To help your respondent

As panelists (that’s all of you), you need to give your respondent the opportunity to write a thoughtful response. You should also take advantage of your respondent’s perspective as a peer reviewer.

As soon as possible: send your respondent your proposal, along with any notes about changes in your plans.

I recommend you keep swapping ideas over the weekend. By Sunday: Send your work in progress.

24 hours before your panel: Send your respondent as much as you have prepared.

If your partner is presenting on Monday, April 20, your response is due on Wednesday the 22nd.

Finally, there is an optional sentence-level revision exercise on Blackboard. It’s due at midnight on Monday, April 20.

Good scholarly talks on video

We’ve been talking about how a conference paper or public lecture is different from a paper intended for print, but what does that mean in practice? YouTube to the rescue.

Rosemarie Garland-Thomson (Professor of English at Emory), “Staring and Its Implications in Society”: Garland-Thomson is actually summarizing the argument of her book. Note how elegantly she combines neurological, historical, and aesthetic points, describing a universal phenomenon without resorting to generalities. (Except for “in society.” Don’t use that.)

Tricia Rose (Brown): “Hip Hop Wars”: A funny, passionate argument for taking pop culture seriously. There’s a 14-minute and a 40-minute version of her talk.

Arnold Weinstein (Brown), “Why Literature and Medicine?” One answer to the question of what we can learn about real bodies and brains by examining fictional situations.

In the series “Emory looks at Hollywood,” various faculty members deliver a short talk connecting a current hit movie to their own areas of expertise: The Hunger Games and Roman gladiator culture; Captain America and the ethics of war technology, Girls and our expectations about women on TV…. As you listen, pay attention to what points they make, and what they leave out. You shouldn’t hear any sentences like, “This movie is about…,” or “It was directed by _____ and released in 2014,” nor should you hear description for its own sake. Obviously, you can’t splice film footage into your own talk, so you will have to supply that information with your words!

Looking ahead to the conferences

As a reminder, your proposal is now due on Sunday, April 12 by midnight. Prepare to interview and be interviewed about your project on Friday. There are no required readings for Monday.

Next week, we’ll set the agenda for the conference. Which papers would go well together? (See the schedule of the Interdisciplinary 19th-Century Studies Conference, at Georgia Tech, for an example.) The schedules-in-progress are linked below. As well as your own presentation date, make sure you know when your partner is delivering his/her paper: your response is due that day.

One last question: Do you like to listen to music when you write and revise? Let’s make a playlist.

Twiny Jam (Bonus)

Porpentine, one of the most prolific Twine creators out there, is hosting a Twiny Jam: a call for Twine games made with 300 or fewer words. Her deadline is April 9.

As you may recall, I’d hoped to do some more in-class work with Twine as a medium, but then we had our “snow” day. So I’m giving you the option of creating a Twine of your own for some extra credit. Following Porpentine’s rules, your Twine should have 300 or fewer words, plus as many legally sourced images and sounds as you want.

What to make your Twine about?

  1. Present a story or idea related to your keyword/research topic. It should pack some rhetorical punch, be that comic or sentimental or anything else.
  2. Teach a lesson from Rhetorical Grammar in a memorable, fun way. Use your own examples.

To submit this optional assignment, upload the game file (______.html) to your domain. You can also submit it to the “Jam,” if you feel so inclined.

Some of my ENG 101 students last semester made Twines, which you can check out.

Snow day? Rain day?

A rare snowy day in Piedmont Park. Source: Wikipedia.

Emory will be closed on Wednesday, Feb. 25. If you have any questions about tomorrow night’s short essay or the annotated bibliography, I will still be on email and Skype. (There’s no grammar exercise this week.)

I’ve just spent the last few hours playing some really intense Twine games. We’ll discuss the games, along with the selection from Anna Anthropy’s book, on Friday. I would also suggest you play around with the Twine software at

Finally, have you voted for the classic “tight space” movie you want to watch next week? The poll is on Blackboard, under Course Documents. Please make your selection before Sunday.


Stop the spam!

Spam* is annoying, isn’t it? Especially when it clogs up our blogs.

Akismet is an anti-spam plugin that’s already included as part of your WordPress installation. You can activate the plugin at There are lots of other spam-blocking plugins, too.


*Spam stands for ‘sending particularly annoying messages.’ Plus, a lot of programmers are Monty Python fans.

Allow comments to your blog

So that feedback from your classmates doesn’t get stuck “awaiting moderation,” make sure you set your blog to allow comments.

From your WordPress dashboard, go to Settings > Discussion and uncheck the box marked “Comment author must have a previously approved comment.”

Uncheck "comment author must have a previously approved comment"

Additionally, if your web page or author name is “My blog,” I recommend changing that. Go to Settings > General to change the blog title and Users > Your Profile for your display name. Perhaps choosing a keyword will give you an idea for a catchy title?