#HappyNewYear 2018! Looking back, Looking ahead


On New Years Eve, I posted a quick reflection on Instagram that captured my musings on 2017:

The year has certainly been one of mixed blessings.  But the personal growth I have experienced has been remarkable, and my gratitude runs deep for so many new kinds of learning experiences.  When one transitions to a new country and culture, this is bound to happen (whether you are ready for it or not).  But what always makes a difference is the relationships (friendships) you build along the way.  When I think about my Fall semester at the University of Bergen, I am grateful to so many new colleagues at the University of Bergen.  And I am deeply indebted to my students here (both undergraduate and graduate students) – who played a central role in my growing understanding and appreciation for my new surroundings.  My collaborations with them have resulted in new horizons for my own work. In the context of my Writing Electronic Literature course (aka #elitclass on twitter), we have created a new volume of electronic literature together, which will be featured in the Spring at the University library.  In my graduate seminar entitled Networked Transformations (aka #ResNetSem on twitter) we have started a new open online journal for ongoing digital writing and digital culture research.  My #ResNetSem students will have their work featured their soon.

On my own front, I have been asked to launch two different digital art and culture installations this Spring.  The first project will be held in the University of Bergen Humanities Library.  The exhibition will feature some sculpture alongside some digital art that alludes to the transformation of textuality in the digital age.   My University of Bergen Library installation will pay tribute to traces left behind by print media while it pointing toward new ways of writing and connecting in our 21st century networked world.

Later in the Spring, I will direct a digital art installation to be featured in the Bergen Offentlige Biblioteket (the City of Bergen Public Library).  In this project, I will work with several groups of youth in the city of Bergen as we reflect together on identity and social media spaces.  I will crowdsource and collaborate to produce a public art exhibition which features youth commentary on identity and self-representation in the digital age.

This Spring semester I will also be teaching another globally networked course – watch for the launch of another round Networked Narratives (#NetNarr & @NetNarr on twitter )!!  This year Alan Levine, Maha Bali and I will have students in New Jersey, Cairo, and Norway working in collaboration, exploring the worlds of digital art, video games, and electronic literature.  Our open “collaboratory” invites anyone to join in on our thoughtful conversations and creative play, so stay tuned for more to come as we launch our next iteration of this open connected course.

In addition to all these plans, this coming Spring 2018 will be a traveling season for me.  I will be giving talks in Oslo, Norway (w/Fulbright-Norway), the UK – (Coventry w/Maha Bali & Alan Levine)  & (Chichester visiting w/Laura Ritchie); Ireland (Dublin & Galway visiting w/Catherine Cronin), and Italy (Florence visiting w/Maria Ranieri).  And I will also be attending and presenting work (with my #NetNarr & #ResNetSem partner-in-crime Alan; as well as Maha and the Virtually Connecting crew) at the Conference for Open Education research, practice and policy in Bristol, UK.  It will be a very busy time!!

There is so much to be thankful for, and so much to learn ahead of me. I will savor every minute of this second phase of my #Fulbright year, and I will remain deeply grateful for every moment.

To 2018!  Happy New Year everyone :).