Full-Sized Reading: Heavy Rain, Empathy, and the Problem of Player Agency

Full-Sized Reading: Heavy Rain, Empathy, and the Problem of Player Agency

I gave a version of this paper at the Midwest Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association Conference in October 2013. It’s basically a rant about a video game I do not like. Enjoy! —– I want to talk about the powerful capacity video games have for cultivating empathy, and the tremendous responsibility that accompanies that capacity. […] more…
Teaching Notes: The Salt Roads

Teaching Notes: The Salt Roads

Nalo Hopkinson’s The Salt Roads combines folktale, myth, historical fiction and science fiction. It tells the story of a newborn Ginen goddess (called Lasirén or Ezili) coming to awareness of herself as she travels through the lives and consciousness of three women: Thais, a prostitute living in ancient Alexandria; Mer, a healer in Saint-Domingue, and […] more…
Teaching Notes: Using a Class Blog

Teaching Notes: Using a Class Blog

This semester for the second time I’m having my students keep a class blog for their “informal” writing. I put informal in quotation marks, because as I explain in my assignment sheet to them, the mere possibility that someone out there in the world could be reading their stuff tends to make them write more […] more…
Self Promotion: A Sense of Wonder and Other Feminist Feelings

Self Promotion: A Sense of Wonder and Other Feminist Feelings

I wrote a piece for Deletion: The Open Access Online Forum in Science Fiction Studies, in which I connect SF theory (particularly feminist SF theory) with affect studies. It appears in Episode 4: The New! The Now! The Fantastic!: Artistic and Scholarly Innovation, edited by the incomparable Marleen S. Barr. more…
Self-Promotion: I’m Crying Already, Managing Affect, and That Time I Almost Died

Self-Promotion: I’m Crying Already, Managing Affect, and That Time I Almost Died

I just wrote something for the Affect & Inquiry Symposium blog, originally published here, and copied below. ——— The final discussion of the Affect & Inquiry symposium was a patchwork of conversations that skipped over and around many of the threads that wove throughout the weekend. Some of the topics explicitly or implicitly brought up were: […] more…
Self-Promotion: I Did AcWriMo 2013 and Survived to Tell the Tale

Self-Promotion: I Did AcWriMo 2013 and Survived to Tell the Tale

My most recent post for HASTAC, in which I complainbrag about spending the last two and half months crushing my dissertation, and muse about AcWriMo and the Pomodoro Technique. more…
Self-Promotion: Introduction, and Thoughts on a Learning Commons

Self-Promotion: Introduction, and Thoughts on a Learning Commons

My first post as a HASTAC Scholar, in which I ramble about the Learning Commons at the University of Iowa’s Main Library.             more…
Teaching Notes: The City & the City

Teaching Notes: The City & the City

China Miéville states in an interview included in the trade paperback version of his 2009 novel The City & the City that he considers the book “a crime novel, above all” (316)—which makes it sound fairly straightforward, despite its other generic designation as weird fiction. The two intertwined cities of Beszel and Ul Qoma in which […] more…
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