Jun
2017

summer of healing: year 3

My ankles are burning.

How’s that for an opening statement?

I think that’s due to the biking I did this week, in addition to my usual workouts of pilates, yoga, and Zumba Toning. I’m not too worried. I had 16 needles in at my recent acupuncture appointment and still feel that there’s some inflammation, but overall my tendonitis (and whatever the hell else was the source of so much angst and pain between 2013-2016) has improved. Don’t ask me to run or jump, but I can take stairs, up and down, like a normal person rather than one at a time or sideways, and I don’t have to be driven right up to doors while someone else parks the car and meets me later.

I’m way more independent and the pinnacle of this independence was a solo trip to London in April for the Pet Shop Boys’ Teenage Cancer Trust gig.

#selfie #pethead #london🇬🇧 #teenagecancertrust AMAZING VIEW! Cannot wait for this gig!

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While I kept these “Tips for Traveling with Chronic Pain” in mind for the first few days, the more I walked around and felt no lingering aches and pains, the more I did each day. Being able to sit on the train or at the theatre in between walking to events helped too. Oh, and the cider, I guess!

First #cider of the trip! #london🇬🇧 #travel 💄

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[NOTE: I totally forgot pubs close at 11pm, so I never had the chance to have more than a couple pints!]

The PSB show was unbelievable, and I met some fabulous UK Petheads that I’ve been keeping in touch with on Facebook. I cannot wait to have another adventure like this soon; however, this summer I’m sticking close to home and working on the research projects I mentioned in my previous post. I’ve really enjoyed reading scholarship again, but need to get more words on the page and get in the habit of doing that everyday. I think a couple of things will be completed before the 4th of July, so that will give me some time to focus on the book-length project, even though I’m still trying to decide how to frame that. My original plan was a “then/now” since there’s a lot that can be said about New Orleanians’ tech use for civic purposes since Katrina, but I think I need to trim the “then” and concentrate on the “now” issues, e.g. crime, education, gentrification, and local politics. Ugh, even that sounds like too much!

Anyway, to return to the title of this post, my schedule for pretty much all of 2017 has been working out in the morning and then dedicating afternoons/evenings to academic pursuits. For June at least I’m able to teach a second Zumba Toning class, and here are a couple of the routines I’ve added:

This one I haven’t modified at all, except for the stomping/side twist move near the end.

In this one, I’ve found that I am still having trouble with single-leg balancing, so I’ve either kept the foot on the ground or changed up the footwork to keep my ankles happy.

This #scholarinspandex has to play it safe!

Apr
2017

research fellow

So, yeah…to update the world on my post from nearly 6 months ago, I didn’t get that sabbatical. Once again I was ranked in the top 10 but the university could only afford 7. Or 8? I can’t remember now.

However, I did turn that sabbatical application around into a Faculty Senate-sponsored Research Fellow course release. And that I got!

What does that mean? Well, combined with my course release for being Program Director, it translated into only teaching 2 classes. And both are online!  So I’m referring to this semester as my “fake sabbatical.” I will admit that I’m about a month behind on certain projects because I was struck with a really bad pneumonia for all of December [CHRISTMAS WAS CANCELLED], but since late-January I have been crazy productive.

Editors have been contacted, CFPs have been answered, IRB paperwork has been filed, and collaboration is happening!

In fact, I’ve lined up so many projects beyond the one I initially proposed that I applied for another Research Fellow course release for Fall 2017 and got that too!

Here’s some of that application so you can get a better sense of the work I’m doing and how timely it all is:

Since my hire at UW-Stout, I have established a well-regarded record of publications and conference presentations on the topic of social media. As a current research fellow, I have used the first few weeks of this Spring 2017 semester to re-prioritize this scholarship and have already communicated with three sets of editors—one for the Voices from the Floodzone manuscript I originally proposed, and the others for a book chapter and journal article[1], both of which explore online identity.

