Now An Archive

This e-portfolio should now be considered an archive. All future material will be found at

Posted in  Macaulay July 25, 2012

Resources and Links for Class, 2/8/12

Posted in  Macaulay ,Pedagogy February 7, 2012

Podpress Test


This is a test. It is only a test. If you download this, can you see the photo of Rose-Aimee Belanger’s “Les chuchoteuses”? The photo is also available here for comparison purposes.

Posted in  Macaulay April 4, 2011

I miss students!

Last Friday, I had the pleasure (and I do mean pleasure) of heading into one of Richard Blot’s sections of Shaping the Future of NYC for a quick lesson on how to do online scholarly research (aka, “Moving Beyond Google or Wikipedia”). It was an upbeat and fast-moving discussion of what research is (a conversation, a debate), followed by some of the intricacies of Google Scholar, and a short segment I like to call “What Amazon is Really Good For.”

citations, SIPs, etcetera--What Amazon Is Really Good For

What Amazon is Really Good For (click to see!)


The general concept of forward- and backward-citations was new to pretty much everyone in the classroom, so I left feeling like I had made a positive contribution to the research that guides the Seminar 4 final projects. I hope that as students move from the research stage to the presentation stage, I’ll be called in again to help.

Part of the reason this contact felt special is because it is becoming rare. If students have tech questions, they always, always, always e-mail. The only question I ever get in person at my office hours is, “What is the password for the Macaulay network?” And given the decision to do away with spring semester tech fair (a decision I wholeheartedly support given our replacement activities, truly), there just… haven’t been any students in my MHC experience, except for our talented and industrious programming intern, who happens to be in the reading room the same day I am.

I totally heart the intern, but I miss having an entire MHC class trouping through the building. I am trying to brainstorm ways to get more (and more productive) ITF contact with students. Workshops? “Bring Your Computer And Ask Us Any Questions You Have Over Wine And Cheese Dessert Night”? “How To Do Totally Badass Online Research”? Do we just need to jazz up the names a bit, or do we need to completely rethink what we’re doing here?

I wonder also how we can get the information we need to make these decisions. Students sometimes seem loathe to reach out to us, no matter how much we reach out to them (and believe me, if I issue any “please feel free to contact me if you need my help!” messages to my Seminar 4, it’ll get creepy). Maybe the Macaulay Scholars Council or some other student organization would be willing to canvass the campuses.

Part of our ongoing discussion about the use value of in-person office hours needs to be “what do we do instead?” I’m all for “work more on My Amazing Dissertation about X,” believe me, but if we could find new ways to be relevant to both the student and faculty populations, it would only help us steer the ship in the direction we want it to go.

Posted in  Macaulay March 24, 2011

minor publication news

My review of a new translation of Manuel Maples Arce‘s URBE (out from Ugly Duckling Presse last year) is apparently now out in the latest volume of XCP: Cross-Cultural Poetics.

(I haven’t seen it yet; my director e-mailed me about other things and mentioned it in passing.)

I know that even graduate students now think book reviews are no big deal, that it’s all about article publication. But there’s an art to good reviewing. I like to think that what I generated there is worth something.

Posted in  Reviews January 12, 2011

Video Re-curations (-creations?)

(cross-posted to the Doomsday class blog)

I was on the M60 late Monday night, on my way to return a big stack of final exams in Modernist literature (brain freeze!), when I figured out why this editing project wasn’t going well, and what I needed to do differently. I was listening to Depeche Mode’s Playing the Angel–the album from which you heard “John the Revelator,” way back on the first day of class. The first song on the album, “A Pain that I’m Used To,” is something of a personal anthem–not just because writing a dissertation is slow going, but because of the controlled chaos of the opening seconds. I find those first seconds incredibly comforting. (NB: I am too old and graduate student-y for club nights these days, and I’ve taken out the facial piercings of my early twenties, but I am generally of the goth/industrial persuasion, so my definition of “comfort music” is… idiosyncratic.) Watch/listen here, just for a few seconds. Go on, I’ll wait.

I recently finished coordinating what has become an annual event for the Macaulay freshman class: the video re-curation projects at the year-end exhibition of the Snapshot Day photos. I had helped out at this event before, of course, and had even done a presentation about it at the annual intra-CUNY IT conference (along with John, my partner in crime fellow central ITF). But this year was the first time I was coordinating something like this: deciding which students would be asked to attend when, getting all the ITFs set up (and picking only some of them to lead plenary sessions, an act that caused me no end of worry), figuring out space… and then being there the whole day, directing people to do things, solving last-minute problems, and so on. It was a great chance to grow my skills and practice event coordination–a task, it turns out, at which I am probably decent, but don’t enjoy as much as I thought I would. (Hey, you never know what you’ll like doing until you try everything.)

