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Why I Record my Conference Presentations

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While I was attending the ADHO Digital Humanities conference this summer, I wound up talking with several people about the shifts we’ve noticed in presentation styles within our respective disciplines. Although presenter habits vary by discipline, by field, and by conference, in my own fields of literature and digital humanities I’ve certainly noticed a shift away from the reading of written papers towards a more flexible presentation style, often accompanied by projected slides.

Back in the pr…

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From the Archives: Creating Syllabi

We’ve written quite a lot at ProfHacker about syllabus and course design. Check out 2010’s Archives post or the many posts tagged with syllabus or syllabi. This roundup of posts focuses on the basics of syllabus creation.

What Do You Need to Do?

  • In a previous Archives post on Syllabi and Course Design, I said

    Keep in mind, the first rule of productivity is “don’t fix what’s already working.” If you’re satisfied with the assignments, policies, and course plans you’ve used before,…

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Weekend Reading: Where’s the Hurry Edition

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Now that it’s the middle of July, the universal cry across college campuses has been, “why does the summer go so quickly?” After all, the Premier League’s season is only a month away–and with Liverpool yet to sign a world-class striker!

Wait–that’s not why, well, except for my 11yo. Many faculty are concerned because their summer plans–whether for writing or course planning or recovering–are starting to run out of days. Likewise, the countdown is on for all of the staff plans for getting their …

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Tools for Transitions: Preparing to Move

moving I am in the middle of the first real move of my adult life. While I’ve been in and out of dorms and apartments, I’ve never ventured far from my home state for long, and much of my stuff has been accumulating in the same room for twenty years. I’ve been unearthing papers from grade school, papers from graduate school, over-sized clothes, under-sized clothes, books that are falling apart at the seams, unread books, and the occasional unclaimed student project. Being a Profhacker-type, I initiall…

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Weekend Reading: Umbrellas in Portugal Edition

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Happy Weekend, ProfHacker friends!

The title and image for today’s Weekend Reading comes from the Ágitagueda art festival, an annual tradition in Portugal this month that was recently featured in Bored Panda.

If you have even a fleeting interest in the digital humanities, it is well-worth your while to check out Bethany Nowviskie’s keynote address, “Digital Humanities in the Anthropocene,” from the 2014 DH Conference which just wrapped up in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Lots going on this weekend: pe…

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To Become a Writer, Track Your Writing

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The great secret about writing is that there isn’t any particular secret to it: You just have to show up and do it. Again, and again, and again. (There’s a reason there are books like Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day, but not any called Writing Your Dissertation in a Single Caffeine- and Adderall-Fueled Week.) If you make writing a habit, then that habitual work pays off in words. Sometimes it even leads to inspiration.

And it’s also not a secret that to form a habit, it help…

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Bad Meetings Are Your Fault

[This post originally appeared in 2009, but we thought it would be a good idea to share it again.]

If you’re consistently in bad meetings, it’s time to look in the mirror.

No one would accept consistently terrible classes. No one would continually repeat research procedures that didn’t yield interesting data. But there’s this weird assumption that meetings are just inherently bad and unimprovable.

Meetings are a problem when no one is accountable for them. Sometimes this is because the group’s …

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Tools for Transitions: Leaving Campus Tech Services


Summer is a big time for academic transitions. Last week I talked about tools for finding a new home, but once you’ve found somewhere to go, it’s a lot of work to get there–I’m writing this while surrounded by unpacked boxes and stacks of books. One of the first steps is to clear out of your former campus, which can be complicated depending on how many years you’ve spent invested not only in your physical office but in all of the campus’s digital services.

Here are the big technology tasks that…

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Editorial is a Powerful, Flexible iOS App for Text Editing

[This is a guest post by Jason A. Heppler, the Academic Technology Specialist in the Department of History at Stanford University and a Ph.D. candidate in History at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Jason tweets at @jaheppler.]

There are a great many text editors on iOS, the operating system for iPhone and iPad. Just one glance at Brett Terpstra’s list of markdown editors can attest to the range of offerings available on the platform.

Editorial — available in the iOS app store — stands above the rest.

Continue reading

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On Deadlines

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Some hard (and sometimes hard-won) truths about deadlines, academic and otherwise:

Some deadlines are really, truly, firm. And some are not.

Some deadlines come with negative consequences for not meeting them in a timely fashion. Some do not.

Some negative consequences take physical or visible forms, such as late fees, delayed diplomas, or cancelled accounts. Some negative consequences are psychological and emotional, such as feelings of embarrassment, guilt, or shame.

Deadlines and their flexi…