All of these projects rely on virtual ethnographic methods and prioritize public writing spaces such as blog posts, Facebook feeds, and Twitter timelines; however, as the authors of Digital Research Confidential have noted: “Because the digital environment for scholarship is constantly evolving, researchers must sometimes improvise, change their plans, and adapt” (Hargittai and Sandvig). For example, in my research fellow proposal last semester, when describing my book project as one “that will provide a new perspective on the use of web 2.0 technologies during and after times of disaster,” I offered statistics that supported the observation that “The share of Americans for whom Twitter and Facebook serve as a source of news is continuing to rise” (Barthel, Shearer, Gottfried, and Mitchell). While this was a trend that I saw as positive when it comes to information-sharing at times of crisis, the current proliferation of claims about “fake news” being spread across social media platforms has prompted me to scrutinize citizen journalists’ online activities even more closely. And if I, a seasoned Internet researcher, feel the need to question if my own bias is getting in the way as I analyze my primary sources, shouldn’t our students be taught to do the same?

For this reason, I am requesting a Fall 2017 course release to help me a) finalize my manuscript, Voices from the Floodzone, and b) pursue two projects that have emerged from my continued work on that project:

  1. A book chapter for an edited collection that analyzes the more subjective aspects of “life online.”
  2. A collaboratively authored General Education course proposal on “media literacy.”

[1] Only the book chapter will be discussed in this proposal because the journal article is about fan communities’ practices and interactions via the Tumblr blog platform. I will be meeting with the editors of this special issue of Transformative Works and Cultures at the upcoming Society for Cinema and Media Studies conference in March 2017 to discuss my contribution.

Oct
2016

Happy in Harvey Hall

FB words

See that big “happy” in the center? I had no idea that would show up as one of my most used words. Unless this goofy word generator thing took into account all the “Happy Birthday” posts I received last month?

But what’s funny is that all weekend I had planned to write a blog post about how happy I’ve been. Want to know the main reason? I was told, based on x-rays, that the bones in my right foot looked like that of an 80-year-old woman!

Yeah, that’s right. The tendons are fine, which I have heard before, but the x-rays showed clear signs of osteopenia. Given how sensitive to touch my ankles still are, it could also be complex regional pain syndrome. Don’t be freaked out by the info on those pages though because the treatment is pretty much everything I’ve been doing already. Even if I never fully regain the former folk dancer spring in my step, if I keep strengthening my muscles and weight-bearing, I’ll maintain what I have.

And something about knowing I’m not one step away from tearing a tendon has totally liberated me! I’m already much more active and independent. I’m kicking ass in both my Pilates and Zumba Toning classes, and hope to finally drop a few of the pounds I picked up during my inactive time.

So that, coupled with a new office in a beautifully renovated historic building, has made the start to this new school year amazing!

Here’s an older video that shows a bit more of the process:

And here’s the view from my new office:

summer view

My online classes are going well and my in-person Digital Humanities class has 11 very smart and creative students in it. Speaking of DH, here’s the finished product of the Harvey Hall game.

My program director work is keeping me busy but that’s to be expected. And in one week I should find out if I’ve been awarded a sabbatical.

My 10-min presentation last week went very well, so here’s hoping I’m ranked high enough to earn one of the seven they’re funding this year. Last year it was half of that, so I’m optimistic. And after a couple of years of very low morale on campus and my personal chronic pain depression, that’s major.

Gonna finish 2016 like a boss!

Oct
2015

My #NerdConStories Story

#nerdconstories

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I’m trying to remember how I first heard about NerdCon, and I think it was via a visit to Rainbow Rowell’s website in late April. I had just read Fangirl and wanted to see what else she had coming out and if she would be on a book tour doing signings. (I was also only a few weeks into my time in that godawful boot cast, so reading and coloring were major stress relievers. Still are, but that’s for a separate post.)

Fast forward to the big weekend, which far surpassed any expectations. Actually, I don’t know if I had any expectations other than hearing smart people talk about cool stuff. And getting my Rainbow Rowell books signed:

Thank you @rainbowrowellbooks! #nerdconstories #fangirl #meta

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❤️ @rainbowrowellbooks #fangirl #nerdconstories #40

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She’s awesome and I got to tell her how Fangirl inspired me to propose a course on fandom/fan creations/participatory media. But this isn’t a post about that. Believe me, I’ll update you with those specifics once they are written down in complete sentences. Right now I just have a stack of books, a folder with sample syllabi, and a padlet of ideas.

