Nov
2006

blog directory

I’ve been under the weather after a fabulous Thanksgiving with the parents and close friends. Even started some wedding planning!

But since I’ve been back, I’ve been dealing with my 2 sparring cats and grading papers. It’s strange, now that I’ve written that Katrina narrative, I feel a weight lifted and it’s hard for me to find stuff to blog about. I just want to keep re-working that piece, which is good if it’s moving toward the dissertation, right?

Anyway, despite my sinusy nose and head, I did read this and knew I had to share:

A Directory of Academic Blogs, Wiki Style

How many academic blogs are there? Too many for any one person to keep track of.

The popular academic blog Crooked Timber has long maintained a lengthy list of academic blogs. The list had been maintained in part by Henry Farrell, an assistant professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University, but the task was starting to seem overwhelming. “I’d come to the conclusion that one person just couldn’t keep track of this anymore,” he said in an interview this week.

So why not open up the list and let anyone add to it? That’s just what the gang at Crooked Timber decided to do, using the same wiki software behind Wikipedia. The result is academicblogs.org, which went online in September.

It’s amazing! I added my blog under the list for Culture, Theory, Literature.

Go check it out and add your blog where you see fit!

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Nov
2006

she haunts me

I haven’t been blogging much because I’ve been on a narrative project writing streak. Usually I put off writing and end up rushing to a conclusion, but this Communicating Loss, Grief and Illness class has really changed things for me. Once I started writing my story and sprinkling it with dialogue, I was fully back in the moment–that week of Katrina. I wrote every day for 13 days straight, and I plan on writing for another 3 more before taking a long weekend break.

I presented my narrative tonight and of course cried throughout most of it. I had practiced at home and cried, so I was prepared. Even brought my own box of Kleenex. Typically for class presentations, I create a Powerpoint or made handouts, but in the days of presentations before mine, I noticed that everyone was simply reading their paper. And everyone had a moving tale to tell. They cried and I cried for them. Now I had to make the leap from writing my story to verbally sharing it. I am quite proud of the paper I produced and hope to see it evolve into the opening chapter of my dissertation; however, I really didn’t want to cry in front of everyone. But there’s the rub. If I didn’t read my paper aloud, then my story would go unheard. Turning it in is one thing, but reading it does much more. Posting it online would do even more than that, but I’m not ready for that yet. Frankly, I don’t have a webspace to do that anyway considering it’s over 25 pages. But here’s a snippit or two:

I intended this narrative to focus on the guilt of not taking the storm more seriously, not telling my parents to drive to Tampa, not being there to help my parents empty and gut our home of thirty years, and not being there in New Orleans for friends who had to move into FEMA trailers, are currently dealing with relationship problems, and are overmedicating to cover up their sadness. But once I started writing, I realized I felt more relief from telling my story about what I went through that week of the storm. Could my guilt this whole time be because I had not told my story sooner?

This epiphany raised further questions: Why is it that when I meet people for the first time, I still proudly proclaim that I’m from New Orleans, but only respond with, “We lost everything” to their question of “How’d you make out after Katrina hit?” Why is that all I say? I certainly am annoyed if no one bothers to ask, so why, when given the chance, do I truncate my story to a three-word response? Maybe because I figure that if I respond, “I couldn’t find my parents for almost a week,” they will think that my mother and father were like the people they saw stranded either at the Superdome or Convention Center or had to hatchet their way up to the attic.

I feel guilty about labeling myself a “Katrina victim” because I didn’t have to endure anything other than frustration at not having any precise information. Even my parents are better off than most “Katrina victims” due to their relocation to a second home we already owned in Picayune, Mississippi. In general, when I tell people that my parents evacuated the day before the storm, I am convinced that whatever sympathy they may have had for us will diminish. Louise DeSalvo writes, “Often…trauma remains undisclosed because, though people would like to discuss it, they can’t or won’t because they fear punishment, embarrassment, or disapproval or because they can’t find an appropriate audience. So, many people actively stop themselves from telling their stories; they inhibit the need to tell their traumatic narratives” (24). DeSalvo has explained my situation exactly. However, I did begin telling my story online. Turns out, I have a different, more emotional persona online. Online, I have my blog space to share how upset I am.

As you can see, Katrina still haunts me. I came home from class tonight emotionally exhausted, with a migraine, and now can’t get to sleep. I tried grading papers, but I cannot focus for very long. Let’s just hope I get this Hurricane bitch off my back soon. I don’t think that will happen til 2008 when I defend my diss., but a girl can hope for some relief, can’t she?

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Nov
2006

resources and movie recommendation

I’m at the Pew Internet and American Life site right now and am finding all sorts of stuff on blogs and health care [click on the Powerpoint] and online searches for health-related issues.

I also came across a PDF on “Expressing Social Relationships on the Blog through Links and Comments”

Oh and Clancy blogged about this the other day, but I never linked to it: “What Has Blogging Really Accomplished?”

I’ve got to finish up my Katrina narrative for Dr. Ellis’s class tomorrow and rehearse the presentation, but go see Stranger Than Fiction as soon as humanly possible!

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Nov
2006

placeblogger preview

From the Berkman Buzz:

Here is a video of today’s talk and here’s a link to the podcast, both of which are available on the Media Berkman blog. You can even reach it via Second Life.

Lisa Williams will introduce Placeblogger, a project she’s about to launch in conjunction with the Center for Citizen Media and PressThink. Placeblogger is a directory, blog and much more about how people are becoming their own local media, covering their towns and helping to spark conversations about things that matter. Lisa says, “Placeblogs – sites that focus on geographical communities – are the living laboratory of citizen journalism: they say interesting things about how nonjournalists approach covering a fire, or a town council. Looking at them gets us a lot closer to many debated questions about citizen journalism.”

Lisa Williams is a citizen journalist living in Watertown, MA. She founded and maintains the popular Watertown-focused placeblog H2otown.info. She began working on the Placeblogger project this past summer, when skeptics of the placeblogging phenomenon insisted that hyperlocal websites like H2otown would never be popular. Lisa made a bet with Jay Rosen of PressThink that she could locate 1,000 placeblogs in the United States – and in just a few months, Lisa has found and indexed over 700 placeblogs.

Lisa will be joined for this discussion by Dan Gillmor, director of the Center for Citizen Media and a Berkman Center fellow.

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Nov
2006

meta meta meta

I’ve been on a writing spree the past week and quite proud of the strides I’ve made on my narrative, even if writing it has left me in tears on most days. Today I’m making notes toward the analysis section and have been referring to my blog posts from August, September and October 2005. There’s such good stuff there! Lots of the links I included apply to this “writing to heal” and “wounded body narrative” angle I’m working, so I’m glad to be able to have instant research.

Viva la blog!

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Nov
2006

pros and cons of blogging

“At Gallaudet U., Technology and Influential Blogs Helped Galvanize Protests”–note that “the Internet had proven to be a transformative technology for deaf people.”

“Students, officials locking horns over blogs”–note the move toward a First Amendment fight with “school districts now reaching into students’ home computers, severely punishing and even expelling students for what they write on those sites from home.”

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