I am delighted to announce that I have accepted the position of Assistant Professor of English at Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York, where I will be teaching creative writing, poetry, and twentieth- and twenty-first-century United States literature and culture. I will be joining Hartwick’s English Department this fall and will be teaching three classes: Introduction to Creative Writing (ENGL 213), Reading Modern Poetry (ENGL 250), and Creative Writing: Poetry (ENGL 312). I am really excited about this new chapter in my life and career. Thanks to all those–too numerous to name–who have supported me along the way; your indefatigable encouragement has meant so much.
With the aid of a Course Development Grant from the Office of Undergraduate Studies, this past year I had the chance to develop a new course at the University of Pittsburgh, ENGLIT 1002 Critical Game Studies. As I may not likely get to teach this course anytime soon, I thought I would share the syllabus.
The course’s reading includes Tom Bissel’s Extra Lives (2010), Alexander R. Galloway’s Gaming (2006), Jesper Juul’s The Art of Failure (2013), McKenzie Wark’s Gamer Theory (2007), and many interesting critical essays on play, narratology v. ludology, gender, empire, countergaming, and other related concerns. The majority of games on the syllabus are quite recent, and indie games in particular dominate, including (but not limited to): Between (2008), Braid (2008), Depression Quest (2013), Goat Simulator (2014), Papers, Please (2014), Sunset (2015), and The Stanley Parable (2013).
I’m eager to begin another semester at the University of Pittsburgh. This spring I am teaching three classes: Seminar in Composition (ENGCMP 0200), Reading Poetry (ENGLIT 0315), and Introduction to Critical Reading (ENGLIT 0500). I have taught all three courses before and enjoy each one. Seminar in Composition is a newly redesigned course on the campus novel and the syllabus can be found on my Academia.edu page. I’d be happy to send along the syllabi for the other classes to interested parties, which tweak previous versions. (Among other texts, I’m eager to return to Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves  in Introduction to Critical Reading, and quite excited to read Claudia Rankine’s Citizen  in Reading Poetry). I have again decided not to do any class blogs this semester. For the blogs of previous classes, see the category “Teaching” to the right.
I’m eager to begin a new semester at the University of Pittsburgh. This fall I am teaching a number of classes: Narrative and Technology (ENGLIT 0399), Introduction to Critical Reading (ENGLIT 0500), and Postmodern Literature (ENGLIT 1350). I have taught all three courses before and enjoy each one. The syllabus for Introduction to Critical Reading can be found on my Academia.edu page and I’d be happy to send along the others to interested parties, which tweak previous versions. I have decided not to do any blogs for any of my classes this semester, partially as an experiment, but also because I am trying to limit how much time I spend in front of a screen. For the blogs of previous classes, see the category “Teaching” to the right.
Another semester is coming to a close, and I finally have a chance to sit down and sort through the backlog of links that have been piling up over the past few months. So, with no further ado, links.
Nuclear, Environment, Ruins
Thomas Erdbrink, “Iran’s Leaders Fall Into Line Behind Nuclear Accord.”
William J. Broad, “Hydrogen Bomb Physicist’s Book Runs Afoul of Energy Department.”
John R. Bolton, “To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran.” Um, no.
Douglas Birch and R. Jeffrey Smith, “South African Nuclear Cache Unnerves US.”
Charlie Jane Anders, “Nanotech Could Make Nuclear Bombs Much, Much Tinier.”
Andreas Malm, “The Anthropocene Myth.”
99% Invisible, “Ten Thousand Years.”
Jonathan Waldman, “The Rustiest Place in America.”
Jonathan Franzen, “Carbon Capture.”
Michael Schaub, “Jonathan Franzen ‘Miserably Conflicted’ About Climate Change.'”
Book trailer for Liam Sprod‘s Nuclear Futurism; The Work of Art in the Age of Remainderless Destruction (Winchester, UK: Zero, 2012).
National Security State and US Politics
Andrea Germanos, “Noam Chomsky: Edward Snowden a True Patriot Who Should be Honored.”
Amy Chozick and Maggie Haberman, “Hillary Clinton to Announce 2016 Run for President on Saturday.”
Vitalik Buterin with Sam Frank, “Decentralized Autonomous Society.”
Christina Pazzanese, “Explaining Capital.”
Literature and Culture
Mark Sussman, “Smarter.”
Adam Kotsko, “On the Perfunctoriness of House of Cards.”
Alexander R. Galloway, “Something About the Digital.”
Jonathan Gatehouse, “America Dumbs Down.”
Charlie Jane Anders, “First Gorgeous Look at Mark Z. Danielewski’s New Series, The Familiar!”
Richard Hill, “The Internet vs. Democracy,” review of Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism Is Turning the Internet Against Democracy, by Robert W. McChesney.
Peter McDonald and Patrick Jagoda, “The Portal | The Sandbox.“
Sam Kriss, “Game of Thrones and Marxist Theory.”
Leigh Gallagher, “The Suburbs Are Dead–And That’s Not a Good Thing.”
Mark Bittman, “Why Not Utopia?”
Javier O’Neil-Ortiz, “Inferiority Complex: On Black Mirror.”
Lawrence Berger, “Being There: Heidegger on Why Presence Matters.”
Ian Bogost, “Videogames Are Better Without Characters.”
Chay Close, “All Videogames Are a Joke.”
Spencer Robbins, “Wittgenstein, Schoolteacher.”
Jessica Saia and Sierra Hartman, “What Our Office Learned Working Naked for One Month.”
Kevin M. Kruse, “A Christian Nation? Since When?”
David Itzkoff, “Trevor Noah to Succeed Jon Stewart on The Daily Show.”
Footnotes (podcast on comic book series).
Snap Judgment, “The NeverEnding Story.”
Michael Idov, “The Movie Set That Ate Itself.” (An oldie, but goodie on Ilya Khrzhanovsky’s ambitious failure of a filmic megatext.)
Jason Schreier, “You Can Play Pac-Man on Google Maps Right Now.”
And the cast of Twin Peaks begs David Lynch to come back:
Humanities and Higher Education
Janet Napolitano, “Higher Education Isn’t in Crisis.”
Terry Eagleton, “The Slow Death of the University.”
Colleen Flaherty and Kaitlin Mulhere, “Day of Protest.”
Carmen Maria Machado, “O Adjunct! My Adjunct!”
Fareed Zakaria, “Why America’s Obsession with STEM Education Is Dangerous.”
Stephanie Saul, “NYU Professor Is Barred by United Arab Emirates.”
Laura McKenna, “The Unfortunate Fate of Sweet Briar’s Professors.”
Leonard Cassuto, “The Problem of Professionalization.”
Plugs, Play, Pedagogy, “Teaching with the Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives.”
I am looking forward to a fun, productive, and challenging spring semester at the University of Pittsburgh. I’ll be teaching three classes: two sections of Narrative and Technology (ENGLIT 0399; class blog here) and a course that is being offered for the first time, Interactive Literature (ENGLIT 1001; class blog here). I owe Mark Best considerable credit for Interactive Literature as I drew many ideas about organizing the course from the design of his initial proposal.