Archive for August, 2020

In semesters past I have assigned these materials. I will not do so now. But I do want to make key selections of English Romantic verse available for curious and motivated students. Please feel free to read and discuss these poems, if you like; but, technically, they are not on the syllabus.

If you find you loathe this stuff, please note that these pieces contrast markedly with almost everything else we will be reading this semester.

p.s. Look for the print button on the upper-right corner of the web pages hosting each poem. This may make your life easier. Also, notice that the Wordsworth poems are the longest and (by our standards) most ponderous. Things will get much briefer and lighter as you move on to the other Romantic poets.

It might be well worth your while to follow the links below to some pretty weird and wonderful videos. Nothing wrong with learning a little something about classical music while you learn about literature and history.


Alessandro Scarlatti
(1660 – 1725)

Jean-Philippe Rameau
(1683 – 1764)
“Castor and Pollux”


Christoph Willibald Gluck
(1714 – 1787)
“Orpheus and Euridice”


Josef Hayden
(1732 – 1809)
“Symphony no. 45”
“Piano Sonata no. 59”
“String Quartets”

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
(1756 – 1791)
“The Marriage of Figaro”
“Violin Sonata K.301”

Ludwig van Beethoven
(1770 – 1827)
“Kreutzer Sonata”
“Piano Sonata no. 8 – Pathetique”
“To the Distant Beloved”
“String Quartet no. 12”
Symphony no. 6 – Pastoral

First Readings of The Semester

Posted: August 26, 2020 in Uncategorized


This is the first set of readings for the semester. I plan to begin discussing William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge during my first video lecture.  I will also provide optional texts by William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge over on WordPress, but only to give the more adventurous of you something to explore.Wordsworth and Coleridge may be difficult read, either because of what they write or how they write it. That will be true of most everything we read throughout the semester.  I have no expectations that anyone will understand these materials perfectly on the first reading. At least some parts of them will be too challenging for that, though there is certainly fun and adventure to be had in accepting challenges. Do the best you can to make sense of them.  I will always to around to explain and answer questions.

A quick bit of advice: try not to lose the forest for the trees.  The details mattes, but they are just the individual brushstrokes that combine to create the bigger picture.  Try to get the broad overview because sweating the incidentals. Good luck! I hope to hear from you soon!

(c) The Wordsworth Trust; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

William Wordsworth
(1770 – 1850)
Preface to Lyrical Ballads (1800)

Samuel Taylor Coleridge
(1772 – 1834)
Biographia Literaria (1817)
“Of The Imagination, or Esemplastic Power”


Posted: August 24, 2020 in Uncategorized

We’ll explore this topic in some depth very soon.

Mon 24 Aug 2020

Literacy literally changes the human brain. The process of learning to read changes our brain, but so does what we read, how we read and on what we read (print, e-reader, phone, laptop). This is especially important in our new reality, when many people are tethered to multiple screens at any given moment. With much of the world working from home, and millions of students learning at home, developing a biliterate brain – one adapted to both digital and traditional print literacy – has never been more important.

(Click image to read full story.)

Notification Settings!!!

Posted: August 24, 2020 in Uncategorized

Dear Students,

As you read our syllabus, you will see that an important component of your overall grade is regular and active participation in discussions which I initiate online. It will be much easier for you to participate in these discussions if you know that a new one has been created.

I strongly recommend that you set your Canvas notifications to send you an automatic alert whenever I post a new topic. Then you can dive in and chat with me and the rest of the group as soon as you have a free moment to do so. This will be our predominant means of communication.

You can easily set up these alerts on your Notifications page on Canvas. The screenshot below should help you. Please make a point of performing this small but extremely important task as soon as you can. Thanks!

Who Could Have Foreseen?!

Posted: August 24, 2020 in Uncategorized

I will be posting videos of myself explaining readings to you guys, but right now I’m glad I’ve decided not to Zoom.

Have any of you been affected by this blackout? Is your semester off to a steady or a shaky start? Feel free to talk about over on Canvas.

Meet Your Professor. Woo.

Posted: August 23, 2020 in Uncategorized

Dear students, hello!

Great to hear from some of you already. Thanks for your interest in my course.

Yes, my classes will be exclusively online and asynchronous this semester. So, you don’t have to check in at any specific time or physical location. Just keep up with my posts and the assigned readings, wherever you are, and at whatever hour of the day or night best suits you.

This setup is hardly ideal – as is the case with so many things these days. I chose to adopt this remote and asynchronous modality for a number of reasons; among them: I don’t want our classroom to become a vector for the virus, I don’t want to throw students into a panic should the U have to shut down again (as has already been the case at other universities); in Spring 2020 I had students who suddenly needed to fly home to the other side of the planet. I believe it would put overseas students at a distinct disadvantage to expect that they show up bright-eyed and ready to rumble at 3 or 4AM, when local students would (ideally) have had a full night’s sleep.

Let me assure you, I’ve been using the internet as an integral component of my teaching since 2003 – long before Canvas, the pandemic, and Zoom. I will sorely miss meeting everyone in person. But my years of experience with online teaching suggest to me that we can still establish genuinely instructive, fun, and enduring relationships via this format. It just depends on students’ general level of curiosity and willingness to engage. You can help me and your peers in that regard, and doing so will only raise your grade. If nothing else, we will learn this semester how the internet, before it became grossly degraded, was originally intended to be used.

I’m glad to have you aboard and look forward to getting to know you better. Good luck and best wishes to you as we leap into this brave new school year!

Brian K.

p.s. If you’re seeing this, you’ve probably already found the syllabus, and perhaps read it. If not, please do so. And please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns at this early date.

This Is The Place!

Posted: August 22, 2020 in Uncategorized

People are already starting to show up here. It’s great to see! Look for a video message from me soon. I plan to make one today. Cheers!

This Is The Place

This is the place where I will post our readings this semester. WordPress is easy and fun to use. I know many of you will take right to it, whereas it will be new and intimidating for others. The more you follow and utilize this form, the better you will get to know my ways of thinking and my expectations regarding your work, the more help and guidance you will receive, and the more you will learn.

To follow KUBERNESIS just click the option above and to the left in the transparent toolbar. If you do this, you will receive an email notification anytime I post something new.

I have used blogs with great success in variety of courses over the last seven years. It has been a tremendous resource for both my students and me. You will be amazed at how much you will learn – from me, your peers, and yourself – if you will check this site regularly and treat it not just as an obligation, but as a means of understanding my with a thinking and what I expect of you.

Nota bene! Will I will provided assigned readings and supplementary materials here on the blog, you will want, for the sake of privacy, to make observations and pose questions over on our Canvas discussion pages. This can be done easily enough simply by using two windows on your computer.

Please, don’t allow yourself to become shy about writing on Canvas. I will always manage discussion with the hope of diffusing anxieties and gradually sharing my thoughts and expectations with respect to student writing, long before it’s time to write a paper. Among other things this semester, let’s learn to use the internet responsibly, as it was originally meant to be used.

I look forward to hearing from you all!