Thursday, October 9, 2008

Notes from the Spice Mines of Kessel

Apologies for the darkness of Living Epic over the past few weeks. As you’ll gather from the notes below, I’ve been busy not just with my ordinary teaching duties (this semester that’s Greek Civilization, Intermediate Latin, Plato-as-practice, and Plato’s Phaedrus with my advanced Greek students [even more glorious, and even more sexy, in the original]), but also more importantly with the center.

Now that our first grant proposal is in, and I have a better feel for how the whole “You know, you really should give me all your money” game, I’ll be trying to get back on the blog, though I suspect for a while it’s going to be an echo-chamber sort of thing: I’ve got an incredible back-log now of amazingly smart things people like Michael Abbott, Iroquois Pliskin, Corvus Elrod, Steve Gaynor, and Duncan Fyfe have said that I want to comment on, however briefly. Since I’ll be starting to develop the materials for the courses now, also, I’ll be able to post about that, too.

Anyway, the first grant proposal, for a National Endowment for the Humanities Digital Humanities Start-Up grant, was uploaded yesterday. I’ve posted the narrative on the wiki, here. Comments on it are beyond welcome--I would upload my firstborn if I thought it could get a conversation started that would improve the center's self-formulations.

Next up is the Macarthur foundation’s Digital Media and Learning Competition, due in a week. The money would go to making our own persistent world with Sun’s Project Wonderland resources, and to giving out our first fellowships. In turn, that would mean we could do our first real symposium, and publish the proceedings. It’s all happening, maybe!

I’m giving a lecture, in the fun UConn Honors Last Lecture series, next week called “Bioshock in Plato’s Cave: How Video Games Can Lead Us into the Light.” Two weeks later I’m doing a scholarly luncheon talk at the UConn Humanities Institute called “End-Game Gear and the Multiplayer Epic from the Iliad to World of Warcraft,” which is pretty much an academic version of “Achilles’ Phat Lewtz,” which in turn is the prelude to what I hope will be my first peer-reviewable classics ‘n’ gaming article.

Finally, we’re getting very close to registration for the courses in January and the spring semester. I’ll post again with the relevant links soon!