Category: News


A New semester and more to come!

Welcome fellow Commoners,

It’s that time of year again. The beginning of an academic year brings new ideas, new community members, and new projects to the Commons. As with last year, I’ll be combing through all the amazing work people are doing on the Commons and weekly bringing you some of the most interesting and relevant recent work people are doing. So check back weekly and feel free to post comments or email me if you have suggestions about great Commons projects you want to draw attention to.



Welcome to a New Semester

Welcome back fellow Commoners!

It’s the beginning of a new semester and the changes around The Commons is pretty obvious. The recent push to make teaching on the Commons easier has certainly produced results and browsing around there are so many exciting course sites to be found. It reminds me that one of the most useful aspects of this digital space is that it is shared across CUNY. I’m as guilty as the next person as focusing rather narrowly on the campus on which I teach. When I’m developing a new course I look at the syllabuses of my colleagues at Queens College. There’s no good reason for that–there are wonderful educators with innovative at other schools, too. With more courses from across CUNY on the Commons, it’s a glimpse at the teaching practices and ideas of people from so many campuses. There’s a lot to sort through, but what an incredible shared resource!

I have many plans for this blog this semester. Along the lines of the most popular post from the Fall semester, I’ll be focusing on some of the movers and shakers around the Commons, bringing you brief interviews that give you a glimpses behind-the-scenes of some exciting projects. I’ll also occasionally describe my personal experiences teaching on the Commons this semester. As always, I’ll also be highlighting new posts and sites over the coming weeks.

Get ready fellow community members!



In Common goes on Winter Vacation!

Welcome fellow Commoners and congratulations!

We’ve made it to the end of the semester. Sometimes it feels like more of an accomplishment than other times, but it’s always a time to celebrate. The work we do each semester is incredibly fulfilling, at time maddening, and always worth while. I’ve enjoyed exploring the Commons and encouraging you to do the same. I’m planning on using the break to write a number of conference proposals (I mentioned this in my last post), visiting some archives, and preparing for my blogging and teaching in the next year!

Just because I’m taking a break from this blog doesn’t mean the Commons goes dark or I won’t be roaming through it. In fact, the winter break is one of the most productive times on the Commons. People hunker down and make all the updates they’ve wanted and launch the projects they’ve been pondering. Maybe you’ll be doing it, too.

I’ll see you in the new year fellow Commoners!



Welcome to a new semester at the In Common Blog!

Welcome fellow Commoners,

We’re embarking on a new semester here at the Commons and that means that there is a flurry of activity. This semester the Commons Team is working hard to make teaching on the Commons easier so that undergraduate faculty to make use of the Commons for their courses. So I expect we’ll have a lot of interesting student projects and course blogs to browse this year. I’ll also be trying to rope in some of the Commons Development team this semester, maybe with interviews or guest posts, to discuss all of the work that goes on behind the scenes to keep this space up and running (and responding to your requests!). There’s a lot of public work going on even if it doesn’t always appear in the Recent Activity feeds on the Commons home page!

Here on the In Common blog we’ll be kicking off the semester next week with a post about opening your course blogs so they’re public. Hopefully it’ll spark some discussion about what are the benefits of teaching on the Commons and we can collect some of the ways people are already making use of open courses.

Until next week,


School’s Out for Summer!

Fellow Commoners,

Just a short note this week: classes are out and the semester is over! That means I’ll be taking a break from blogging for the summer. The end of the semester means an end to some of the routines of academic work, but its also time for me to get to work on my own projects.

This summer I’ll be traveling to several port cities along the east coast to visit archives. I’ll be digging down into sailor’s journals and reading sensational literature from the early nineteenth century. It might not sound that interesting to everyone, but it’s a fascinating world for me and undergirds my dissertation project.

But, never fear, I’ll be back in the Fall, blogging again about the Commons and putting a spotlight on the interesting projects on which people are working on the Commons.

Until then,


Hello World!

Welcome folks–

I’ve never used the default WordPress title on a blog before and its exciting to be starting a project for which it seems appropriate. After five years as a PhD student in the English program here at the CUNY Graduate Center, this is my first blog!

First a little about myself and what I expect this blog to be about. The usual questions PhD students have to answer are about their research. I’m currently writing my dissertation on trans-Atlantic nineteenth century maritime literature (think Moby-Dick or The Pilot, or Lord Jim). I teach American literature and literary theory at Queens College, CUNY. In addition to my academic work, I’m involved in numerous digital communities here at the GC. In addition to the Commons, I work the Program Social Media Fellows and OpenCUNY. The general idea behind all of these projects is that scholarly and student-run communities at public colleges and universities have a responsibility to share their scholarship and work with the public and to engage the public in discussions of their work. In the real world, we achieve this by inviting the public to our programs and conferences and in the digital world we achieve this through platforms like the Commons.

The idea driving this particular blog is that Commons is filled with interesting things if you only knew where to look. So each week I’ll be sifting through the the recently published posts and pages from all corners of the Commons and coming up with a short, curated list of links to examples of interesting ideas, tools, projects, posts, artwork, whatever is catches my eye. I’ll be trying to see if I can come up with a theme that brings these interesting tidbits from the Commons and that’s why this blog is title “In Common”–these sites will all be from the Commons but they’ll all have something in common. That’s the plan anyway. We’ll see how it works. But the spirit behind the project is really to draw attention to the innovative work being done on the commons and to help us make connections in this little community. You know, find something in common.

The first round-up will be next week, so look out!