English Studies in the Digital Age


T 12:15-1:25   F: ONLINE

Location: SJH B-40 Conference Room

Instructor: Dr. Jennifer Travis

Department of English

Office: St. John’s Hall B-16 (Chairperson’s office)

Email: Please be in touch via email rather than office phone. I strive to return emails within 24 hours.

Skype: jtprofessor

Google hangout:

Office Hours: M/T/TH 11-12

Student Hours: If the above office hours do not work for you, I will try to coordinate with your schedule. I am on campus Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. I encourage you to stop by during my office hours to chat about your work and interests. I am also available via Skype or Google Hangouts. Just let me know you would like to meet virtually and we will arrange a date and time.

Course Format: This course will be conducted as a seminar. Class time will be spent primarily in dialogue, discussion, and workshops rather than lecture. Everyone should come to class prepared and ready to participate.

Grades will be based on a weekly assignments posted to your blog, class participation,  final portfolio, and presentation.

*Always come to class on time. If you are routinely more than 5 minutes late I will counts it as an absence (one or two emergency late arrivals will be tolerated).

*Always come to class with your computer/technology and reading materials and assignments in hand.

*Always come with plans to participate.

*Always keep up with the syllabus and readings even if class discussion has fallen behind.

*Always treat each other with social and intellectual respect.

All reading materials will be posted as links on our website.


Final portfolio: 50%

Weekly Blog Posts: 30%

Participation: 20% (class discussion, attendance, and presentation)

Students will be asked to share their blog posts with the class.

Academic Integrity: Please refer to the university honor code policy: Copying another person’s words or ideas without crediting him or her constitutes plagiarism. It doesn’t matter what the source: an article, a website, class notes, etc. Plagiarism is serious matter and is grounds for failure of the course and even possibly expulsion from the University. It is important to learn how to document online sources accurately, especially when we will be doing multimodal work (including images, videos, audio, etc.).

Please refer to this guide for more information about using materials from the Internet:


Course Schedule and Readings/Viewings/Assignments

F 1/:24-ONLINE

Online Readings (also on website under Writing for Money Resources)


Surprising Thing Google Learned About What Makes A Successful Google Employee

Six Myths about Choosing a Major

Economic Gains in Liberal Arts

Career Competencies that Employers Value Most

Choose One:

Value of the Liberal Arts


Why Liberal Arts Matter


Writing in the Digital Age

T 1/28:  In Class: Introductions, Designing your Life handouts, discussion of online readings, website design–building your blog

F Online: 1/31:  Read Handouts for Designing Your Life and Do Workview and Lifeview Reflections—Post to Blog

Blog:  Send me the URL for your blog.  Please be sure to make it public for the semester (otherwise I can’t read it).

T 2/4:  Discussion of Findings, Workview and Lifeview Integration, Blog Troubleshooting

F Online: 2/7:  Resume–Post Online  (see resources for links to resume materials through Purdue Owl–look at most sections)

Resumes-The Purdue Owl


The Selfie


Why We Take Selfies (through Foucault)


James Franco, “The Meanings of the Selfie”

Scholarship on Selfies

Jill Walker Rettberg, Seeing Ourselves Through Technology

Anything on this list–See Case Studies


Choose 3 selfies of yourself and analyze them for your construction of intersecting and overlapping identity characteristics.

Look at all elements of the way you present yourself
—Clothing, pose, facial expression

But also the elements of the framing of the picture:
—Background, lighting, proximity, angle of the camera.

And last any other elements in the picture:
—People, animals, objects…

Some questions for reflection as you prepare your response.

What in your selfies is accurate?
What is obscured or ambiguous?
Does the image portray one identity trait more than others?
Where do the images place you in the spectrum of possibilities for each characteristic trait — for example, more or less feminine or masculine.
How might different audiences perceive the images differently?
How is the viewer addressed in the image?
How do your selfies play off other well-known images? How do they play off each other?
What is the apparent context of this image? How does that affect how it might be read?

How does your reading of your selfies compare or relate to some of our readings for this week?

T 2/11:  Discussion/Workshop Resume and Selfies

F Online 2/14:  Resources for job applicants/Handshake/Linked In–The Job Search

Read Handout–Bolles

Post: list of interesting job openings–be prepared to discuss

Create:  LinkedIn Profile

T 2/18:  Visit Cheresa Fewell, Career Services

F Online: 2/21:  Write Cover letter for job listing and Post

Read Purdue Owl on cover letters(read most sections):

Cover letters-The Purdue Owl

Digital Literacies

Tim Urban on “The Best Writing Advice for the Digital Age”


The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies

Nichole Pinkard on Digital Literacies


Nicholas Carr, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?