Like I said, I didn’t really go in to NerdCon with specific expectations, but each and every minute in that MSP Convention Center was beyond wonderful:

  • Podcasters, vloggers, artists, and writers, all of whom are fans of the other podcasters, vloggers, artists, and writers there, spoke about why stories matter, the roles of the creators, the different things communities of fans can do, and the need for safe spaces to discuss this kind of stuff.
  • Hilarious things happened: juvenilia, games, mock debates, musical performances.
  • Celebrated authors like John Green, Pat Rothfuss, Rainbow Rowell, Dessa Darling, and Téa Obreht shared their feelings about writing and the other stuff that comes along once your writing takes off. It’s usually good stuff, but there’s tons of bad advice and frustration too. At one point I felt they needed this panel more than we did!

But I NEEDED this weekend too, and that’s what was most unexpected.

It wasn’t the usual academic mumbo-jumbo with which I surround myself. As a tenured professor of English, I obviously love the academic side of things, but this year has been A BEAST. Personally (cue the chronic pain) and professionally (thanks for nothing, Gov. Walker), it’s all I can do to get through the day. Last week, I sketched out my schedule for the week and even wrote down what hour I knew I’d be home so I could turn my brain off and pause the performance that is Dr. Daisy.

I thoroughly enjoy teaching and I’ve got a great group of students this Fall, but sadly I don’t get to spend a lot of time focused on them. I’m in depressing meetings about budget cuts, writing reports to defend the stuff we need, or trying to navigate the wreckage of mistakenly sent emails since a ton of staff have either switched jobs or took the early retirement deal.

I NEEDED this weekend to remind me that smart people who like to read and write and live-tweet exist. I know I have people in my life and on my campus who also like to do those things, but I needed to be literally surrounded by 3,000 strangers who like those things to remember how great that feels. And that all our stories matter.

However, one of those 3,000 people wasn’t a stranger. She was my Digital Humanities student, Sara. I didn’t see her until the very end of yesterday’s events, but I kept up with her tweets all weekend. This one links to her blog post, “What it Feels Like to Be in Your Element,” and the paragraph below totally inspired me to write this post today:

I go to college and I often get wrapped up in the stress (so much stress) that comes with it, like money and classes and decisions about the FUTURE. But being here at Nerdcon, I’m in such a good mental environment. I’m with my people, and it’s the best mini vacation I could have asked for. I’m seeing my heroes discuss topics that resonate so deeply with me, and I feel so light and great. I’m writing this post to remember that feeling and hopefully find a way to reach it again when I’m stressed in the future.

On Sundays like this I can easily slip into a routine of laundry, house cleaning, and Netflix, which invariably leaves this blog neglected. Today, though, my eyes have not left this laptop screen and it’s been all good. I’ve gained some new followers on Twitter, found some great resources for my PCA roundtable on “Shame, Gender, and Cultural Capital: The Problems of Reading and Writing Fan Fiction” like “Why must we hate the things teen girls love?” and “Mental Health Awareness Week 2015: How to Use Your Fangirl Powers to Practice Self-Care,” and have started a Storify to recap my favorite moments from NerdCon. When I’m done with that, I’ll post it here, but right now I’m going to log off and read a book.

Jul
2015

Program Director-ing

For the past three semesters I’ve been a Program Director. I know some posts have mentioned that, but because I initially took on the responsibility for a colleague while he was on sabbatical, it felt temporary. He came back and then left again, so taking over a second time means I finally know what I’m doing. 🙂

Although the on-campus Professional Communication & Emerging Media program has about 130-150 students in it, I want to focus on the online one since that’s what I’m charged with “growing to a full cohort of 24 students within three years of launch.” We launched in Fall 2014 and enrolled 5 students, but going into Fall 2015 we already have 14 students, with new inquiries coming in each week. I’ve upped the marketing efforts and have a better awareness of the nearby tech schools and UWColleges that can feed in to our program, but this year will be crucial. Here’s more info about our target audience as well as our program objectives:

The potential student demographic has been outlined as follows:

  • Students who complete a two‐year degree at a WI/MN community or technical college and wish to finish a B.S. degree online.
  • Students enrolled in a UW-Colleges campus who wish to pursue a collaborative degree while attending their local campus.
  • Students who did not finish a bachelor’s degree who wish to build marketable skills by combining their professional competencies with communication skills.
  • Students who wish to pursue a bachelor’s degree with no previous college experience.
  • Students currently enrolled in the on-campus PCEM program who wish to complete their B.S. degree 100% online.

