentation, University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire. 2002.
  • "Web Enhanced Learning," Network for Excellence in Teaching presentation, University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire. 2000.
  • "Sigma Tau Delta Career Planning Program," Network for Excellence in Teaching presentation, University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire. 2000.
  • "Introduction to RoboHELP,"Society for Technical Communication, University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, 2000.
  • "Pedagogical Web Design: A Swig of Theory, with a Pragmatic Chaser,"Women in Higher Education, University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, 2000.
  • "Foundations of Science Fiction in Rossum's Universal Robots," guest lecture, Gloria Hochstein's "Science Fiction -- Future Tense" seminar, University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, 2000.
  • "The Calendar as a Technological Artifact & The Calendar as a Sacred Tool," Adult and Youth Education at St. Mary's Church, Altoona, 1999.
  • "Bibliography in the Information Age," invited lecture for Theresa Kemp's graduate bibliography course, University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, 1999.
  • "Online Instruction: Handouts Without a Hand," Network for Excellence in Teaching, University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, 1999.
  • "Career Opportunities for Technical Writing Majors," invited lecture for Debra Barker's English 201: "Pathways in English," University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire (1998... similar presentations repeated for Anne Utschig and Gloria Hochstein, 1999).
  • "Administrative Support for Instructional Web Resources at the University of Toronto," demonstration and panel discussion, "Writing Across the Lines," University of Toronto, Scarborough Campus, Toronto, 1997.
  • "Review and Discussion of Useful Resources for Writing Instruction," professional development seminar, University of Toronto Writing Centre, Toronto, 1997.
  • "Professional Skills Seminar: Technology in the Classroom," English Department seminar hosted by Linda Hutcheon, Toronto, 1997.
  • "Capek's Dystopian Robots and O'Neill's Demonic Dynamo: The 'Natural Man' in Technological Society," English Department seminar, Toronto 1996.
  • "Technology and Brutality in O'Neill's The Hairy Ape and Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire," English Department seminar, Toronto, 1996. On-line abstract.
  • "Introduction to Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie," invited lecture, St. Joseph's College High School, Toronto, 1996.
  • "The York Cycle in Context," invited lecture and demonstration of original software, Lynchburg College, Virginia, 1995.


The Inform Beginner's Guide, by Roger Firth and Sonja Kesserich (IF Library, 2002)
"The Beginner's Guide (IBG) aims to provide a basic grounding in the text-adventure programming language Inform. A follow-as-you-go tutorial, the IBG creates three small games of increasing depth. No previous experience of computer programming or interactive fiction design is assumed. The book concludes with helpful summaries and reference tables." (2002) [full text: <>]

Major Digital Humanities Activities

Weblog Author,Jerz's Literacy Weblog: Online & Offline Literacy Links (1999-present.)

YouTube Presence

Editor, Interactive Fiction Glossary (180+ terms; leading a collaborative effort by several dozen volunteers to create a comprehensive, peer-moderated, user-modifiable lexicon devoted to text-based computer games; 2002-2004; content donated to serve as basis for community-edited Interactive Fiction Wiki, 2004-present)

Webmaster, Online Resource Room (500+ pages; archive for instructional handouts, including collaborations with students; 1999-present). Some of my own contributions on the site include:

Interactive Fiction Author/Designer, "Fine-Tuned, an Auto-mated Romance" (humorous text-based computer game; 2001)