Blog:  What is literacy to you?  What do you think it means to be digitally literate?  Give some examples of digital literacy and/or digital illiteracy.

T 2/25:   In class—Cover Letter Workshop and Discussion of Digital Literacies

F Online 2/28:  The informational interview—who will you interview? Draft your interview questions and post

Curate: Social Media Presence

Blog: Self-assessment on social media presence

Spring Break

T 3/10:  Guest Speaker: Wandy Ortiz

Interview questions, plus discussion of social media and online presence, LinkedIn Profile…introduction of Op Ed

F Online 3/13:  Find and post 2 op eds that you like.  Write your own Op Ed and post

T 3/17:  Workshop Op-Ed pieces

F Online 3/20:  Corporate Writing—Research companies and professional writing

Post: examples of corporate writing

Digital Editions/Archives/Research


Blake Archive
British Booktrade Index
British Fiction 1800-1829: A Database of Production, Circulation and Reception
British Library Full Text Treasures
British Library Turning the Pages Project
British Women Romantic Poets Project, UC Davis
Bronte, Charlotte Juvenilia, Houghton Library, Harvard
Collex, NINES
Crime Broadsides Project, Harvard Law School Library
David Rumsey Map Collection
Database of Mid-Victorian Wood-Engraved Illustrations
Cather Archive
Digital Collections, Library of Congress
 Emblem Project Utrecht
    Google Books
 Global Poetry System
Emily Dickinson Archive
MITH’s Vintage Computers Archive
Whitman Archive
Charles Chesnutt Archive
NYPL Digital Gallery
Nineteenth Century Disability
Reading Experience Database
Science in the 19th-Century Periodical
Vault at Pfaffs-Bohemians of NYC
Transcribe Bentham
Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe
Turning the Pages, British Library

BLOG: Choose a digital edition or archive that interests you and consider at least three of the following questions to write about:

  • What contribution does it make to scholarship?
  • What is being done with this project that could not be done in print-based scholarship?
  • Is the purpose of the site/project/archive clearly articulated?
  • Is the site easy to navigate?
  • How can you use it for your research?
  • Is it aesthetically pleasing? Is it searchable? Static?
  • Who are the authors/contributors? What are their roles?
  • Is it a collaborative project?
  • Who is the primary audience?
  • What are the strengths? What are the weaknesses?


T 3/24 (Blackboard):  Share a Revised piece of writing: your op ed, cover letter, or resume.  Provide original and revised copies.

F  3/27 (Blog):  Virtual Interviews.  Finalize:  Who will you interview, what will the mechanism be (email, FaceTime, Zoom…?), and what are the questions you will ask?  Post to your blog.  Interviews should be complete by 4/13/20.

T 3/31 (Blackboard): Formulating some shared questions.  Work with your group to decide on 3 questions you will all have in common for your interview.

F 4/3 (Blog):  Work on interview.  Post your schedule for your interview: when will it be taking place?  Interviews should be completed by 4/13/20.

T 4/7 (Blackboard):  Share another revised piece of writing:  op ed, resume, cover letter….share original and revised.

I will assign everyone a date for interview presentations.  They should be complete by  4/13/20.  Please let me know via email if you would be willing to present on 4/14/20.  I will take volunteers for the first date.  Thanks!!

Easter Break

The remainder of the semester will be for sharing information about our interviews:

Who did you interview and why?

What was the most interesting thing you learned?

What was the question you were most interested to hear about and what answers came with it?

What other insights can you share about the career of your interviewee and any advice or insights they offered?


T 4/14: work on presentation of interview or Covid journal. How will you present it to the class: video, powerpoint, prezi, etc.? It is up to you.  Please be sure to post it to our BB site and on your blog.

F 4/17:  Interview presentations: post presentation about your interview.

T 4/21: Interview presentations: post presentation about your interview.

F 4/24: Interview presentations: post presentation about your interview.

T 4/28:  Interview presentations: post presentation about your interview.

F 5/1: Interview Presentations.  Portfolios Due–revisions of resume, cover letter, and op ed due.  Include transcript of your interview in your portfolio (this does not need to be revised).






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