The funny thing about milestones in life is that they are not evenly spaced on the road. Rather they seem to appear in clusters, as they have for me over the past month or so.
The first milestone actually felt more like ten or twenty millstones that I hadn’t noticed around my neck they were lifted off one by one. After much frantic writing, revising, formatting, proofreading and emailing, I completed and submitted my dissertation! As of now, I am a bona fide Doctor of Philosophy. If you are injured and require assistance, I will read you a poem. “The Social Lives of Books: Literary Networks in Contemporary American Fiction” is currently in processing but should be available from the Stanford libraries website soon.
Second, I am very pleased to announce that I will be joining Arizona State University as a University Innovation Fellow this July. This is an unusual position and I am very excited about the opportunity. My primary focus will be supporting and developing ASU’s New American University initiative, which is an effort to redefine public higher education for the twenty-first century. I’ll be working in the Office of University Initiatives and I am looking forward to getting to know my new colleagues.
In all the excitement of the holidays, MLA and then a trip to Egypt (!), I didn’t have a chance to post about an exciting update from the publication front. Since then I also had some good conference news, so here’s the skinny.
I’m really delighted to be participating in an awesome book project co-edited by Lee Konstantinou and Sam Cohen considering the impact of David Foster Wallace. The collection is under contract with Iowa and it got a great writeup in The Chronicle of Higher Education. Very exciting! I’m working on revisions to my chapter right now. My piece will explore how different groups of readers are defining Wallace’s legacy through book reviews and literary consumption.
I had a paper accepted to Digital Humanities 2011! This may not seem like as big a deal until you start reading the comments on Twitter from people who didn’t get in: the acceptance rate was only 31% for panel proposals. I’ve really enjoyed my previous two DH conferences, and I’m looking forward to presenting with fellow LitLabbers Zephyr Frank and Rhiannon Lewis, with Franco Moretti as moderator. The panel is titled “Networks, Literature, Culture” and it’s going to be fantastic. I’ll save you a seat.
While I’ve had the dissertation specter floating before me for several years now, it has never looked so beautiful. Created by two Stanford graduate students in Computer Science, the Stanford Dissertation Browser uses topic modeling to graph recent dissertations by their disciplinary affiliation. The visualization was created with Flare, successor to Prefuse, which I was using for my own visualizations for a while (this being Stanford, the guy who created all of these visualization tools, Jeffrey Heer, is advising the project).
I’m looking forward to adding my dissertation to the mix next June. I wonder where it will line up?
I’ve been meaning to post this for a long time. A couple of months ago I wrote a short article about a Stanford Humanities Center workshop that I help coordinate. Literary Studies and the Digital Library: Beyond Search and Access is doing some cutting-edge research in the digital humanities. Check it out!
Ian Hsu has been hired by Stanford to bring more attention to new media activity around the campus (title: Director of Internet Media Outreach). He’s just launched one major initiative: the Stanford Blog Directory. Yours truly is up there, along with a few other students (and many more blogs by Stanford groups, faculty and staff). Hopefully as we move forward more students will join the listing, since I know there are a lot more bloggers lurking on campus. Nevertheless, it’s nice to be in on the ground floor–thanks for the listing, Ian!