Who I Am

Hi! I'm Justin.

I'm a student of literature, history, material culture, language, and technology, and I am especially fascinated by the intersection of some or all of these things.

I'm also a colossal nerd; I enjoy playing all sorts of games, tinkering with computers and electronics, and making things like trebuchets and websites. One day, when I have more room, I'd love to expand my collection of woodworking tools (and make better use of the ones I have), and I've convinced myself that I would even like to learn how to weld. Since graduating, I've been able to read for pleasure again and have been taking advantage of that development with great zeal, but I also love a good movie (and even a bad one).

As I mentioned, I graduated this past July from the University of New Mexico with my PhD in English Literature, and I'm currently looking for a position with an organization with whom I can use my skills as a force for good. I live in Albuquerque, NM with my two cats, Aetheling and Athena.

What I Do

I'm big on writing.

I've spent the last fifteen years teaching writing and literature in various forms at both the community college and university levels. I'm passionate about the power of language to convey what we think, feel, and experience, and I seek to instill the same appreciation for the potential of words in every student who enters my classroom.

More than that, though, I'm also passionate about learning about the world around me and sharing what I've found. As a scholar, I'm a specialist in the study of Material Culture in Old English Poetry, and I've presented my work at conferences throughout the United States. I've also travelled to England and worked with priceless thosand-year-old manuscripts like the Exeter Book (click the photo for a closer look). Of course, I'm currently rewriting my dissertation as a series of journal articles while taking a slightly different approach to my analysis for a book project.

I also do a lot of thinking about the Digital Humanities and the role technology plays in the experience of our own existence. Of course, if you ask ten people what "Digital Humanities" is, you're liable to get eighteen different answers. My most recent work concerns the digitization of material objects as 3D models that can be manipulated either in digital space or printed as material goods and the impact that kind of access can have on students of history and literature from elementary school to the four-year university.

Moreover, I'm an advocate for the use of innovative technologies in the classroom (whether virtual or physical), from challenging students to design their own video game based on a novel to the creation of interactive maps that track important locations in a travel narrative, technology is the medium through which learning will be realized in the 21st century, and I hope to be a part of figuring out what works best for our students.

How I Work

Let's talk.

Socrates didn't organize his students in rows of desks, nor did he require them to turn in their work by the beginning of class. Instead, he engaged them in everyday conversation, testing their assertions and questioning their assumptions by talking it out with them collaboratively. This led to improved learning and better understanding, not only for the student but for the observer, as well (even if we can only read about what happened third-hand).

I find myself thinking most clearly and working most effectively when I have the chance to talk about my ideas with others. The ability to ask questions, test hypotheses, and confirm understanding creates an environment in which I can quickly sort important information and make the connections necessary to communicate that idea effectively. As a result, I find myself most productive as a member of a team.

If your project needs someone who enjoys a challenge, who works hard to communicate ideas as clearly and effectively as possible, and knows how to work with others to get things done on time, take a look at my resume and see if you think I'd be a good fit!