YA Twitter versus Handbook for Mortals: A Case Study in Bestseller List Manipulation, Controversy, and the Effects on Library Acquisition.

children's literature, Publications, research, YA Literature

The cover of The Lion and the Unicorn January 2019 including a purple heading and a black and white illustration of two women tossing a child between themTable of contents from the Lion and the Unicorn with YA Twitter vs Handbook for Mortals in the middle. I’m delighted to announce that my most recent article has been published in the Lion and the Unicorn‘s January 2019 issue. This article came out of a very public kerfuffle on Twitter that played out in real-time while I was teaching my course on Bestsellers, Best Of and Banned Books at Georgia Tech. I was blessed with 75 students who helped unpack the events as they happened in real time as well as two incredible co-authors, Karen Viars and Liz Holdsworth, who brought their expertise in fan culture and library acquisitions to the project. Come for the public spectacle, stay for the nuanced reading of best-seller lists, public interactions of YA professionals via Twitter, and a look at the impact of faking bestseller status on library acquisition policies.

 

Screenshot of the front page of article

Article Citation: Fitzsimmons, Rebekah, Karen Viars and Liz Holdsworth. “YA Twitter versus Handbook for Mortals: A Case Study in Bestseller List Manipulation, Controversy, and the Effects on Library Acquisition.” The Lion and the Unicorn, vol. 43 no. 1, 2019, pp. 108-132. Project MUSE, doi:10.1353/uni.2019.0006

Children’s Literature Association 2019 Presentations

children's literature, digital humanities, Presentations, research

Presentations:

Session 7A: “Intersectionality, Social Justice, and Pedagogies: Classroom Strategies” (co-sponsored by ChLA’s Diversity Committee and Membership Committee). 8:00 am – 9:15 am

  • Emily Rose Aguilo-Perez, West Chester University of Pennsylvania, “Mirrors, Windows, Sliding Glass Doors, and Intersectionality.”
  • Nithya Sivashankar, The Ohio State University, “A Dramatic Dialogic Inquiry Approach for Discussing Immigration in Classrooms.”
  • Erica Kanesaka Kalnay, University of Wisconsin, Madison,
    “Trigger Warnings: Affect, Access, Care.”
  • Rebekah Fitzsimmons, Georgia Institute of Technology,
    “Digital Resources to Promote Access for Students with Disabilities.”
  • Angel Daniel Matos, San Diego State University, “Recognizing and Challenging Ornamental Intersectionality.”

Slide Show Available here: CHLA2019 Digital Resources

Script Available here: 2019 Accessible Digital Pedagogy

Video – Features in PowerPoint to Aid Accessibility

Session 8A: 9:30 am – 10:45 am
Syllabus Swap: “Intersectionality, Social Justice, and Pedagogies” (co-sponsored by ChLA’s Diversity Committee and Membership Committee).

Handouts:

Photo shows Dr. Fitz gesturing emphatically at a slide about Stylometric analysis

A photo of me presenting at CHLA 2019 on my Caroline Hewins information

Presentation2

Discussing the role of Digital Humanities and computers in our work as literature scholars.

Session 9D: Pedagogy, Digital Humanities, and Civic Engagement : CHAMBER, 11:00 am – 12:15 pm

Chair: LASANA KAZEMBE, IUPUI

  • KARA TAYLOR, IUPUI and EVAN TAYLOR, Indianapolis Public Schools Provoking Change: A Case of John Henry Changing the World
  •  REBEKAH FITZSIMMONS, Georgia Institute of Technology “Books for the Young”: Digital Humanities Approaches to Decoding the Canon
  • JEAN STEVENSON, University of Minnesota-Duluth (Retired)Making Jacqueline Woodson’s Revision Process in the Maison and Margaret Trilogy Accessible to Writers, Readers, and Teachers through First Pages

Slide Show of Presentation
CHLA2019_HewinsScript

CHLA2017 Digital Futures Baldwin Panel Abstracts
2017 Presentation – Hewins Book List
2017 Hewins Paper

 

6:30 pm – 7:30 pm………………Pre-1900 Scholars’ Meeting
“Crash Course on Archives,” round table participant

 

Invited Talk: Envisioning & Shaping Futures: On-Line Teaching and Learning

digital humanities, invited talk, Pedagogy, Presentations, research

I will be presenting at the Ivan Allen College Advance Lunch and Discussion this Thursday, February 28 from noon – 1:30. The overall theme of the discussion is “Envisioning & Shaping Futures: On-Line Teaching and Learning” and I will be talking specifically about using Twitter in the online/hybrid classroom to help bolster discussion and community exchange.

