One bad font can ruin your whole day

November 16, 2009

Or, as the New York Times explains, why you may not want to learn about typography after all.



Cormac McCarthy on reading

November 14, 2009

Cormac McCarthy says,

“…the indulgent, 800-page books that were written a hundred years ago are just not going to be written anymore and people need to get used to that. If you think you’re going to write something like “The Brothers Karamazov” or “Moby-Dick,” go ahead. Nobody will read it. I don’t care how good it is, or how smart the readers are. Their intentions, their brains are different.”

He also set aside  250 signed copies of The Road (his post-apocalyptic father-son fable) for his young son and is not signing any other copies.  How’s that for literary property patrimony?  … the materialized version of intellectual property.


More extra credit

November 5, 2009

This one might be a bit of a stretch, but we have discussed imprinted coins and paper money and their relationship to nationalism.  The talk is Tuesday, 11/10, 12:30-1:30 in 2339 FAB.



Another extra credit opp

October 26, 2009
2009 Dennis Turner Memorial Lecture
When: 10/30/2009
3:00pm thru 5:00pm
Sponsored By: Film Studies
Event Description: Professor Garrett Stewart will give the 2009 Dennis Turner Memorial Lecture on Friday, October 30th. His talk is entitled “Cinema’s Digital Turn”

Garrett Stewart is the James O. Freedman Professor of Letters at the University of Iowa. He is the author of more than fifty articles and of nine books from the presses of Harvard, the University of California, Johns Hopkins, and the University of Chicago. Among his recent books are Between Film and Screen: Modernismʼs Photo Synthesis (1999), The Look of Reading: Book, Painting, Text (2006), and Framed Time: Toward a Postfilmic Cinema (2007).

Location: Kresge Auditorium
Purdue-Kresge Library
Contact: Mary Iverson ac6522@wayne.edu


Future class

October 25, 2009

Those of you intersted in the digital culture aspects of our class may want to follow up next semester with this class:

ENG 5670
Topics in Folklore & Folklife:
Folklore & Digital Culture

Professor Janet Langlois

At first glance, traditional folk cultures and cyberspace seem to be in two separate universes. Yet contributors to a course text, Folklore and the Internet: Vernacular Expression in a Digital World (2009), make a case for recognizing the “folkloric qualities of the World Wide Web, e-mail, and related digital media.”  We will examine digital storytelling, fairy tales in hypertext and urban legends threaded through multiple websites. We will look at how dislocated peoples have made ritual use of cell phones, cyber cafes and blackberries to maintain social, religious and ethnic networks, and at how young adults have created virtual memorial shrines for each other on sites world wide. We will also examine virtual ethnography, the ways in which field researchers draw on new media technologies to exchange cultural knowledge. The Global Lives Project, for example, is a collaborative online video library made up of footage documenting the everyday lives of individuals not usually recorded.  We will draw on a growing body of scholarly literature pointing to how digital culture both shapes and is shaped by vernacular expression.  University of California at Berkeley’s online journal, Cultural Analysis: an Interdisciplinary Forum on Folklore and Popular Culture, is just now calling for papers on the intersection of shared virtual and actual social spaces.  Course requirements will include essay exams (40%), term projects (45%), and class participation (15%).


Extra credit opportunity

October 22, 2009



Different Film, Same Class

October 22, 2009


I’m substituting Rip! A Remix Manifesto for Good Copy, Bad Copy.  They are similar, but the former (which I learned about just recently) has a more pointed message that I think fits better with our historical readings for today.  Being open source, it also practices what it preaches (though note that both films are freely distributed with a creative commons license).

To see the law that started it all, check out the Statute of Anne (1709).