Dennis G. Jerz
- Assistant Professor of English: Technical Writing
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (1998-2003)
- Instructor: Engineering Writing Centre
Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering
University of Toronto (1996-1998)
- Ph.D., English, University of Toronto (2001)
“Soul and Society in a Technological Age: American Drama, 1920-1950”
Advisor: F. J. Marker
- M.A., English, University of Virginia. Modern British literature (1992)
- B.A., English, with high distinction, University of Virginia (1990)
- Major: English; honors thesis on the plays of Sam Shepard
- Minor: Religious studies
- 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)
- Jerz, Dennis and David Thomas. “Cave Gave Game: Subterranean Space as Videogame Place.” Electronic Book Review: Critical Ecologies Cluster. 2015.
- “Group Code Annotation: Colossal Cave Adventure.” Electronic Book Review. Proceedings of the Critical Code Studies Working Group. 2011.
- Kirschenbaum, Matt, Doug Reside, Neil Freistat, Jerome McDonough, and Dennis Jerz. “Twisty Little Passages Almost Alike: Applying the FRPR Model to a Classic Computer Game.” Digital Humanities Quarterly. 4:2 (2010). <http://digitalhumanities.org/dhq/vol/4/2/000089/000089.html>.
- “Somewhere Nearby is Colossal Cave: Examining Will Crowther’s Original ‘Adventure’ in Code and in Kentucky.” Digital Humanities Quarterly 1.2. August 2007. <http://www.digitalhumanities.org/dhq/vol/001/2/000009.html>
- Selected discussion about this article: DHQ editor Melissa Terras; new media scholar Nick Montfort; Inform programming language creator, theorist, and author Graham Nelson
- Anthologized in Berry, David M., ed. Life in Code and Software: Mediated Life in a Complex Computational Ecology. Open Humanities Press, 2012.
- “The Bane of the President’s Existence.” Lore: An E-Journal for Teachers of Writing. Contribution to special section, “Digressions: Reflections on Teaching — Academic Blogging.” January 2005. <http://www.bedfordstmartins.com/catalog/static/bsm/lore/digressions/content.htm?dis06>
- “(Meme)X Marks the Spot: Theorizing Metablogging in terms of Dawkins’s Meme and Reddy’s Conduit.” BlogTalks: First European Conference on Weblogs. Vienna: Zentrum fur Wissenschaftliche Forschung und Dienstleistung. 67-82. (2003) [Full text archive: <http://blogtalk.net/Main/BlogTalks>] [local copy: <http://jerz.setonhill.edu/resources/blogtalk/>]
- “On the Trail of the Memex: Vannevar Bush, Weblogs, and the Google Galaxy“Dichtung Digital. 2003 <http://www.dichtung-digital.de/2003/1-jerz.htm>
- “Introduction” Text/Technology 11.2 (2002) [Special issue on interactive fiction, in which my “Annotated Bibliography” appeared.]
- “The Experimental Seduction of Mechanistic Modernism in Eugene O’Neill’s Dynamoand the Federal Theatre Project’s Altars of Steel,” Interdisciplinary Science Reviews27.3 184-192 (Summer 2002) [abstract & full text PDF: <jerz.setonhill.edu/resources/esmm>]
- “Annotated Bibliography of Interactive Fiction Scholarship (Including Fan-produced Criticism and Theory),” Text/Technology (published online in 2001, in advance of the 2002 print issue) [archived full text: <http://web.archive.org/web/20020206212440/texttechnology.mcmaster.ca/jerzbib/index.html>]
- “Kairos Critique: Kudos and Curses for an Online Journal.” Kairos: A Journal for Teachers of Writing in Webbed Environments 5.1. (2000) [full text: <english.ttu.edu/kairos/5.1/binder.html?response/interactive>]
- Christopher Douglas, Dennis G. Jerz, and Ian Lancashire. “Adapting Web Electronic Libraries to English Studies,” Surfaces (1999) [full text PDF: <www.pum.umontreal.ca/revues/surfaces/vol8/lancashire.pdf>]
- “Towards a Pro-active Technical Writing Curriculum,” Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering Forum 1998 (1998) [full text archive: <jerz.setonhill.edu/resources/TaPTWC>]
- “PSim 2.0: A Computer Simulation of Wagon Motion in the York Corpus Christi Pageant,” (Re)Soundings: A World Wide Web Publication (1997) <http://marauder.millersville.edu/~resound/vol1iss2/psim/index.html> [current version at <jerz.setonhill.edu/resources/PSim>]
Selected Alternative / Electronic Scholarship
- Jerz’s Literacy Weblog. 1999-present. Winner, 2011 “Best Academic Weblog / John Lovas Memorial Weblog Award” Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology and Pedagogy.