Graduates of the PCEM.AC program will demonstrate that they can:

  1. Gauge audience concerns and attitudes
  2. Apply appropriate rhetorical principles
  3. Understand and apply concepts and strategies of global communication
  4. Understand interpersonal, organizational, and intercultural communication within discourse communities
  5. Understand and apply ethical concepts
  6. Apply visual communication strategies
  7. Apply user-centered information design strategies
  8. Apply research techniques
  9. Demonstrate use of audience-appropriate styles
  10. Apply usability strategies
  11. Understand concepts of content management and use content management systems
  12. Write effectively for a variety of audiences, technical and/or generalist, within chosen industry fields.
  13. Apply the concepts of effective communication in their particular field, industry, or specialization.

Today the Stout Online director sent out this “Online College Students 2015: Comprehensive Data on Demands and Preferences” report and while technical and professional communication isn’t listed as a “top” program choice, I’m happy to say we definitely offer students opportunities to jump the other five hurdles.

Apr
2015

An Update & Advisement Day

It’s been forever since I’ve updated.

Here’s why:

A colleague resigned in January, so I’m back to being the program director for both of our Professional Communication & Emerging Media programs. That’s about 130 students total. I actually enjoy and (dare I say) excel at it, except for the meetings about budget cuts (stupid Scooter).

My teaching schedule changed and some other real life stuff has happened, so I’ve been too busy and/or distracted to update this blog. However, I think all you readers, whoever you may be, know I’m all over social media, now successfully managing 2 Twitter accounts (@phdaisy is a bit more entertainment-driven now but @profpignetti is directed at students & their interests). I’m even paying more attention to LinkedIn. If you’re a PCEM alum or soon to be graduate, join our group!

I’m also still dealing with chronic pain in my right ankle but should know about a surgery option and timeline for healing by the end of next week. Turns out there’s so much scar tissue in my ankle that it’s forming “coalitions.” Who knew?!? I’ve HATED not going to the gym and not teaching Zumba, but I’m staying hopeful that I’ll be back at it in September.

Anyway, back to the good stuff. Our on-campus PCEM program is booming with student achievements, client projects, enrollment numbers, and cool new faculty coming in the Fall. To learn a little more about all of that, check out the presentation I gave at this week’s Advisement Day. See also the obligatory stickered laptop pic:

Fangirling in higher ed

 

I really liked using sway.com to create that presentation. An alum showed it off to my Capstone students and I thought I’d give it a try. What do you think? (Go fullscreen and arrow down to get a better sense of it.)

The online PCEM program is still trying to build enrollment, but I am truly excited about the marketing efforts my student workers and I are putting into place. I started as a Marketing major at Loyola but then switched to English Writing, so here’s my big chance!

So that’s what I’ve been doing all of 2015. I thought the first year of tenure would be a little less intense, but oh well. Seriously though, I’m desperate for things to improve at the UW, even if just for our morale, but I remain dedicated to students. A colleague will take over the on-campus program director role in the Fall, so I’ll have time to get back into my research and possibly apply for a sabbatical.

Woohoo! And here’s to more blogging!

 

Feb
2014

Home

I’ve spent the past month writing a book chapter about John Biguenet’s trilogy of plays: Rising Water, Shotgun, and Mold.

I’m also still dealing with my tendinitis issues, the semester started, I started my position as Program Director, and (if you read my previous post) I successfully jumped through the tenure hoop. (That’s my way of saying I’m still writing the chapter. Given all the new meetings and course preps I have on my schedule, I often only get a chance to add new words on the weekends.)

Typically, when I write about Hurricane Katrina I focus on role of the blogs and social media to share stories of the city’s recovery and inspire activism, but for this edited collection I’m returning to my undergrad and literary analysis roots. Coincidentally Biguenet is a Loyola-New Orleans professor and, while I never had the chance to take one of his classes during my years there (BA ’96), I attended a talk of his about “depicting disaster” at an alumni college event a couple years ago, which is what inspired my answer to this CFP (which I now see has been updated).

I’ve really enjoyed selecting scenes from his works but (as is often the case) I also start to spiral down my own rabbit hole of Katrina-specific memories, and re-reading trauma theory to apply doesn’t really help, especially at this time of year when I’m always homesick for Mardi Gras.