Instructional Technology Experience

  • (administering online community of hundreds of academic weblogs)
  • Original Instructional/Research Software
    • "BibBuilder 1.2 (Free MLA Bibliography Builder)" (enables users to fill out a form, push a button, and get a properly formatted Works Cited entry) <>
    • "Collaborative Hypertext Annotation Seed Project (CHASP)" (multiple users attach marginal comments to a primary text and/or to existing comments, so that an entire class can quickly and efficiently annotate a single shared electronic literary text)
    • "Benjifier" (XML tool for marking up the stream-of-consciousness "Benjy" chapter of Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury, so that the events may be rearranged chronologically, or the dialogue filtered according to speaker)
    • "KWIC P & P" (simple implementation, using a freeware "keyword in context" program, of a of Pride and Prejudice concordance, for the benefit of a student's capstone project)
    • "BSEG (Book Segmenter)" (robust, 1000-line PERL program that converts standard "plain vanilla" text files [such as the common-domain texts prepared by Project Gutenberg] into HTML-friendly webpages; originally created for the University of Toronto English Library, and modified for use on my UWEC and SHU pages)
  • Consultant, iWrite, University of Toronto. Evaluated prototype of an instructional tool built upon an abstract workshop I implemented for Toronto's Engineering Writing Center in 1998. (2001) [iWrite credits: <>]
  • Electronic Tutoring Designer, Language Across the Curriculum, University of Toronto Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering (1996-1998; occasional consulting work thereafter). Designed and coded a comprehensive system for electronic tutoring, including an online handout bank, a student record database and a web-based, database-driven e-mail tutoring application: "U of Toronto Engineering CyberTutor" (1997-1999)
  • Electronic Tutoring Designer, for the Health Sciences Writing Centre; contracted services to the writing instruction group that serves five departments: Nursing, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Physical Education, and Social Work (1998)
  • Electronic Courseware Designer, University of Toronto English Library (UTEL); electronic text courseware project directed by Ian Lancashire (research assistant, 1996-1997; consultant, 1997-1998)
    • Website Developer, for a departmental web site devoted to writing resources
    • Electronic Text Editor, for a collection of searchable literary texts available via the internet
    • Programmer (UNIX environment), using JavaScript, PERL, Sed and CGI
  • Instructional Website Developer, Engineering Writing Centre at the University of Toronto Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering (1996-1999) Archived copy from May, 1997 -- very early example of an online writing center: <>

Multimedia Design and Programming

  • Storytelling in Computer Games: Past, Present and Future (full text and audio transcripts of a May, 2001 roundtable; co-edited with undergraduate student Matt Hoy)
  • Stewart Conn's "Luncheon of the Boating Party" (devoted to Scottish poet Stewart Conn; includes the full text and audio transcripts of Conn reading his poetry, with images of the painting that inspired the poem; collaborated with student April La Blanc and faculty member Joel Pace)
  • PSim 2.0: York Corpus Christi Play Simulator (website featuring images, video clips, and Java simulation; cited by approximately 80 different webmasters; accompanied the 1997 publication of "PSim 2.0: A Computer Simulation of Wagon Motion in the York Corpus Christi Pageant," in (Re)Soundings: A World Wide Web Publication)
  • Theatre Then and Now Pilot Project, Records of Early English Drama; (HyperCard project exploring links between medieval European theatrical traditions and their modern equivalents; two University of Toronto research assistantships; 1994-1996)
    • Researcher: examined historical records and scholarly documents to explore links between modern and historical forms of entertainment
    • Writer: presented complex historical information for a high school audience
    • Programmer (Mac environment): HyperCard; also, graphics and audio editing
  • PSim: Pageant Simulator 1.0; an original computer program simulating medieval pageant wagon motion. For more information, visit the current PSim website at <>. Demonstrations of the original version:
    • Lynchburg College, Virginia (1995)
    • The Pontifical Institute for Medieval Studies, Toronto (1994)
    • McMaster University [Canada] (1994)
    • The University of Toronto (1993, 1994)


Professional Experience

  • Editorial Consultant, National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education. Seton Hill University. (2005-present)
  • Web Consultant, for Writing at the University of Toronto, a central resource for the University of Toronto's many writing instruction programs.  (1998-1999) [Toronto writing center: <>]
  • Freelance Writer,  Wrote human-interest essays related to medical issues, from the patient's point of view. See "Prostate Cancer: An Essay."  (2000-2001.) [full text: <>]
    [Details about this project were covered by <>]
  • Composition Exam Reader, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire; evaluating transfer student's competency tests, two to three times per year (1998-present)
  • Writer-Editor, Virginia Engineering Foundation (VEF). Edited engineering alumni newsletter; wrote press releases and gift solicitation copy for U.Va.'s engineering school (1990-1992) [VEF home page: <>]
  • Public Relations Positions (various), Heritage Repertory Theatre, Virginia Players, U.Va. Department of Drama, U.Va. Department of Music. Various summer, part-time, and freelance positions involving writing, publication, marketing, and darkroom photography (1988-1990) [HRT home: <>]
  • Broadcasting Internship, WINA Radio. Part-time writing and on-air journalism internship, covering news events and delivering taped and live newscasts. My feature, "20 Years After Hurricane Camille," was picked up by CBS (part-time internship 1988-1989; full-time paid internship summer 1989). [WINA home: <>]

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