AdvanceLuncheon

Article: Possibly Impossible; Or, Teaching Undergraduates to Confront Digital and Archival Research Methodologies, Social Media Networking, and Potential Failure

digital humanities, Pedagogy, Publications, research

My newest article,  co-authored with Suzan Alteri, titled “Possibly Impossible; Or, Teaching Undergraduates to Confront Digital and Archival Research Methodologies, Social Media Networking, and Potential Failure” is available in Issue 14 of the Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy.  Issue 14 is a Themed Issue on Teaching & Research with Archives.

The Table of Contents is available here: https://jitp.commons.gc.cuny.edu/table-of-contents-issue-fourteen/

Abstract

This article details an undergraduate student research project titled “The Possibly Impossible Research Project,” a collaborative effort between the Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature at the University of Florida and the Writing and Communication Program at the Georgia Institute of Technology. The article outlines the pedagogy behind a multimodal digital research project that provided Georgia Tech students with in-depth instruction into archival research processes while improving the Baldwin’s annotated bibliography. The article then details the process of teaching the course and how students responded to the project both during and after the course. This assignment also offered students an opportunity to uncover and make meaning as researchers in their own right, and to distribute that new knowledge through public facing digital platforms such as Twitter and Wikipedia. The authors conclude that the collaborative project had meaningful impacts on the undergraduate students, the course instructor, the curator of the Baldwin Library, and the larger academic community; further, it can serve as a model for engaging undergraduate students with archival research, analysis, and dissemination. This article outlines the assignment in detail, including the interactive digital scaffolding assignments. The article cites student research journal tweets and final reflective portfolio essays to demonstrate the successful fulfillment of the student learning outcomes.

Code4Lib Presentation: “The Possibly Impossible Research Project”

digital humanities, Pedagogy, Presentations, research

I am presenting today at Code4LibSE 2018 @ The Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library. My presentation today is on a project I completed with my Spring 2018 Georgia Tech course on the History and Rhetoric of Science Writing for Children.

Presentation Slides: “The Possibly Impossible Research Project”: Using Digital Research and Social Media to Teach Archival Research Methods

Text Only Version of Presentation Script

 

Gallery Talk: Golden Legacy Exhibit

children's literature, Picture Books, Presentations, research

Gallery Talk: Children’s Literature, Illustration, and Collecting Books

Discover insights into children’s literature, understand illustration styles, and learn how book collections are curated, featuring four local panelists. Free.

Wednesday, July 11, 7:00pm
Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking 500 10th St. NW, Atlanta, GA 30332

I’ll be talking specifically about the creation and marketing of the Golden Book series and their role in the landscape of children’s literature today.

Gallery Talk July 11

CHLA 2018: The Handbook for Mortals and the Muddy Waters of YA Best Seller Status

Presentations, research, YA Literature

This year at CHLA in San Antonio, Texas I am making two presentations.

On Friday, June 29 at 11:00 am, I am participating in Panel 3B: The Syllabus Exchange. I will be presenting on Multimodal Assignments and talking about my most recent course, The History and Rhetoric of Science Writing for Children.

If you attended but were unable to take a copy of my handout home with you, please feel free to download a copy here:

CHLA 2018 Syllabus Swap Handout: Multimodal Assignments

On Saturday, June 30 at 3:30pm in the June Cummins room, I will be presenting a conference paper entitled “The Handbook for Mortals and the Muddy Waters of YA Best Seller Status.” If an attempt to make my presentation more accessible, please feel free to take a look at the complete PPT slide deck and the text version of my talk, available below.

Presentation Script (Text only version)

Handbook Muddy Waters PowerPoint Presentation

I hope to see you in San Antonio!

