Seamus Heaney, "Wheels within Wheels"
The first grip I ever got on things Was when I learnt the art of pedaling (By hand) a bike turned upside down, and drove Its back wheel preternaturally fast. I loved the disappearance of the spokes, The way the space between the hub and the rim Hummed with transparency. If you threw A potato into it,the hooped air Spun mush and drizzle back into your face; If you touched it with a straw,...
Andy Clark, Philip K. Dick, and Zimoun
For class today I’ve brought in images and videos of Zimoun’s sound installations. Our first unit this semester is a long extension of our last from the fall: on technology, human progress, and human identity. Zimoun’s work stands out as an innovative use of simple tech with great effect. We’re continuing our ongoing discussion of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?,...
My wife says I have two kinds of songs: grand weepers and grim reapers– Tom Waits, Mule Variations, 1999. Frequently quoted at our house.
VCU is back in session, and while I have the same students (I love this part of my job), I’m amazed that people who seem so familiar can be, with a new subject, totally surprising. Our winter reading is Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, a novel I have taught before, but always in an “Intro to Science Fiction” course. This year I’m teaching it as part of an ethics and critical thinking...
—— Etta James. Jazz (2007), Life, Love & the Blues (1998), Hickory Dickory Dock (1998), and Tell Mama (1968).
to Edgar Allen Poe. The Poe Toaster may no longer be making his rounds, but we’re still toasting Poe in Richmond, with cognac and some of his poetry. From my vantage point, Richmond and Baltimore are locked in a battle for ownership of Poe. It is possible, I concede, that Baltimore (in the manner of many clearly dominant parties) is not aware this battle rages on. I would like to think,...
How SOPA Affects Students, Educators, and... →
Today I began to put together materials for my spring course website. We’ll be looking at the history of our school and our city this spring, and I wanted historical images of VCU to post online. In looking through archives I found copies of our old yearbook, Cobblestone, from 1973. The images are amazing. It’s easy to see how remarkable a school VCU was in the 70’s, with vibrant...