Not Actually An English Major But Okay

Although technically I'm communications and film, English is probably been my favorite subject from grade school until now and I still very frequently take English classes. Firstly because I think it compliments my film writing aspirations and also because dissecting and analyzing literature is something that I really enjoy and like to think I'm pretty good at.

So far, I reallly like the depth and variety of classes in college (as opposed to high school). For example, last year, in a course called Gender and Gaming I dissected how our perceptions of masculinity and power structures influenced the writing of Bioshock: Infinite and GTA V. Far and away my favorite literary research paper however was analyzing the Portal series and how it pertained to Donna Harraway's concept of cyborg feminism.

Having the internet at my fingertips, especially for research, is like having an extension of my own knowledge base. I may not know anything about a sepcific subject right now, but give me ten minutes and a Wifi connection and I could give a presentation about it.

Music, Saints, and E-Books

Through my communication/media studies major, I’m able to learn about a wide variety of communication and media theories while also exploring pet interests like music and typography. I’ve crafted my own independent study – On Sound and Symbol, which explored sound studies, typography, and cryptography – and explored topics including why people have strong feelings about plot spoilers. My two minors, English and philosophy, came about through classes that complemented what I was already studying. For example, a linguistics class taught me a more specialized vocabulary to discuss semantics while a class on St. Augustine explored semiotics (the study of signs, which is a recurring theme in TU’s communication classes). The main research I’ve done is focused on the word “forum,” especially its historical context and digital characteristics (you can read the current draft over at Culture Digitally). I’m also a student research fellow for the Oklahoma Center for the Humanities this year, where we’re studying privacy.

I haven’t really considering how I think with technology; about technology, well, that would be a very long post, but I think the idea of thinking with technology is intriguing and I don’t have a great answer for it right now. As far as using technology, the context and application matter. I craft essays and papers on the computer because I jump around adding things where they fit most suitably. On the flip side, I’m terrible at remembering things I read in e-books and enjoy many aspects of reading paper books: tactile elements of reading a book, scribbling in the margins, seeing/feeling how many pages are left, and so on. Similarly, I remember class notes better when I handwrite them (The Atlantic actually just recently had an article about this – apparently I’m not the only one!).

Majorly Confused: My Search for a Career

I did not begin my college career as an English and Communication major. When I came to TU as a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed freshman, I was dead set on an Economics major and a pre-law concentration. While law school may still be looming in my future, the picture is not as clear as it used to be. I think I probably went through the possibilities of 8 or 10 different majors before settling on English. With my parents pushing me for a (what they call) 'useful' degree, English was not even in my peripheral vision. Last semester, I took a class called Beyond Bella, an English course cross-listed with Women and Gender Studies. It was that class, and partially Dr. Stevens, that prompted my search of possible careers utilizing an English degree and consequent decision to pursue a career in publishing and/or editing.

My experience with being an English major thus far has been a bit exasperating. When I tell someone my major is English, usually the first respone out of their mouth is, "Oh, so you want to be a teacher?" Now, I have nothing against English teachers; I just know that I would be terrible and it is a bit frustrating that most people only think an English degree is useful to teachers.

When using technology, I have realized that I actually tend to think less, especially when I'm reading an ebook. For some reason, it is much easier for me to read an entire paragraph or page and not remember what it was about when I am  reading on an iPad. Yes, e-readers are much more convenient than actual books, but I definitely prefer the sturdy paper pages over an illuminated screen. Even if I'm not reading, it is so easy to use technology for brainless entertainment, and even though I know it's not productive, it's still a little addicting (YouTube definitely). Regardless, I know I will continue reading on my iPad and watching YouTube videos about sneezing pandas, hilarious cats, and zombie kids that like turtles.

True Life: I'm an English Major

As the new school year has kicked off, I have had the opportunity to meet a vast number of people. As with any introductory conversation, various questions were asked and answered, such as: Where are you from? What are you involved in on campus? And, of course, What is your major? Being at TU, I have met countless engineers. My response to their major is usually, "I should have guessed that." Of course, like any polite human being should, they return the question: What is your major? With a moderate level of enthusiasm, I simply respond, "I'm an English major." Being a male English major at one of the nation's most renowned engineering schools has been an interesting experience. I find myself having few classes with the majority of my friends and fraternity brothers. I often find myself involved in conversations of a very technical,scientific, mathematical nature with no idea how to contribute any thoughts. It has been quite the black sheep experience.

Don't get me wrong, though, I have loved it. I tried the whole engineering thing my first semester at TU and I was not a fan. Over the last three semesters, I have found a love for Modernism. I find myself fascinated with fragementation. I love shifting perspectives. I love unhappy or unresolved endings. I love brutal realism hiding behind carefully crafted images and texts. In addition, I find that I can often express myself more accurately (and eloquently) through writing.

