Author: Zach Whalen

A Reflection on Teaching with UMWDomains

Over the past fall and the summer semesters, I’ve been participating in an exciting pilot program at my university called UMW Domains (or sometimes, “A Domain of One’s Own”). The basic idea is to give students their own domain names and some webhosting, which they can then use to construct their digital identity during their […]

3
Jan

OCR and the Vestigial Aesthetics of Machine Vision

Today, I presented a paper at the 2013 MLA Convention as part of a special session on Reading the Invisible and Unwanted in Old and New Media along with Lori Emerson, Paul Benzon and Mark Sample. My talk was about the font OCR-A, and it’s part of some research I’m doing as a bridge between […]

27
Nov

Using “Passage” to Think about Cultural Privilege

In many of my classes, I’ve have an opportunity to discuss the poetic, sublime, cliche and now inevitable Passage, a game well-known for being well-known as an art game (or artgame). As a game or game-like thing about life and death, its approachable style and memento mori theme are sufficiently affecting that I find most […]

ENGL 251AA: Games and Culture

Since I seem to have re-awoken my blog, I thought I’d take some time to use it to publicize my Spring 2013 courses. One is brand new and the other is (like most course, truthfully) in a continual state of reinvention, so it might be interesting to look at what my plans are for now. […]

6
Nov

Game-o-matic and Oracular Thinking

This semester (Fall 2012), I’m teaching ENGL 202H: Writing through Media, a so-called “special topics in writing” seminar that has become one of my standby’s. The history of the course is actually kind of interesting, since it goes back to my graduate school experience teaching “ENG 1131: Writing through Media” at the University of Florida. […]

ENGL 386: The Graphic Novel

My last entry was about a new class; this one is about an older class, but since the material is continually evolving, I thought it made sense to write briefly about it here as well. ENGL 386: The Graphic Novel has undergone a few iterations, but in its current form, it’s an upper-level literature class, […]

10
Jan

MLA 2012: Close Enough

This past weekend, I was honored to present a short lightning talk at the Modern Language Association. I did this as part of a roundtable session, “Close Playing: Literary Methods and Video Game Studies,” organized by Mark Sample and including 5 other participants besides myself: Anastasia Salter, Steven E. Jones, Edmond Chang, Jason Rhody, and […]

A New Course: ENGL 251Y: Adaptation

This coming spring (2012), I’ll be teaching a new course, ENGL 251Y: Adaptation! Here’s the description: This general education literature course considers the question of “adaptation” as an aspect of cultural texts that are in some state of media transition; from book to film, from film to videogame, from novel to graphic novel, we are […]