Author Archives: Heather Houser

Final things & events this week

First, the paper. It’s due F 5/10 at 5pm. Follow the guidelines and email it to me in Word format.
I’ll hold office hours W 5/8, 11-12:15. Please email in advance to let me know if you’re stopping by.
Second, there are many events this week. Take a pause from writing and grading to support your colleagues.
M 5/6
Jenn Shapland reads from her Keene prize-winning essay collection.
5pm, HRC lobby
W 5/8
Heather Love, Seminar on “Surface Reading”
1-3pm, CLA 1.302D
Email Michael,, for readings.
TH 5/9
Queer Affect, Queer Archives Graduate Symposium w/ keynote by Heather Love
*Rebecca, Laura, and Julia are presenting
9:30am – 7pm, keynote at 4:30pm
CLA 1.302E
F 5/10
Historical Poetics Graduate Seminar w/ keynote by Charlotte Sussman
(anyone in our class presenting?)
9am-4pm, keynote at 2:30pm
Texas Union, Quadrangle Room
Thank you again for a stimulating semester. I enjoyed learning with and from you, and look forward to hearing more from you as your careers proceed.

The Final Stretch…

Here’s what’s ahead, starting tomorrow.

M 4/29: Class symposium (see panels below)
I’ll provide a spread of vegan food–Mediterranean platter, popcorn tofu, sushi rolls–but bring your own beverages and anything else you’d like to eat.
Practice your talk to ensure that it comes in at <10min. I’ll stop you at time because this is going to be a tight fit.
Email me your symposium paper + bibliography right before or after class. (see guidelines)
If you’re showing PowerPoint slides or other media, email them to me before class. This will save time.
W 5/1 & F 5/3Office hours as usual
W 5/8Office hours TBD
F 5/10Papers due 5pm by email, in Word format. Include 2 cover letters (to me, to a journal editor) per the project guidelines.


Here are the groupings for the symposium:
“Utopia, The Unexpected”: Sara, Karen, Anne
Networks, Encounter”: Laura, Jenn, Reid
“Image | Narratives”: Rebecca, Perrin, Sequoia
“Human, Feeling”: Valerie, Julia, Alejandro

Events this week

T 4/23, 1:30-2:30
Panel on Gender and the Job Market
PAR 312 (write for info)

TH 4/25, 7-8:30pm
Louis Menand, Pulitzer-winning Harvard Prof. of English and New Yorker writer
“The Condition of the Humanities”
Alumni Center, Connally Room

(updated 4.23.13)

CISPA cybersecurity legislation

After our discussion of Super Sad on Monday, which ended with the observation the Shteyngart imagines an Internet that’s under total control, I can’t help but share info about the CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act) legislation currently up for a vote in the US House of Representatives. Under the banner of cyber national security, it overrides privacy laws, authorizes companies to share client information with the National Security Agency, and gives companies immunity from liability and from Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

Meetings on M 4/22

Here’s the schedule for meetings on M 4/22:
11:00 Reid
11:20 Laura
11:40 Karen
3:00 Valerie
3:20 Anne
3:40 Rebecca
4:00 Sequoia
4:20 Perrin
4:40 Jenn
5:00 Julia
5:20 Alejandro
5:40 Sara
I’ll ask everyone how your research question has evolved and where your argument stands now, but this meeting is really for you: to think through ideas, troubleshoot writing and research issues, plan your presentation, &c.
The blog is still live but no longer required. Feel free to use it to try out paper ideas and discuss writing concerns. If you’re using it, I’ll let others know so that they check the blog occasionally and comment.

Events this week

T 4/16: Two talks by D.T. Max, author of David Foster Wallace biography Every Love Story Is A Ghost Story:
1:30pm in HRC, Mosley Room (open to UT affiliates only)
7:30pm in CRD 007, Joynes Room (open to public)

4/17 – 4/28: Fusebox Festival of experimental art, which includes literary-themed events like this one.

How do you “read” data?

From Reading To Pattern Recognition,” a brief article by digital media theorist Lev Manovich discusses ways to “read” massive datasets. Read (or scan) it if you have a chance.

Are You In or Out?

NPR asks this morning, “In A Fragmented Cultureverse, Can Pop References Still Pop?” A question especially relevant to Gibson’s Pattern Recognition but also this week’s Super Sad True Love Story.

Event: Salim on Obama & language (F 4/12, 5pm)


Alim Talk flyer

Events + reading next week (4/15)

Beyond “Club Archiving”: A Methodological Conversation with Dr. Christine Bold
T 4/9, Noon-1:30 pm. HRC, Denius Seminar Room

Dr. Christine Bold, “Frontier Club Acts: Popular Westerns and Federal Policies, 1887-1924.”
T 4/9, 4:30pm. PAR 208

Austin Library’s New Fiction Confab
Sat. 4/13, all day
“the New Fiction Confab invites a handful of America’s most prominent early and mid-career authors to spend a day in Austin’s libraries leading writing workshops, reading their work, and engaging in conversations that allow the community to explore, assess, and discuss current literary fiction with critically acclaimed authors whose work is shaping the future of American literature.”

And for M 4/15:
In lieu of the Lanier excerpt[1], read Emily Bloom’s conference talk and pp. 1-2 & 8-12 of her TSLL article. We’ll dissect the components of the talk and discuss how her strategies differ for the article version. Bloom’s documents are on BB > Course Documents > Readings and here.
[1] Jaron Lanier is a fascinating guy, and You Are Not A Gadget is provocative if sometimes messy. I still recommend it even though I’ve demoted it for our purposes.
This post corrected on 13 April: the pages of the Bloom article changed.]