This week in my Composition 2 class we will start reading Chris Rose’s 1 Dead in Attic (the books title comes from this column) and based on an entry ticket exercise we completed at the end of last week, it is clear these students know very little about my beloved hometown or the impact of levee breaches. Many were in middle school in 2005 and their only Katrina-specific memories are all tv news related, so I’m looking forward to sharing other texts with them, both print and tv/film.

To start our discussion tomorrow, though, I plan to show Pico Iyer’s TED talk. Our course theme is place and I think this will be the best way to ease us in:

Feb
2014

tenure!

Because of the way my uni separates promotion and tenure, I honestly wasn’t that freaked out when, at the end of our January department meeting, the time came for my tenure vote. (I can elaborate on that once the official Board of Regents letter comes in the mail, but suffice it to say promotion is a demoralizing university-wide ranking system while tenure is left to the colleagues who know you best, your Department).

I’ve also been majorly distracted now that I’m in a new position as Interim PCEM Program Director, which continues to cause anxiety because of all the new information and crazy amounts of email.

But when it came down to it, I felt confident about my tenure vote because I’ve had “Above” evals since I started at UW-Stout in 2008 and have continued to serve my Department, the University and the Profession diligently and enthusiastically. To get a sense of my statement you can read my Tenure Portfolio Narrative 2014 or check out this wordle:
tenurewordle.jpg

In brief, the vote came in “All in Favor” and there were handshakes and hugs all around!

Yay!

I had always joked that I’d immediately become this guy:

New Yorker cartoon

but when I went to search for that image, this one seemed more accurate:

I’m no poser, but there’s been so much written about the academic “impostor syndrome,” I couldn’t help but smirk, especially considering this piece that lists the first cure for said syndrome is getting tenure!

But what really made me smile, because this tenure thing is finally starting to sink in, is a post from my new favorite Tumblr blog, Precious Academic Moments:

My Reblog

My Reblog

So with that, I can breathe a little easier but still spend my weekends writing and trying to meet deadlines since there’s no time during the week! 😛

Nov
2013

#AcWriMo

Back in April 2012 I mentioned meeting with an Acquisitions Editor about revising my dissertation into a book. I submitted the revision plan in June 2012, received feedback in October 2012 and then [since no timeline was given for incorporating these revisions] I dropped the ball. Going through the stressful promotion process at my university [on top of teaching a 4/4 and too much committee work] sucked all of my energy. Well, I’ll admit I maintained enough energy to teach Zumba 3 or 4 times a week, but that’s a different energy [and cuter outfits] 🙂

Anyway, while enjoying my summer vacation in Greece, I received an email from the UP’s new editor who asked me to resubmit my book proposal. I took all the feedback into consideration, had an identity crisis about what field to ground my work in, e.g. rhetoric, composition, writing studies, trauma theory, and/or internet research, but eventually submitted the new plan in September 2013 and got the go ahead soon after to implement the plan and resubmit chapters at the end of November.

Enter #AcWriMo.

Having just attended the AoIR conference in Denver [notes on the fishbowl session I moderated need to be posted ASAP], I was reminded how important research like mine on social media and disaster, specifically on Hurricane Katrina and the NOLA Blogosphere, is and that I can’t let the teaching load and service commitments distract me.

So here’s proof that I’m gonna try my damnedest to get those chapters revised by the end of November and the new material outlined:

Not only will this online community motivate me, I think I’ll meet some great academic writers to commiserate with about nonacademic things too.

I’m ready! Opening a blank WORD doc now!

Sep
2013

Performance Objectives 2013-2014

I’ve still got several posts in DRAFT form, which I will finish this weekend, but I wanted to share this academic year’s “performance objectives” the way I did last year.

 

Teaching

This academic year is a turning point in my career, as I will be filling in for Matt Livesey as Program Director of the Professional Communication and Emerging Media program while he is on sabbatical the Spring 2014 semester.

This impacts my teaching schedule because I will have two new preps: ENGL 121: Introduction to Professional Communication in the Fall semester and ENGL 471: Professional Communication Capstone in the Spring.

So far I still have freshman composition courses on my schedule, with my Fall ENGL 101 course exploring the impact of technology upon one’s literacy, and [if assigned a Spring section] ENGL 102, which will explore the theme of place writing.

This Fall I will lead a single-seat ENGL 480 for Kaitlyn Patrick in order to prepare her for a year-long ENGL 495 Digital Humanities Capstone project.

