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Cultivating Ecologies for Digital Media Work

The Case of English Studies

Catherine C. Braun

Publication Year: 2013

The onslaught of the digital age has rapidly redefined the parameters of virtually every aspect of daily life, and the world of academic scholarship is no exception. In English departments across American institutions of higher education, faculty members face an uphill battle in the struggle for professional recognition of their digital works. In Cultivating Ecologies for Digital Media Work, author Catherine C. Braun calls for a shift in thinking about the professional methods and digital goals of the English studies discipline and its central texts.
Braun’s in-depth study documents English professors and the challenges they face in both career and classroom as they attempt to gain appropriate value for digital teaching and creation within their field, departments, and institutions. Braun proposes that to move English studies into the future, three main questions must be addressed. First, what counts as a text? How should we approach the reading of texts? Finally, how should we approach the production of texts? In addition to reconsidering the nature of texts in English studies, she calls for crucial changes in higher-education institutional procedures themselves, including new methods of evaluating digital scholarship on an even playing field with other forms of work during the processes for promotion and tenure.


With insightful expertise, Braun analyzes how the new age of digital scholarship not only complements the traditional values of the English studies discipline but also offers constructive challenges to old ideas about texts, methods, and knowledge production. Cultivating Ecologies for Digital Media Work is the first volume to offer specific examination of the digital shift’s impact on English studies and provides the scaffold upon which productive conversations about the future of the field and digital pedagogy can be built.

Published by: Southern Illinois University Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

Tables

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pp. ix-x

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xiv

In English studies, we like to valorize the solitary scholar, but we all know that no author writes in isolation. My writing and thinking have been shaped by the institutions in which I work and by the communities of scholars with whom I am fortunate to work. This book would not...

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Introduction: Institutional Frameworks and “the Risky Thing” of Digital Scholarship and Teaching

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pp. 1-11

In May 2012, the University of Missouri announced that it would be “phasing out” its university press and recovering the $400,000 per year subsidy. In July, amid criticism of the decision to close the press, the university announced plans to reinvent the press in a new form that would be...

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1. Cultivating Digital Media Work in English Studies: Negotiating Disciplinary Questions

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pp. 12-36

Imagine an assistant professor in a literary field who works in an English department; we’ll call her Polly. She is creating a scholarly hypertext edition of one of the texts of a somewhat unknown female author and wants to bring this type of work into her introductory literature class, having...

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2. Situating Digital Media Teaching: Challenging the “Hierarchy of Signs”

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pp. 37-90

“I Can Haz Writin Skillz?” is the title of the writing workshop section of Robert Lanham’s parody of a writing course, “Internet-Age Writing Syllabus and Course Overview.” This middle segment of the course “is a workshop where students will work to perfect their tweeting, blogging...

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3. Scholarship through a New Lens: Digital Production and New Models of Evaluation

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pp. 91-131

Chester, a PhD candidate in Victorian literature in the parallel cultures department, was preparing for the job market when I interviewed him. He noted that although people had told him he was positioning himself well for the job market by learning about digital media, he did not see...

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4. Professional Development in/with Digital Media: Sustaining a Technological Ecology

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pp. 132-178

Students at the University of Denver recently created a video parody of a technologically unfriendly classroom and a technologically inept teacher.1 In the style of the television show The Office, the plot of The Class centers on “Michael,” a teacher who knows very little about technology...

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Conclusion: The Future of Digital Media and/in English Studies—Models of Practice

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pp. 179-206

The 2006 Horizon Report, a collaboration between the New Media Consortium and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative, was published the same year as the “Report of the MLA Task Force on Evaluating Scholarship for Tenure and Promotion.” It “describes the continuing work of the...

Notes

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pp. 207-210

Bibliography

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pp. 211-216

Index

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pp. 217-224

Author Biography

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p. 225-225

Back Cover

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p. BC-BC


E-ISBN-13: 9780809332977
E-ISBN-10: 0809332973
Print-ISBN-13: 9780809332960
Print-ISBN-10: 0809332965

Page Count: 232
Illustrations: 17
Publication Year: 2013

Series Editor Byline: John Smith, Will Wordsworth