- Contributor and editor. Web Writing Style Guide Version 1.0. Edited by Matt Barton, James Kalmbach, and Charles Lowe. Parlor Press. 2011. <http://writingspaces.org/wwsg>
- Collaborative annotation, “Colossal Cave Adventure” source code. A week-long discussion generated 95 annotations and about 2,600 words of commentary from approximately 100 code scholars invited to participate. <http://www.electronicbookreview.com/thread/firstperson/colossal>
- Jackson-Mead, Kevin and J. Robinson Wheeler, eds. IF Theorybook. Transcript On Press. 2010. [Credited as co-editor with Emily Short for “starting this project” as a conventional anthology in 2002. See “IF Wiki Glossary,” below.]
- IF Wiki Glossary. Founder (1999), curator (2001-2005), and contributor (1999-present).
- My initial contributions to the IF Theorybook included definitions of about 20 terms unique to interactive-fiction, as they appeared on my website in 1999
- From 2001-2005, I maintained a wiki open to members of the interactive fiction community; the community wiki grew to about 100 terms.
- In 2005 I transferred the glossary to the IFWiki website; it now features some 210 glossary entries.
- With the electronic publication of the glossary, my involvement in the print publication of the IF Theorybook waned. In 2010, Jackson-Mead and Wheeler took over the anthology, completing the publication efforts Short, I, and others had begun.
- Interactive Fiction Playthroughs. YouTube playlist. 2010-present. Annotated visual records of critical playthroughs of classic and recent text adventure games. (See reaction from bloggers gamestate, hypercompendia, Eastgate’s HTLlit.com.)
Instructional and Trade Publications
- Building Games with Scratch 2.0. Packt Publishing. 2014.
- “MLA Style Papers: Step-by-step Instructions for Formatting Research Papers.” MyWritingCourse Pathways for Writing Scenarios, Kentucky Virtual Learning Initiative. Pearson. [Commissioned update to a 1999 handout.] 2011.
- [Appreciating a Sunset with Emerson and an iPad] Discover. Create. Communicate. Mobile Learning at Seton Hill University. Seton Hill University. 2011. Print.
- “Football Slouches Toward a Former Women’s College.” Inside Higher Ed. Editorial. January 2005. Web. <http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2005/01/07/jerz1>
- “Scott Adams: Storytelling in Video Games — Past, Present and Future.” XYZZYNews 20 (2001). Web. [Interactive fiction community magazine.] <http://www.xyzzynews.com/xyzzy.20c.html>
- “Tasking Ariel in Graham Nelson’s [Interactive Fiction Rendition of Shakespeare’s] The Tempest.” Society for the Promotion of Adventure Games 24 (March 2001) Web. [full text: <www.sparkynet.com/spag/backissues/SPAG24>; more readable local copy: <http://jerz.setonhill.edu/if/tempest.html>]
- “PICK UP AX [review of Anthony Clarvoe’s play]” Society for the Promotion of Adventure Games 22 (2000) Web. [full text: <www.sparkynet.com/spag/backissues/SPAG22>; more readable local copy: <http://jerz.setonhill.edu/if/clarvoe.htm>
- “Did We Miss Mr. Jefferson’s Birthday? The Calendar’s History Is One of Heavenly Confusion.” U.Va. Alumni News 81.4 (1993). Print.
- Writer. Virginia Engineering. University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science (1991-1993). Print.
Conference Papers and Workshops
- “Create Interactive Fiction using Inform 7.” Computers and Writing 2022, Greenville N.C., East Carolina University.
- “Fixed It For You: Modding Memes, Maps and Minds.” Computers and Writing 2020, Greenville NC, East Carolina University. (Conference cancelled due to COVID-19.)
- “Create text adventure games with Inform, a ‘Literate Programming Language’” Computers and Writing 2020, Greenville NC, East Carolina University. (Conference cancelled due to coronavirus pandemic.)
- “Critique: Clapping Back at Form.” As part of the roundtable “Creative, Critique and Citizenship: Performance-Based Approaches to Teaching First-Year Composition,” chaired by Emily Wierszewski. Conference on College Composition and Communication 2019, Pittsburgh.
- “‘Fake News’ and critical thinking: or, What does the failing low-enrollment Humanities have to do with TRUTH anyway? Sad!” Computers and Writing 2019, Michigan State University.
“Introducing the Unity 3D Game Engine for Beginners” Computers and Writing 2019, Michigan State University.
- “Creating 3D Games with the (Free, Open-Source) Blender Game Engine. Computers and Writing. George Mason University. May 2018.
- “Examining a Multimedia ‘Creative Critical Project’ as an Approach to Literature.” Roundtable, “Hacking English: Lit, Productive Disorientation, and Digital Praxis.” Northeast Modern Language Association. Pittsburgh. April 2018.
- “Engaging Socially Mediated ‘Fake News’ in the Post-Truth Age.” Presentation in panel: “Gaming the Media: The Craft of Fake News, Alt Media, and Epistemological Activism.” Computers and Writing 2017. University of Findlay (Ohio). June 2017.
- “Teaching Fake News: Media Literacy in Troubled Times.” Conference on College Composition and Communication. National Council of Teachers of English. Kansas City. March 2018.
- “Using Twine to Develop a Choice-based Journalism Simulation.” Computers and Writing, St. John Fisher College, June 2016.
