part of the Mandelbrot setDavid Barndollar

Ph.D., English | Chair of the English Department, Laguna Blanca School

Welcome to my home page. This page remains fairly static; I update my blog (link at left) considerably more frequently. Also at the left is a link to the Moodle site for my current courses; if you're a student in one of these courses, please go to the Moodle site for course information and documents.

My publications include:

::: "The Waste Land In, Not Of, the MOO", in Currents in Electronic Literacy, Fall 2004 (8).
::: A Rationale for Teaching Hypertext Authoring in Literature Courses, DWRL White Papers Series #20030822-2 (2003).
::: with Susan Schorn, "Revisiting the Serial Format of Dickens's Novels; or, Little Dorrit Goes a Long Way," in Functions of Victorian Culture at the Present Time, edited by Christine L. Krueger, Ohio University Press, 2002.
::: "Movements in Time: Four Quartets and the Late String Quartets of Beethoven," in T. S. Eliot's Orchestra, edited by John Xiros Cooper, Garland Press, 2000.

I am presently working on a book-length introduction to prosody and versification intended for AP-level and lower-division undergraduate students of poetry, based on my many years of studying and teaching poetry and poetics. In my recent AP English Literature classes, I have been refining my approach to presenting this material, and I am grateful to my students for their willingness to help me make these fundamental concepts more clear and helpful to beginning students of poetry.

The image at the top of the page is a portion of the Mandelbrot set, a well-known example of a fractal. This image was produced from the Julia and Mandelbrot Set Explorer online. I became interested in fractals and non-linear dynamic functions as part of my dissertation research in English literature. When beginning my project, I believed that self-reference and recursion were far more important to our understanding of literary texts than I had seen described in traditional literary criticism, so I began to look into areas in which recursion plays a central role. This foray into chaos theory (where I found the Mandelbrot set) ultimately led me to informatics, cybernetics, and complex systems theory, which together with hermeneutics form the theoretical basis of my work in canonical 19th- and 20th-century poetry and poetics. I use the Mandelbrot set image here both because I find it beautiful and because it represents visually my scholarly interest in the paradoxes of form.

I completed my Ph.D. in English at the University of Texas at Austin, with concentrations in Victorian and modern literature and in poetry and poetics. During and after my graduate career, I worked and taught in UT-Austin's Computer Writing and Research Lab, where I gained practical and theoretical grounding in computers and writing and in rhetoric and composition. I hold an A.B. in English from Princeton University.

In my spare time, I sing with the Adelfos Ensemble, a men's a cappella vocal group based in Santa Barbara; I also serve on the alumni board of the Princeton Tigertones Alumni Association. I am well-versed in desktop publishing, and have produced programs and newsletters for a number of organizations, and I have completed layout and design work for graduate-student publications at UT-Austin. This web page is of my own design, as are the various web pages I create for my courses. I take web accessibility and universality quite seriously: my pages are compliant with Section 508 and WCAG standards.