My teaching is motivated by the poet Ed Sanders’ “Investigative Poetry,” a lecture he delivered for the Visiting Spontaneous Poetics Academy at Naropa in 1975. Sanders tells us that “poetry, to go forward…has to begin a voyage into the description of historical reality.” Whether it’s teaching poetry or digital skill sets, I encourage students to consider the historical context of their ideas or methods, and how language can transform our understanding of this.
Undergraduate: Brooklyn College
I taught COMM 3000/ENGL 3196: “Orality, Literacy, and Computer Technology.” Brooklyn College. Department of Communications and Department of English. 3 credits, requirement for major. Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018.
In Fall 2018, I designed the course after Charles Olson’s “A Plan for a Curriculum for the Soul,” a poetic map of history that resulted in a series of chapbooks published by poets such as Joanne Kyger and Michael McClure.
By examining “the Curriculum” and its afterlives, students reworked Olson’s curriculum for the twenty-first century, and designed their own chapbook series as the course text. You can see the results online in our course website, published on the CUNY Academic Commons. Clearly, the students knocked it out of the park.
Digital Workshops: The Graduate Center, CUNY
I’m Software Carpentry certified for teaching digital skills, and teach workshops on the basics of digital humanities. On topics ranging from physical computing to GitHub, I like to engage poetics as a lens for understanding the syntax of code, digital fabrication, and networked writing.
Courses include: “The Lexicon of DH,” “Physical Computing 101 with Arduino,” “Digital Project Management,” “GitHub and Collaborative Writing,” “TEI for Librarians,” “Introduction to QGIS,” “Introduction to Building a Digital Identity,” “The Command Line,” “Introduction to Python,” “Social Reading and Annotation.”
Digital Workshops: Digital Humanities Summer Institute
“Web APIs with Python,” week-long intensive course on using APIs to obtain and manipulate data for humanities projects.
Primary Sources: The New York Public Library
Key projects include the “Collaborative Research Seminar on Archives and Special Collections,” a graduate-level seminar I developed that incorporated hands-on sessions, reflective writing, and dialogue between researchers and archivists at the New York Public Library, with a committee including staff/librarians/faculty at CUNY, the GC Library, Center for the Humanities, Early Research Initiative, GC Digital Humanities, and Lost & Found. The Seminar received the support of the Provost’s Office at CUNY, the Director of Research Libraries at NYPL, the Mellon-funded Seminar on Public Engagement through the Center for the Humanities, and was featured on the Poetry Foundation’s website.
To think through creative ways to engage with special collections, I organized “Saturdays at NYPL: Open House for Archival Encounters at the Berg Collection,” which allowed students to play “archival roulette” by sharing general interests with a reference librarian and then receiving a surprise item. For this, I collaborated with the Doctoral Students Council, the English Program at the Graduate Center, CUNY, Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative, the Center for the Humanities.
I’ve led class-specific visits on topics ranging including Shakespeare, Keats, Yeats, Dickens, Conrad, The Little Review, Muriel Rukeyser, and others. I also conduct general class sessions for undergraduate and graduate students to discuss descriptive bibliography, archival research, and special collections research methods, including the “Introduction to Doctoral Studies” course in the English Program at CUNY.