This summer I began mentoring Lindsey Redenbuagh on her Honors Contract work, a series of movie critiques archived at http://lredenbaugh.wordpress.com/. This work will be finished at the end of the Fall semester.

Regarding my role in the MSTPC program, this Fall I have my usual ENGL 745: Communication Strategies for Emerging Media course and am advising MSTPC student Lisa Topper as she writes her ENGL 735 field project exploring the effect of HTML-formatted process instructions on processor accuracy, speed, and accessibility. I will not be teaching any graduate courses in the Spring, but may still advise students on their field projects if they align with my background in rhetoric and social media.

 

Service

  • CAHSS Representative, Race, Ethnic Studies & Global Perspectives Committee
  • Member, Advanced Writing Committee & Freshman Composition Committee
  • Member, Editorial Board for the eJournal of Public Affairs
  • Member, Editorial Board of Writing Commons

 

Research & Publication

My revised “dissertation to book” proposal, Disaster 2.0: Stories of Ongoing Recovery from the New Orleans Blogosphere, was submitted to the University Press of Mississippi on September 2, 2013.

On September 7, 2013, I received confirmation that my book chapter, “Dramatic ‘Belated Immediacy’ in the works of John Biguenet,” will be included in a 10 Years After Katrina volume.

I have been invited to speak as a Guest Lecturer at UW-Barron County on the topics of New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina, and blogging. The talk will occur October 10, 2013.

I will be leading a roundtable discussion on the topic of “requiring social media in the classroom” at the Association of Internet Researchers conference in Denver, October 25th.

I plan to submit an abstract to the Fitness, Exercise and Physical Culture subject area of the Popular Culture Association national conference. If accepted, I will attend this meeting in April 2014 in Chicago, IL.

Sep
2012

back to school post

Long time no blog, I know, I know…

After the Spring semester I was exhausted so I didn’t teach this summer [except for working with some thesis-writing grad students] and it made a world of difference on my Fall outlook! There’s so much to catch you readers up on, namely my loss of nearly 25 pounds and new role as a Zumba instructor, but first I thought I would share my Performance Objectives.

I submit these every year to my Department Chair as a way to bring into focus what I intend to achieve during the academic year in terms of my teaching, service and research. Enjoy! [And now you know what keeps me so busy!]

Teaching

  • My ENGL 101 courses, both in the classroom and online, explore the impact of technology, specifically social media, upon our everyday & academic lives. Students are starting the semester by writing technology literacy narratives, will move into readings from their textbook New New Media to create an annotated bibliography that updates the author’s 2008 publication, and then will read the novels Little Brother, Fahrenheit 451 and Feed before writing research papers and creating presentations on the topics of moral responsibility, access to knowledge, privacy, and power, security, and freedom in a post-9/11 America.
  • I’m very excited to be teaching ENGL 335 Critical Approaches to Digital Humanities, the first course offered in the DH concentration of the Professional Communication and Emerging Media program. The course is a hybrid one, so I’m using Tegrity to “capture” the face-to-face meetings and share those recordings with the online students. I’m also asking students to collaborate in writing a manifesto in Google Docs and participate in “virtual Fridays” where the discussion of readings will happen on our course blog. These exercises emulate the field of Digital Humanities, which defines itself as a social one composed of people with “a shared interest in texts, and the use of computational technologies to explore and understand them (as opposed to merely creating or distributing them)” (Alvarado).
  • In ENGL 745, Communication Strategies for Emerging Media, graduate students will contribute to a course blog, write literacy narratives, respond to a midterm exam, and propose then complete a seminar paper. We rely on the following texts from Instructional Resources as well as a long list of PDFs I’ve scanned and uploaded into D2L:  Digital Literacy for Technical Communication, Socialnomics, and Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other.
  • This Fall I am advising MSTPC student Heidi Decker-Maurer as she writes her thesis about images macros and how they address social issues in the age of participatory culture. I am also finishing up work with Carmen Butt whose thesis was on the role of social media in health care institutions.
  • I foresee advising more graduate students in the Spring if their thesis or field projects coincide with the two courses I teach, Rhetorical Theory & Communication Strategies for Emerging Media.
  • I continue to advise students in the B. S. Professional Communication and Emerging Media program.

