AmLit Rescue — Scratch Game

A student in my “American Literature: 1915-Present” class used the medium of a 2D graphic adventure game to deliver her multimodal final project. (Students also wrote a traditional term paper.) You are the cameraman of a new TV show based on Thornton Wilder’s “The Skin of Our Teeth.” But things quickly go downhill when a mysterious criminal shows up and takes over the set. Unexpected faces and scenarios appear at…

Revisiting a Website I Created in 1996: Engineering Writing Centre (University of Toronto)

During the Christmas break of 1996, when I was working on my Ph.D. at the University of Toronto, I asked my boss at the Engineering Writing Center if I could log about 10 hours converting a bunch of paper handouts into hyperlinked web documents. I actually put in about 20 hours, and slapped into shape the first rough version of the website. The oldest archive I can find is from…

The Man Who Photographed Ghosts

This review of a book about early photography offers some thoughtful reflections on how technology has been frequently used to distort the truth rather than reveal it. It’s a quote — I’d never seen it before — from Franz Kafka: “Nothing can be so deceiving as a photograph.” It immediately caught my interest because it captures something that I already believe: that photography is inextricably connected with lying. How could…