So I was on the bus, thinking about this project and the last few weeks at work, generally, and when I heard DM croon “You just need to achieve something that rings true” I decided to take that as the motto for the results you see below. These are my own interpretations–re-curations, if you will–which take both your creative projects and your presentations of those projects as source material for a short video summation/exploration. I tried to make the nature of each creative project clear to the uninformed viewer, but also to use what I thought were your strongest or most interesting points about your own work as a means of suggesting an interpretation. I hope you enjoy them.

(The bits of noise in the opening and closing credits are a looping 2-second sample of a hidden track on The Cruxshadows’ 2007 album, Ethernaut.)






Congratulations to all of you on some fine projects! The diversity here is really quite awesome.

Posted in  Macaulay ,Pedagogy December 22, 2010

I tried not to sound stupid, at least.

My review of Beats at Naropa: An Anthology is part of the freshly-launched Galatea Resurrects #15. I think the Galatea project provides an important service to the poetics community. Reviewing and engaging with such a large number of texts keeps us all connected, somehow, and I am glad to be part of it. Even if I’m super self-conscious about posting this here.

Posted in  Reviews December 8, 2010

Smell Like A Monster

I’m getting ready to head out to Minnesota, so this is all I’ve got for you today!

Posted in  Silly November 16, 2010


OK, so the history of color printing goes back hundreds of years. But today, the most widely recognized palette in use for color printing is CMYK: cyan, magenta, yellow, and key black. Okay, it’s easy to see how those colors, as variations on primary colors, give you lots of different possible results when mixed. But if you think back before the world was pixelated–how exactly did that combination come to be for color photography and film?

A nuclear blast is many times brighter than the sun. But within that initial blast, and the seconds following it, there are many changes in temperature–changes which scientists and engineers found it prudent to record visually (not exactly being able to fly into the cloud and measure outright, you know). In fact, lots of the details of a nuclear detonation had to be studied from a distance, for safety purposes. (This, to me, is the big elephant in the room–if it’s too dangerous to get close enough to understand, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it. But that’s neither here nor there. I am an American and as such I have a piece of responsibility regarding the state of the world today, even if neither I or my parents were even born in ’45.) So the recording of atomic testing was super important, and we threw a lot of money into it, in the first phase of the Cold War. One product which was developed for this process is “extended range” (XR) film. Made up of three layers, the film had a slow layer, a medium layer, and a fast layer. The slowest layer of film was able to record the brightest phenomena.

Now, developing multiple emulsions like this was really, really tricky. Introducing some color into each layer of film made it easier to develop later–made it less dense, made it easier to see the details. “…you can make the arrangement in anything you want. But in XR film” its inventor Charles Wyckoff “happened to make the first layer the most sensitive layer as a yellow image, and the intermediate sensitive layer as a magenta image, and the slowest layer as a cyan image.” Not only did Wyckoff’s employer, Kodak, get a lot out of this, “but “when NASA was getting ready to go to the moon, they had [him] develop a color film for them, for the moon landing, which was really based upon this principle. All of the modern day color films are now based upon this principle.”

There’s no doubt that the idea of combining some basic primary colors to make other ones is an idea that long predates the U.S.’s atomic weapons program. But that CMYK combination that is in your printer today took its cues from “analog” color printing, and that in turn sought inspiration in the photographic techniques developed to record bomb blasts.

(Source: How to Photograph an Atomic Bomb.)

Posted in  Dissertation November 9, 2010

Organizing People

The ongoing question of many, many, many years: What is the role of the ITF?

Well, right now it seems to be “the role of the ITF is to organize people.” Sort of an Obama-esque community organizer role… only with, you know, the bonus of current innovations in IT.

I’ve just finished collecting biographies and head shots from the bulk of the ITF crew, in order to update the Macaulay web site. Reading these brief paragraphs as they came in shed some interesting light on how we explain ourselves to the world, as both emergent academics and budding technologists. Some of us omit the ITF experience from our professional copy. Some of us talk about in-progress research, while some prefer to focus more on that which has already been accomplished. Some showcase their lives outside of academia, and some see themselves as defined by abstraction. Check us all out here.

Now that that task is done, I’m continuing my work on collecting an alumni list and building the beginnings of a database (or at the very least, a spreadsheet). This should help me plan alumni events for this spring (and possibly a quickie sort of Skype-in for November–stay tuned to see if that works itself out).

Finally, I’m trying to organize the Snapshot event, in December, for the entire first-year class. Plus honored guests from other schools!

So I guess I’m all caught up in organizing!

The results, however, ought to be pretty fine. Stay tuned.

Posted in  Macaulay October 20, 2010

Previous Posts