Daily Archives: January 11, 2007

What I’ve Done and Where I’ve Been

Please note that I have added author names to the list of categories. One of the consequences of my sudden decision to move us over to WordPress has been that we have lost our bylines. This is a WordPress-wide issue, as it requires Javascript, which WP refuses to touch, and they recommend simply signing all of your posts on a group blog.

This is fine, and some people do it anyway. I often forget. Additionally, it makes it hard to look for articles by specific contributors. The answer for most WP users seems to be adding author names to the category tags. I have gone through our archives and tagged every post with the author’s name. (You’ll notice “Michael McKeon” is the author of posts, while “McKeon” is the subject of posts.) Whenever you publish a post here, please use the category tags to identify yourself. This will help our curious readers to identify you and seek out your other work here.

In other news, I’ve just returned from visiting my parents in Kansas, after returning from MLA, after returning from housesitting. I’m finally done grading exams, research papers, and wiki articles for the semester. The December press finally gives way to the mid-January sigh, which means I owe the Long 18th several posts on various topics.

My New Year’s resolution is to post on the following topics in the coming days:

1) MLA. I spent most of it meeting academic bloggers (our own Tedra Osell, Scott Eric Kaufman, John Holbo, Amardeep Singh, ex-blogger Michael Bérubé, Clancy Ratliff, and several excellent pseudonymous bloggers whose presence at various events I’ll leave to their discretion) and spending time with friends old and new, discussing The Future. I went to a few C18 panels, including the ASECS one at the Mütter Museum, as well as some on digital media and pedagogy.

2) Wikis. My experiment with wikis has now ended, with mixed results. I’ll post about my wiki semester, in part as a response to the wiki panel at MLA.

3) Parker. I intended to post something with my final thoughts on Parker’s Triumph, but got distracted by the mayhem. In the meanwhile, I’ll contact him and see when he’ll be available to participate.

4) Other reading. I am doing other reading. Yesterday, I was gifted with a copy of Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, which I had previously avoided out of a terrible fear of popular historical fiction set in periods of which I am not completely ignorant. So far, I’m wondering if the magical element can be read as a sort of parable for the cultural effects of empiricism on the 17th-18th centuries, and the “return of magic to England” as the rise of romanticism. Thoughts, from anyone who has read it?

5) Teaching. I am again teaching British Literature Survey II at Queens College, but I am considering certain changes to my approach, TBA.