Why I Don’t Mind That My Book Is On Scribd

As part of my daily web searching routine intended to stay abreast of any contemporary conversations about the Young Lords (my long-term research project that I’m trying to wrap up), I ran across a tweet referencing my last book, [amazon_link id=”0814722423″ target=”_blank” ]The Young Lords: A Reader[/amazon_link]. The tweet indicated that the person was perusing the Reader on Scribd. Is that illegal? Probably, but here’s why I don’t really care.  Continue reading “Why I Don’t Mind That My Book Is On Scribd”

Digital Meets Analogue: The iPad and the Archives

Archives are heterogeneous institutional spaces that contain documents of historical significance. Often, but not always, housed within libraries, every archive has its unique little quirks: different policies for access, photography, and photocopying; different levels of friendliness and usefulness of the employees; different kinds of lighting and seating; etc. Given those differences, about the only things that hold true across all the archives with which I’m familiar are three truths: (1) you may bring in paper and pencil, (2) you may use a piece of technology for taking notes (laptop, iPad, etc.), and (3) you must be patient.

As promised in an earlier post, I wanted to do a process piece explaining and evaluating a method for using the iPad in an archival setting. Having just returned from New York last month, the methods, advantages, and disadvantages are relatively fresh in my mind; however, I’ve also had some time and distance to reflect on how well things worked and to share those thoughts with y’all. The post will slip between a summary and evaluative voice (looking back at what I did) and a prescriptive one, indicating practices that I think one ought to consider enacting/adopting. So here goes…. Continue reading “Digital Meets Analogue: The iPad and the Archives”

Finishing Things in New York

Okay … so in case it wasn’t perfectly clear before, y’all should know now that I’m a bad blogger. Here I am, sitting in a coffee shop just hours before I leave the City, and I’m realizing that I haven’t posted a single blog entry in over a week. Let me take a little bit of time to catch y’all up so that, in my next entry, the kinds of reflections I have about doing technologically enhanced archival research have some context. Continue reading “Finishing Things in New York”

Days 3 & 4: One Down…

Not a whole lot to report on about yesterday’s trip back to the archive at NYU and today’s time spent seeking shelter from the rain. Yesterday I finished off looking through the relevant holdings, which yielded some interesting documents — things like court documents and articles in the newspapers of affiliated organizations (e.g., Triple Jeopardy, the paper of the Third World Women’s Alliance). Today I’m processing the photos and notes that I took, trying to identify documents for which to request high-quality scans — all while staying out of the rain for as long as possible. In this brief blog entry I want to address two things: the benefit of actually going to an archive and the usefulness of tethered WiFi from your phone.  Continue reading “Days 3 & 4: One Down…”

Day 2: First Day Actually Researching

After begging and pleading, first thing this morning, with management about letting me keep my room despite the overbooking situation (a plea that was successful!), I headed off to the Tamiment for some good old fashioned archival research. To my rhetorician friends: if you haven’t done a project that requires you to get dirty in an archive, and to physically handle old documents that few even know exist, then you’re really missing out! I knew, in doing prior research, that the Young Lords flyered a lot, made numerous pamphlets, etc. Those kinds of things don’t survive, or so I thought.  Continue reading “Day 2: First Day Actually Researching”

Day 1: Getting to New York City

So today was certainly an adventure. I left the house at 6am for my 8AM flight out of DFW. 8AM turned into 8:20, which turned into 9AM, which turned back into 8:30. All lies, I came to find out, as we were plagued with issues: the plane was too heavy, so some people got bribed onto another flight; the plane was still to heavy, so we had to burn fuel while still on the ground; there was a mechanical problem, but the pilots assured us they had it fixed; American Airlines felt differently, so they recalled the plane to verify the fix themselves; then, finally, after over two hours, we were instructed to deplane and move to a different gate and plane. Basically, we got delayed 4 hours, which killed any chance of getting oriented in the archives today. My adventures, however, didn’t stop upon landing….  Continue reading “Day 1: Getting to New York City”

iPad App Review: Notability

In the midst of my newfound love affair with my iPad, I’ve been doing the app shuffle. I have, of course, loaded it up with the apps essential to my research practices (Evernote, Sente, iAnnotate, Pages, etc.), appropriate music (songs from my iTunes and Pandora), travel apps (Tripit, American Airline’s app, etc.), and other travel entertainment apps (Netflix, some movies, and more). I’ve also loaded some other note taking and productivity apps to test out in the classroom and beyond. One gem that I had the pleasure of using throughout my grad class tonight was NotabilityContinue reading “iPad App Review: Notability”

iPad: Initial Thoughts

After a 2 month saga (during which it really looked like the darned thing wasn’t going to arrive in time for my research trip to NYC), I lucked out and managed to get an iPad locally. I’m deeply indebted to the nice people (especially David) at the Southlake, TX Apple Store for hooking me up with a white 64GB AT&T iPad 2 (not the black one I’d ordered from Apple Education, but I secretly wanted the white one anyway). Why was I so eager to get an iPad? To play Angry Birds or Doodle Jump? Nope … I’m “that guy” who actually wants the thing for work.  Continue reading “iPad: Initial Thoughts”

Reflecting on Archives (with a Bib-in-Progress)

As I’m preparing to head to New York City to hit up a few archives — some for the first time, some again/”just to make sure” — I’m reflecting a little on “the archive” and its role or place in communication scholarship. I’ve been doing archival research since the eighth grade, thanks to a wonderful teacher who taught us how to use and required us to use places like the Washington State Archives and the Northwest Room and Special Collections at the Tacoma Public Library. Since then, I’ve done a lot more archival research and have crafted an archive of my own, which gathers perhaps the most comprehensive collection of materials on the Young Lords. Still, I probably don’t stop often enough to think about the status and function(s) of the archives and institutions I visit, and the archive of my own that I have constructed.  Continue reading “Reflecting on Archives (with a Bib-in-Progress)”

Grad Students: Tips on Writing

In a recent post, I mentioned speaking to my department’s graduate student organization, COGS (for which I am the advisor), about tips and tricks for having a productive summer. One of the topics they were particularly interested in is the writing process, which exceeds an exclusive focus on the summer. At the outset, everyone needs to understand that there is no magical formula for being a productive writer. I think the biggest things good writers have in common, however, are (a) that they have a game plan/methods that work for them and (b) that they view writing as a process rather than an event. With that in mind, here are some things that I find helpful in becoming a mildly productive writer (or, at least, pretending to be one). These notes were written for my UNT audience, so there are some specific references that won’t apply to others.  Continue reading “Grad Students: Tips on Writing”