Recently, I have noticed that I speak somewhat differently than I type. In this instance, I am referring to text messaging. I often text my friends and love to keep in contact with them. However, I find myself putting an extreme amount of care into crafting each message. I simply care a lot about how a message looks. I care about how the words appear on the screen, and how that appearance relates to my meaning. I find this to be an interesting connection between thinking and technology because it certainly impacts my communication. All in all, technology seems to cause me to pay special attention to the visual.


Hello My Name Is...

Hi everyone!

I'm Justin, and I'm a junior English major and psychology minor. I grew up in Tulsa and went to Jenks. I had originally committed to OSU during my senior year of high school, but upon visiting campus for their Senior Open House, I noticed that half of my graduating class was there. Not wanting high school, part II, I applied to TU. I visited the campus shortly thereafter and fell in love with it. On campus, I am heavily involved in Student Mobilization (StuMo) and my fraternity (Lambda Chi Alpha). After college, I would love to move to India for long-term missions. Honestly, I'm pretty open to whatever the future holds. I'm excited for this class and for getting to know each of you over the next semester!

About Me

Hi, I'm Megan Grier. I am a sophomore English and Communication major. I'm from Texas, something I probably talk about way too much. In regards to literature, I'm going to be honest here and say YA fiction is my favorite, but yes I acknowldge the fact that they are generally extremely cheesy. I want to be a book publisher or editor, preferably for young adult literature, so I'm really interested in what makes certain literature popular and how it spreads so quickly from one place to another, specifically through the use of social media. 


I am an english/education major in my junior year and a member of the rowing team. I love studying and learning about societies and time periods through the literature produced in that time period and society.  


Hi! I'm Brenna, and I'm a junior English major. I'm like a confused old person when it comes to technology, so I'm not sure why I decided to take a class like this, but it sounded fun at the time (twitter and blogs are fun I guess). When it comes to literature, I'm mostly interested in modern and visual forms of literature like comic books, movies, television, video games, etc. Becoming a comic book writer would be awesome if that was a realistic goal... Oh, and I really have no idea what "digital humanities" means, so this will be interesting.

It's the Remix to Ignition

My name's Michael, though for some strange reason everywhere I go, I end up being called by my full name. I have moved a grand total of eight times, and without fail, people start calling me by my full name. Grew up in Los Angeles, moved to Beijing when I was 8, then Hong Kong when I was 12, then Wichita, Kansas for my last two years of high school. 

Starting my third year at TU, Film and Communications double major. I want to make movies, tell stories in a visual medium but part of that is my interest in how people interact; more specifically why people choose to like the things they do and the cycle of how things can become popular and fade away again. So it goes wihtout saying I'm a huge pop-culture junkie. I've seen every movie and TV show you can think of and care way too much about what Kanye is currently up to.


To begin with, I am a very unserious person who tends to take the path of least resistance. This is largely because the types of literature I've gratitated towards. I've stuck with more philospohical reads for the past few years. Within that vein I tend more towards existentialsim, Nietzche of course, I've read a bit of Borges too. My favorites authors are Kierkegaard and Dostoevsky. The polarity within their writing, the manic bouncing of the walls of their own brain, that's when I get most excited about literature. I'd be interested to see some ancient philosophical texts be analyzed like the wasteland.

Humor, Comedy, and Tragedy in TLR

I've attached a Voyant ngram of "Humor, Comedy, and Tragedy" in The Little Review.  These topics interest me because I typically consider Modernism to be a hyper-serious artistic movement.  The words "comedy" and "tragedy" uphold this concept and "comedy" is used much less frequently, suggesting "tragedy" is more important.  "Humor," however, appears just as frequently as "tragedy" and follows a similar pattern.  

Based on our discussion of TLR 5.5 (and the "Hades" episode of Ulysses), I don't really know how to read the ngram data.  None of these words appear in this issue of The Little Review.  This issue has less critical analysis than other issues and art does not typically categorize itself explicitly.  The similar trends of "humor" and "tragedy," though, suggests an unexpected relationship that I'd like to know more about.  Obviously, whether something is funny or not doesn't rely on using the word "humor," but these trends show that the editors were interested in humor as much as tragedy.     


Irony in TLR

Using the Yifan Hu algorithm, I noticed that the "Irony" node was connected to "Death," "Greatness," and "Poetry."  While we discussed how Yeats eulogizes Gregory with a somewhat sarcastic tone and Bloom's irreverant thoughts at the funeral, I did not expect irony to connect to greatness or poetry.  Poetry seems to be the only sacrosanct thing in The Little Review.  Although the connection likely means that these poems utilize irony, Gephi's presentation suggests that the poetry itself is compromised by its irony similar to death.  Having discussed the problematic attitude toward death in class, the connection between these four items encourages a reader to understand the poetry with the same sense of deflation.   Furthermore, the irony node overlaps the mediocrity node.  Does this mean that irony and mediocrity share more in common that the modernist lead on?  I doubt it, and it's more likely TLR used irony to attack mediocrity.  Nevertheless, Gephi brings these two topics together in a way that makes me want to re-evaluate their relationship. 

