Work in Progress

“Phew! Busy, busy, busy!”

This page gives a quick run-down of the research and writing projects I’m currently working on.

Work in Progress #1: This is a book project on reason and unreason, which deals with the concerns and questions I briefly discuss here. I’ll be planning, discussing and developing arguments and material for this book in a series of blogposts over the coming months. Feel free to send me questions and comments on any of the posts.

Work in Progress #2: This project is a digital humanities research project on digital reading, which is part of a larger project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. I am a co-architect of the digital text that lies at the centre of this project, known as a digital multipath book (DMP). I also serve on the project’s advisory board.

In a nutshell, a DMP is a digital multimedia enhanced text composed of several ‘paths.’ Although each path is geared towards a particular audience–students, lay-readers and academics–any reader can leave their respective path at any given node and follow another path. DMPs are built on Scalar, ‘a free, open source authoring and publishing platform that’s designed to make it easy for authors to write long-form, born-digital scholarship online.’ DMPs exploit the capabilities of Scalar to their fullest.

Another of my tasks involves investigating how readers navigate their way through the DMPs produced by the project. I will be responsible for gathering data from anonymized reader inputs and readers’ navigation experiences, subjecting that data to statistical analysis and developing a theoretical model for digital reading.

This research will be of benefit to the producers of DMPs, the instructors in university classrooms where DMPs are set to become more and more commonplace and the students who will be using them.

This project conforms to my teaching philosophy.

Work in Progress #3: This project is a book-in-progress on animals and posthumanism in the work of James Joyce and Jacques Derrida. (This essay, ‘Following the Hen,’ is a sample of some of what I have in mind.) The book is a literary-philosophical analysis that builds both on my first book, Imagining Joyce and Derrida, which focused on the figure of the hen in Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, and my latest book, Posthumanism: A Guide for the Perplexed, which explores how technological advances change our ideas of human and humanity. I’ll be exploring Joyce’s Ulysses and Finnegans Wake alongside Derrida’s meditation on animals and suffering, The Animal That Therefore I Am, and his work on machines and technology.