- Dennis Jerz and Jennifer deWinter. “Writing Choice-based Webtexts with Twine.” Computers and Writing. St. John Fisher College, June 2016.
- “‘Computer’ (chug-chug-chug) *Working*: Futures of Text” in panel “The Machine” Computers and Writing. UW-Stout, June 2015.
- “Multimediate to Learn: Using Student-created Videos to Facilitate the Writing Process.” Computers and Writing. UW-Stout. June 2015.
- “Empower the Multimodal Writing Classroom with Scratch.” Day-long workshop. Computers and Writing. Washington State. May 2014.
- “A Humanist on Writing Code: A Rhetorical Analysis of the ‘Cloak of Darkness’ Comparative Code Repository.” in panel “A Digital Humanist, A Computer Scientist, and You Walk Into a ‘Computers and Writing’ Conference Room.” Computers and Writing, Frostburg, May 2013.
- “Making New (Media) Mistakes,” in panel “Mistakes, Waste, and Markdown,” Computers and Writing, Frostburg, May 2013.
- “The Computers and Writing Memorabilia Project: Mining the Past and Visualizing the Arc of our Discipline.” Panelist. Computers and Writing, Frostburg, May 2013.
- “The Rule of Capek’s Robots: A Public Lecture, in which the Word Robot is Traced, Precursors & Context are Examined, and the Human Soul is Displayed for Your Consideration.” DC Art Science Evening Rendezvous. Washington, D.C., June 2014. [YouTube recording.]
- “Teaching and Creating with Scratch 2.0.” THATCamp Pittsburgh. Workshop/demo. Oct. 2013.
- Jerz, Dennis and Shaun Martin. “Writing Virtual Worlds in the Inform Programming Language.” Full-day workshop. Computers and Writing, Raleigh, May 2012.
- “Using the iPad in the Classroom.” Panelist. Teleconference, in-service. PACE University. May 2012.
- “Incorporating Multimedia Student Content with Just-in-time Teaching.” iTeach gallery. Panel and poster. Seton Hill University. April 2012.
- “The Ethics of Technology in Teaching the Holocaust.” Holocaust Education Workshop for Diocese of Greensburg Teachers. [Student conference.] Seton Hill University. Featured speaker. March 2012.
- “Critical Code Studies as a Liberal Art: In a WYSIWYG World, Why Should Johnny Code?” Critical Code Studies Symposium. University of Southern California. August 2011. (Administrative summary.)
- Glicker, Eric, Dennis Jerz, Gian S. Pagnucci, Daisy Pignetti, and David Schaafsma. Panel participant. “Making Writing Socially Engaging: Asking Why New Media Draws Us In.” Computers and Writing, Ann Arbor, 2011.
- “Creating the Effect of the Handheld Computer on Instructional Spaces and Practices.” Leader of session in workshop, “Teaching with iPads: Motivation, Inspiration, Alienation in the Appleverse.” Facilitators Christine Cusick, Dennis Jerz, and Laura Patterson. Computers and Writing, Ann Arbor, 2011.
- “Assessing Online Writing in a Post-Blogging culture.” Conference on College Composition and Communcation, Atlanta, 2011.
- Panel chair. “Writing Text, Writing Code, Writing Connections.” Conference on College Composition and Communication, Atlanta, 2011.
- Jerz, Dennis G. “Group Code Annotation: Colossal Cave Adventure.” Critical Code Studies Working Group. Online Conference. Feb 2010.
- Kirschenbaum, Matt, Doug Reside, Neil Freistat, Jerome McDonough, and Dennis Jerz. “Twisty Little Passages Not So Much Alike: Applying the FRPR Model to a Classic Computer Game.” Digital Humanities, University of Maryland, June 2009.
- 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).
Teaching (Recent and Frequent Courses)
- Advising The Setonian
- Composition and Culture
- News, Arts and Sports Writing
- American Literature (1800-1915; 1915-Present; 1776-Present)
- Dystopia in American Lit
- Digital Storytelling
- Literary Criticism
- Drama as Literature
- World Drama
- New Media Projects
- Video Game Culture and Theory
- Media and Culture
- Media Aesthetics
Service (Recent; Selected)
- Seton Hill University
- Academic Technology Committee
- American Studies (Liberal Arts Core)
- Faculty Senate Executive Council
- Assessment of Student Learning
- First-year Writing Instructors
- English Department
- University Parking Task Force
- Voice Actor & Script Consultant, WAOB Radio (Latrobe) (2015-)
- Board Member, Stage Right! School for the Performing Arts & Professional Theatre Company; (2012-2017; Secretary, 2015-2017)
- Volunteer (variously, usher, PR, general labor, actor, etc.)
- Stage Right! Professional Theatre Company (Greensburg)
- Geyer Performing Arts Center (Scotdale)
- PICT Classic Theatre (Pittsburgh)
- Laurel Ballet Performing Company (Greensburg)
- Prime Stage Theatre (Pittsburgh)
- Theatre Factory (Trafford)
- Quantum Theatre (Pittsburgh)