Service

  • CAHSS Representative, Planning and Review Committee
  • CAHSS Representative, Racial and Ethnic Studies and Global Perspective Curriculum Advisory Committee
  • Member [perhaps Co-Chair this year], Advanced Writing Committee
  • Member, Editorial Board for the eJournal of Public Affairs
  • Member, Editorial Board of Writing Commons
  • Mentor to new hire Kate Edenborg

Research & Publication

  • I submitted a book proposal/dissertation revision plan tentatively titled Disaster 2.0 to the Acquisitions Editor of the University Press of Mississippi. It is with an external reader for a formal review and I should hear back in mid-October.
  • If that book proposal is accepted, I hope to share my experience and advise current doctoral students either has a mentor at the Conference on College Composition & Communication or Computers and Writing conference. Both meetings hold pre-conference “research network forums.”
  • I recently answered a “Literature of Hurricane Katrina” edited collection CFP.
  • I plan to answer the most recent Technoculture CFP as its third issue is focused on “dead, lost, or underused technologies.”
  • Currently I have no conference travel scheduled, but will be proposing to the Popular Culture Association conference in Washington, DC in March 2013 and the Digital Humanities conference in Lincoln, Nebraska in July 2013.
Apr
2012

PCA/ACA 2012

Last week I was in Boston at the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association conference. My session was part of the Virtual Identities & Self Promoting track and as you can see from the program, the papers focused on Using Social Media for Empowerment & Exploration.

What’s interesting is that I almost didn’t attend this conference. I answered a CFP I saw posted on the IABA listserv thinking it was for an edited collection because there was no mention of a conference, hosting organization, city or dates. Having spent a lot of travel grant money in Oxford, England, earlier in the academic year, I didn’t think I could pay for another conference. And knowing I’m going up for promotion next year, I wanted to focus on getting more publications on my CV.

But when I learned it would be a Boston conference, I decided to go for it. I lived in Boston between 1997-1999 when earning my MA from Northeastern University and loved it there. When some travel money came through from the Provost’s Office, I knew it was a go!

I had a great time listening to sessions about the relationship between social media & BBC’s Sherlock, and, how’s this for a title?, “Alan Rickman as Phallus.” I may edit this post later to include more links to info these presenters shared, but for now I wanted to link to my abstract and first solely designed/authored Prezi:

which should be accompanied by the working paper I have up on SSRN.

If you’ve read this blog at all the past few years, you’ll recognize this as a section from my dissertation and I’m quite excited to report that I’m in the process of writing up a proposal to turn the diss into a book!

Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Feb
2012

#tools4teach

As my previous posts have indicated, February has been a busy month. Thankfully, I did get a chance to put committee work on the back-burner and make it to the Tools for Teaching Northwest Regional Showcase at UW-Eau Claire this past Friday. Looking at the schedule, nearly all of the presenters had the entire hour to themselves to share their ideas, but [and I think it’s because Twitter is so cool] I was notified that my “Teaching with Twitter: 2008-2011” would share a time slot with “The Twitter Project: Twitter & First-Year Seminars” presenter from UW-Superior.

And rather than just split the presentation into a half hour each, Mickey Fitch approached me about organizing things in a way so we could play off the commonalities in our experiences. We emailed and tweeted back and forth, with most of my content coming from the info you can read on the Twitter tab of this website, and she created the Prezi below, something I’ve been wanting to play with for a long time now.

Needless to say, this was a lot of fun and it pushed me to 1) reflect on my use of Twitter for reader responses and 2) reconsider bringing Twitter back into my online courses to create greater “virtual classroom” community. I’m going to try and write up more about this for the launch of Writing Commons, so watch this space for an announcement about that next month.

Til then, I look forward to future collaborations with Mickey and other UW tweetybirds!

Feb
2012

spring semester stress

When the emails started taking over my life 2 weeks before the Spring semester started, I knew this one was going to be a doozy.

I’m teaching 2 online sections of ENGL 102, 2 sections of ENGL 371 [a rhetoric course to the Tech Comm majors], and 1 online graduate course in Rhetorical Theory, also online. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention I’m directing two thesis projects.

I’m sure there are people who will read this and think that it’s a piece of cake to only have 1 face-to-face class that meets twice a week, but the reality is the more online students you have, the more prep work you have to do and the more emails you get.

But this post really isn’t about teaching. I’m doing a good job replying to discussion board posts and blog posts and grading papers in a timely manner, but I wish I had more time to focus on my teaching, not to mention my research.

