I’m currently working on a Digital Humanities (DH) project, building a companion website to my dissertation that aims to capture Walden Pond’s soundscape.
The “sonic boom” of sound studies in the humanities, particularly in literary studies, calls for a new approach to “listening” to a text, especially when the text was written prior to recorded sound. My project, to create a website that captures the soundscape of Walden Pond, brings the sounds of bird songs and the passing trains to readings in the 19th Century American Transcendentalist genre.
Teaching is where I started drawing from digital media. You can read more about some of the tools and lessons I’ve tried in the past on my home page.
My digital pedagogy draws from a variety of approaches to make texts accessible and to build community inside and outside the classroom. Beyond scaffolding assignments and encouraging intellectual risk-taking, through class blog and group work assignments I ask students to bring research and current events into their close readings. As students build these bridges, they realize how relevant historical texts are today rather than assuming literature’s importance is self-evident. In ongoing digital humanities projects that utilize media such as BuzzFeed, DropBox, Twitter, and WordPress, students inspire and respond to each other (e.g. using a class hashtag, such as #AmLitEnv) and draw connections between literary studies and the sociopolitical issues that they are most invested in.
2017 English Student Association Conference: “The Vibrating World: Soundscapes and Undersongs.” Click here to go to the conference website.