When I change the layout to Fructherman Reingold (with the Ego node still focused on irony), irony becomes the central node along with mediocrity and praise.  Again, Gephi suggests that irony compromises every topic in TLR.  The FR layout heightens the sense of irony even more than the Yifan Hu layout by centralizing it as its topic.  After removing irony from the Ego filter, the irony node remained relatively centralized.  I noticed, however, that Yeats and Joyce were the only writers connected to irony.  Eliot and Pound were not.  Eliot is the only one of these four not connected to the greatness node.  

I think these layouts reveal some insights into the function of irony in TLR.  Gephi definitely encourages a re-reading of this issue and makes me want to be a little more suspicious of terms like Greatness and Poetry in general.


Censorship, Pound, and The New Freewoman

I would need to spend more time reading it, but Pound's "I Vecchii" seems to lament the type of art that has to be filtered through censorship.  His poem opens, "They will come no more, / The old men with beautiful manners." One speaker says, "Oh! Abelard," possibly alluding to Pierre Abelard who had a famous love affair with Heloise (according to Wikipedia—this allusion possibly arises in other parts of this poem).  This speaker, however, ends abruptly "as if the topic / Were much too abstruse for his comprehension."  Pound ends his poem by evoking Voltaire as a figure of free speech.  

Searching for "Censorship" through the tag filter lend me to and advertisement in The New Freewoman called "To Overmen." 

This advertisement calls for "Brave Men and Women of independent means" to join an expedition to discover and colonize a state free of censorship.  These works are linked by their shared interest in censorship.  The advertisement mentions colonization, which was likely a problematic term for Pound.  Pound's use of multiple languages suggests an antinational form that incorporates differences instead of focusing on boundaries, which colonization suggests.

Searching the timeline for Pound's other work yields mostly his criticism.  One of his works, "The Revolt of Intelligence," criticizes journalism.  He argues that journalist set up the appearance (and pretension) of knowing every topic they must cover from Monday to Saturday.  As a foil to journalism, which focuses only on the daily events, literature is "concerned with the permanent elements of life; it often bridges the gap from the profound to the trivial by contemporaneous detail."  Literature, according to Pound, is superior to journalism because it consumes journalism (the "trivial" and "contemporaneous") and connects it to something significant.

When I used the genre filter and magazine filter on the timeline, I found that most of the content related to World War I.  The items cataloged in the timeline have titles like "Fatigue," "Youth and Age," "The Veteran," "Senility," "Decay," and "Whispers of Immortality."  Even if these works do not address the war directly, they indirectly suggest a thematic link through topics of death and decay.  Using the last two filters suggests that Pound avoided discussing the war (according to our timeline data).

The largest drawback of the timeline is that it is incomplete.  If it were near-complete, it would be very useful for researching a specific time period in a magazine's or author's publication.  The keywords makes it easy to expand and contract the research field according to my own interests.  It also helps to historicize works by showing what else is going on in the magazine's publishing run or the author's other works.  The timeline has started to help me make connections with Pound's interest in censorship and literature and other contemporaneous works discussing similar topics.  

World War I Discourse & Interactive Timeline Lab

In searching through the Interactive Timeline, I was unable to come up with any connections to the materials that I brought in for today’s class.  While there are a few items tagged for “Imperialism,” they focus primarily on discussing the topic in a strictly European focus, whereas I am more interested in the discourse of American imperialism and World War I, particularly in regards to Native Americans.

The only items available on the Interactive Timeline for the authors that I brought into class were the items that I entered.  Rather than speaking to the output of these authors leading up to and during World War I, these results speak to a lack of coverage of their works and Poetry on the Timeline, as a cursory search on the MJP exemplifies that all three authors published in Poetry in the years leading up to and through World War I.

Using the Topic filter, I was able to come across “The Indian” from Owl (May 1919) and “Give Him Room” from Poetry (May 1915).  Joseph Crawhall’s painting speaks to the depictions of Native Americans which speak to depictions of Native Americans around World War I as well as the broader theme of nativism in modernist aesthetics.  By espousing an allowance for experimentation, Harriet Monroe’s piece serves as an inherent justification for her later discussion of the aesthetics of Native American oral poetry.  In spite of the difficulties identifying meaningful relations to other pieces, using the topic filter seems to be the most productive means to seek out connections, especially if the topic is under represented on the Interactive Timeline.

In filtering to all content from Poetry on the Interactive Timeline, the contents of Poetry seem to be solely focused on World War I throughout the war years, not only in the poetry but also the content of the advertisements.


Because of the specificity of the discourse that I was interested in researching today, the Interactive Timeline did not seem to be particularly useful.  The primary drawback seems to be that there needs to have been pre-existing interest in the discourse in order for it to be a tool beneficial to an individual’s research agenda.  Without any work done by others, the timeline becomes cumbersome in having to troll through all possible avenues rather than being a means to efficiently whittle down results.