The service component of this tenure track job is eating into my time more than I would like. I’m on the department Hiring Committee, chair of the Advanced Writing Committee, member of the Race, Ethnic Studies, & Global Perspectives committee as well as one of two consultants from this committee who helps approves new course proposals regarding our criteria, member of the Program Review Committee, and on the editorial board of two journals. I also have weekly meetings with the Tech Comm program faculty to discuss our growing number of undergrad majors and graduate students who are nearing the end of their program & need thesis or field project directors.

As I write this, I know that I enjoy doing all of these things, due mostly in part to liking everyone I work with, but given that I was passed over for promotion this year, I worry that I need to do even more when I’m pretty much at my breaking point!

 

 

And for some reason what causes me the most anxiety is email. Seeing the number of messages coming in every day gets my heart racing, and not in the good way. Because so many of our online students are working professionals with families, I can’t simply turn off my email at the end of the traditional business day. That’s when they are working on their course work–evenings and weekends. Well, I can turn it off but I feel bad doing so.

But when I was so exhausted on Monday afternoon that I couldn’t even make it out of bed to go to my beloved Zumba & Turbokick classes, I knew I HAD to step away from the laptop, iphone, and ipad. [I’m on my desktop writing this.]

I have a policy in all of my syllabi stating students need to reply to my emails within 48 hours so starting March 1, that’s what I’ll adhere to as well. So that’s that.

Now let me go email all of my students to tell them this…

Feb
2012

Is Blogging Dead?

Cross-posted on the Rhetorical Theory Course Blog

I started to leave a comment to respond to the final statement in Tim’s post, “Blogs have really moved beyond the mindless posts by vain teenagers, and maybe we have Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace (is that even still active anymore?) to thank for that,” but then remembered that at the most recent Computers and Writing conference there was an entire session devoted to this. In essence, the panel, entitled “Is Blogging Dead? Yes, No, Other,” asked if, compared to other social media that have character limits, blogs are now the places for “the longer thoughts,” does anyone post those longer thoughts to blogs anymore since they aren’t likely to receive a response? Implied, too, is does anyone even have longer thoughts anymore? 🙂

It also helps that I’ve had the backchannel Dennis Jerz posted from it open in a Google Chrome tab since last May. I’ll talk more about backchannels and how academics use Twitter or IRC both in the classroom and at conferences another time, but it’s pretty obvious from what you see below that lots of opinions were voiced both in the room and via Twitter and I’m so glad Dennis used Storify to archive that:

Since the conference audience was made up of both bloggers and teachers who ask their students to blog, another point raised was if we assign blogs in a course, is that really blogging since it’s usually for a grade, has assigned word counts, etc. The point being, that’s not organic blogging. It’s not livejournal-esque or diary style.

Here’s my take on what we’re doing in this course blog space: Yes, your posts will receive a grade, but as MSTPC students, I hope you see blogging as an exercise that combines critical thinking with document design since, unlike the discussion forums, you  have more opportunities to react to the readings in a visually appealing way. And if you’re ever confused, please refer to the Blogging 101 handout I’ve created and ask questions!

Sep
2011

style guide

Sherlockian happiness today! Almost ran off with the hat! on Twitpic

I’m in London right now and that’s me at the Sherlock Holmes museum.

I’m glad I took the time to do that yesterday because I won’t have much free time to run around today. Why? Because I’m STILL formatting my paper for the Oxford Internet Institute. [That’s why I’m in the UK and I can’t wait for the conference to start on Wednesday. Fellow SDP 2007 alums and I present on a panel called “Early Career Scholars and Web 2.0.”]

Let me clarify. The paper has been written for some time now, but with all of the electronic sources, e.g. blog posts, blog comments, wiki edits, listserv messages, emails, I’m pulling my hair out. Of course, I did this all already for my dissertation, but I’ve had to switch to the Harvard Reference System. That’s ok, I know we all need to adapt to different style guides from time to time, but it’s especially frustrating when articles actually published in the journal are different from what the “Instructions for Authors” document says. This site has helped me most.

Sigh. Blame it on the jetlag.

It’ll be finished and uploaded to the Social Science Research Network in an hour or so, but I needed to vent.

P.S. Don’t get me started on how, as an autoethnographic research study, I will prepare the version that removes “all information identifying the author.”