London (no, the one in Ontario)

January 24, 2013

When I first moved to Montreal in 2004, people would tell me they were going to “London” and I’d get excited for them because I thought they were going to the UK.  Then they’d say “London, Ontario” and it would be slightly disappointing.  Nine years later, last night, I’m checking in at the airport to […]

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“Look! Now you can…”: Gadget Logic in Big Data and the Digital Humanities

January 22, 2013

One of the problems with the move to digital humanities and big data is a kind of “gadget logic” taken from the advertising rhetoric of consumer electronics.  Lots of the reportage around digital humanities work on the big data side of the field focuses on what computer could do that people couldn’t.  By that I […]

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Writing: Tools of the Trade

January 21, 2013

A Facebook conversation started by Tara Rodgers got me thinking about the tools we use as writers.  Obviously, the creative process is highly idiosyncratic and personal at some level even though none of us are as unique as we think we are.  Try everything; select what works.  The proliferation of new tools is exciting but it […]

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Narrative: Can’t Live With It. . .

January 15, 2013

Last week in my Historiography seminar I taught Hayden White’s classic 1966 The Burden of History.  This is the third time I’ve taught him (last two times were in 2000 and 2004) and each time, certain aspects of his argument seem fresh, others seem dated.  What’s wonderful is that those labels change each time. Here […]

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Multiple Choice Exam Theory (just in time for winter term)

January 10, 2013

A guest post on Profhacker.

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Winter Break Reading

January 8, 2013

Looking back over the last six months of so, I have spent relatively little time reading completed books that weren’t either for teaching or directly related to something I was writing, or for something like a review of a tenure dossier.  Of course, I read lots of incompleted books: dissertations, drafts of books, books being […]

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2013 Academic Plans

January 7, 2013

1.  Refuse requests for “to spec” writing.  I did five essays like that in 2012 and while each one was a pleasant diversion from my main research agenda, the sum total–alongside grant applications–have taken me too far from the work sitting on my hard drive waiting to get out.  I won’t declare bankruptcy on existing […]

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