Presentation at MLA 2018

Presentations, research

I will be presenting on the 2018 MLA Panel 314 titledBlended Learning: Balancing Social Media and Face-to-Face Pedagogies.” The panel is sponsored by the HEP* Teaching as a Profession and will take place on Friday, January 5, 2018, 12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Chelsea Room, Sheraton.

My paper “Better Learning through Hashtags: Building Community and Improving Discussion with Twitter” will discuss productive ways to integrate Twitter into composition and English classroom practices; it will cover both general best practice guidelines and specific examples of successful activities, based on a case-study course taught at the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2016 and 2017. This presentation will argue that as a classroom tool, Twitter can be used to improve comprehension, expand peer-to-peer interaction, reinforce active learning, and introduce multimodal forms of class participation. Well-designed Twitter assignments and activities can expand students’ spheres of interaction beyond the physical classroom and into a digital social media environment. This presentation will discuss the potential of “livetweeting” as a framework for student active learning work that embraces the interactive and collaborative nature of Twitter as a social media platform.

My Powerpoint is available here: MLA2018_BetterLearningThroughHashtags

Presentation at SAMLA 11/5

research

I will be presenting at SAMLA 2017 on Sunday, November 1!

8:30am-10:00am

11-21 Beyond the Blockbusters: Themes and Trends in Contemporary Young Adult Literature
Piedmont 5
Chair: Rachel Dean-Ruzicka, Georgia Institute of Technology
(rachel.dean-ruzicka@lmc.gatech.edu)

 

  •  Rachel Dean-Ruzicka,
    Georgia Institute of Technology (rachel.dean-ruzicka@lmc.gatech.edu)
    “Say Something Once, Why Say it Again?” The Prolifera on of Psychics and Psychos in Young Adult Literature
  • Rebekah Fitzsimmons, Georgia Institute of Technology
    (rebekah. tzsimmons@lmc.gatech.edu)
    Genre Conventions of YA Dystopian Trilogies
  • Ya’ara Notea, Beit Berl College (yaara.notea@gmail.com)
    Reimagining Forma on: The Female Bildungsroman’s Comeback in the 21st Century
  •  Jeremy Johnston, University of Western Ontario (jjohn387@uwo.ca)
    Purging the Silence: Young Adult Literature and the Discourse of Mental Health

SAMLA_Presentation_2017 (downloadable)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Special thanks to Rachel Dean-Ruzicka for organizing the panel!

Twitter Accountability System

Productivity, research

As I mentioned in my first blog on my social media experiments, I’ve already started using Twitter and Forest as an accountability system for myself.

Why Twitter:

First, the 140 character limit forces me to be clear and concise when setting goals; this limit also helps to keep me from overpromising what I’m going to accomplish in my 3-4 hours of dedicated writing time every afternoon. Second, I’ve spent a good amount of time cultivating my Twitter account to be in conversation with other scholars in my field. I’ve seen other scholars (specifically Catherine Sloan) use Twitter in a similar informal goal setting fashion. Third, I liked the idea of a public but semi-anonymous accountability system.By putting my goals “out there” in the universe, there is a level of observation, as if I were working in a coffee shop. Announcing my goals doesn’t mean I expect or need someone to check up on me but that there is the potential for awareness and observation that keeps me motivated.

 

Why Forest:

The second part of my system is using the Forest app to keep track of the hours I spend intentionally focused on writing. Like many, I find it is often possible to be distracted by social media or other digital programs and have found Forest, an app designed to reward time spent without accessing apps on a smart phone or a series of “blacklist” websites on a web browser (I’ve set mine to include Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and Instagram). Each half hour spent working without distraction “grows” a tree in a digital forest (as well as accumulates coins that can be used to buy prettier types of trees or even to plant real trees.) I plan to post the resulting Forest diagram with an update on my progress from the previous day before posting my new goal for each day. Like with Twitter, Forest was an app that I was already using, liked, and found to be motivating, so I am folding it into my summer routine.

Using this system, I hope to build an accountability system for myself. There are other perks to this system (one which I’ll perhaps discuss in a future post), but on the whole, I see this as mostly a useful exercise to help me keep the ball rolling and to build a demonstrable record of how much I accomplish in the next few months.