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Writing

My most recent nonfiction book is Guy Maddin’s My Winnipeg, for the University of Toronto Press Canadian Cinema series. My best known book is The Iron Whim: A Fragmented History of Typewriting. I’ve written or cowritten five other books about technology and culture, including the Canadian bestseller Internet Directory 2000 (with Scott Mitchell); Commonspace: Beyond Virtual Community (with Mark Surman); and FREE as in speech and beer. I’m also the author of four books of poetry, NICHOLODEON: a book of lowerglyphs, the first book printed by the newly revived Coach House Books in 1997; the tapeworm foundry, which was shortlisted for the Trillium Prize in 2000; apostrophe (with Bill Kennedy), the first book ever written with a search engine; and Update, a sequel to apostrophe, also written with Bill Kennedy, using Facebook status updates as its source material. And, just to keep ourselves amused, Hal Niedzviecki and I wrote The Original Canadian City Dweller’s Almanac.

If you’re interested in any of my books, there’s more detailed information here.

My essays, articles and poems have appeared in many books and periodicals, including Boundary 2, The Boston Review, Brick, Gone to Croatan: Origins of American Dropout Culture, Grain, Matrix, Open Letter, Postmodern Apocalypse, Prairie Fire, Quarry, Quill & Quire, Rampike, Semiotext(e) Canada(s) and Sulfur.

 

Teaching

I am an Associate Professor in the English department at Concordia University. I teach courses on contemporary literature, video games, and, at the graduate level, media history and new media, with a particular focus on the relationship between media forms and 20th and 21st-century poetry and art. My current courses include Contemporary Canadian Literature (ENGL 377) and Distant Reading and Allied Methodologies (ENGL 668Cc/HUMA 888). You might also want to look at the department’s current course descriptions.

 

Research

I hold the Concordia University Research Chair in Media and Contemporary Literature (Tier 2).

For the last eight years, along with Professor Rosemary Coombe, I’ve been planning, designing and project managing Artmob, a multisectoral online initiative. Artmob’s purpose is to build large, accessible online archives of publically licensed Canadian art, and to foreground the issues that this process raises for Canadian copyright and intellectual property laws. It’s an exciting project, and we hope that it’ll help to break open the financial, technical and legal bottleneck that’s currently stalling the appearance of high-quality Canadian online arts archives.

Artmob’s flagship project is bpNichol.ca, an online public archive of the works of the Canadian poet bpNichol and his collaborators. The site was launched to coincide with the publication of The Alphabet Game: a bpNichol reader, which I co-edited with Lori Emerson for Coach House books.

 

Editing and Design

From 1998 to 2002, I was the senior editor at Coach House Books, the famous Canadian literary small press and the first press in the world to simultaneously publish full-text editions of its entire frontlist online and in paper. I’ve also served on the Board of Wilfrid Laurier University Press, and I still do the odd editorial and/or design project for Coach House or other small presses. The most recent of these were Jon Paul Fiorentino‘s The Theory of the Loser Class, Brian J. Davis‘s Portable Altamont, and The Alphabet Game: a bpNichol reader, all from Coach House.