University Diaries

University Diaries

A professor of English describes American university life.

June 6, 2012 - 2:50pm
1.)  Page 403.  O, I so want to be a mother.   We're in Nighttown, the late night hallucinogenic bad dreams part of Ulysses.  Leopold Bloom, a cuckold, has struggled all day with his sense of his shaky masculinity, and now in this insanely desublimating setting he has been transfigured into a puling, mincing pregnant woman.
June 3, 2012 - 9:01pm
This is it, the whole thing, selected for you with care and love after many years of Ulysses reading, teaching, and writing. Memorize only a few of these sentences from Joyce's novel, and you will be ready for this year's festivities.
May 22, 2012 - 6:44pm
Dante doesn't get one. There's no Hemingway holiday, no Emily Dickinson Day. Do people all over the world, once a year, all at the same moment, gather to read Othello? No. No writer gets a whole day of the whole world reciting, performing, singing and celebrating his or her work. No writer except James Augustine (James Disgustin' to his detractors) Joyce.
May 16, 2012 - 9:26am
"In five years, this will be a huge industry." Thomas Friedman is a little more sure of this than he should be. Indeed his column this morning is awfully close to advertising copy for Coursera and other MOOCs - like Udemy, the MOOC through which UD teaches her series of lectures on poetry. But it's now clear that American universities ought to pay attention to the rapidity with which this technology is turning not only into the mildly interactive worldwide sorts of lectures that UD offers, but a fully interactive, credentialed, even job-searching phenomenon.
May 8, 2012 - 1:01pm
I've watched the subscriber alerts pile up in my email to the point where I now have close to five hundred students in my MOOC on poetry.  Okay, it's not the tens of thousands of people who enroll in Machine Learning. It's not MOOCzilla. But for a close reading of difficult twentieth century poems, it ain't bad.
April 18, 2012 - 8:26pm
Inside Higher Ed reports on the predictable growth of MOOCs at America's leading universities, many of whose professors are as interested as UD was when she was approached by Udemy's Faculty Project (her MOOC on poetry is on its way to 250 students from around the world - far short of thousands, but we're just getting started here).
April 8, 2012 - 9:42pm
Almost two hundred people watch my poetry lectures now. It's a very global group.
March 25, 2012 - 9:45pm
Things do seem to be coming together.  I've got well over a hundred students, from around the world, and more and more names, each day, appear in my inbox (when a person enrolls, I get an email).  Yesterday I recorded my third lecture, Distinguishing Between Good and Bad Poetry.  (You can enroll in the series - it's free - by going here and scrolling down to Poetry.)
March 18, 2012 - 9:10pm
The fine blog Not of General Interest asks the right questions about UD's MOOC-mucking, so let's do Part Three of my series on my experience as a lecturer in Udemy's Faculty Project (I've now recorded two talks for Poetry) as a kind of interview.
March 14, 2012 - 3:00am
What's the appeal of a massive open online series of lectures? Why did I agree to do it?

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