Internet-Age Writing Syllabus and Course Overview

My former student Mike Rubino sent me this link to a wonderfully awful new media course description. String me up by my USB dongles if I ever teach a course like this. As print takes its place alongside smoke signals, cuneiform, and hollering, there has emerged a new literary age, one in which writers no longer need to feel encumbered by the paper cuts, reading, and excessive use of words…


Facebook Student Projects

In the past few hours, I’ve gotten Friend requests from Jay Gatsby and Nick Carroway, as well as a a shady “Narrator Man” who calls himself invisible, and is a member of The Brotherhood. My students in an American Lit class have been working on a creative interpretation of a work of literature, and several have chosen to use Facebook. 

the fiction circus

Most small publishers only received letters from Google last week asking them to contact their out-of-print authors and let them know that soon their rights will revert to Google unless they “opt out” immediately. This gives small publishers two weeks to track down their writers, many of whom spend at least half the year in an alcoholic coma. They will not succeed at this. Many writers will not know what…

Career Advice: Boring Within or Simply Boring?

My class topic today was an introduction to oral presentations for a freshman writing course. The students had already given informal four-minute practice presentations earlier in the term, but they’re gearing up for a more formal presentation. So this article comes at a good time for me. The ability to give an engaging lecture doesn’t come shrink-wrapped with your graduate diploma. Nor does it necessarily come with experience; some of…

Google Book Search settlement gives Google a virtual monopoly over literature – Boing Boing

Another thought-provoking link from BoingBoing. Maybe the language is a bit alarmist, but that’s what gets the linkers linking. The Authors Guild — which represents a measly 8000 writers — brought a class action against Google on behalf of all literary copyright holders, even the authors of the millions of “orphan works” whose rightsholders can’t be located. Once that class was certified, whatever deal Google struck with the class became…


We Didn't Start the Flame War

We Didn’t Start the Flame War. (Don’t listen to this one with urchins underfoot.) College Humor does not pull its punches when it satirizes (and celebrates) the depths to which human nature can stoop when participating in discussion threads. (My favorite bit is the Rick Astley impersonator, a reference to an internet meme of the recent past.)