Semester Preview…

After a few weeks vacation, I am ready to get back going this semester. And it will be an exciting semester, I think. So here’s something of a preview on the day before my classes start in earnest.

1. Tweaking existing classes. This semester I’ll teach History 101: Western Civilization (in the classroom) and History 240: The Historians Craft. I’ve taught these classes each semester for the past few years. While this can get boring, the one advantage to this continuity is that I can spend time tweaking each class in ways that a more diverse schedule of course preparation just would not allow. For example, check back here to see how I plan to use social media applications in History 101.

2. Public History Interns. As our department tentatively dips its toes in the public history pool, I am going to run a public history internship. Based on the conversations already taking place in Google Wave, it seems like we are off to a good start. The plans include working on an online museum of the Late Antique material from the site of Pyla-Koutsopetria, working with Ryan Stander on the online complement to his gallery show of photographs from this summer’s PKAP season, keying and normalizing the survey and excavation data from the last few PKAP field seasons plus some other odds and ends. Part of their responsibilities will be to write a blog to make their work as transparent as possible.

3. Writing. I am looking forward to wrapping up work on a few articles submitted over the past few years. This includes a co-edited volume of the International Journal of Historical Archaeology and a co-written piece for Hesperia. The PKAP team will submit its last preliminary report to the Report of the Department of Antiquities of Cyprus, and I’ll finish a contribution to Cambridge Encyclopedia of World Religious Architecture on Early Christian baptisteries.

4. Lectures. While my conference schedule is pretty clear this spring, I will deliver the Elwyn Robinson Lecture (which I think will be on Digital Archaeology) sometime in February. Even more exciting in our keynote speaker for the annual Phi Alpha Theta History Conference here at UND: Robin Jensen of Vanderbilt University, has agreed to come and talk about some aspect of her work on Early Christian art and ritual in March. More on this soon!!

5. Reading. I am really looking forward to my winter reading list. First, I need to finish Y. Hamilakis and A. Anagnostopoulos edited volume Archaeological Ethnographies for a review for the European Journal of Archaeology. But I am also looking forward to M. Decker’s Tilling the Hateful Earth: Agricultural Production and Trade in the Late Antique East (Oxford 2009) and V. Makrides, Hellenic Temples and Christian Churches: A concise history of the religious cultures of Greece from antiquity to the present (New York 2009).

6. Blogging. I am looking forward to getting Teaching Thursday going again. At the end of last semester I began to despair of ideas, contributors, and motivation, but after a brief break, I am recommitted to making it work as a forum for conversations about teaching and pedagogy here at UND. I am excited to get feedback on transmedia teaching, using technology in new ways in the classroom, and exploring the potential of Foucault’s panopticon for understanding the experience of teaching online. And more!

7. Administrative. I agreed to write up by-laws for our Working Group in Digital and New Media. Having never written by-laws before (and generally ignoring them when they do exist!), this should be an adventure. I am also working with an interesting group on the redesign of the University’s website. Stay tuned for more on the latter.

Lots on tap for this winter and spring. Plus the standard routine of planning for summer fieldwork and writing grants.

So plenty of blog-fodder!

Stay tuned!

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