Thursday, May 7, 2009

DFW online and teaching

I came across this site today david foster wallace which has functioned as the teaching site/blog for Kathleen Fitzpatrick's (1st link is teaching site/2nd link is blog) class on DFW from this past semester at Pomona College. The class created a wiki about DFW and his works which is really nice especially the Secondary Sources and Criticism page. Not only is this site a good resource it is also a continuation of the class period which provokes some interesting thought on the purpose of the blog/website because it is not just the immediate students who benefit. It also benefts those, like myself, who have a combination of amateur and scholar excitement and interest in
Wallace's work to see how much smarter and more experienced people are teaching and interacting with it.
Not only is this a great resource for reading about how other people/classes process through Wallace's work it's also a great way to explore the use of technology in teaching. As i'm thinking about and readying myself for teaching my first class, Computers and their Applications, next semester these methods of tying in familiar vehicles with learning opportunities are very much on the forefront of my skull.
This site is interesting because it highlights not just the research process where much of the information about DFW is available and is only being published online. Simply check out The Howling Fantods as a case in point. This also raises, from a librarian and archivist point of view who is responsible for maintaining this information? If these sites stop being maintained how much of this born-digital information will be lost? As a community interested and writing aobut DFW in new and intuitive ways it is simply not enough to write especially if it is good writing. A large part of this communal work is to preserve and maintain other's writings about him and his work.

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