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Before the Facebook Like, There Was the RadioVota

by | Posted June 5th, 2014

The “radiovota,” a device created in the 1930s by Dr. Neil Monroe Hopkins, was the original like button. The radiovota sent yes or no feedback to radio stations. The downside, and why it didn’t become wildly popular, is that it took 7 hours for feedback to be sent to the station. That’s, like, time to tell your Facebook friends about your breakfast, complain about work, post about your lunch, the lull after lunch, and your terrible commute home. Click over to Paleofuture for more on the radiovota.

Karissa Chabot-Purchase

by | Posted June 4th, 2014

Karissa Chabot-Purchase

Name: Karissa Chabot-Purchase

Graduating Year: 2009

Majors/Track/Minor/Specialization: Critical Studies in Literacy and Pedagogy

Current Job Title: Legislative Director, Office of State Representative Andy Schor

Employer: Michigan House of Representatives

Location: Lansing, MI


A Documentary on Michel Foucault

by | Posted June 4th, 2014

Open Culture recently dug up a 1993 documentary on Foucault, titled Michel Foucault: Beyond Good and Evil. As described by Josh Jones, the documentary “explores the philosopher and his complex and controversial life through interviews with colleagues and biographers and re-enactments of Foucault’s storied exploits in the American counterculture.” Given how often Foucault appears on syllabi in our graduate writing program, this documentary seems a fitting text.

Creating Space for Empathy in the Classroom

by | Posted June 3rd, 2014

In a blog post on Edutopia, Joe Hirsch asks, “can empathy feel its way back into the classroom?” To begin to answer this question Hirsch suggests considering cooperative learning in tomorrow’s lesson plan. Yes, tomorrow, like right now. Yet, instead of just throwing students in groups and hoping for cooperation, Hirsch recommends the jigsaw method, which sounds a lot like skill- and knowledge-sharing feminist collectives where each member of the collective/group learns each role and is then able to slip into any position. For Hirsch, the jigsaw method creates “points of contact between students who would otherwise not interact delivers a humbling but elevating awareness of the “other.” Click thru to read more about Hirsch’s ideas for “Teaching Empathy.

Lindsey Bliss

by | Posted May 30th, 2014

Lindsey Bliss

Name: Lindsey Bliss

Graduating Year: 2006

Majors/Track/Minor/Specialization: Digital Rhetoric and Professional Writing

Current Job Title: Digital Communications Manager

Employer: Michigan State University, Residential and Hospitality Services

Location: Lansing, MI


“Cherokee Story in the Digital Archives” Qatar Talk

by | Posted May 30th, 2014

Ellen Cushman recently held a talk titled “Cherokee Story in the Digital Archives: Revising the Tenets of the Imperialist Archive” in Qatar.

The talk addressed the problems and promise of digital archives in the realm of Cherokee historical artifacts. Cushman drew from six years of research focusing on Cherokee language and identity leading up to this analysis where she specifically focuses on the Cherokee Learning Center as an example of a decolonialized digital archive.

“This fascinating experience gave me insight into the Qatar Foundation’s important efforts to persevere in the Qatari peoples’ culture, to provide the best education possible to the students in Education City, and to build Doha’s educational and medical infrastructures. I was honored to be invited and pleased to meet the students and faculty in the Liberal Arts Program of Texas A & M, Doha.”

Cushman is writing a blog piece on her experience in Qatar, which will be found on her personal blog.

Danielle Sharp

by | Posted May 29th, 2014

Danielle Sharp

Name: Danielle Sharp

Graduating Year: 2011

Majors/Track/Minor/Specialization: Professional Writing, Editing & Publishing

Current Job Title: Marketing Specialist

Employer: Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau

Location: Wixom, MI


Storify: Simplified

by | Posted May 14th, 2014

Storify is a social media platform with the goal of telling stories or narratives through other social media posts. With a layout that’s a hybrid of Facebook and Pinterest, this platform is quickly gaining an audience with social media “storytellers”. Storify is probably most commonly used in articles to report on events that are heavily discussed or covered through social media. By using direct links to specific tweets, Facebook posts, Google+ posts, YouTube videos, Instagram or Flickr photos, and other outside sources, Storify restructures and condenses these posts into a congruent newsfeed that then tells a story.

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Each post requires a title and description, but the body of the story is up to you. In the sidebar, choose the social media tab you wish to pull posts from, and then you can either search by a keyword or user to find what you’re looking for. To input specific posts, use the link tab and paste the direct link of the specific post you’re looking for, the posts will be generated in the sidebar. Drag-and-drop posts from the sidebar and simply click between posts in the story feed to slip titles or captions into the narrative.

One flaw that I found was in importing posts from Facebook. I wanted to add comments from a post on a Facebook page. Every time I pasted the link, the post didn’t generate correctly and the body of the post didn’t even show up. By reaching out to Storify on Twitter (@storifyhelp), I figured out that I had to download the Storify extension on my Chrome browser. This allowed me to right click on the comment and say “Add to Storify” and the post showed up in My Collection under the Storify tab in the sidebar.

Overall, Storify is a brilliant site that bridges the gaps between social media platforms and helps us tell our stories through the new, digital short form that is today’s writing.