Tag Archives: projects

Mary Toft Lives


Our final show just wrapped! This summer, I’ve been working with the amazingly talented Jon Gann to produce a Capital Fringe 2016 show on the famous “Rabbit Woman of Godalming,” who gave birth to a series of rabbits–in parts–over the course of a few months in 1726. It was a song cycle, each song in which was composed by a DC-area composer/songwriter, and then as a whole orchestrated by a brilliant friend of mine, Stephen Lilly, and the band he plays in–These Quiet Colours–lent their talents as the house band, The Bloody Bunnies. Craig Houk directed our four performers: Rachel Jones, Colin Brown, Christopher E. Robin, and Grant Collins. We rehearsed at Marymount University, where I’m sure we more than turned a few heads in the library!

Rachel was spectacular as Mary–here she is feeling very uncomfortable with her husband, Joshua Toft’s plans:

Here is Nathaniel St. Andre working it, as he sells his story:

We were extraordinarily lucky to receive two stand-out reviews, one by DC Theatre Scene and one by DC Metro Theater Arts, who described it as

a tale that is not only compelling in its own right, but, as we are reminded in the program notes, resonates forcefully today with its emphasis on “spin, celebrity, and agenda.”

You can read more about the performance at the website, and watch a mini- music video below), created by Pete Duvall and Tim Tate, featuring These Quiet Colours performing The Mauls’ song, “Media Madness.” The video was edited together for sound by the talented Steve Wanna.

Here is the program, and you can now view the whole show (and see more pictures!) at RabbitMusical.com.


Found it!


Todorov, Literature and Signification, quoted in Jameson, The Prison-House of Language: A Critical Account of Structuralism and Russian Formalism (1972, Princeton):

Every work, every novel, tells through its fabric of events the story of its own creation, its own history… The meaning of a work lies in its telling of itself, its speaking of its own existence.

I’ve been reading Carol Clover’s work on horror film, especially the chapter on the eye and the I, and I couldn’t quite place the central theoretical frame she was writing from. Here’s the glue that holds my essay on The Texas Chain Saw Massacre together!


Working Assignment: Digital Gomatos Collection


This March at ASECS, I’m presenting my work on the development of a collaborative digital assignment for graduate students (which could also work for advanced undergraduates) organized around the creation of items in an Omeka collection. The idea is to work together to define and populate a subcollection of materials housed in our small special collections room–the assignment could be a part of a course on research methods, or a topics course (like Ethics and the Public Sphere in the 18th Century). The goal is, broadly speaking, to enable students to see research and the production of knowledge as a collaborative, creative, public activity with ties outside the classroom. I want my students to see research as a process of making–making knowledge, making access, making texts, making tools, making decisions that affect how we interact with texts, making decisions that affect how we interact with others and other ideas. I’d like to connect the project to eighteenth-century concepts of publicity and democratization, with reference to sociability, conversationality, practices of publishing, and the history of copyright.

Below, I’ve included a working version of the assignment; I’m not planning, right now, to incorporate TEI markup, but I want to ensure that there is room for its inclusion in the future. If you’re doing projects like this, I’d love to hear your thoughts, especially about targeted supplementary readings, steps I may have missed, and key questions students are likely to have that I’ve not addressed here. (Sadly, the embedded google doc isn’t perfectly formatted…)


Student video projects


I was so impressed with my students’ final projects in Visual and Cultural Studies! Overall, they made a very strong showing in their five-minute critical analysis videos. The assignment was fairly open in terms of content, as we were spending several evenings conducting hands-on work in the multimedia lab, but in general, I’d asked them to pick one of three topics and create a brief, scripted video analysis with voice-over narration. Students could analyze a film (we’d watched Source Code in class, and worked with it to see how gender, race, ability, and technology were being presented in a mass-market film), analyze a television commercial, from any cable or satellite service which they could get from the AAA Satellite TV services online. Most chose to analyze a commercial, and almost everyone worked with gender–I want to think about ways to ensure that doesn’t happen in the future. Some were particularly effective, but everyone completed the project and learned something new! Here are a few I thought worked particularly well:

Source Code & Gender Relations in the Media

Being the Man with Imagination

DC Street Art

Exploring Exclusivity and Rhetoric in Girl World

Modern Women: A Visual Representation in the Media

If you watch any, please leave the author a comment!