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Blog - January, 2010

On close-reading-for ENGL 101 students among others

Glen Lowry

Caveat: the following post is directly concerned with helping my English 101 students prepare for an assignment and may not be particularly valuable for practiced and practicing readers and writers of poetry. That said, I always appreciate feedback, insights or different points of view on this topic.

Death of the poet, long live the poet

There are many ways to read a poem, as many readings as there are readers.

This postmodern chestnut has been linked to much unfortunate (anti-pomo, anti-theory) anger about the unbridled "relativism" of contemporary cultural theory. Nevertheless, while the death of the author is not a debate I am interested in returning to, it is perhaps useful to thinking about expectations around the act of close reading.


Human? more or less

Glen Lowry
The inevitable question

Last week in lecture, a brave student put up his hand and asked: isn't all this technology dehumanizing?

For the past week, I've been trying to think of how to respond to this question, wondering how I might situate my own interest in new media while keeping the question open. I think the question of "the human"—how this idea or category functions in relation to the key ethical, political, legal (juridical), cultural, and environmental concern—is absolutely fundamental and can not be wished away with short responses. It probably requires a multitudes of tweets and retweets just to get the ball rolling.

The following post goes someway to provide a rough sketch of what I see as some of the important underlying issues in the human/post-human debate. It also provides a few cultural texts/contexts that have helped me to think about the impact of digital media on teaching literature and the arts.


9 ways social media can support your creativity

Alexandra Samuel

Some new mothers worry about when they’ll get to sleep through the night; I worried about when I’d get to write a novel. I’d always figured that I’d write a book some day, but now that I had a kid, would some day ever come?

For me, the answer lay online. Not in an online writing group: I felt far too protective of my writing to consider sharing it with people I’d never met. But I was brave enough to reach out to other local writers by using the web to connect.  I found a couple of other writer friends who liked the idea of starting a creative writing group for people like us: people who earned a living as professional writers or communicators, but wanted an outlet for personal writing. I created a simple web site that explained the purpose of the group, with an application form for would-be members. Once we had found our fellow writers, we used a Yahoo Group to run an e-mail list that let us schedule meetings, circulate drafts and store files.


Welcome to the SIM Centre

The Social + Interactive Media Centre is a new research centre that supports a wide range of applied social, interactive and design projects. Funded by a 5-year grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the centre offers BC companies a way to tap the design, creative and technical expertise of Emily Carr faculty and students.