Blogging at the University of Minnesota

I received a link to this white paper today. I'm so happy that blogging is being taken seriously at the University of Minnesota. Shane Nackerud is trying to get an initiative going that would have weblog hosting on the University of Minnesota's server, looking to Harvard's model. I hope it works out.

And, on a totally unrelated note, Adrianne, the tomboy, won America's Next Top Model. Yes, you may throw rotten eggs at me now for watching trash TV. I do it to unwind! :-P

Flash mobs!

From Wired: "Flash mobs," which are mobs organized for the purpose of performance art, are becoming the new thing. Wired talks to organizers of these flash mobs, including Rob Zazueta:

'There's a real desire for something like this out there,' he said. 'Community has always been a big buzzword in the Web space, and I think the smart mob concept helps to bring the virtual community into real space. No matter how good our devices become at allowing us to communicate, I think we're always going to need some real face time with folks.'

They've been staged in such cosmopolitan areas as New York, San Francisco, and--yes!--on July 22, there will be one in Minneapolis. I am SO there. I'll post pictures.

Cross-posted at Kairosnews.

Registering with CultureCat

Hey, you can now create an account on my site, which means you can post comments that aren't anonymous. Let me know if you have any problems with registering!

Sites of Resistance: Weblogs with Creative Commons Licenses

Here's the abstract of my presentation for this fall's AoIR conference...Saturday 4:00-5:15 if anyone wants to see it! :-)

Recent scholarship about intellectual property has taken issue with recent legislation that extends the terms of copyright and has argued that, in order for creativity and innovation to be possible, the public needs a realm of ideas and content to use freely. Long-term copyright delays the entrance of ideas, images, and songs into the public domain. To demonstrate resistance to current legislation, Creative Commons (CC) was established. CC licenses allow creators to give up varying degrees of copyright protection to create a "Some Rights Reserved" model. In this essay, I will explore the growing trend of weblogs that have CC licenses and why bloggers are choosing alternatives to "All Rights Reserved." I will state ways that bloggers and weblogs are making a particularly important contribution to the realization of the Web as an intellectual commons: first, influential bloggers whose weblogs are widely read and linked to have gotten CC licenses, which has produced a mimetic effect; second, the weblog is a genre that lends itself to building upon others' content and does not operate on the assumption that one needs a financial incentive to create; and third, it is significant to note that with popular blogging tools Movable Type and Userland, CC licensing options are built in at the software level. I argue that part of what makes blogging a public-domain-oriented genre is its cultural context: the fact that blogging evolved pari passu with the rise of open source and publicly licensed software, the tightening of copyright restrictions, and the popularity of peer-to-peer networks.

I know that's Very Broad. My presentation will be mostly about bloggers with CC licenses in particular, with just a few remarks at the end about the intellectual property implications in general.

Humorous IP Anecdote

From The Rub's 25 June post:

That poor, mistreated roadie. Apparently, this joe claims he came up with the title for Blink 182's last album, Take Off Your Pants and Jacket. Try again, roadie. The only thing older than that pun is the pair of orange and purple Jamz you bought in high school (yet, continue to wear nightly).

One of my interests, as you know, is intellectual property. This is a great example of just how absurd this stuff can get, and Paul's accompanying commentary is hilarious; I had to pass it on.

More on Teaching Philosophy/Portfolios

Laurie told me about this portal of teaching with technology portfolios at Penn State. I also found this how-to for writing a teaching philosophy statement that is helpful...but it doesn't answer that crucial theory/practice balance question I have in mind. Laurie, Jessica, and I talked about how the teaching philosophy statement genre has changed over the years. Apparently at one time it was kind of, well, effusive and I feel a call to teach deep down in my soul-esque, but now it's more matter-of-fact. I need to figure out how much pathos I want in mine. Here are a couple more how-to sites on writing teaching philosophy statements:

That last site starts out with "Your statement of teaching philosophy essentially answers the question 'why do I teach?'" That's confusing to me; I thought it was supposed to explain what your approach to teaching is, what you think is important that your students get out of your class, and why you have chosen the approach you've chosen (the theoretical underpinnings).

Teaching Philosophy Statement

I really need to do a good teaching philosophy statement that I can stand by, publish on the Web, and be proud of. I was poking around my hard drive trying to find a statement that I wrote years ago while at the University of Tennessee, but I could only find this quotation that I've loved ever since I first read it in Fall 1999 (guess the actual teaching statement got eaten along the, it's probably on a floppy somewhere):

Nor will the preceptor be under the obligation merely to teach these things, but frequently to ask questions upon them, and try the judgment of his pupils. Thus carelessness will not come upon them while they listen, nor will the instructions that shall be given fail to enter their ears; and they will at the same time be conducted to the end which is sought in this exercise, namely that they themselves may conceive and understand. For what object have we in teaching them, but that they may not always require to be taught?

---Marcus Fabius Quintilian, from Institutio Oratoria, written in the year 90 C.E. My emphasis.

Bet you loved that one, Mike--seems right up your alley. I guess what I'm struggling with in writing my statement is a balance between theory and practice--oh, that and a solid understanding of the teaching philosophy statement as genre. Here are a couple of statements from teachers I know:

Does anyone else know of good examples of online teaching philosophy statements? Please post them.

Excited about Fall Class

This fall, I've decided to take "Gender, Rhetoric(s), and Literacy: Historical Bedfellows," a class taught by Dr. Lillian Bridwell-Bowles. Here's the course description:

Participants in this seminar will explore the gendered, entertwined histories of literacy and rhetoric, as well contemporary figures and discourses, with special emphasis on gendered rhetorical practices. While the faculty leader of the seminar has more expertise in feminist interpretations of these histories and practices, other readings of gender (queer, masculinist, etc.) are welcome. The exploration will begin with two precursors to the western rhetorical tradition, the Sumerian high priestess Enheduanna (2350 BCE) and the poet Sappho of Lesbos, whose poetic fragments can be contrasted to one by Alcaeus, a male poet from the same era. We will examine contemporary debates over philosophy and epistemology of the Sophists and the gendered implications of the collaborations of Plato, Aspasia, and Pericles, central figures in the founding of western rhetoric. According to participants
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